MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida woman finally got her wish of a family reunion decades in the making.
“We’re here today because, finally, I am going to meet my brother and sister for the first time in my life,” said Cristina Rodriguez while anxiously awaiting the arrival of her siblings at Miami International Airport.
Rodriguez only wanted one gift this past Christmas: to be able to meet her two siblings.
The 42-year-old said she always knew she had an older brother and sister from her father’s first marriage.
“My father was very young when he had them in Portugal, and then he moved to Venezuela, where he met my mother 20 years later,” she said.
Rodriguez’s father originally planned to take her to meet her siblings when she turned 15, but it never happened.
She later moved to the U.S. when she turned 18.
Rodriguez eventually received a letter from her older brother just before their father passed away.
She tried to mail a reply, but an incomplete address on the letter meant that her brother never received it, so the two lost contact.
“All these years have passed, and I’ve been trying to look for them. Finally, this Christmas, I wrote a little letter saying, ‘Dear Santa, I hope to meet my brother and sister for Christmas.'”
Rodriguez then came up with an idea.
She decided to contact the police in Portugal in hopes they would be able to find her siblings.
With the help of one officer, she was able to track down her brother’s address in London.
“They found my brother for me. He’s a retired ex-pilot from the air force, and I spoke with him,” she said. “They got the phone number for me, and he got in contact with my sister, and every day since then I’ve been in contact with them.”
After communicating by mail, her siblings, ages 67 and 69, agreed to come to Miami to meet Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was finally able to see her siblings face to face for the first time in her life.
“I’m nervous. I’m anxious. I’m very excited. Like, I barely can breathe right now,” she said while waiting for them to arrive at the airport. “It’s a mix of sentimental moments that I’m getting here.”
“I’m blessed that I’m able to do this, and that that policeman in Portugal got me through to the right path to meet them,” Rodriguez added.
Rodriguez now hopes the next step will be to meet her siblings’ children, who were unable to attend the reunion.
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