In Missing Mila, Finding Family, Margaret Ward tells the poignant and compelling story of this international adoption and the astonishing revelations that emerged when Nelson's birth family finally relocated him in 1997. After recounting their early years together, during which she and Tom welcomed the birth of a second son, Derek, and created a family with both boys, Ward vividly recalls the upheaval that occurred when members of Nelson's birth family contacted them and sought a reunion with the boy they knew as Roberto. She describes how their sense of family expanded to include Nelson's Central American relatives, who helped her piece together the lives of her son's birth parents and their clandestine activities as guerrillas in El Salvador's civil war. In particular, Ward develops an internal dialogue with Nelson's deceased mother Mila, an elusive figure whose life and motivations she tries to understand.
Professor of German Emerita, Margaret E. Ward taught at Wellesley College from 1971 to 2010. A prize in her name is awarded each year to an outstanding senior major in Women and Gender Studies in recognition of Ward's contribution to the establishment of that department. She has published on Bertolt Brecht, post-1945 political drama, and women's biography, including a book on Fanny Lewald, a nineteenth-century novelist and advocate of women's education.