Posted at: 09/20/2012 11:41 PM
| Updated at: 09/21/2012 12:14 AM
By: Dan Levy
LAKE GEORGE - Up until about ten days ago, Alfredo "Louis" Leon, of Lake George, hadn't spoken to, or seen any of this three siblings in more than three decades.
Leon spent his childhood in the Bronx, bouncing around between an orphanage and several foster homes, although his three sisters had the good fortune of winding up with loving, adoptive families.
Leon, has made a life for himself in the pizza business in Lake George, but ever since he was ten years old, a big part of his life has been missing -- his three sisters.
"All my life I wondered about them but didn't know where to begin to look," Leon said. "You have to remember, 20 or 25 years ago, the internet didn't really exist."
But it does today, and after trying to make contact for years with his sisters on social web sites MyLife.com and Facebook, Leon found a promising match over the summer clear across the country, in Kennewick, Washington. After sending a message to twin sisters Judy and Jackie to contact him, on July 13th, at 11:30 P.M. his phone rang.
"She called me back and she was hysterically crying," Leon recalled. "She said, "Lucito". They called me Lucito when I was younger. Is it really you? And I said, "Yes, it is."
Last week, Leon flew out to the west coast, for a partial family reunion, determined to catch up on 35 years of separation and uncertainty during a six-day visit.
"When I saw them standing there, my heart dropped," Leon said, "It was very emotional."
Leon says, at times, he feels he was dealt an unfair hand in life, although he also says he's grateful that his sisters didn't have to go through what he went through.
"My sisters were able to be fortunate enough to have that whole family life and the love that sometimes I wish I had," he says.
It's a family life that the single father doesn't want his own two children, 10-year old Louis, Junior, and 4-year old Kailyn, to miss out on. That's why, at the end of October, Leon plans to pull up stakes in upstate New York and move cross country, to be with the only real family he's never known.
"I'm getting rid of everything I own and I'm just going there with my kids," he states. "We're going to take a chance in life and it can't be any worse than what life has dealt me already."
Even though Leon has been able to reconnect with his younger twin sisters Judy and Jackie, there is still some unfinished family business to tend to. Those siblings' older sister, Aida, still hasn't been located.
Leon believes Aida went into the military, became a commercial pilot, and lives somewhere in Florida, but he's not sure, and he says he'll never stop searching for her.