A father-and-son reunion, 29 years in the making

Published: Apr. 27, 2016 at 7:45 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 28, 2016 at 2:14 AM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Isaac Castillo always gravitated toward music, even though he didn't grow up in a musical household.

"My adopted family, they always cared for me, always supported me in what I was doing, but I was always doing something a little different," he said.

Castillo is a musician, playing gigs in Seattle, where he and family live. "Bluegrass, country, hip hop, rock, classical, jazz, you know, whatever," Castillo says, listing off the types of music he plays on his upright bass.

And on Wednesday, for the first time, Castillo was able to meet the man who can credit for his musical genes: Twenty-nine years after he was adopted, Castillo met his biological father.

Tommy Ching says he's long struggled with his decision to give his son up for adoption. "I knew nothing about the pregnancy or the child until that day, just three days before birth," he said.

Ching added, "As much as I wish he was part of my family, I can see he's had a great life."

Castillo started searching for his father recently, and Hawaii International Child was able to speed the process along. The first reconnected the two, and they were able to set up a time to meet up.

Castillo was born in Hilo, and adopted to an Oahu family two days after birth. He spent the first six years of his life in Hawaii, then the family moved to Seattle.

Ching, like his son, is an entertainer.  A longtime radio disc jockey on the Big Island, he regales in stories of his own childhood. He too was adopted, and fortunately, had as solid an upbringing and loving an adoptive family as his son.

Ching is sitting down, head bowed, when Castillo enters the room where the two meet for the first time. A chuckle from the son and the father's head snaps up. He darts from his chair and the two embrace heartily.

The two eventually sit down and chat before Castillo plays a song on a ukulele that he wrote specifically for his father.

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