‘You look like me’: Mother meets daughter after 55 years apart

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Kansas woman and her daughter started a new chapter Saturday.

The two say they never thought they would meet again, but thanks to family, their wish to meet came true.

The emotional meeting happened in Hotel at Old Town Saturday. The duo tells us although time has passed, it’s the start of a beautiful relationship.

“You look like me,” said Teresa Miller, Rochester, New York.

Lennie Castaneda of Wichita gave birth to her daughter, Teresa Miller. It was the first and last time she would see her.

“I made the decision because I felt as a single mother back in that particular era, I could not have done for her what an adoptive parent could do,” said Castaneda.

The two say they would think about each other but never reached out for fear of the unknown.

“She’s always been in my heart, but I never wanted to rock the boat,” said Castaneda.

And it wasn’t until Teresa did a 23andMe DNA test that she would find her mother.

“Says that you share 28 percent DNA with Michelle and mom didn’t have any idea what that meant, and the girl said, well I don’t mean to freak you out, but my half sister and I share 24 percent DNA,” said Elisa Heckathorn, Rochester, New York.

Michelle, being Lennie’s other daughter, also did the test to learn more about her ancestry. Teresa’s daughter sent a message to Michelle and the rest is history.

“We just kind of moved toward making this day happen,” said Michelle Bradbury, Scarborough, Maine.

“Oh my god, I can’t believe it’s really, real,” said Miller.

A day this new family will never forget.

“If you don’t believe in miracles, we’re looking at each other right here, 55 years, it is a miracle, yeah,” said the women.

The two say they are looking forward to catching up after all these years. This weekend, Teresa will meet more family here in Kansas.

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