60 Years Apart: Brothers reunite after adoption separation
BATAVIA, N.Y — Don Crawford and his biological brother, Bruce Delude, have been searching for each other for 60 years.
These two brothers were born in Batavia, New York, but were unexpectedly separated when they were put up for adoption when they were very young. After spending years together in foster care, this was a split neither of them saw coming.
“My parents might have given me up, I didn’t care about nothing else, I just wanted to know where my brother was,” Delude said.
Delude and Crawford are brothers. Long lost brothers who have been searching for each other for 60 years.
“I don’t think we even knew that they were going to really separate us,” Don Crawford said. “Until they put me in one car and him in another car and that was the last I saw of him.”
On September 29, their search is over.
Surrounded by friends and family, these two brothers, now 69 and 67, are whole again.
“When he got out and said it, I just stood there in shock and said ‘is this real?’,” Delude said. “Very emotional.”
Don was seven years old when he was separated from his older brother, Bruce.
After spending years in foster care together, their lives were turned upside down, when they were adopted by two different families. Six decades later, they still want to know why they were separated.
“We went into foster homes all the way up to you (Bruce) were nine, I was seven, little over seven,” Crawford said. “Adoption came up, my adopted parents wanted to adopt both of us and they said ‘no way’. They said there was no way one family could handle the two of us.”
Heather Delude is Bruce’s daughter and says finding her uncle was something she knew she had to do, especially for her father. And that’s exactly what she did.
“I left three messages for Donald and the third one he called me and we made it happen,” Heather Delude said.
“It’s a lot to take in, it’s going to take time,” Crawford said. “I mean when I go back home, it’ll be something I’ll be thinking about.”
Though Don lives in Tennessee, and Bruce lives locally in western New York, both brothers say nothing can keep them apart anymore. And while the reunion was overwhelming, it was nice they say to be overwhelmed with feelings of happiness and joy.