Typically, when people go through the adoption process, they never see or hear from their birth parents again. But lately, the rise in DNA testing for the masses has resulted in some sweet stories about birth parents finding their children, and vice versa. For Melanie Pressley, taking a DNA test changed her life for good.
She got pregnant when she was 18.
At first, she was determined to keep the baby and raise him as her own. Her boyfriend at the time wanted her to have an abortion, because he was not supportive of becoming a parent so young. But Melanie was determined to keep the pregnancy.
After a while she realized that it wasn’t viable for her to be a single mom at that age. So after giving birth, she gave the baby up for adoption.
When she gave birth, she barely got to hold the baby.
The day Melanie gave birth, she was not allowed to hold her son. After one day, she asked a nurse to let her hold him, and the nurse obliged. But it had to be done quickly and in private. Melanie tells News5Cleveland:
“She said, ‘I will take you into a private room so that she can hold him,’ and she said, ‘Take all the time you need.’ And at that point, when I was holding him, my sister took a picture and that was the only picture that I had of him for thirty three years. That was the only picture that I had of him”
Every year on the baby’s birth day, Melanie would think about him more than usual.
After that adoption, Melanie got married and had three more children. She was mostly living a pretty happy and fulfilled life. But she kept thinking about the baby she gave up for adoption. It would become more acute around June 17th, which was her first child’s birthday. Even though she thought about that child all the time, she would feel an extra pressure of sadness on that particular day.
While Melanie spent 33 years thinking about her son, he was growing up and having a happy life.
After being adopted by a loving family in Virginia, the baby was named Greg. When he was around 10 years old, his parents told him that he was adopted. Despite this bombshell news, he took it in great stride. He didn’t have much information about his birth parents, and he didn’t actively seek it out for a long time. He says:
“Never was really curious. I’d always joke saying, you know, ‘I don’t see a celebrity that looks like me,’ or, ‘No one who’s a king or queen in some faraway land resembles me.’ And I always said that was just my joke. You know, whenever somebody asked, it was just my way of having that quick response in my back pocket, I’d never really given it some serious thought.”
Greg had a pretty great life. He went to college, got married, and even had children of his own.
After many years, he decided he wanted to know more about his background. Fortunately, 23 and Me was having a sale.
“My wife and I were sitting and talking one night, and I’m like, ‘I don’t know any of my medical history, genetics, you know, where I’m from.’ And there was a 23andMe promotion or something going on. And so I took the test.”
Around the same time, Melanie realized she wanted to find the son she had given up for adoption. Her own mother had passed away in 2019, the same year Gregory got on 23andMe.
Melanie didn’t take her own DNA test until Spring 2021.
Pretty quickly after taking the test, she got back a result. Gregory Vossler was a potential match for her. Melanie had a strong feeling that he was her son, so she messaged him.
As soon as they could confirm their relationship, she immediately followed up with the question she had been waiting a long time to hear. She wanted to know if he was happy. Gregory confirmed that he had lived a good life.
After months of emails and texts, Melanie and Gregory finally decided to meet up.
They were both cautious — they wanted to make sure they were really related before getting their hopes up too much. But finally, Gregory drove out to Ohio.
It was the first time they had ever even heard one another’s voices. The emotional reunion lead to them talking for 17 hours straight. Gregory also got the change to meet many of his relatives from his birth family.
Now, they are starting to work more on their relationship, and are slowly getting closer.
Since Gregory’s visit out to meet his birth mother, he has been invited to family weddings and continues to talk to Melanie. Melanie and her husband are also traveling to Virginia in order to meet Gregory’s family.
For their parts, both mother and son are excited about this new relationship. Melanie told News 5 Cleveland:
“I am just excited with the ball moving and I am just going to soak up every moment and just enjoy it. Enjoy the little ones also with every opportunity that we get to see them”
And Gregory has learned a lot about how much love he holds within himself:
“It’s an amazing feeling. And it just goes to show that there’s always room for families to grow and always room for more love within each other”
Watch the video below to learn more about this touching story!
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