The Job of a Parent
DNA tests: we’ve all seen them used in some form or another. Sometimes to prove who the father is on shows like Maury or Jerry Springer and sometimes in cracking decade-long court cases like the most recent Golden State Killer. No matter what the desired goal of doing a DNA test is, one thing is for sure, they are stone cold accurate. In the Golden State Killer case they were able to find the suspect who was terrorizing couples by matching the DNA left at crime scenes to the DNA data of his relatives on popular DNA websites such as 23&me and MyHeritage. Now imagine if you used this data and discovered a relative that’s been hidden from the family for 57 years. Well that’s what happened to Christine Kiefer… and her story is miraculous.
Being a parent is one of the most rewarding jobs a person could ever take on. It’s also one of the hardest. For some mothers and fathers, being a parent is the perfect fit; however, for others, the timing may just not be right.
This can result in one of the most selfless acts a parent must ever make: adoption.
For Christine Kiefer, she always knew her birth mother had given her up for adoption so she could have a better life. Growing up in Kansas, she enjoyed all the luxuries a little girl could ever want, despite not having a mother. Of course, her curiosity always got the best of her. While she knew why her birth mother had left, Christine began to wonder who her birth father was.
Searching for the Truth
For years, Christine believed finding her birth father would be next to impossible. While she had a name, it wasn’t much to go on. And with her birth mother out of the picture, it seemed she would be left in the dark for the rest of her life…
Thankfully, years after her adoption, one random message would change everything. Would Christine finally discover the truth about her past?
Not Ready to Be a Mom
Christine Kiefer was born in the 1960’s and during this time her mother Donna was simply struggling to get by. Working as a waitress in a cafe with no support, Donna worked hard to provide for Christine but continued to fail to meet her basic needs.
The Life She Deserved
Donna wanted Christine to have the life she deserved and knew that she could not be the one to provide it for her. With the instability and lack of finances, Donna decided to make one of the hardest decisions.
Donna decided to give her daughter up for adoption. She knew she couldn’t give her what she needed, but there would be one obstacle…her parents.
Donna’s parents were adamantly against Donna giving Christine up for adoption. They refused to let a stranger raise their grandchild, so they decided to step up to the plate and officially adopt her.
Raised Without Her Mother
Christine grew up with her grandparents raising her. Donna never took an active part in her life, but Christine would come to realize that she only wanted what was best for her.
However, there was one question that was always nagging at the back of her mind.
A Missing Piece of the Puzzle
While Christine understood why Donna had given her up for adoption, she had always wondered why her father didn’t step up to plate. Why didn’t he want to raise her?
Father Where Art Thou?
Unfortunately, her father remained a mystery. As Christine grew up and left her childhood behind, she continued to question who he was.
Would she be doomed to never know why he had given her up?
Although Christine had many questions over the years about her biological father, she expected it would be next to impossible to find out any information. She didn’t even have his name, so how could she possibly find him?
Original Birth Certificate
Hoping to track down her father’s identity, Christine went to her local town records and requested to see her original birth certificate. She hoped it would reveal some new clues to who her father was.
The Blank Space
Sadly, Christine was let down by her birth certificate, since all that was listed under the space for her father was “unknown father.” Christine knew of only two people who might know his identity, her grandparents.
But would they tell her the truth?
According to Christine’s grandparents, the only information they had about her birth father was his name was Dorie and he had grown up in Pennsylvania.
Realizing that with such little information to go her search would most likely be hopeless, Christine decided to move on with her life.
Life Goes On
Christine tried to move on, focusing on her future and not her past. She eventually fell in love, got married and started a family of her own.
However, the mystery of who her father was continued to haunt her.
Later, Christine learned from a friend about a website called Ancestry.com. The site used DNA samples to help people trace their lineage and connect with family. It was at this moment, that Christine knew she had to give it a shot.
An Unexpected Message
It wasn’t long after Christine has created her profile and sent in a DNA sample that she received a message from Cindy Mostrom, who lived across the country in Pennsylvania. The message was surprising because Cindy claimed to be related to Christine.
Cindy revealed to the local media that she reached out Christine because of their similar profiles and connections. She was curious to see how they were related.
“I messaged her and said, ‘Hey, this is Cindy,’ because she’s a Weaver, I can tell by the DNA,”
27 Years Of Hope
At first, Christine responded that she didn’t know a Cindy, but Cindy told her based on their profiles and DNA they were cousins. It was at this moment, Christine let Cindy know she had been searching for her father.
Of course, this was an inquiry that Cindy simply could not refuse.
Cindy asked Christine for all the information she had available about her adoption and biological parents. It was possible she could find some family connections. After going through the materials, Cindy was stunned.
Based on the evidence, Christine’s father was her Uncle Dorie…
With all of the evidence in place, Cindy realized it was time to call her uncle and let him know he had a daughter. “Uncle Dorie, you know I love you. Now, did you ever live in Fort Riley, Kansas?”
Cindy waited on the phone, her heart pounding for his answer.
The Old Flame
Dorie told his niece he had lived in Kansas many, many years ago. It was then Cindy asked if he remembered, Donna who was a waitress at a local cafe. After a small pause, Dorie replied that had in fact dated a woman named Donna.
The Secret Daughter
Cindy told her uncle to sit down and finally revealed to him that Donna had a child she gave up for adoption. The DNA was a 100% match and Christine had been searching for him for decades. The phone went silent as her uncle let it all sink in…but then something amazing happened.
Changing the Birth Certificate
To say Dorie was stunned that he had a daughter would be an understatement. How could Donna have kept this information from him? Regardless, he was thrilled. He even told Cindy he would like to be on the birth certificate as her father and hoped Christine would call him ‘dad.’
Official DNA Confirmation
While Christine certainly was excited about meeting her father, she wasn’t too sure she wanted to call him ‘Dad’ just yet. However, it only took a few conversations on the phone, as well as the DNA test confirmation to change her mind.
The next step would be to finally meet.
A Reunion Years in the Making
Christine and Dorie immediately developed a father and daughter bond. It was as if they had known each other all of their lives. Dorie mentioned that they would be having a family birthday in Pennsylvania that April and he would love for Christine to come.
However, there was one matter that still needed to be attended to.
Meeting Her New Family
Christine wanted to make sure to fulfill Dorie’s wish and have him named on her original birth certificate. Now, her past was complete and the missing piece was found.
Christine’s next step? It was time to travel to meet her extended family.
An Emotional Moment
Nervous, but ready to finally meet, Christine traveled over 1,160 miles to Port Matilda where she finally met her father, Dorie, cousin, Cindy and the rest of her extended family. For Christine, it was an emotional moment, years in the making. For Dorie, he was just glad to have found his daughter, and has nicknamed her the “DNA Detective.”
Focusing on the Future
Despite so much time being lost between Christine and Dorie, they both decided to not dwell on the past. They just want to focus on the time they have now. Dorie revealed to the local news that he and Christine talked daily and he is looking forward to meeting the rest of his new family.
It may have taken decades, but now this broken has finally become whole.