she’d also stumbled on the perfect gift for her mom – family.
Kelle’s mom, Pat Nosko, was adopted, and never knew her biological parents. Kelle had originally used 23andMe just to find out a little bit about her family’s ancestral background, but what she found was a missing branch on her family tree.
“This was a most unanticipated result,” Kelle said.
Her mother, Pat, was adopted in 1950. She knew what her name had been at birth, Charlotte Farmer. She knew where and when she was born, but not much else. Although Pat wanted to know more, she said she never pursued a search in part because she didn’t want to hurt her adoptive parents.
“I was adopted by lovely people,” she said.
And Pat never felt like there was a hole in her life she needed to fill, so she left it alone for 65 years.
Then her daughter tested with 23andMe, connected with a third cousin named Jane, who’d began piecing together an extensive family tree. When she asked Kelle for information about her mom, Kelle told Jane her mom was adopted and she didn’t know much of anything. She did, however, know her mother’s birth date, and the name she was born with, Charlotte Farmer. That little bit of information was enough and one morning before dawn, Kelle got a message from Jane.
“I think I found your mother’s birth mom,” Jane said.
It turned out that Pat’s biological siblings – she had six – had posted on three adoption message boards saying that they were looking for a sister, adopted in 1950, named Charlotte Farmer. Those messages were like “bread crumbs” giving their biological sister a way to find them, if she wanted.
For Kelle this was momentous news, but the messages were old.
“I needed to give this information to my mom, but I’d hoped that first I could find at least one living relative who was looking for her,” said Kelle. So Kelle and Jane kept searching, trying to find a living family member for Pat.
She had a name of one of Pat’s sisters, Angel Fitzgerald. Pat had no idea.
“It was kind of amazing because I didn’t know any of this was going on,” said Pat.
Kelle found a few phone numbers for different women named “Angel Fitzgerald.” She didn’t know which one might be her mother’s sister. So she gave a few of the numbers to her mother. One of the numbers she called, she asked for Angel Fitzgerald. When the woman said it was she asked she was the same Angel Fitzgerald looking for “Charlotte Farmer.” It was. Pat was stunned.
“I was speechless,” she said. “It took me a little bit before I could speak.”
The sisters spoke for the first time ever, and Pat found all of her six siblings, their children, the aunt she’d been named for and the names of her mother and maternal grandparents. Not long before Christmas, the sisters met for the first time in person.
“It’s the most amazingly beautiful gift I could have ever hoped to give my mother,” her daughter Kelle said.