Family reunited after 41 years

Raissa Tetanish
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By Raissa Tetanish
Amherst Daily News
AMHERST - Peter Giordano didn't expect an overwhelming number of family members to contact him after he spoke about searching for his birth family.
But within a few hours of people reading his story in the Amherst Daily News on Sept. 15, he was reunited with cousins, aunts, brothers and his mother.
"The day the article came out, I was looking through my e-mails and had two from friends in the town saying they know where my mom is," Giordano said.
"All of a sudden, my phone rang and it was my mom. I'm still kind of shocked, but it's nice."
When he was two-and-a-half years old, Giordano, who was then Peter David Burton, and two brothers, Shawn and Anthony, were taken from the family home four days after Christmas in 1966 following a mental health clinic physician's referral who felt his mother, Norma, wasn't capable of maintaining the family.
Giordano spent time in four foster homes before being adopted six years later.
Now, Giordano said he and his mom e-mail back and forth almost every day after getting back in touch.
Since hearing from his mother, Giordano has learned his brother Stephen's condition is Klinefelter's Syndrome and is currently living with their mother in Toronto.
After hearing from a cousin, Giordano learned his brother Shawn has an account on the social networking site Facebook. He found Shawn and sent him a message introducing himself.
"Four or five days later, he responded to me," Giordano said, adding the two will keep in touch mainly through the site.
He also found his other brother, Anthony - or Tony as he prefers to be called.
"He sent me a long, nice letter, but he's been carrying around his guilt for so long.
"He was my protector according to him, and he feels like he failed because he couldn't protect me."
The two had been together in foster care before Giordano was adopted.
One of the biggest surprises Giordano experienced was learning he has a fourth brother - Donald.
"I'm not sure how old he is and I had no idea I had another brother. Donald came as a shock to me," he said.
He also said he hasn't been in contact with him yet, but plans on it.
"There are so many people that I've been emailing back and forth," Giordano said.
"Another first cousin emailed me the other night introducing himself. He's my mom's sister's son."
Still living in Amherst, Diane Scott is Giordano's aunt, a sister to Norma.
"Peter's mother was home this summer and we were wondering if maybe he had gone to war and died and we didn't know," she said.
"She had been looking for Peter for years, but gave up about 10 years ago.
"It's wonderful news."
rtetanish@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Daily News

Geographic location: Amherst, Toronto

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Recent comments

  • Countrygal
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    That is a wonderful, heart warming story.

  • Vince
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Great family story, never give up your search for family members, in this case
    it proves determination pays.
    Best of luck for the future of this family...
    May GOD BLESS...