Siblings reunited after 35 years - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Siblings reunited after 35 years

Posted: Updated:
September 17, 2012 -

KENNEWICK, Wash. - Separated on their brother's 10th birthday, two sisters in the Tri-Cities never thought they'd see their sibling again. But now, after 35 years, they've finally found what they've been looking for.

After decades apart, Jackie Lopez and her twin sister Judy Whitsett reunited with their big brother, Alfredo Leon. Born in the Bronx, they lived in foster homes, seeing each other only for special events. When the twins were adopted together at 8 years old, the siblings lost touch.

"We were taken to the agency for my birthday," Alfredo said, "We celebrated, we cut a cake there and I believe that was the last time I saw them." For ten years, Jackie had searched adoption and ancestry databases. She found documents, names and phone numbers, but nothing lined up.

Finally a post on mylife.com got her brothers attention. "I paid all the fees and I found she had been looking for me," Alfredo recalled, "so I clicked onto it and I knew I had found the right person."

Never adopted, Alfredo lived in foster homes until he was 18. When he sent his sisters the picture from his tenth birthday, the only portrait he had, the idea of family became a possibility. With the picture, he sent a message, saying "if this is you, call me," and sure enough he got a call back, his sister hysterically crying.

But there's another missing piece... The three have an older sister, named Aida. Alfredo is in touch with her periodically, but it's not completely frequent. "Aida was like a loner so to speak," he says, "so she resurfaces from time to time."

He hopes to reunite all four of them someday, but for now they're making up for lost time. In 8 weeks, Alfredo plans to move to the Tri-Cities, with his girlfriend and children, to be with his sisters and their families.

"You can't break family up," he says, "no matter how you try." Judy added in "it's an awesome bond we have, it's unbelievable," and Jackie agreed, "it's like we're reliving our childhood."

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