Updated: Feb 16
When adoptee, Rebecca Dino, went looking for her birth mother, she found the uncle who never stopped thinking about her. And it's all thanks to the power of genetic genealogy.
Rebecca and her twin sister were born on February 5, 1981 in Los Angeles, California.
They were adopted together and raised in a loving home. But Rebecca had always hoped to learn more about where—and who—she came from.
“It’s always just been...I want to know who my mother was.”
Rebecca came to us with zero knowledge or information whatsoever about either of her biological parents. So with our guidance, she took a DNA test and Jay, founder of BirthParentFinder, asked me to analyze her results.
48 hours later, we had found her mom.
Tragically, we learned that Rebecca's mom, Jacqueline, died in 1993 from HIV complications at just 29-years-old. She had contracted the virus from a blood transfusion she received after giving birth to Rebecca and her sister.
But from unimaginable heartache comes healing.
This is where this story transforms into something truly magical.
We were able to get in touch with one of Rebecca’s close family members, her mother’s older brother, Robert.
Less than a week later and exactly 40 years to the day since she was given up for adoption, Rebecca got to meet her uncle for the very first time.
“Uncle Robert,” as Rebecca calls him now, joined us for a very special Zoom call—his first ever—on Rebecca’s 40th birthday. He was understandably overcome with emotion.
“I’m just so happy for you...to find us.”
On the call, Robert explained how Rebecca’s birth mom, his sister, Jacqueline, gave birth to Rebecca and her twin sister when she was just 17-years-old. Robert and his wife at the time were not able to have children and he desperately wanted to raise the twins themselves.
There were moments during the call when Robert got so choked up, his wife had to come onscreen to speak for him.
“He always, always, always wondered about this situation,” she said, “It never stopped gnawing at him his whole life.”
Robert: “Yeah, I always wondered about them.”
“He wanted the girls and Jackie said it’s too late,” his wife continued, “Robert wanted them so bad.”
And so now, after so many years of not knowing, Rebecca had these words for her newfound family:
“I just want to thank you, Uncle Robert, from the bottom of my heart, for always wondering and thinking about us. ..It felt like we were forgotten.”
“You weren’t forgotten at all,” he replied, “least not by me.”
This right here, this very moment, is why we do what we do. This is why our work at BirthParentFinder.com matters.
Robert is now so excited to meet both of his nieces in person just as soon as it is safe to do so. And Rebecca has invited him and anyone else in the family to her wedding which is planned for next year.
As we wrapped up our call, Rebecca had one more heartfelt thing to say about the whole experience:
“Thank you, Jay, thank you, thank you. Even though my mom’s gone, she’s with me, I know, I know she is.”
”My youngest daughter’s name is Jacqueline, spelled exactly the same way as my mom. It was meant to be. You guys made it possible.”