Diane always knew she was adopted. She and her adopted brother grew up in a home where they were loved.
Yet she always longed to know her birth mother and searched for her for years.
She never dreamed it would be a DNA test that would change her life forever. This is her story.
Little to start with
Though Diane was loved, the longing to know her birth mother never left her. And when she was older, she asked her mom for details.
“She told me we didn’t have a name. We didn’t have a story. It was a sealed-records adoption. All she knew was that my mother was blonde and my father was Spanish or Mexican.”
Making a case in court
When Diane was in her early 20s, she went to the county seat to see if she could look at her adoption records.
They said she would have to go in front of a judge and convince him there was a good reason to open the records. Diane didn’t have the money she would need to pursue the case, and she eventually talked herself out of it.
But she didn’t stop looking. She registered for online adoptive parent searches but nothing ever came of it. She considered professional searches, but most were too expensive.
A DNA test reveals a surprise
Then a friend, who happened to work for Ancestry, talked her into taking an .
When her results came in, Diane admits, “I was very guarded. I didn’t want to get my hopes up.”
Her friend invited her over to meet with a genealogist to go through her results. They started with her ethnicity estimate.
Diane had been told that her father had been of Hispanic descent, but she was surprised to find she was 43 percent Native American, along with being part Scandinavian, Italian, Irish, Western European, and, surprisingly, 1 percent Asian.
Her cousin lived right down the street
But the bigger shock lay in her DNA connections, where she had a 1st cousin match. This match wasn’t only closely related; it turned out she lived only a couple of blocks away.
And at that moment, she was waiting in the living room, eager to meet Diane.
“She walked in, looked at me, and put her hands on her cheeks,” Diane says. “She stared crying and said, ‘Oh my gosh, you look just like your mother.’ At that moment I thought…my mother? MY MOTHER? She knows my mother!”
Diane had just met her mother’s niece.
“I started crying. It was like this Oprah moment.”
A nerve-wracking call to Mom
Later that night, Diane stood by while a friend called her birth mother, Sharon. Her mum wasn’t ready to talk but took her number.
Diane was disappointed, and she spent the next day with questions running through her mind:
“What if she doesn’t call? What if she doesn’t want to know me?
Finally the phone rang.
Answers at long last
On the phone, Sharon explained she hadn’t spoken to Diane the night before because she had wanted to tell her other children first.
She hadn’t wanted to give up her baby, but she was only 17 and unmarried at the time.
She hadn’t known who had adopted her baby, and she’d had no idea that her daughter had grown up longing to know who her mother was.
More family than she’d dreamed of
They met at a family reunion a few weeks later and Diane learned first-hand what it was like to be part of a huge family—her mom was one of 11 children.
Although Diane’s adoptive mother passed away in 1998 and her father died in the last year, Diane’s not an orphan because her birth mum is back in her life.
“I got a message on my phone recently that said: ‘Hi sweetie, it’s your mom.’
It made me smile.”
What’s your DNA story?
Whether you think you know exactly where you came from, or like Diane once was, you are searching for answers, an AncestryDNA test may well surprise you.
Discover your DNA story today.