Father and daughters are thrilled to meet again nearly 40 years after
Around 40 years of longing were ended after an informal conversation. Retired Adão dos Santos Morais, aged 69, was receiving technical assistance at the rural property where he lives, in Itaquiraí (MS), when he told agronomist Fernando Marcos Zarantonalli that he had not seen his daughters since the 1980s. It was then that the professional made it his mission to bring the Morais family back together. The reunion, full of crying and hugs, was filmed. Watch above.
The conversation between Adão and Fernando was only possible because the agronomist went to the elderly man’s rural property to share the tools necessary for the farmer to develop and improve production.
“It even sounds like a soap opera, this story is so incredible. As Seu Adão lives alone, there was a lack of someone willing to help. Almost four decades without seeing our children and we resolved it after a few hours of searching on social media. What seemed unattainable was just a few clicks away on your cell phone”, reports the agronomist.
Fernando, who is a rural extension worker at the BioSistéticos Institute (IBS), managed to locate Adão’s daughters on social media within a few hours. Afterwards, the reunion was scheduled. “When Adão told the story, I realized that it could be simple to solve, I didn’t think twice and went after the children. I am very happy to contribute to the reunion of this family.”
The reunion was in October last year, but the story of that visit was only shared this week. Around 40 years ago, Adão lived without hearing from his four children and had no hope of seeing them again.
More precisely, the reunion was on October 17, 2023. Eager to see his daughters, Adão eagerly waited for the hug. Separated, the family left Sinop (MT), heading to Itaquiraí for the exciting day.
“It was very emotional to see my daughters again, to meet my great-granddaughter, her granddaughter, her husband. I couldn’t help it and burst into tears I was so happy,” recalls the retiree.
“They were happy days, catching up, catching up on longing. I feel relieved because I didn’t know if he was still alive and now I have my father back. What Fernando did for us is priceless. We will be eternally grateful to him”, says Claudete dos Santos Morais, Adão’s eldest daughter, who organized the family trip from Sinop to Itaquiraí.
After the reunion, father and children maintain frequent contact by phone. “In May, I want to go visit them in Sinop. It will be good to go out for a bit, go for a walk in another city, see all my children”, plans Adão.
Work in Paraguay made family distance
The decade was the 1980s, the whole family lived in Sete Quedas, in the interior of Mato Grosso do Sul. Adão separated from his wife and lost contact with his youngest son and his ex. His three daughters, from the same marriage, remained in the city with him, but later began to live with their maternal grandparents, as the elderly man recalls.
“I worked as a service provider on farms in Paraguay. Every month, I went to visit my daughters. On one occasion, after I hadn’t been able to visit them for several months because of work, I went to their grandparents’ house in Sete Quedas and there was no one else there. They moved to another city, and the neighbors couldn’t say where. I didn’t have the means to go after them, as I didn’t even know which direction to take”, recalls Adão.
Adão’s eldest daughter remembers that she, her sisters and grandparents moved from Sete Quedas to Sinop in 1987. “After the move, we never saw our father again. As we didn’t have a telephone, it was more difficult. There were no facilities for communicating like we have today.”
After losing contact with his daughters, Adão moved to Paraguay and spent 20 years working in the neighboring country. Upon his return, Adão chose Itaquiraí to live, where he has lived since 2013 in a settlement.
With a peaceful life, Adão takes care of the cattle on the farm. Without access to the internet, the elderly man only had hope of reuniting with his daughters when the agronomist proposed searching for the family on social media.
For Fernando, the person largely responsible for the family reunion, being able to contribute to the happiness and well-being of the people he serves is part of his routine in providing technical assistance and rural extension (ATER) services to small rural producers.