FIRST REUNION: Woman stolen as baby in Colombia meets birth moth - KMSP-TV

FIRST REUNION: Woman stolen as baby in Colombia meets birth mother

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Marisa Bocanegra shows photographs to her own daughters after meeting her birth mother for the first time. Photo by Maury Glover Marisa Bocanegra shows photographs to her own daughters after meeting her birth mother for the first time. Photo by Maury Glover

On Wednesday, a Minnesota woman finally got the reunion she spent decades waiting for, and Fox 9 News was there for the emotional first introduction of mother and daughter.

Marisa Bocanegra spent her entire life waiting for the day when she would meet her birth mother. The 37-year-old was just hours old when she was taken from her mother and sold to an adoption agency in Colombia.

A Burnsville family adopted Bocanegra when she was just 6 weeks old, but although she grew into a mentor for the deaf in Minnesota, she admits she often felt like a stranger in a strange land -- even after starting her own family.

"Growing up and not having the Colombian culture and the traditions of that, I felt I needed so badly to find my own identity," she explained.

A few years ago, she turned to social media for help in her search for the family she didn't know she had. Bocanegra joined a Facebook group called Adopted in Columbia and eventually connected with a private investigator who tracked her mother down in Bogota.

In doing so, the investigator also made a shocking discovery. Documents showed that Bocanegra's birth mother was drugged and tricked into signing her daughter away, and her infant was essentially kidnapped and stolen by the adoption agency.

Ever since, Bocanegra's birth mother has been looking for her daughter -- and she hasn't done it alone. Bocanegra's six brothers and sisters helped.

"The most important thing is that I was loved and not unwanted," Bocanegra said. "Now that I have found my birth mom, I know she never wanted to give me up for adoption."

Thursday's reunion was truly one for the Internet age -- a mother and daughter seeing each other for the first time in 37 years via Skype. Although they weren’t able to hear each other, some happy endings don't need any words.

Bocanegra is now planning to visit her birth mother and family in Bogota this summer, and has started a crowd-funding campaign to help cover some of those costs and the costs she incurred to find her family.

DONATE: http://www.gofundme.com/80gpmo

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