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Flickr / Laura H-B
Source: Flickr / Laura H-B

Old Lady Gets Call from Woman Claiming to Be the Daughter She Thought Died at Birth 46 Years Ago – Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
Aug 29, 2022
07:30 A.M.
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An elderly woman is shocked when a woman calls her and tells her she is the child she thought had died at birth forty-six years before.

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When the phone rang, Debby never imagined her life would be transformed, that she would be forced to reevaluate her past and her relationship with her husband and family.

Debbie answered it with a cherry 'Hello!' and the person on the other side said, "Mrs. Garland?"

"Yes," Debbie replied. "How can I help you?"

The voice on the other side said quietly, "Mom?"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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Debbie said, "Jenny? Is this a joke, honey?"

The woman on the phone replied, "I believe you are my mother, Mrs. Garland."

"I'm afraid you are mistaken," Debbie said. "I have two children, a daughter and a son, and you're neither of them!" She was about to hang up when the woman's next words froze her blood.

"I was born on October 8, 1976, at St. John's Hospital. Does that ring a bell?"

If you dwell on past pain, you waste your precious future.

"Stop!" Debbie whispered angrily. "You disgusting monster! How can you play on my pain? Who told you about my Eleanor?"

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"I'm not... I swear to you I'm not..." The woman hesitated. "I did a DNA ancestry test, and you came up as my mother. I'm your daughter."

"My daughter died at birth," Debbie cried bitterly. "It was the greatest sorrow of my life. It took me years to overcome my grief. This must be a mistake."

"The test also listed your children as my half-siblings," the woman said. "And Andrew Garland as my father. Is that your husband?"

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"Yes, but... that's...that's just not possible!" Debbie gasped.

"Please, can we meet?" the woman said. "I need to know, please!"

"Yes," Debbie said. "Yes, I want to settle this once and for all. I want to know what kind of a cruel game this is!"

They agreed to meet at a downtown restaurant an hour later, and Debbie's heart nearly stopped when she recognized the woman who had called her on sight.

The woman was tall and slim, with a mop of curly copper-red hair and wide blue-green eyes. She looked exactly like her daughter, Jenny. Debbie raised her hand, and the woman walked toward her.

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Debbie was white as snow. She drank in every detail of the woman's appearance. The woman smiled, and Debbie caught a glimpse of her mother.

Her mind screamed denial, but her heart told her this was her child. "I'm Hester," the woman said. "I bought the results of the DNA survey..."

"I don't need that," Debbie said. "I can see it in your face, in the way you move. You are mine."

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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Hester dropped her face into her hands and started crying. "I've been waiting for this moment all my life!" she sobbed. "I've been looking for you..."

"I didn't know," Debbie said numbly. "I swear I didn't know. They told me... I was only twenty. Andrew was in the military back then; he was overseas.

"I found out I was pregnant after he left. We planned to get married when he returned. I was so happy... His mother, my mother... They weren't happy, but they ended up accepting that we were having the baby."

"What happened?" Hester asked gently.

"I went into labor a month early," Debbie said. "I was so scared! They decided to do a C-section. When I woke up, they told me you had been very small and hadn't survived.

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"I couldn't accept it for a long time. I would wake up and imagine I could hear my baby crying. I stopped sleeping."

"I asked my mother if it was a boy or a girl, but she wouldn't tell me. She told me I shouldn't dwell on it. It was only when Andrew came home that I started to heal."

"You married him?" asked Hester. "You married my dad?"

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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"Yes," Debbie said. "He is the love of my life! Nothing could keep us apart, though his mother tried! We married, and two years later, I had Jenny. That brought it all back.

"I mourned my baby -- I mourned you, Hester! -- all over again. You must understand that a woman has no greater pain than coming home from maternity with empty arms.

"Looking at Jenny, I imagined you... I had postpartum depression, and I went to therapy. I was lucky. My husband was wonderful and supportive, and I recovered.

"Then I had my son, and... I never forgot you, but the pain dulled. Sometimes I'd remember and feel guilty because you were gone, and I was happy."

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Hester reached across the table and gripped Debbie's hands in hers. "I'm here; I'm alive," she said. "No more guilt."

"But... How about you?" asked Debbie, "Are you happy? Your family was good to you?"

Hester grinned. "Oh yes," she said. "I was a happy kid. My parents were amazing, but when I was about eight, I started wondering why I didn't look like them.

"My mother and my father were of Italian descent, so my mother had this gorgeous black hair, these chocolate eyes, beautiful! I was all gangly, with red hair and freckles.

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"I started wondering why I didn't look like my cousins, grandparents, aunts, or uncles. There was no one like me. My mother would tell me I was original, unique. But I didn't buy it.

"Eventually, when I was fifteen, my parents sat down with me and told me I was adopted. My mother had cancer when she was very young and couldn't have children.

"They told me I had been put up for adoption at birth, that the day I was given to them was the best day of their lives. My mother started crying, telling me she had been the best mom she knew how.

"She was afraid to lose me, I could see that, so I told her I didn't care who YOU were. I promised her I'd be her little girl forever. I promised I wouldn't look for you, and I didn't."

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"So... how did you start looking for me?" Debbie asked.

"Two years ago, my mother's cancer came back," Hester said. "When she saw that she wasn't going to survive... she told me she wanted me to find you. She didn't want me to be alone."

"You don't have a family?" asked Debbie.

"I do," Hester replied. "I'm married, and I have a twenty-year-old daughter. But my mother said... a girl needs her mother til the day she dies. So after she died, I did a DNA test.

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"When I saw the results, I couldn't believe it. I had a mother and a father, and two full siblings. I expected I might have a half brother or sister, but not full siblings.

"That confused me, you know? Why would you give me up for adoption and keep my brother and sister? I was shocked. I didn't understand. It didn't make sense."

"I didn't give you up," Debbie said bitterly. "I thought you were dead."

Hester squeezed Debbie's hands. "I know that now," she replied. "But you have no idea how many times I started dialing your number and stopped. I kept thinking, 'What if she hangs up on me?'

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"I was so frightened. I didn't know what you would say; I didn't know what I was going to say... I'd lie awake and think up these awful accusations, these questions.

"'Why didn't you love me?' That was the main one. Why? Didn't I deserve to be loved? Why wasn't I precious to you?"

Debbie was sobbing, tormented tears pouring down her face. "I loved you!" she cried. "I wanted you so much I nearly died when they said you were gone!"

Hester leapt to her feet and put her arms around Debbie's shoulders. "I know that mom!" she whispered. "I know that now!"

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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"Mom!" Debbie whispered. "You called me mom!"

"That's who you are," Hester said. "My mom. I called my adoptive mother 'mammina,' so you are 'mom' to me from now on."

The two women held each other for the longest time, and their tears went a long way to healing the wounds of their separation. "Oh," Debbie said. "We need to tell your father!"

That night, Debbie said to Andrew, "I have something to tell you. A woman called me today and said she is our daughter."

"That's crazy!" Andrew said. "This town is full of nuts!"

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"It's true, Andrew," Debbie said quietly. "Our first baby didn't die. They told me she was dead but was put up for adoption."

"WHAT?" Andrew gasped. "How did she find us?"

"She took a DNA test, like the one we did last Christmas?" Debbie explained. "That genealogical map Jenny wanted? She discovered we were matches, her family.

"Her name is Hester; she is a doctor. We have a granddaughter, and her name is Maggie. She's at Columbia. They have your red hair, just like Jenny.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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"Andrew, she looks so much like you, and she has my mother's smile! I didn't need to look at the DNA results to know she is our baby girl!"

Andrew started crying. "Deb, we've lost out on forty-six years of her life!"

Debbie comforted her husband. "We have time, Andrew. We still have time to get to know our daughter, to enjoy our granddaughter."

"But how, why?" Andrew asked. "Who did this to us?"

"Does it matter now?" asked Debbie. "We've already lost so much time; I refuse to waste a second more delving into the past. The future is too precious. Let it go, my love."

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Debbie's children, Jenny and David, were stunned and excited to discover they had a big sister and a niece. They demanded that Debbie throw a family reunion so they could meet Hester.

Hester later admitted to Debbie that it was overwhelming! She'd been raised as an only child, and now she was part of a big family with a brother, a sister, and five nephews!

Maggie was delighted to meet her cousins and grandparents, and Hester's husband was overjoyed to see her so happy.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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Debbie looked around at her family. Hester and Jenny were in the corner exchanging confidences, David was talking about sports with Andrew and Hester's husband, and the kids were horsing around.

"This is a family," Debbie said to herself. "After so many years of sadness, we are all together again. All I want now is some good long years to enjoy with them all!"

What can we learn from this story?

  • It takes courage to look for the truth of who you are. Hester was afraid of what she might learn about her mother and why she was given up for adoption, but she didn't back down. She found her family and a lot of happiness.
  • If you dwell on past pain, you waste your precious future. Andrew and Debbie never knew who had taken their daughter away. They preferred to leave blame and pain behind and grasp the future.

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Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about an aspiring young actress who is astounded to discover she is an exact double of a TV star, so they decide to do a DNA test.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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