The stigma that once surrounded young unmarried women who got pregnant in the U.S. and across Europe had devastating consequences.
Often the women were sent away to have their babies, only to have them taken away, or forced to put them up for adoption.
The shame that those women were forced to feel and the precious bond that was forcibly broken by wrenching a baby from the arms of its mother is heartbreaking.
For Valerie Leatherwood, it was a secret she kept from her family for over 50 years. Then a call from her niece left her shaken.
Back in the 1960s Valerie Leatherwood was 20 years old and working at a nursing home that was run by nuns when she unexpectedly became pregnant.
The nun who supervised Valerie in her job disapproved of her situation and so sent her away to work as a nanny in another town so nobody would know about the pregnancy.
Valerie gave birth to a baby girl, and five weeks later, she put her up for adoption. Not even her family knew about it.
Valerie kept it all a secret for 52 years and thought she would take that secret to her grave.
Decades later, Valerie had started a family and moved on with her life. But, without her knowing, her niece and brother had given their DNA samples to Ancestry.com.
Valerie’s daughter found the results and approached her aunt Diana — Valerie’s sister — with a shocking question. She wanted to know if anyone in their family had given up a baby for adoption.
Diana had no clue what she was about to discover. “You could’ve knocked me over with a feather,” she told KTXL Sacramento.
Valerie enjoyed an emotional reunion with the daughter she never thought she’d see again: Mia Keske Anderson. The two were reunited with Valerie’s sister Diana and Mia spent a week with her biological mom and the family she never knew she had.
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Valerie is now relieved that she no longer has to hide that secret from her loved ones
A true happy-ending story for Valerie and her daughter! It’s so wonderful to see them together after so long.
Please share this heartwarming story with your friends and family.