An 88-year old woman has been reunited with the daughter she believed died 69 years ago.
Genevieve Purinton met her daughter Connie Moultroup for the first time on Monday at a nursing home in Tampa, Florida, Fox 13 reported.
When Genevieve Purinton gave birth to a daughter in 1949 in an Indiana hospital, the medical staff told her that her baby had not survived, but that was a lie. The baby, very much alive, was taken to an orphanage and later adopted— a scenario that until as recently as 1987 was common in certain countries where priests, social workers, nurses and doctors sometimes took it into their own hands to separate unmarried mothers from their children at birth. They considered these mothers unfit to take care of their newborn children.
"Because she was an unwed mother, she was told that I had died. She continued with her life not knowing I was still alive," Moultroup told CNN. Moultroup was taken to an orphanage and later adopted by a couple from Santa Barbara, California.
"Her adoptive mother died of cancer, and shortly after, her adoptive father was diagnosed with a heart condition," Bonnie Chase, Moultroup's daughter, told CNN. Moultroup's adoptive father remarried, Chase said, but the woman ended up being abusive.
Chase explained that the whole time, Moultrop just wanted to find her actual mother to rescue her from that predicament. After years of searching, Chase decided to give her mother an Ancestry.com DNA testing kit for Christmas last year-- this changed her whole life. Moultroup says it was the best Christmas present ever.
"It took me a while to use it, but when I finally got the results I went from having only three known relatives (a daughter and two grandchildren), to 1,600 relatives. I was floored," Moultroup said. The results led her to a distant cousin, and when the two connected, Moultroup began asking questions about the family tree.
"I told her my mother's name was Genevieve Purinton, and my cousin said, "Oh, that's my aunt. And she's still alive, living on her own," Moultroup said. "I couldn't believe it. I was going to meet my mother."
Moultroup took her mom's information and sent her a card with contact numbers. On September 8th, her mother called. "I was at church that day, and I never want to leave early, but that day I did. Literally, 20 minutes after getting home, my mother calls," Moultroup said. They agreed to meet each other, and last Monday, the two finally reunited.
"I met my mother and my cousin in person, and we cried. It was just a crying fest," Moultroup said. "Not everybody has this kind of outcome when looking for their parents, but I recommend you give it a try, you don't know what will happen."
This beautiful story does not end there-- in January, Moultroup plans to meet two half-sisters from her father's side of the family.
"We knew nothing about our family, it was just us three," Chase said. "Now through Ancestry, we see we are related to over 4,000 people."