After being separated for at least 34 years, David Amaya Barrick was reunited with his mother in the San Diego International Airport two days ago.
"We have some catching up to do,” Kathy Amaya, 60, told him, according to Reuters.
The 37-year-old Barrick was taken as a toddler by his father to his grandparents’ home in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. On Oct. 30, he was arrested crossing the border with no ID after being robbed. When asked by Border Patrol agents, he first identified himself as Mexican, then remembered that his grandparents had told him he had been born in Chicago.
The agents tracked down his birth certificate, along with his mother, who lived in Chippewa Falls, Wisc. The agents arranged for them to speak on the phone, but Kathy spoke no Spanish and David no English, so the border agents turned into translators.
“It was very emotional,” supervisory agent Troy Matthews told Reuters. “He told her he grew up being told she abandoned him, and she started crying that she was afraid they told him that, and how she never stopped wanting to find him.”
Kathy flew to San Diego, and the two finally met late on Saturday, hugging and kissing at the reunion. In Spanish, David said, “I love you, and I missed you a lot. I welcome you into my life.”
Kathy, an assistant housekeeper at a hotel, told him, “I’m very happy to see you, and I’m not going to let you go.”
On Tuesday, mother and son will travel to Wisconsin together, where they will have Thanksgiving together, along with Kathy’s four other adult children.
David is a drummer, who was married and divorced in Mexico with two kids. He expects to return to San Diego after the holiday, according to Freddy Rivas, the pastor at Iglesia de Cristo of the Ministerios Llamada Final of San Diego, who has helped David since he was let go by the Border Patrol.
"David and his mother have been together the last day and a half – they've spent time at her hotel, at our church, they went to the beach together," Rivas told Fox News Latino.
“We’ll spend Thanksgiving with so much to give thanks for,” Barrick said. “It’s really overwhelming, sometimes it feels like my heart will burst.”