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Facebook reunites mother with long-lost son

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A woman whose three-year-old son was abducted and taken to live in Hungary has been reunited with him 27 years later after finding his name on Facebook.

Avril Grube last saw Gavin when his father took him on an outing to Blackpool Zoo. That was in 1982.

Instead of going to the zoo, however, Joseph Paros took the boy to Budapest in defiance of a court order.

Despite appeals via the Hungarian Embassy in London and the British Embassy in Budapest, and an appeal to Margaret Thatcher, then the Prime Minister, Mrs Grube heard nothing more of her son.

Then last October, her sister, Beryl Wilson, typed the name Gavin Paros into Google and found a link to someone of that name on the social networking site Facebook.

A frustrating wait followed. With more than 200 million users, there was a possibility that the Facebook member merely shared the name with Mrs Grube’s son.

It was several weeks before Mr Paros, now a 30-year-old father of three, checked his Facebook page and found the message from his aunt. Mother and son were reunited at 4am on Thursday after her husband Jeff picked him up from Gatwick and drove him to their home in Poole, Dorset. Mrs Grube, 61, who is partially disabled after a stroke, said: “I couldn’t sleep, I just sat waiting for him to arrive. Even though it has been nearly 30 years, when I first saw him I recognised him. He has my eyes.

“I was so overcome and just said ‘my beautiful son’ over and over again. He was very quiet and overwhelmed. We just hugged each other. It is the happiest day of my life, there are almost no words to describe it.”

The pair managed to communicate, although Mr Paros has forgotten all the English he knew as a boy and Mrs Grube does not speak Hungarian.

Mrs Grube, who has three other children, has yet to meet her daughter-in-law, Sylvia, and three grandchildren Anastasia, 10, Thomas, 7, and Angelina, 6. She hopes they will decide to move to Britain.

Mrs Wilson, 59, had spent the best part of three decades helping her sister trace her son. Because Hungary was a Communist state in 1982 on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain it made the task of tracing a three-year-old boy virtually impossible for a single mother in Liverpool. Appeals for help through official channels fell on deaf ears.

Mrs Wilson, who still lives in Liverpool, said: “Gavin’s father had visitation rights and said he was going to the zoo. Naturally, my sister was devastated. We didn’t have people around us to tell us where to go or who to speak to. We tried our MP and wrote to Margaret Thatcher but nobody was interested or wanted to help.

“Avril endured many sleepless nights, not knowing if Gavin was alive or dead. She didn’t cope very well and had a terrible time. She has a big heart and loves her children very much. As a result her own health has suffered.”

While Mrs Wilson was trying to trace Mr Paros through the internet, he had been trying to find his English family after the death of his father in 2006. Mrs Wilson said: “I tried online electoral rolls to check if Gavin had moved back to Britain, and I tried Friends Reunited, but didn’t get anywhere.

“Then one day last October I put his name into Facebook and found him. I e-mailed him but it took a while for him to respond and when he did he gave me his phone numbers.

“I called my sister when I heard back from Gavin and told her to sit down as I had some news. All I heard after that was screaming.”

Source: Facebook reunites mother with long-lost son

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Sister finds long-lost brother living across the street [Video]

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Who’s the guy across the street? Turns out it was Candace Eloph’s brother, who had been given up for adoption 32 years ago.

Jamie Wheat was born at Barksdale Air Force Base’s hospital. His birth mother, Joellen Cottrell, eventually moved from Louisiana and had other children, but did not keep her son a secret.

“My girls always knew that they had a brother,” she said. “I’ve always looked for him.”

Eloph, who is one of those daughters, found her brother by chance.

She had moved into a Shreveport neighborhood, across the street from a couple who had a 32-year-old son. Eight months ago, that 32-year-old son, Jamie Wheat, moved back in with his parents.

He and Eloph became friends — and one day started talking about family.

“We were sitting one day and talking and she said, ‘I had a brother born Jan. 27, 1977, that was adopted,'” Wheat recalled. “I was like — I was adopted. My mom was 16 when she gave me up for adoption.”

Candace called her mother, who drove all night to meet Wheat.

They knew in their hearts he was the son Joellen Cottrell had been looking for, but they wanted confirmation. DNA testing did it.

Wheat was with his families when he opened the letter from the lab. His adoptive parents said they are thrilled about the new stage in their son’s life.

“It was just surprising that they lived across the street from us for two and a half years,” Ted Wheat said. “When they told us, we said this is the greatest news it could be.”

Source: Sis finds long-lost brother living across the street

Kate And Leo help last Titanic survivor

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“Titanic” stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet have pledged to help the last survivor of the sinking of the ocean liner.

The stars say they have thrown their support behind a fund that would subsidize Millvina Dean’s nursing home fees.

Dean was 2 months old when the Titanic sank beneath the waves on the night of April 14, 1912. She has been living at a nursing home in the English city of Southampton since she broke her hip about three years ago but has struggled to pay the fees.

In October she sold several Titanic mementoes to raise cash.

DiCaprio and Winslet said in a statement that they hoped Dean could rest easier knowing that her future was secure. The Millvina Fund was launched Monday in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Read more: Kate And Leo help last Titanic survivor

Awaiting first Mother’s Day after ‘gift from God’

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About 12 years ago, Bill and Susan Armbrecht decided to call it quits on trying to have a child.

“We used to avoid going to church on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day because it was too painful,” Bill Armbrecht recalled.

On Sunday, Susan Armbrecht will celebrate her first Mother’s Day. Their daughter, Allie Grace, was born Sept. 28.

“I believe that we wouldn’t have this child if it wasn’t for our faith,” he said. “I truly believe that this baby is a gift from God, the desire of our hearts.”

The Armbrechts had tried for years to conceive. Recalling the fertility treatments, she said, “Bill had to chase me around the house to give me shots.”

They considered adoption, but the cost proved prohibitive.

“The doctors couldn’t tell us why we couldn’t have children, and we couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t have children,” she said.

One day early last year, she felt a little strange and decided that her symptoms must be menopause-related.

Wanting to rule out pregnancy, she used one of the tests sometimes given to female patients at the Alabama Orthopedic Clinic, where she served as a technician in pain management.

Surprised and unsure when she saw the result, she asked a nurse to interpret it. The nurse said that she was pregnant.

On the way home that day she purchased a greeting card, put the test results in it and placed it in the kitchen where her husband could find it.

“Is this for real?” he asked.

As the months advanced, the Armbrechts read everything they could about pregnancy in older women. That information caused some concern, but they decided against medical tests such as amniocentesis — used to identify potential birth defects and other problems.

Instead, the Armbrechts relied on their faith.

Susan Armbrecht said that she experienced a smooth pregnancy, with no morning sickness and little weight gain.

Allie Grace arrived three weeks early, a situation her father jokingly blames on the excitement of the Alabama-Georgia football game played the previous day.

“She heard all the yelling and screaming and said that she wasn’t going to miss the rest of the season,” said Bill Armbrecht, a Crimson Tide fan and owner of The Brick Pit, a local barbecue restaurant.

Sitting in the living room of their west Mobile home recently, they played with Allie Grace and joked about being simultaneously amazed and sleepy.

Bill Armbrecht said he hopes their experience will encourage other couples who still want children, but fear parenthood is beyond their reach.

Allie Grace’s parents now playfully compete about their daughter’s future: Mom wants her to be a ballet dancer and a cheerleader. Dad wants her to become the first female field goal kicker on scholarship at Alabama.

“What fascinates me the most is that every day I’m holding this little girl, it’s like holding an angel,” he said. “Those blue eyes look up at me and I feel like I’m holding an angel.”

“She wakes up at 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. and she’s smiling,” Susan Armbrecht said. “You can’t be mad at a baby that’s smiling at you. She’s a good baby. I said if God was going to give me one this late in life, he’s going to give me a good one.”

Read more: Awaiting first Mother’s Day after ‘gift from God’

Honest taxi driver reaps rewards

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The donations started after a website was set up in his honour calling for gestures of gratitude for what is seen as an extraordinary act of honesty.

So far the equivalent of $14,580 has been donated, according to the site.

Santiago Gori, a taxi driver in the coastal city of La Plata, found the money after driving an elderly couple.

They only went a short distance but when he dropped them off, they left a bag in the back of his taxi.

A few days later he managed to locate his passengers again and he returned the bag.

For Argentines used to corruption at all levels of society, this was an extraordinary story.

Two young advertising agency employees decided to set up a website to thank Mr Gori further for his exemplary behaviour.

Now thousands of people have accessed the site and have left hundreds of rewards and messages for Mr Gori.

One visitor offered to produce in his studio a song chosen by Mr Gori to kick-start a potential artistic career.

Another offered a snow-boarding lesson in Argentina’s ski resort of Bariloche, while an Argentine abroad promised to bring back a second-hand GPS satellite receiver for his taxi on his return.

“Thank you”, say many of the messages and one said it all: “I wish more people were like you.”

For his part, Mr Gori seems a bit bemused.

He said he only did what had to be done – and that he does not quite know what to do with all the things he has been offered.

Read more: Honest taxi driver reaps rewards

Girl’s dream to end childhood hunger gets national attention [Video]

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Here’s one from one of my friends, Joey Sovine.

Ten-year-old Katie Stagliano dreams to end childhood hunger across the world.

The 4th grader from Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville was recently featured in NBC Nightly News “Making a difference” segment.

Her dream began in her backyard where a 3rd grade project turned into a 40 pound cabbage.

“We decided that my cabbage was too special to be eaten so I contacted the organization fields to family. They are an organization that brings extra crops from farmer’s fields and other places to people in need and they told us that Family Crisis Ministries’ soup kitchen would greatly appreciate it,” explained Katie.

The 40 pound cabbage went on to feed over 275 people and triggered a dream that is spreading throughout her school.

With help from environmental science teacher Michael Newman, a garden has been constructed on the school’s property where Katie’s classmates help to grow food for the homeless.

Katie has now helped to feed over 800 people and hopes to inspire more people to grow food for those less fortunate.

Watch this story: Summerville kid dreams to end childhood hunger

90-year-old couple does duet [Video]

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Fran & Marlo Cowan (married 62 years) playing impromptu recital together in the atrium of the Mayo Clinic. He’ll be 90 in February.

 

Written by allpositivenews

05/04/2009 at 4:14 pm