Bruce DeLude and Don Crawford
Born in Batavia, New York to the Delano family. Don and his older brother Bruce were placed in the foster care system and ended up in Rochester, New York.
Don said when the Crawford family looked to adopt both boys, an agency stepped in. “They said, ‘no family can handle these two together,'” Don remembered. “That is why I got adopted by one family. He got adopted by another. Him and I should’ve been adopted together. We really should’ve.” Don was seven. His brother was eight-and-a-half.
Now living in Ashland City, Tennessee on the Cumberland River, 67 year old Don has spent decades trying to find Bruce. He’s tried contacting records departments, no idea what city or state where his brother could live. “I thought maybe he went to war and got killed, and I’d never find him again,” said Don.
Then, one day a call came in to Don, a woman’s voice on the other end. “She said, ‘I think you’re my father’s brother,'” said Don. “I lost it. I broke down. I really did. I mean. 60 years. Come on.” Don’s brother, now Bruce DeLude, was in Bliss, New York just East of Lake Erie. “Now, I’m gonna meet my real brother again, and that’s awesome.”
So Don drove to Bliss and surprised his brother. Their interaction was caught in a cell phone video.
“I’m looking for Bruce Delano,” said Don.
“Well, I’m Bruce,” Bruce replied walking toward him.
“I’m Don Delano.”
“Really?” Bruce asked.”
“How are ya, man? Good to see you.”
“I just stood there in shock,” said Bruce. “Is this real? Very emotional.”
It is a reunion that almost didn’t happen.