Woman reunited with long lost brother thanks to a FOX 26 viewer

- A woman said after seeing a Fox 26 Facebook post about long lost siblings, she decided to put what she knew about her long-lost brother in the comments section.

Then, a Fox 26 viewer who had experience connecting long-lost family members saw her post, and what she did ended up linking several lives back together.

In 1988, Elidia Duarte had her baby boy at St. Joseph Medical Center. But he arrived at a terrifying time in her life.

“I had to give him up because I was being abused, and I had to protect him and myself,” said Elidia Duarte.

She said she had been horrified by the father and spent nights sleeping in her car with the baby to hide from him. She did the only thing she could think of to keep him alive -- she put him up for adoption.

“When I signed those papers to put him up for adoption, the last thing I did -- I changed his diaper and I picked him up and I hugged him. And I looked at him and I told him that I love him and I'll never forget him and that one day we will be together,” said Duarte.

Since then, she and her daughter Ashley, who spent her childhood safely with an aunt, never stopped wondering about him.

Then, this week, her daughter saw a Fox 26 Facebook post about long lost siblings. So, she asked Fox 26 viewers for help to find him.

“I posted to them [the Facebook comment section] his name, his birth date, his adopted parents, the only information that I knew,” said Ashley Smith, Duarte’s daughter.

Within the hour, another viewer who said she had experience connecting long-lost relatives, responded.
Her brother had been found.

“For a complete stranger [to help] with everything that's going on in this world is just beautiful because nobody has ever done that for our family, nobody has ever taken the time to help us,” said Smith.

He had been in Louisiana this whole time and knew he was adopted, but not much more. He had been wondering if his biological family even cared.

“It still hasn’t hit me yet,” said Jason Joyce, the long-lost brother.

Now, the brother is planning on coming to Houston to meet them, and he'll be spending his first Christmas with the family that gave him up 27 years ago to keep him safe.

“I feel joy,” said Duarte. “That's the best Christmas I've ever gotten in my life.”

Smith said she plans on driving to Louisiana on Thursday to meet her brother and bring him back for the holidays.

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