A British woman discovered she had an entire family in Canada – and even tracked down her long-lost mum – after taking a DNA test.
Laura Mclean, 32, was put up for adoption as a baby in 1990.
Her biological mother, Janine Henderson, 50, had wanted a better life for her daughter.
Curious Laura grew up knowing she was adopted – but didn’t know her birth mum’s name, age or location.
She started to look for Janine last year and submitted a DNA sample to 23andMe after endless searches on Google and Facebook provided no answers.
Two months after sending off her sample she got an email to say she’d matched with a half-sister in Canada.
The match turned out to be her aunt Leanne MacDonald, 35, who emailed to reveal: ‘We have been looking for you for years.’
Within days she was Facetiming her mum Janine in an emotional video call, and they met for the first time in three decades in September 2022.
Laura, from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, said: ‘I went through a washer machine of emotion.
‘It was overwhelming but I was happy, no human could go through that and not find it overwhelming.
‘I didn’t know what I was missing until I connected with my biological family.
‘It felt like the experiences I have had in life up until now had really prepared me to handle this with resilience and positivity.’
Janine, a mum of two from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, added: ‘The last time I saw her she was a baby and to see her as this young beautiful woman – I am not sure I can describe it.
‘I tell Laura all the time, my words haven’t caught up with my emotions yet.
‘You go through so many emotions, to be part of her life again, I have been given a second chance and not many people get that chance.
‘My family felt complete.’
After 31 years, Laura started researching her family history in summer 2022 and, throughout the entire process, her adoptive family was supportive.
It was a matter of months later that she finally met her mum in September 2022.
Laura and her partner Abbie Sycamore, 28, flew over to Canada to visit the long lost family.
She said: ‘I had this underlying feeling that I had to keep some sort of routine and reality as it was such an unknown I was stepping into.
‘It is so difficult to describe. We both had been quite honest and vulnerable.
‘We both showed up with authenticity. She never felt like a stranger – it felt like I knew her.
‘There was never resentment. There was never anger. I always had this gut instinct that I was wanted – we are very alike with our mannerisms and senses.’
After the successful two-week trip, Laura phoned Janine’s husband, Steven Henderson, 59, and told him she wanted to jump out of a box as a Christmas present.
She flew back to do that on December 22, 2022
READ MORE: What family DNA test kits can tell us about UK history – and our future
Laura said: ‘I couldn’t stop laughing. I couldn’t wait to see her face.
‘When I jumped out, she was in shock – we immediately burst into tears.’
Talking about having Laura back in her life, Janine said: ‘My family feels complete, it was an amazing experience, Laura and I both bonded so quickly and she fit in no problem.
‘She fit into the dynamics of the family with no problem, I can’t say how grateful I am to have this opportunity and I am not wasting a minute of it’.
Laura and Janine both Facetime once a week and are planning a UK reunion soon.
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