It’s amazing how easy it is for anyone to learn about their heritage through DNA testing now. With kits like 23 & Me and AncestryDNA, we can quickly discover new and exciting things about ourselves and where we come from.
Robin Gonsalves gave her dad, John, one such DNA kit for his birthday, thinking he would learn a few fun facts about himself. She certainly didn’t expect anything life-changing would come of it.
So imagine their shock when he soon received a letter from a 40-year-old woman named Jeanie Siciliano who said she was his daughter!
They weren’t the only ones shocked by the news. Jeanie was born in 1977 and put up for adoption by her teen mother, John’s high school girlfriend. John was only 19 years old at the time and didn’t know. When Jeanie was about 19 herself, she tried to uncover the identity of her biological mom and dad, but she was unsuccessful.
Fast forward a couple decades: Jeanie read her AncestryDNA results and saw, for the first time ever, her father’s name under her own.
She was floored.
Her dad was just as excited about the surprising news.
“I started to cry,” he told CBS. “I felt joy. I was like, ‘This is such a great gift at a perfect time in my life and Robin’s life.’”
For John, it was just as exciting to find out he was a father at 59 to a 40-year-old as it had been to find out he was a father to Robin years before.
Jeanie travelled to meet her dad and sister in person two months after she sent that letter. John prepared for the reunion by cleaning the house and setting up balloons outside, nervous and excited to welcome his “new” daughter into his life!
When Jeanie and John finally met, emotions were high.
“Daughter! Hi!” John told her excitedly.
“Oh, this is so amazing!” Jeanie gushed. “I love the balloons, it’s like I’m a newborn!”
Robin was also excited about meeting her new family member, especially since her mom passed away in 2014.
“When I lost my mom, the thing that I was most concerned about was like, ‘How am I going to navigate my dating life… without my mom?'” She told CBS. “I don’t have too many women figures in my life but losing my mom was really hard. So it’s important to have women to look up to. So having someone like Jeanie is really nice.”
Jeanie was thrilled to discover she had a sibling. Though she knew she wouldn’t be able to take the place of Robin’s mother, she was excited to hear she would be able to be there for her new little sister.
This amazing reunion happened because of one special birthday gift — and like a true sister, Robin is cheekily taking all the credit. “I gave him the gift of another child basically for his birthday,” she said.
Take a look at this heartwarming reunion in this video, and then share this lovely story with your friends!
This story originally appeared at InspireMore.