His mother was told that her son had died shortly after birth, but in reality he was adopted by a U.S. couple. More than 41 years later, the two are reunited.
Nelly Reyes’ baby, named Travis Tolliver by his adoptive family, grew up thousands of miles away, in Tacoma, Washington, raised by a couple who had no idea of what had happened.
Tolliver, a supervisor at an imports distribution center, says that he always knew he was adopted. What he didn’t know, however, was that he was stolen only hours after his birth in his native Chile. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Nelly Reyes was reunited with her son, Travis Tolliver, 41 years after a nurse told her that he had died shortly after birth (photo: screengrab from CNN’s video).
Reyes explains that she had a normal pregnancy and no medical issues. But after giving birth, a nurse told her that the baby was born with a heart condition and was unlikely to survive.
She was later told that her boy had died, but was never shown a body or given a death certificate.
It is not clear exactly who took Tolliver from his mother or whether there was any money paid for it.
Tolliver says that he tried to find his biological parents when he was in his 20s, however he lacked the connections to do it.
But last year Tolliver decided that he had to find the truth about his past for himself, as well as for his two children.
Through DNA testing, he was finally matched to his biological mother — a news, he says, that has been difficult to digest, especially for his adoptive mother.
After his reunification with his biological mother, Tolliver has also met his four brothers and one sister and has been sightseeing the country. He told CNN:
Now I’m back here in my homeland, I guess. I’m going to explore and see what the country is all about.
Asked why he would travel such a great distance and spend so much money doing it, Tolliver replied:
To become whole. I’ve always felt incomplete, always kind of the outsider. My adoptive parents have blonde hair blue eyes. I just kind of stood out like a sore thumb.
As for his biological mother, she has been cooking for him and doing everything she can to make him feel welcome, though the fact that she doesn’t speak English and he doesn’t speak Spanish isn’t making it easy.
Most importantly, Reyes has been showering her long-lost son with all the kisses that had been accumulating over these long 41 years of separation.
2. A man stolen as a baby meets his biological mother 41 years later.
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