Man Stolen As Baby Reunites With His Mother After 41 Years
Santiago, Chile – Nelly Reyes waited hours at the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago, accompanied by her twenty-something granddaughter and 10-year-old grandson and holding a sign saying, “Lovingly waiting for Travis, your mother Nelly and family”. The minute she saw her long-lost son, Travis Tolliver, walking out of the terminal, the two ran to each other without uttering a single word and embraced each other tightly for a long time. It was a hug that was delayed for four decades and a year of sorrow, deception, and injustice. The trials and tribulations began when Reyes was told that Tolliver died of a heart condition hours after he was born in November of 1973. Reyes was never shown Tolliver’s “body” or a death certificate and shortly after, Tolliver was abducted by a person whose identity remains unknown to this day. Eventually Tolliver was rescued and raised by a couple living in Tacoma, Washington.
Tolliver told CNN with tears of joy in his eyes, “I don’t know how I feel. It’s crazy! I never thought this could happen.” Despite the fact his adoptive parents were told that he had been abandoned, Tolliver discovered that he was one of Chile’s “Children of Silence”, infants who were kidnapped from their biological parents during the age of Chile’s dictatorship. When he turned 40, Tolliver decided to make use of the Internet to try to search for his birth mother. With the help of a pen pal website and a Facebook page titled Chile Adoption Birth Family Search, Tolliver had found information on his birth mother within three to four weeks. Now, after a heartfelt reunion, Tolliver and Reyes can put their fears and worries to rest.
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