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I Searched for My Birth Family… and Found 9 Siblings Thanks to MyHeritage and the DNAngels

Rose Massey, 57, from Oklahoma, was adopted as a baby. After 20 years of searching, she finally found a half-sister via MyHeritage DNA. With some help from the DNAngels — a non-profit organization that helps people looking for long-lost relatives through DNA matching — she made contact with the sister… and eventually found 9 additional siblings!

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Here is Rose’s story.

When I was 10 years old, I found out that I was adopted. I didn’t know my biological parents, and I was only told that my biological father was in the Air Force and that that’s all they knew about him. My adoption papers were closed and filled in Oklahoma, and I couldn’t get access to them. I was told to never bother him or try to find him, which I didn’t understand at the time. My adoptive parents did know who my birth mother was. Every now and then I would hear a whisper that she had another child who was placed for adoption. As a young child, I tried to keep track and to keep the pieces in my mind until I got older, in hopes that I would eventually find them.

Rose Massey

Rose Massey

I looked for about 20 years. I started trying DNA testing and putting my DNA data on every site that I could find to try to see if I could find a match somewhere. Finally, on June 29th of last year, I matched with a potential half-sister on MyHeritage. When I looked through the information on her, I was apprehensive about contacting her. She had been on MyHeritage for about a year. I tried to triangulate different matches that I saw there, although they were low. I had kind of an idea of surnames, but wasn’t sure how they intersected with each other.

So I contacted the DNAngels and they put me in touch with a wonderful lady, Kelly Grace. It took her only about a week of digging — and she found my biological father.

‘These are my siblings’

My adoptive parents lived in Florida, which is where he lived. My biological mother was 16 at the time and he was 18. They were in high school together, and she got pregnant, and he went off to the Vietnam War. It’s still not clear whether he really knew that I existed or not. My biological father claims he did not know, but other stories say that he probably did. I think I was born right before he was shipped off.

We believe that my adoptive mother and his mother got together and decided that it would be best if she adopted me. We believe that my biological grandmother did not want to raise his child because he was going to Vietnam. She did not want my case file opened, so they put an extra seal on my records so I wouldn’t be able to open them. We found this out when petitioning the court to open my adoption records.

So, we reached out to the potential half-sister I had matched with, and in the meantime, found out that she had a sister and two more brothers. Oh, wow. These were my siblings.

My sister Ashley originally got a kit that was given to her for free so she could find out her heritage. She didn’t have any idea that she’d be finding a half-sister! I sent her a message through MyHeritage asking if we could talk, but she didn’t respond. So I ended up contacting her sister, Jalinda. I found her on Facebook and sent her a message and she responded right away and confirmed the connection. I also have brothers, Adam and Byron, and they all live in Florida. It wasn’t a surprise to them that he had had another child they didn’t know about, but they were surprised that I was so much older than the rest of them; they are all in their 30s and 40s, and I’m 57.

It turned out that my biological father had already taken a DNA test five years prior, and immediately matched with me, so he had already known, but didn’t know how to come out and say that he knew without his children potentially being upset about it. He’s 73 and very set in his ways, and he acknowledges that I am his daughter, but currently does not want a relationship.

Rose with her birth father, who she found thanks to MyHeritage DNA and the DNAngels

Rose with her birth father

‘It’s like we were never apart’

But my brothers and sisters and I have become family. We go on vacations together and celebrate the holidays together. I recently came back from spending a week in Florida where we all stayed together in a huge house, and the kids played with each other, and we had a great time. We’re building relationships, and it’s just been wonderful.

Rose with her sister Jalinda

Rose with her sister Jalinda

This last year has just been great. It’s changed things a lot. We’re exactly alike with a lot of things. I’m really close to my sister Ashley, and my other siblings. It’s like we were never apart.

Ashley, Byron, and Byron’s wife Natalie

Ashley, Byron, and Byron’s wife Natalie

Rose with her brother Adam

Rose with her brother Adam

I also managed to find 5 other siblings on my mother’s side. Over the past few years, I’ve become the oldest of 10 siblings! This inspired my siblings on my mother’s side to find their fathers too, and we were able to do that. They also found some brothers they didn’t know they had. So, all in all, we found 3 dads and tons of cousins and lots of half-sisters and -brothers! It’s been quite the journey — a good journey. I’m so thankful that my sister Ashley put her DNA on MyHeritage, because if she hadn’t, I wouldn’t have found them.

They sent me a picture of my grandfather, and I look just like him.

Right: Rose when she was younger; center, Rose’s birth father; left, Rose’s grandfather

Right: Rose when she was younger; center, Rose’s birth father; left, Rose’s grandfather

I had a great experience with the DNAngels. They prepare you for making that first contact, making sure you don’t go in so fast you make them uncomfortable, and giving them time to process, and showing them the proof and the matches. It takes them a little time to process. In my case, they weren’t surprised, because they knew their father, and he was quite the ladies’ man when he was young.

The journey is a long one. You have to have a lot of patience with it and you have to just keep going and keep trying. I see so many people who are uneducated when it comes to genealogy and haplogroups and how to put it all together, and sometimes it’s too much for people. That’s where the DNAngels come in — they are so helpful. There have been so many emotions in this last year. A lot of highs and lows, but it wouldn’t trade it for the world. Thank you My Heritage and the DNAngels. My circle is complete.

Many thanks to Rose for sharing her beautiful story. If you’ve also made an amazing discovery with MyHeritage, we’d love to hear about it! Please send it to us via this form or email us at

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The post I Searched for My Birth Family… and Found 9 Siblings Thanks to MyHeritage and the DNAngels appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

Source: My Heritage

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