Father, daughter reunited after 50 years
MIRAMAR, Fla. (WSVN) -- As fathers across the country are being thanked this Father's Day, one South Florida daughter was reunited with her father after 50 years thanks to social media.
Jose Figueroa and his daughter Zoreida Soto are together at last and celebrated their very first Father's Day at a family gathering in Miramar, Sunday.
The reunion all started with Figueroa's promise to find his daughter. "I'm still trying to see if I'm going to wake up from this dream or if it's for real; I really have my dad here with me today," said Soto. "I'm just so glad he found me, actually."
Figueroa had not seen his daughter since she was 2 months old. "After so many years looking and me thinking that he had pased away," said Soto.
Soto was born in Puerto Rico but was only an infant when she went along with her mother to be with family in Chicago. Decades later, Soto's mother also made an emotional reunion with her estranged husband. "I was in shock. I didn't even know what to say. I started crying I said, 'I can't believe it,' coz I thought he was dead," said Ana Vargas, Soto's mother.
Along with seeing his daughter for the first time in years, Figueroa also met his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. "Grandkids: four great grandkids, we have 13," said Soto. "Nieces and nephews and cousins and the rest of the bunch."
Figueroa and Soto set their eyes on each other for the first time at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport last week. "I was wondering where I got this nose," laughed Soto. "Now I see."
The emotional moment had tears, kisses and laughs. "He says I look just like him," said Soto.
Now, Soto wants to give other families the same hope that dreams do come true with devotion. "I'm just hoping that this meeting with my dad will be something powerful for other children, that fathers are not there or are probably looking for them," she said.
Soto initially received a Facebook message from a person claiming to be a relative from New York. That relative turned out to be her father.
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