For those who grow up without full knowledge of who their parents are, the wait can be anguishing. You will often find many kernels of truth and half-truth along the way. This does make it hard to work out how close you are to finding out the truth: and it also makes it increasingly easy to find out you have been wrong.
The search can go on for years – sometimes decades. For Karen Leslie, though, the reunion with her daughter would take a whopping 52 years!
Karen was just 21 at the time when she met her husband, Dick when they fell pregnant with their daughter in 1967. Kicked out of her home for getting pregnant in this manner, she was unable to have the child due to affordability and thus made the gut-wrenching decision to have the child and then give her away to an adoption agency.
The hope was that she would one day see her again: and now, she can say that she has.
KGTV, a news outlet based in San Diego, ran a report on the meeting recently. They found that the Ancestry DNA program had connected Dicks’ daughters from a previous marriage to a woman who went by the name of Erin Chatterton. Chatterton was identified as a ‘sibling’ thanks to the service, so the investigation got underway.
When Dick reached out to his daughters, Lisa and Lori, he asked Lisa if she knew who this could be – no information was forthcoming, though. Two stepbrothers did exist from marriage with Karen later on in life, but these were not the siblings. Speaking to KGTV, Lori said that “Erin didn’t want anything from anybody,” and that “All she wanted was to found out who her parents were.”
The Investigation Continues
Agreeing to take the DNA test herself, Karen then found the answer she had been hoping for all of her life: Erin was indeed her long-lost daughter. They spent some time texting back and forth, planning to meet up in person at San Diego Airport. Karen said of the opportunity: “Everything is for a reason, and this is the reason and the right time,”
For Erin, the story was equally heartfelt, who was heard saying: “We’ve never met, how do you love someone you’ve never met? You can love someone you never met, she gave me life.”
It’s a truly special story, but one that we imagine is not too unique at the moment. Tools such as Ancestry have brought together many households since it became so popular. Now, you could find it much easier to locate someone who you never knew existed in your family tree: just be warned, as some families are finding out more information than they had bargained for!