STOCKTON (CBS13) — A Stockton woman is on a mission to find the last of her seven siblings who were separated by adoption.
She’s started a blog and created a Facebook page and is now asking for the community’s help in finding her long-lost brother.
Reina Torneo is the oldest of seven siblings. She was just seven years old when she said her parents put her, her five brothers, and one sister up for adoption.
“I was always taught my parents gave birth to me, but that we were meant to be someone else’s children so I never hated my parents,” Torneo said.
Each sibling went to a different home, which has made it difficult to find each other. Torneo said she always wondered where her siblings went and how they grew up until, out of the blue, she got a call from her brother Christopher.
“He was 14 years old, he asked a social worker to see if they could find us and they found my phone number and they called me and I was excited because it was the first one to actually reach out to me,” Torneo said.
The two became close and shared a dream of bringing all of the siblings together to talk and catch up. Unfortunately, that dream did not come true before Christopher died from leukemia last year.
Now it is up to Reina to carry out their dream of finding their very last sibling, Manuel.
“He was a little baby. He didn’t get the chance to make memories with us,” Torneo said.
The search for Manuel has been difficult because his adoptive parents changed his name. So, Torneo and her sister-in-law launched a blog and Facebook page called “Separated by Adoption.”
“We got over 50,000 views already. So I’m hoping it works because it will take him seeing the actual pictures to know it’s him,” Torneo said.
After CBS13 aired the story, Manuel’s first foster family reached out to Torneo and shared that his name was still “Manuel” when they had him. He was in their foster home for a few years, the family says, but he was adopted to a new family when he was around four or five years old.
Manuel – whose birthday is July 20, 1999, Torneo says – may still be in San Joaquin County.
You can find the Facebook page here.