Brothers reunited after 80 years

BLOOMSBURY, N.J. -- "This is my brother," said Bill Cordes to his long lost brother, Robert Wilson.

That's something he hasn't been able to say for nearly 80 years. It's also how long it's been since Bill held his younger brother, Robert in his arms. In fact, it was those same arms where Bill had his baby brother taken from when he was just 8 years old. Officials at the time deemed their mother unfit to take care of them. At just four months old, Robert was put into foster care. It's a moment Bill hasn't forgotten about.

 "I grabbed him and I ran toward the house. I was going to hide him in a closet and they stopped me on the porch and explained what was going on. They said he'll be in good hands and that was the last I saw him. He was 4 months old," said Bill.

Bill and Robert would go on to live their lives completely separate. They fought in wars, moved to other states, got married, started families. It wasn't until Robert needed more information on his genetics and a hunch from Bill's granddaughter, Dana, that set them on the path to each other.

"I was looking for him for 20 years. I didn't have a lot of information," said Dana Cordes.

"I'm trying to tell you that your genes are responsible for my actions over the last 79 years and I want you to apologize to my wife," Robert said to Bill.

All the while, the bond of brotherhood never broke. To make up for lost time, there was a lot of sharing. Bill handed a small replica of his red tractor to Robert. The two cried through a warm embrace. Many hugs were shared Saturday, along with many stories.

"I want to hear every word this man has to say," said Robert.

The two were reunited on Bill's farm, where his tractor is his pride and joy. His one wish was to take Robert for a ride on it. When asked how they plan to stay in touch, Robert said, "my wife doesn't know it yet but I think I might move here."

Maybe daily phone calls will do. Maybe many more years are in store for these two.

"I've been looking for him my entire life. Unreal," said Bill.


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