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Last updated 5:12PM ET
February 25, 2021
Alabama
Alabama
Father Reconnects With Children After 50 Years
(2007-09-11)
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - After more than half a century, Carl Riffe has made contact with the three children he reluctantly let be adopted while he was stationed with the Army in Korea.

With the new Internet technology of recent years, his son David had already located him. The son typed in a search for "Carl Riffe," and up popped his dad's phone number and address. His daughter, Deborah, did the same.

But neither called, feeling that if he wanted to contact them, he would.

And he did. The Anniston Star, which recounted Riffe's story Monday, said that with the support of his second wife and their two children, Riffe found David's number and called him.

Once he got David on the phone, Riffe said, "This is Carl." And before he could utter another word, David finished the name, "Adrian Riffe."

Riffe had been removed from the life of David, Deborah and a second son, Daniel, after he was divorced from their mother. She remarried, and so did he. While Riffe was stationed in Korea, his ex-wife asked him to allow her new husband to adopt the children to make things easier on the family.

Riffe said he reluctantly consented, and his former wife, now Mary Shuber, told him she would tell the young children that he had been killed in Korea.

Thinking he had done the right thing, Riffe and his second wife, Mary Louise, later adopted one child and had one of their own. After serving in Vietnam and later retiring from the Army, they moved to Anniston.

But he had not forgotten his first three children, and has now had visits from Deborah and David, who spent four days with him in July "mostly talking about our lives." He plans to see Daniel in Virginia next summer.

Deborah said the reunion with her father last year was "akin to the birth of my children."

"You look into the mirror all your life, and I didn't really look like anybody," she said. "However, when I look at my father I can see where I come from."

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Information from: The Anniston Star, http://www.annistonstar.com/

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