Tina Hampton was adopted as a baby and never knew anything about her birth father’s family. She received a free MyHeritage DNA kit through the pro bono DNA Quest project — and connected with a half-brother of her father’s that he hadn’t known about!
Here is her story:
I was born in 1968 in St. Louis Missouri, and adopted as a baby by my aunt and uncle. I have always known my biological mother, as she is the younger sister to my aunt.
My maternal grandfather was adopted too, as an orphan, and met my maternal grandmother when they were both in the Marines during WWII. My grandmother’s father was an immigrant from Sicily and also an orphan and adopted.
As for my biological father, my mother did not share any information about him. He was a mystery to me most of my life, until one day he showed up outside of my grandfather’s home, kept honking his horn and when someone came out and asked what was going on, he said he was looking for me, his daughter. He gave my actual birth name, and that’s when the person knew who he was. I was 44 years old and discovered not only my father, Garnett, but also a half-brother, my biological father’s son, born 2 years after me.
Still, even having found my father, many questions about my family remained. My grandfather and great-grandfather were also adopted, and I knew nothing about my father’s family. I wanted to know more about who I am and where I came from. So I applied for a DNA kit through MyHeritage’s DNA Quest.
At first, the only matches I received on my father’s side were distant relatives. But then, last year, I opened my inbox at MyHeritage and to my shock I had two separate messages from a young man and a young woman from Faroe Islands. Both of them were close DNA matches.
They told me their father had been searching for his family in America for over 30 years and couldn’t find any information on his birth father, their grandfather. They both received MyHeritage DNA kits as a present for Christmas and to their amazement they found me on MyHeritage.
It turned out their father, Sigmonder (Siggy), and my biological father are half-brothers. My father had no idea he had another brother. I was so shocked and overjoyed by everything that I contacted my father Jack as soon as I received the messages from them, and as soon as Siggy’s son mentioned my grandfather Homer, I knew they were family.
Their father, also named Homer, was stationed as a soldier in the Faroe Islands, building a radio tower of some kind, and that’s where he met my uncle’s mother. Homer returned to the U.S. before my uncle was born. Uncle Siggy was raised by his mother and her husband, without knowing the latter wasn’t his biological father.
It was only when my uncle was 33 years old that his mother told him the truth. He never got to meet his biological father because he had passed away many years before.
After our discoveries, my uncle also took the DNA test, and as expected we got a strong and significant DNA match.
In January this year my uncle flew to the United States to finally meet his brother and myself. We spent a few lovely days together.
Sadly, my father passed away 6 weeks after meeting his newly found brother. I am still in contact with my uncle — we message all the time and share photos.
This was a blessing for me in so many ways. It’s such a beautiful thing for all of us, especially for me because being adopted I had no idea who I was for 44 years until Jack, my biological father showed up looking for me.
I miss my father, but I now have an amazing uncle who tries to fill the void.
Many thanks to Tina for sharing her story with us. If you’ve also made a life-changing discovery through MyHeritage, we’d love to hear about it! Send us your story via this form or email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Source: My Heritage