The last time Richard Clauson saw his brother Larry, he was looking up at him from the inside of a garbage can.
When Clauson was five years old, his parents divorced. There were four children in the family: Leslie, Larry, Richard, and Ray, and as part of the divorce, their parents decided to split the two oldest children between the two of them and place the youngest two for adoption.
Hearing this news, and understanding that child services would be arriving soon to take his two young brothers away, Larry shoved Richard into a garbage can to hide him. He then ran off to a neighborhood park.
It was the last time Richard and Larry would hear anything from each other for 55 years.
Richard and Ray spent the next three years in foster care and were ultimately adopted by the Clauson family. During the intervening years, Richard forgot his original last name, and his siblings could only wonder about where he had gone.
Recently, Richard decided he needed to know more about his birth family. He needed a more accurate medical history and, beyond that, he just wanted to know where he came from, so he began a search.
Finally the website PeopleLooker.com led him to his biological father’s second wife, who gave him contact information for Larry and Leslie, his long-lost older siblings.
After leaving several messages on Larry’s phone without hearing back, Richard decided to send his brother a letter. Larry was overjoyed to receive it.
“I got the letter, and it just blew me away,” Larry said. “My whole life’s dream has been how to find him. I’ve watched shows on TV and it’s like, yeah okay, who do I write or talk to.”
Richard was able to reach Leslie after leaving messages on her voicemail over the course of a week. She finally returned his calls, telling him she’d wanted to find him before their father passed away, but had no idea where to look.
“I guess her and her husband had just gotten off a cruise in the Bahamas, which is why she didn’t get my message,” said Richard. “but she said she cried for three days.”
Clauson says he’s not going to waste time worrying about what happened in the past. “It’s all water under the bridge. I came out alright, I’m alive and I’m excited about hooking up with them for a visit. We’re all just happy to be in touch again.”
The three of them would love to be able to reunite in person, and are trying to scrape up a small amount of money to make that happen. You can donate to their reunion fund here.