“When I saw the photo, I got goosebumps; I knew they had found my uncle”

  • After Ted was adopted at birth by an American couple, the 55-year-old tracked down his biological niece via SOS Niños Robados

Lourdes rang her mother, just after forwarding her a photo. “Pick up your mobile, sit down and look at the picture I've just sent you on Whatsapp,” she said. María Josefa, who will be 60 in September, did so and then asked: “Who is it? It must be someone in my family”. When she heard her daughter's response, she realised why Lourdes had told her to sit down. “It's your brother, Mum. He's called Ted,” she said. Then came a barrage of questions, which María Josefa had been asking in her mind all her life. “What's he like? Where is he? And how did you find him,” she demanded to know.

“As soon as I saw his photo, I got goosebumps. I knew had found my uncle. He is alive, and he's well. This is a dream come true,” says Lourdes, who lives in Benalmádena.

Ted is 55, lives in Oklahoma, has three children and a grandson. He is believed to have been a stolen baby. “We grew up hearing that my grandmother had had another son, and that he had been adopted by an American soldier and his wife. Nobody knows who the father was. But my grandmother couldn't read or write. She couldn't even sign her name. We believe the baby was taken from her,” says Lourdes. Her grandmother was living in Madrid at the time and she gave birth in a hospital run by nuns, because she was a single mother. Sadly, she died five years ago, never knowing what happened to her son.

It was Ted who found his family, after contacting Enrique Vila, the president of SOS Niños Robados. They had a starting point because his adoptive father had kept his birth certificate and the surnames, which are uncommon, were the same as Pepa's. Enrique contacted Lourdes via Facbook, and sent her a photo of Ted. She says the family resemblance is uncanny. Enrique put them in touch and now they are hoping to meet before long. “I hope it will be soon,” she says, “but it doesn't matter. We have found my uncle, after all this time.”