Her husband was the first to pick up their daughter, Madeline Fumi, who is now 18 and has kept in touch with her birth mother through the years following that improbable meeting. Madeline has been visiting Valdez and four biological half-siblings outside Lima in the last week, her second journey to her ancestral homeland since she was adopted.
The confluence of Madeline’s biological and adoptive worlds — which would be much more difficult today, as birth mothers’ identities are unknown in most international adoptions — has helped her become more secure with being adopted and provided a connection to her heritage.
And with the help of one little clue from Valdez, the Fumis tracked down Madeline’s two biological brothers in the Midwest, each with his own intriguing adoption story. The three siblings created an extended family, sharing summer vacations and milestones — as well as devastating events.