A 42-year-old Virginia man hugged his biological mother for the very first time this month after they were separated at birth and had not seen each other since.
Hola, Mama,” Jimmy Lippert Thyden told Maria Angelica Gonzalez in Spanish, when the two met for the very first time at her home in Valdivia, Chile, in August. “I love you very much,” he said as they embraced, both teary-eyed and emotional.
Forty-two years ago, hospital workers took Maria Angelica Gonzalez’ son from her arms immediately after his birth, and she was later told that he had died. Now, they got to meet face-to-face.
“Mijo (son), you have no idea the oceans I’ve cried for you, how many nights I’ve laid awake praying that God let me live long enough to learn what happened to you,” Thyden recalls his birth mother’s saying during their remarkable reunion.
The heartwarming moment came after a monthslong, international search for his biological family, and the 42-year-old explained to The Associated Press how he approached their first meeting.
“It knocked the wind out of me. … I was suffocated by the gravity of this moment,” he said during an interview from Ashburn, Virginia, where he works as a criminal defense attorney. “How do you hug someone in a way that makes up for 42 years of hugs?”
The reunion included more than just Thyden, as he traveled to Chile with his wife, Johannah, and their two daughters, Ebba Joy, 8, and Betty Grace, 5, to meet his newly discovered family.
For the first time, Gonzalez got to meet her displaced son, a new daughter-in-law and two new granddaughters. Thyden, for the first time, also got to meet his biological bothers and sister. Everyone was exuberant.
When Thyden and his family stepped into his mother’s home, they were greeted with 42 colorful balloons, each one signifying a year of lost time with his Chilean family.