Diane Ward was adopted as a baby in the state of Michigan, where adoption records are sealed. Her husband had also been adopted, and as she helped him hunt down his birth father (who had unfortunately passed away), she started thinking that she might like to know more about where she comes from, too. So she decided to do a MyHeritage DNA test, understanding that aside from her ethnic origins, she just might find some information on her birth parents, too.
She never dreamed that she would discover not only the identity of her birth mother, but also a living half-sister living across the pond in the United States.
A few years ago at Christmas, Diane decided to give herself a little Christmas gift: a DNA test to help her understand her origins. “I was going through the different companies that offer the service,” she says, “and I saw that MyHeritage not only gives you your gene research, they also allow people to connect over the platform. I thought, ‘My God, this is amazing. I might be able to find somebody who’s out there and did their research that I’m linked to. I might find my family.’ And I was really excited.”
When the results came in, Diane immediately saw that she had a close match — a cousin. She sent her a message explaining her situation and asking if she knew anyone who might be a closer link. “That cousin wrote me back and we had a long conversation. She said, ‘Well, I think I know who you could possibly be related to.’ That’s how I ended up finding Mary.”
Mary McLaughlin had grown up with adoptive parents, but knowing her birth mother. “My adopted parents had relocated to Michigan from their home state in the eastern U.S., and they were next-door neighbors to my birth mother.” The families became friendly very quickly, and Mary’s birth mother asked her new neighbors if they’d be willing to babysit her baby for her when she went back to work. Then, when Mary was just 5 weeks old, her birth mother didn’t come back, and the neighbors ended up adopting her. “My mother struggled with a lot of emotional issues and some mental health issues,” Mary explains.
When Mary was 45, she hired a genealogy company to find her birth father and was able to find him, but it never occurred to her that there might still be any secrets to uncover on her mother’s side. So when her cousin Teresa cautiously reached out to her and shared that she had this contact who might be “somebody closer to you,” she was amazed.
“It was fascinating the first time that we video chatted,” says Mary. “I took one look at her and said, ‘Holy moly, that’s my mother!’”
“There was an instant connection,” says Diane.
The sisters believe they share some quirks and mannerisms and a dark sense of humor. “We both hold up our pinkies up in the air when we drink tea,” Diane laughs.
“I think our mother would be overjoyed to know that her two children have finally met, and that it has been a wonderful connection,” says Mary. “She passed in 1992 from complications of breast cancer, and just was always such a sad soul. And I think this would bring her great joy.”
“We are eternally grateful to MyHeritage for all of the support that they have given us,” Mary adds.
Well, we are very grateful to Diane and Mary for sharing their story, and so glad we were able to help them find each other.
Who knows what amazing discoveries are in store for you? Order your own MyHeritage DNA test today.
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Source: MyHeritage Blog https://blog.myheritage.com
Posted On: April 21, 2021 at 02:21AM