It’s not easy being separated from someone you feel a connection with, especially when you don’t know anything about their current circumstances. Considering the number of people who are adopted, it’s not as uncommon a condition as you might think.
When one mother thought she’d tried everything possible to find her son, she’d all but given up hope years ago. But things change over time. Some things that were previously impossible aren’t anymore…
When Bobbi Sayers was just 17 years old, she found herself in the unenviable position of being a pregnant high-schooler. She had grown up in Pittsburgh, in a different time, born just before the end of WWII, a time when teen pregnancies were frowned upon even more so than today.
Not In My House
“Back then, you didn’t do that,” the 74-year-old Bobbi said. “You didn’t have babies.” The pregnancy was unplanned and the father was out of the picture, adding to the stigma. Bobby had wanted to bring her baby home and raise her no matter the consequences but her father was adamantly against it.
Life Goes On
When her son was born, she named him Paul Joseph, held him for one day, then was forced to give him up for adoption. Even though Bobbi moved on with her life, graduating from high school and getting married a few years later, changing her last name to Vance, she never forgot about the son she’d given up.
Bobbi and her husband tried to find Paul but the adoption was closed and they never got anywhere. Over the years, they had some children of their own and moved, first to Hawaii, then Arizona, and finally to Lewiston, Idaho. Still, no matter where she went, Bobbi carried the memory of her son.
Growing Up Separately
From time to time, Bobbi made attempts to locate Paul. But with each passing decade, the chances of seeing him again seemed more and more remote. She thought about where he would be at certain stages of his life – graduating from high school, getting married, having children of his own…
A Lifetime Apart
Nearly 60 years, enough for a full lifetime, had passed before Bobbi had a glimmer of hope. She’d submitted a sample of her DNA to Ancestry.com in hopes that her estranged son had done the same. In 2018, she got a phone call.
At the same time as Bobbi had been searching for her son, a man who went by Dave Wehner had been searching for his biological mother. The 57-year-old was a light rail vehicle operator who’d lived in Pittsburgh his whole life. During that time, he had felt a void, even though his adoptive family was great.
“You really can’t understand. My mom and dad took great care of me, but I always wanted to know. They’re upstanding people, and people would say, ‘What happened to Dave?’ ‘He’s adopted,’” Dave said. “I’m not like them. I’m the wild one.”
My Other Name
Dave had started looking for his biological family back in 1983 after he finished serving in the Navy. He was able to get his original birth certificate just before Pennsylvania changed its adoption policy in 1984 to seal records. He learned that his adoptive parents had changed his name, which was originally Paul, and his mother’s last name was Sayers.
But even with that information, he wasn’t able to find Bobbi, since she had taken her husband’s last name and moved away. But after sending his a DNA sample to Ancestry.com, Dave got a message from a man who, according to his genetic profile, had a high probability of being his biological cousin.
“He said, ‘I have a cousin who was given up for adoption whose first name was Paul,’” Dave recalled. “I said […] something to the effect of, ‘Holy frijoles!’” Just like Dave, his newfound cousin was fast-talking, sarcastic, and had a wild sense of humor – all Sayers’ traits, apparently.
The cousin, Bobbi’s nephew, told her he’d found the long-lost son she’d been looking for and arranged a video chat between them. “Hi mom,” Dave said. “Hi Dave,” Bobbi replied. “You gave me the name Paul,” he said. “No, you’re name is Dave,” she said.
In a quirky twist of fate, another of Bobbi’s son’s was named David. Dave also gained three sisters that day: Shari, Lauri and Hollie. Dave’s new siblings organized a surprise for their mother, flying him out to meet Bobbi in person on Labor Day Weekend of 2018.
It had been more than 57 years since the two had seen each other in person and the experience was somewhat overwhelming. “Oh my god, I couldn’t believe it,” Bobbi said. “Look at him. I gave birth to him.”
There was no doubt that Dave was related to them, especially considering the strong resemblance between him and David. “He’s the other brother’s twin,” said Lauri. “The other brother talks fast too. He looks exactly like his uncles too.”
“I was kind of hoping they were rich,” said Dave, ever the jokester. “They’re regular people like me. They’re all like me.” Though he’d never really felt alienated with his adopted family, he felt a different kind of belonging with his new one.
The family spent the weekend taking Dave around, introducing him to their friends and families. They went and took in some of the local Lewiston sights and went shooting together at the local gun range, a pastime that they had in common.
Let’s Look Too
The entire encounter inspired some of the other members of the Vance family to have their DNA tested in order to look more closely at their roots. Both of their paternal grandparents had been adopted so their lineage was somewhat of a mystery.
No Big Shocker
There was nothing all that shocking in the family’s results that came close to finding Dave. “We’re less Italian than we thought,” Lauri said, hardly the kind of shocking like finding a long lost relative.
One To Go…
As for Dave Wehner, he regularly scans the Ancestry.com site, looking for other potential connections to his genetic profile. His hope is to one day find his biological father as well.
Mother Ends 60-Year Search For Long Lost Son With Final Hail-Mary Move is an article from: LifeDaily