When Mary Gambrell received the phone call, it was very clear to her that she had to document the moment she told her mother the news. So she made sure her camera was rolling — and that her mother was sitting — when she revealed the incredible discovery she made with MyHeritage DNA: “The man I spoke to today was actually looking for you. You have a brother named Randolph.”
You can watch what happened next in the video below, which Mary posted to TikTok:
14 siblings torn apart
Mary’s mother, Bobbi, spent her whole life looking for the brothers she knew were scattered somewhere across the United States, without success.
“My mother is one of 14 siblings who were placed for adoption,” says Mary. “They were born in Louisiana but their childhood was difficult, the grandfather died at a young age and raising 14 children in such a difficult area was too complex. My mother didn’t know too much about them, apart from their names.”
The 14 children were placed for adoption across the U.S. Bobbi was 4 years old when she was placed for adoption in Florida, like two of her sisters, and lived with a foster mom. She kept in touch with her sisters until she was 14, but eventually the connection fizzled out. “Mom didn’t even know what her real name was until her first daughter was born,” says Mary. “Only then, in the hospital, she discovered her full name. Since then she hoped to find them one day, but was never able to find any information. She didn’t have too many options and she hoped that one day a miracle would happen and they would return to her life.”
Mary rises to the challenge
Mary, who is in her 30s and currently expecting her first child, was the one who rose to the challenge. “I have always been curious about my DNA, to know where I am from and what my origin is,” she says. “In the summer of 2021 I decided to do a DNA test, I waited patiently and waited for the results.” The initial results did not bring any new news for Mary or Bobbi: the matches were not strong enough to reach a breakthrough.
Then, a few weeks ago, Mary’s phone rang. A man named Randolph Mitchell was on the line. “It’s a little strange, I know, but I believe I’m your uncle,” he told an astonished Mary. He drew her attention to the new DNA matches she received on her MyHeritage account. “I’m one of your mother’s 13 brothers,” he said. “So far I have been able to locate three sisters; your mother is the fourth.”
“How did you know how to find me?” she asked.
“I’m a retired policeman,” he answered. “Apparently I didn’t forget the job, I saw your name as my match and I managed to put the pieces of the puzzle together and reach you.”
Randolph shared his birth certificate, which lists Bobbi’s parents — Mary’s grandparents. He also sent pictures of himself and his daughter, Mary’s first cousin.
“It was a very exciting conversation,” says Mary. “I didn’t know how I was going to tell my mother.”
Holding his picture on a phone screen in one hand, and another phone recording the moment on video in the other, Mary told her mother about the brother she found for her. “I talked to Randolph Mitchell today, he called me. Your little brother called me today,” she says in the video.
Bobbi’s shock is palpable. “For real?” she asks. After a few moments to let the news sink in, Mary calls Randolph. “Hi Uncle, I got your sister here with me,” she says.
“How are you?” Bobbi asks her little brother.
“I’m doing great, I found you!” he replies.
At this point, Bobbi could no longer hold back the tears. “I’m so sorry, I can’t talk right now. It’s too much right now,” she says in the video, her voice breaking. Mary reports that they kept talking for an hour nonetheless!
The siblings plan to meet for the first time since being separated as children. “This is a very exciting moment for me, it’s a dream come true,” says Mary.
Many thanks to Mary and Bobbi for sharing these precious moments with us! If you’ve made an incredible discovery using MyHeritage, we’d love to hear about it. Please share it with us via this form or via email at email@example.com.
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Source: My Heritage