DNA test leads to father and daughter meeting for very first time
SAN ANTONIO – New numbers show more than 12 million people have now submitted their DNA to consumer genetic testing websites, and so many of them are hoping to find their birth families.
News 4 was there for the moment a woman met her father for the very first time.
Rae Robinson traveled from Portland and just landed at San Antonio International Airport.
"I'm really nervous,” she says while laughing. “I'm anxious. I'm excited. I'm going to start crying."
Next stop: meeting the father she’s spent more than 30 years hoping to find.
"Since I was 17,” Rae says. “And I'm 52 today."
On pins and needles, Rae and her daughter arrive at the San Antonio home they’ve rented for this oh-so-special family reunion.
"This is it,” Rae says as she gets out of a cab.
She takes several deep breaths while walking up to the front door of the home. Her new sisters are waiting just inside.
A chorus of hellos and hugs immediately fill the room.
“Happy Birthday!” one sister says.
“We’re your present!” another chimes in.
Then finally, a big hug for dad - a man she only recently learned is named Joe Drowns.
They reminisce about the very first time they spoke on the phone.
"Father's Day,” Joe says with a smile.
"Father's Day,” Rae affirms.
She recounts how she used MyHeritage.com to search for her father.
"I actually did my DNA through another site but MyHeritage allows you to upload your DNA data to their site,” Rae says. “And then it takes a couple weeks for them to unscramble it all and kind of match you to people."
One day, she got the notification she was waiting for: the site found a match, an aunt who helped Rae piece together the family history and ultimately write a new chapter.
"She looks just like my older sister. Big resemblance,” Joe says.
They spend the weekend enjoying family dinners, getting matching tattoos and spotting each resemblance.
"Look at this. Look at this,” Rae says while pointing to one sister’s features. “The nose, the eyes. I mean, like…” her voice trailing off in amazement.
For the first time in her life, Rae feels at peace.
"Now you're not shaking anymore,” Joe says as he holds her hand.
“I'm not shaking anymore,” Rae responds. “I'm good now."
By EMILY BAUCUM