Mom, daughter reunite 26 years later

January 27, 2011 4:22:33 AM PST
A family broken apart more than two decades ago is back together.

A homeless woman who left her children believing she could not care for them has her family back when she needs them most. It's all because a hospital and a stranger wanted to reunite the family.

"So I began to hug her and I cried with her and she held on to me like she knew I was her kid," Samanta Carmona said, describing the first moments after reuniting with her mother.

The mother abandoned her four-month-old daughter and two-year-old son 26 years ago because she could not care for her children.

"I guess I was a little upset and angry, but I knew mentally she wasn't all there," she said.

Carmona felt anger at her mom for leaving, but those feelings were set aside when she met the mother she never knew.

"That's a girl's dream come true, to finally meet their real mom," she said.

The mother has spent 26 years on the streets. Homeless and suffering mental problems, she also developed health trouble and ended up in Ben Taub Hospital. The hospital staff reached out to the Korean Community Center for help finding the woman's family.

"I thought there was no way I could find daughter, or you know, son because we didn't have any clue," said Hyunhee Chunk with the Korean Community Center.

Chung used the Internet to track down the woman's family. She told Carmona her mother was going back on the street and may not survive the winter.

"Now that she's here, we can make a life together," Carmona said.

The parties involved in the reunion call it a miracle that a family broken 26 years ago is back together.

"She hugs me; she tells me her baby's back, and the first thing that she said when she first initially saw me was God can answer all prayers," Carmona said.

Carmona said her father thought her mother had returned to her native Korea years ago. Carmona told us she actually believed her mother had died. She feels God answered her prayers by bringing her mother back into her life.