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Sunday, Apr 13, 2014

Singapore

Reunited after 25 years

SPH Razor | Sunday, Apr 13, 2014

SINGAPORE - Months after she began searching for her Singaporean family, Colleen Turzynski finally got the news she has been waiting for.

As the Internet made a connection and a 25-year-old woman came into view, an elderly woman and two men eagerly peering into the screen began smiling broadly and waving as the young woman on the facing screen waved eagerly back.

Greetings of "Hi, Colleen" and "Hello" were exchanged, and it was not long before Colleen Turzynski started bursting into tears.

Her aunt, Madam Lee Say Moi, told Colleen not to cry and that she should be happy.

It was a fairytale ending to 25 years of longing for family torn apart by tragedy.

Mr Lee Tak Nyen, asked Colleen how she had been for the last 25 years, even as he tried to gesture his question to Colleen, who is deaf.

Colleen, in turn, said through her interpreter: "I'm happy to see you. So happy to see your faces look like my face."

For as long as she could remember, Colleen had wanted to know more about her Singaporean family. Her Singaporean mother, Polish father and grandfather were killed in a triple murder when she was just 17-months-old.

Now, months after she began searching for her Singaporean family, she finally got to meet them.

She asked: "I'm curious why we haven't been in contact all this time. I was worried that you had forgotten about me."

Mr Lee replied:" We went to the embassy so many times. We asked the embassy if we could have your address but we couldn't get it."

Madam Lee then asked: "If there is a chance, would you like to visit us in Singapore?"

To which, Colleen said: "I would be happy to visit. I really want to meet all of you. I want to be able to visit you, so I can get to know you better. I want to learn the culture of my Singapore family. I want to visit my mother's ashes."

The next question to Colleen was from Mrs Karen Lee, COlleen's cousin's wife: "Do you have a boyfriend?"

Colleen's answer: no.

And Mrs Lee quipped: "You can come to Singapore to find one."

Colleen's aunt, Madam Lee said: "I was very happy to see her, it's very hard to put into words how happy I feel. I forgot everything I wanted to say to her. She's very easy to talk to. I feel a connection with her."

Mr Lee, Colleen's uncle added: "We have been waiting for her to appear. Finally the day has arrived. Seeing her all grown up, we feel very happy."

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