SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sandra Lee Booker still remembers everything about the day that changed her life forever—July 17, 1976.
“They had their noses and hands glued to the window, and I waved at them all the way down the street.”
At the time, she had no idea she wouldn’t see her son and daughter again for years.
Their father was only supposed to have them for a few hours. Instead, he flew them nearly 8,000 miles from their home to Nigeria, and disappeared.
“The only way I would ever see them again is to hire a private detective, go over, and kidnap them back,” she said.
What Sandra didn’t know was her ex-husband left their young children with his sister. When she couldn’t support them financially, she set up a foster home for them back in Portland, where they’re from.
By coincidence, their foster mother knew Sandra.
In 1985 they would reunite, along with a brother Sandra was pregnant with when they disappeared.
“It was definitely a miracle,” she said.
Sandra’s children, Osagie and Caleb, now grown haven’t seen their father in 40 years. But recently, they tracked him down at a nursing home in Sacramento.
The three of them decided to pay him a visit.
“This is a healing process for all three of us,” said Osagie Booker. “When we saw him today, the first thing he said way my soul can start to mend.”