FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- It was an embrace more than two decades in the making for some families who had not seen their loved ones since immigrating to the United States from Mexico.
Inside Curacao department store in Fountain Valley on Tuesday, 25 families got a chance to start a new chapter of their lives together.
Gerardo Gonzalez was one of them. He patiently waited for his turn to be reunited with his parents, who he hasn't seen in person in almost 24 years.
"It's difficult not being able to be with them. Not being able to see them every day. It's difficult but most of us had the American dream," Gonzalez said.
His wife Virginia Aguirre said these families have missed out on a lot of moments together.
"My mom just passed away last month, and my dad passed away six years ago, so I don't have my parents anymore either, but I was able to see them, and he hasn't seen them for 24 years. I can't imagine. It's really hard," she said.
These family reunions were made possible by Fundación Jalisco USA.
Max Flores, the organization's president, said the foundation works with Mexican seniors who have children in the U.S. and who haven't seen them in at least 10 years.
"A lot of them are 10, 15, 20, 25 and almost 30 years without seeing each other," Flores said.
Also, he said the seniors qualified under immigration laws. Each of them will receive a 10-year visa, which allows them to come back after their first visit.
"We are responsible for them to make sure that they come and they go back to Mexico," Flores said.
After a lifetime without holding each other, Gonzalez's dream of hugging his mom and dad again became a reality.
"I don't even know how to explain. I feel so happy seeing them again," Gonzalez exclaimed.
The families that were reunited on Tuesday said even though they can't get the time they spent apart back, they can start making new memories today now that they're back together.
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