Siblings find biological mother after 65 years

2008-06-12T00:00:00Z Siblings find biological mother after 65 yearsCHAS REILLY
June 12, 2008 12:00 am  • 

About 25 years ago, questions burning inside them, Ramona Barandela and Raymond Montez began searching for their biological mother.

Barandela, 67, of Merrillville, and Montez, 65, of South Haven, were abandoned by their mother, Alice Acor, when Barandela was 2 and Montez was just 4 months old.

Everywhere they turned seemed to lead to a dead end until the day before Mother's Day this year when Montez's son found a posting on a genealogy Web site that reunited the two with their biological mother in California, the brother and sister said.

"It was just a fluke," Barandela said.

The siblings' mother reportedly left the pair in the care of friends, Pauline and Adolph (John) Montez, while the mother searched for a job in 1943.

The Montez couple later adopted the siblings. Both of the adoptive parents have since died.

The siblings said their biological father, Luis Mosqueda, also was around as they grew up, but the two always lived with Pauline and Adolph.

Fast forward to 2008, and Montez's son was searching a genealogy Web site when he found a posting seeking out the brother and sister. The posting had been made several years ago, and the woman who made it -- another family member -- had since passed away.

The siblings said they didn't give up the search.

They found the woman's obituary, which lead them to the woman's daughter. The daughter informed the two that their biological mother still was alive and is living in Van Nuys, Calif.

Barandela and Montez then boarded a plane to California and met their mother, who is now 84 years old and in "frail health," Barandela said.

Montez said his sister was more nervous than he was during the trip, and he was trying to comfort Barandela while traveling to see their mother.

The siblings said they didn't get many answers from their biological mother but were able to find out information about their family's medical history, including a history of cancer, Barandela said.

The three also spent time looking through old pictures with Acor, Montez said.

"We cried a little bit," Montez said.

Even though Barandela didn't get all the answers she desired, she said she found some closure.

"I always wondered why, why, why, but it didn't matter anymore," Barandela said.

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