Woman Finally Found the Daughter She Gave up for Adoption in 1975 after 44 Years

Jeannine Schaefer reunited with her daughter, who she never got to know, 44 years after forcefully giving her up for adoption after childbirth. 

Jeannine Schaefer was 17 years old when she was pregnant and gave birth to her first child and daughter. She had just graduated from Jefferson City High School in 1975 and was excited about her pregnancy. 

The teenage Jeannine had always wanted to be a mom and was happy to be pregnant. However, her family and friends and her boyfriend at the time did not share in her excitement. 

Her boyfriend said he was not ready to be a dad while her parents told her she could not keep the baby— otherwise, she would be on her own. Hence, Jeannine knew she was not going to keep her baby after giving birth. 

Jeannine gave birth to her daughter on May 31, 1975, and named her Christina Marie. That was the last time she set eyes on her. Life moved on. 

She tied the knot with her husband Pat Schaefer at 25 and had three daughters, Michelle, Elaina, and Ellie. Many years passed, and Jeannine never stopped thinking about her firstborn daughter. However, she never spoke about her. 

No matter how hard she tried, she could not speak about her because the pain was very fresh. However, she summoned up the courage to talk about it in a church group. Afterward, she realized she had to look for her daughter. 

Jeannine found out that the only legal means of finding her daughter was if she came looking for her. At the end of 2017, she realized her daughter had tried to contact her through one of her sisters.

However, Jeannine’s sister told her daughter not to bother because she was not interested. When Jeannine found out about this, she was hurt because she thought her daughter might have felt unwanted and unloved twice in her life. 

This pushed Jeannine to do all she could to help her daughter find her. In 2018, she made a lengthy post on her Facebook page, where she detailed the circumstances behind her daughter’s birth. 

In the post, Jeannine revealed she is still friends with her daughter’s biological dad and said she could help locate him if the daughter wanted to meet with him. She also wrote

“I was very young when you were born. You were always loved! I wanted you very much. We had family friends, who had adopted a child and I saw how much they needed and loved her.”

Jeannine confessed that she gave her daughter up so she could have a family with parents who were settled and ready to provide for her. She concluded

“You are a piece of my heart, and life. I pray, you are happy, healthy and loved! Tons of prayers!”

Many people who saw Jeannine’s post shared and reposted it multiple times, hoping it could somehow reach her daughter. 

However, it took an entirely different means for Jeannine to find her long-lost daughter, Barbara Jo Reid, who was living in Anchorage, Alaska. 

Barbara grew up with two parents who loved her, an older adopted brother and two younger adopted siblings. Barbara said she always knew she was adopted.

She said her family was always open to her and her adopted siblings and supported them in their quest to find their biological parents. Barbara always imagined meeting her birth parents but never knew what to expect if she finally did. 

DNA testing started becoming popular, and she decided to try it out as she had no other means of finding out about her heritage. So she bought a 23andMe: DNA Genetic Testing & Analysis kit. 

A mutual cousin who also did the 23andMe found Barbara through the website’s relative portion. The mutual cousin asked Barbara some questions and believed she was her cousin Jeannine’s daughter. 

They talked about their stories and found the answers they needed. Jeannine had done her DNA testing through ancestry and worked with adoption advocates to find a website that would connect her test results to Barbara’s 23andMe. When they did, they matched. 

After finding each other, mother and daughter began speaking to each other frequently via phone calls. They discovered so much more about each other. Barbara also found out that her mom had been looking for her and read her Facebook post with tears streaming down her face.

On the other hand, Jeannine got to know her daughter had always wanted to find her biological parents. Hence, she helped her to connect with her birth father. 

A delighted Jeannine updated her previous Facebook post by announcing she had found her daughter. She thanked everyone for their support, tips, and prayers.

Jeannine urged those who were searching not to give up if their hearts needed answers. She said they should not expect miracles as there are as many happy endings as unhappy and disappointing ones. 

Jeannine expressed delight that her and Barbara’s story turned out as wonderful as she had always dreamed. She concluded by saying they are blending their families and are truly blessed. 

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