(WSVN) - A Florida woman thought her daughter died at birth, but almost 70 years later they have finally found their way back to each other.
For most of her life, Genevieve Purtion thought she had no one. The 88-year-old lives at an assisted living center in North Tampa.
Her eight brothers and sisters have all passed away, and she never had any kids of her own. That is, after she gave birth once, back in 1949.
Genevieve was 18 years old when she had her one and only child at a hospital in Indiana, but that day was overcome with tragedy.
“When I said I wanted to see the baby, they told me she died,” Genevieve recalled to Fox 13.
“Because she was an unwed mother, she was told that I had died. She continued with her life not knowing I was still alive,” Connie Moultroup told CNN.
It was not an uncommon practice at the time to separate single women from their babies, according to a report by Yahoo! News. Young mothers were either coerced into put their children up for adoption, or in some cases lied to by hospital staff, telling them their babies had passed away.
Genevieve never got to see or hold her baby girl, which is why she could hardly believe her eyes when her daughter walked through the door 69 years later.
Connie, Genevieve’s long lost daughter, was sent to an orphanage and adopted as a newborn by a family in California. She said it’s been her life-long dream to find her birth mother.
Upon meeting for the first time, they shared a hug to make up for lost time. “It’s been a lifetime of wanting this,” said Connie. “I remember being 5 years old and wishing that I could find my mother.”
Connie got an Ancestry DNA kit for Christmas last year, which led her to a cousin. The two began speaking, and Connie told the woman all she knew about her birth mother: her name.
“And I said, ‘Here’s my mother’s given name,’ and she said, ‘Oh, that’s my aunt. Oh, by the way, she’s still alive.’ [I was] like ‘Oh, my God,'” said Connie, holding back tears.
Now, Genevieve, who thought she had no one left in her life, and Connie are sharing nothing but tears of joy.
Not only does she have a daughter, but Genevieve also has grandchildren and two great-grand children who are currently in college.
There’s a lot to catch up on after having been split up for 69 years, but for this mother and daughter it all begins with a simple hug.
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