Tampa mother's worldwide search for daughter comes to an end - WSPA.com

Tampa mother's worldwide search for daughter comes to an end

Posted: Updated:

A mother's worldwide search for her two daughters has finally come to a very happy end this holiday weekend.

Lilly Martin, who says her husband took their two girls to the Middle East decades ago, is finally back with both of them.

"Patience for me....it's the same {as} love. It's the same {as} faith because love gives you patience," Martin said at Tampa International Airport. "Love gives you the faith. Love gives you the hope."

Martin is Catholic with Colombian heritage. Her ex-husband is from the Middle East, Islamic in faith and wanted their girls, Dalal and Lamia to grow up with his beliefs.

"He bought 3 one-way tickets to Syria," Martin said. "Every time I tried to call to Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia … they always hung up on me. Getting communication with the Islamic countries is so difficult."

Eventually Dalal found Lilly on Facebook. She's 25 now. Lamia is 22.

The girls would secretly chat with their mother when they could. Last month, Dalal returned to Tampa, where she plans to stay.

"I'm feeling so good. I'm feeling freedom. I'm so happy because I'm beside my mom," she said Friday morning. "I want to be beside her all my life."

Dalal wants to go to school. She wants to buy a house big enough for the entire family.

The entire family.                 

Until this week, Lamia was the missing piece. She's pregnant and it took some time to make the arrangements, but early Friday morning, she hugged her mom for the first time in 21 years.

"Finally I found my mom," she said after a long, tearful embrace.

Lamia plans to have the baby girl here in the U.S., alongside her mother.

"To feel her happiness...all of her happiness," she said.

See the emotional story Friday at 11:00 on News Channel 8.

 

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Are background checks enough for Florida teachers?

    Are background checks enough for Florida teachers?

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:41 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:41:35 GMT

    In an effort to weed out potential perverts, Florida law requires fingerprinting and criminal background checks before school districts hire employees that will have any contact with children.

    In an effort to weed out potential perverts, Florida law requires fingerprinting and criminal background checks before school districts hire employees that will have any contact with children.


  • Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:02 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:02:51 GMT
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
  • Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:52 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:52:20 GMT
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

    Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:45 AM EDT2014-04-19 06:45:14 GMT
    People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's...
    People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's...
  • Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

    Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:32 PM EDT2014-04-19 03:32:34 GMT
    An avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest on Friday along a route used to ascend the world's highest peak, killing at least six Nepalese guides and leaving nine more missing, officials said.
    Rescuers were searching through piles of snow and ice on the slopes of Mount Everest on Saturday for four Sherpa guides who were buried by an avalanche that killed 12 other Nepalese guides in the deadliest disaster on the...
  • Tampa Police cruiser involved in crash on Kennedy Blvd.

    Tampa Police cruiser involved in crash on Kennedy Blvd.

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:28 PM EDT2014-04-19 03:28:23 GMT
    A Tampa Police cruiser was involved in a four-vehicle crash at Kennedy Boulevard and Memorial Highway on Friday night.
    A Tampa Police cruiser was involved in a four-vehicle crash at Kennedy Boulevard and Memorial Highway on Friday night.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.