SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A 73-year-old California woman who put her daughter up for adoption 52 years ago, finally got the chance to meet her.
Valerie Leatherwood said she thought she would go to her grave without telling anybody about her daughter. A few months ago, she got a phone call from her, KTXL said.
Five decades ago, 20-year-old Leatherwood was working at a nursing home in Minnesota when she found out she was pregnant. She said her supervisor, a nun, sent her away from home to hide the pregnancy. Five weeks after her baby was born, Leatherwood put her up for adoption, and didn't tell her family.
“That was a 52-year-old secret I kept,” Leatherwood said with a laugh.
A few months after Leatherwood's niece and brother submitted DNA samples to Ancestry.com, Leatherwood's daughter, now an adult, found them.
“My niece wanted to know of anyone in our family who'd given up a baby for adoption 52 years ago. I said, 'I don't have a clue who that would be,'” said Leatherwood’s sister, Diana Mindt. “She says, ‘Diane I gave a little girl up 52 years ago.’ I mean you could've knocked me over with a feather.”
The family made contact with Leatherwood's long-lost daughter, Mia Keske Anderson. Anderson said she was scared, nervous, but also excited.
Anderson grew up in the Midwest, always wondering about her biological mother.
“I wanted to find her. And it worked,” Anderson said. “I just wanna get to know both of them. Find out everything I can about them,” she said, refereeing to her biological aunt and mother.
The mother and daughter say they've already found they have a lot in common.
“It's nice to see where I get my cheeks from,” Anderson said.