Daughter uses genealogy site to reunite with her mother after 64-year search
It took more than six decades before Rose Valade was able to locate her birth mother.
Valade was born in Sydney, N.S. in the 1950s and was immediately placed with her adoptive family in Antigonish, N.S. But after giving a DNA sample to a genealogy site she was able to reunite with her birth mother after a 64-year search.
“Well, initially, I didn't know I was adopted until I was 14. And that was a bit of a surprise to me because it had never been mentioned to me before,” Valade told CTV Atlantic.
That knowledge would set off years of wondering who her biological parents were. But it was only once Valade began raising a family of her own did she feel she was ready for answers.
“When I was pregnant with my first child, that's when the question rose: I wonder if there are any illnesses that I should be aware of that are in my family line,” she explained.
But finding that out wasn’t going to be simple because her adoption records are, and continue to be, sealed.
Red tape prevented her from finding out any more information for decades. But a window opened when Valade submitted a DNA sample to the website, Ancestry.ca.
And for two years, she heard nothing.
“(But) in February or March, I had a message come through from Ancestry.ca that I had a very close person that was a relation of mine genetically,” Valade said.
The match was an American woman named Jackie Rice who lived in Colorado. After some messaging back and forth, they discovered that Rice was actually Valade’s niece.
Rice contacted her own mother, Dorine Molenoski, who turned out to be Valade’s long-lost sister.
Valade and her newfound sister started to speak every day over the phone. Valade even flew out to Las Vegas where Molenoski lives.
“We have the same shoe size, the same ring size; we even take our coffee the same way,” said Valade.
The two sisters then embarked on trip to San Diego, Calif., where their 84-year-old mother had settled down after marrying and raising her family. When Valade finally met her mother, the reunion was emotional.
Mother: 'They took you from me'
“When I was born, all (my mother) remembers is seeing the top of my head and the black tuft of hair,” Valade said, adding that her mother explained all those years ago.
“‘Rose, I couldn't do anything, they took you from me, I couldn't have kept you anyway,’” Valade paraphrased. “She didn't know if I was a girl or a boy, or if I had lived or if I had died.”
Valade learned that “she thought of me every day for my entire life.”
She said she felt privileged to find her while her mother was still alive. Valade discovered that she also had another sister, Cindy, and a brother, Jerry, who she speaks to almost daily now.
Both of her siblings live in Iowa and Valade is planning to meet them in person in the spring. Valade can’t help but smile when she thinks of how much larger her family is now.
“I'm just overjoyed. My life is complete now,” she said.
With a report from CTV Atlantic