Expecting mothers spend nine months waiting for the day they finally get to meet their son or daughter for the first time. When that day finally happens, new mothers typically describe it as the best moment of their life.
For an Indiana native, the day she gave birth to her daughter ended up being the worst day of her life as she was told her baby girl had died during birth. It wasn’t until more than six decades later, however, that the woman discovered the truth…
Put Up For Adoption
In 1949, Connie Moultroup was born in a small Catholic hospital in Gary, Indiana. After her birth, Moultroup was put up for adoption and taken to an orphanage. At some point, a couple from Southern California adopted her and brought her back to the West Coast.
The Birth Mother
According to Moultroup, who is now 69 years old, she always knew she had been adopted when she was a child and had been told that she had been put up for adoption after her birth. Moultroup’s adoptive parents only ever told her the name of her birth mother, Genevieve Purinton, who they claimed was a ‘friend of a friend’.
Her Adoption Story
When she was old enough to ask about her adoption, Moultroup’s adoptive parents explained that they “walked up and down the aisles of the hospital until they found me and they just had to take me home,” Moultroup explained to NBC News about her adoption story.
A Happy Childhood
“My favorite bedtime story was how my parents walked up and down the halls of the hospital looking at all the babies until they found me and then they stopped. It was sweet,” Moultroup said. While her early childhood in Santa Barbara was happy, things changed drastically when she was just five years old.
The Evil Stepmother
According to Moultroup, her adoptive mother passed away from cancer when she was five years old. Her adoptive father then remarried a woman, who Moultroup claimed was abusive to her. Sometime later, Moultroup’s adoptive father passed away after he was diagnosed with a heart condition.
“Her adoptive mother died of cancer, and shortly after, her adoptive father was diagnosed with a heart condition,” Bonnie Chase, Moultroup’s daughter, told CNN. As a small child, Moultroup wished her biological mother would come and save her from her abusive step-mother.
A Lifelong Dream
“So the whole time, she just wanted to find her actual mother to rescue her from that horrible situation,” Chase, 50, said. “She would fantasize about her mother rescuing her since she was 5-years-old. It’s truly her lifelong dream.” As Moultroup got older, she never stopped wondering about her mother and would wish to find her mother every year for her birthday.
Starting The Search
As an adult, Moultroup moved away from California and started her career as a nurse. In her thirties, she started actively searching for her birth mother. However, when Moultroup failed to find any information about her mother or any leads, she eventually gave up hope.
Reigniting The Search
However, that search was reignited when Chase got her mother a DNA ancestry kit for Christmas in 2017. Chase hoped it would finally be the key to finding out more about her past and potentially connect her to family members that she never knew about.
A Perfect Christmas Gift
“It was just a cool Christmas present and it has completely changed our lives,” Chase told NBC News. Moultroup, who now works in Virginia as a massage therapist, provided a sample of her DNA, and then impatiently waited for her results to be sent to her.
A Massive Family
When they came back several weeks later, Moultroup started sorting through the information. She was stunned to learn she had almost 1,600 blood relatives. “It took me a while to use it, but when I finally got the results I went from having only three known relatives (a daughter and two grandchildren), to 1,600 relatives. I was floored,” Moultroup told CNN.
One of those relatives was a first cousin, who sent a message to Moultroup. “She reached out to me. I told her my mother’s name was Genevieve Mitch and she said, ‘Oh, that’s my aunt, and oh, by the way, she is still alive,’” Moultroup told Inside Edition.
Passing On The Information
“It was awesome, but I didn’t know quite what to do with that,” Moultroup added. The cousin offered to send her aunt a card and explain that she found Moultroup online. In the letter, Genevieve Purinton’s niece also included her daughter’s contact details.
The First Phone Call
“I couldn’t believe it. I was going to meet my mother,” Moultroup said. Then on September 8, 2018, Purinton called her daughter and they spoke for the first time in 69 years. “I was at church that day, and I never want to leave early, but that day I did. Literally, 20 minutes after getting home, my mother calls,” Moultroup explained.
Reconnecting After 69 Years
“I think I’m your mother,” Puriton said when Moultroup answered the phone. “You could’ve heard a pin drop,” Moultroup explained. “I said, ‘Oh my God.’ She wanted to remember if I knew my original name, Margaret Ann Mitch.” She told her mother that she did remember. The pair talked for hours that day, and now regularly speak over the phone.
Learning The Truth
During those phone calls, Moultroup learned that her mother never wanted to give her up. In fact, Puriton planned on keeping her baby but doctors told her that the baby had died. “I asked to see the baby and they said she died, that’s all I remember,” said Purinton, now 88. At the time, Puriton was just 18 years old and left high school when her belly started to show. According to Puriton, she discovered the father was actually married and planned to raise her baby alone.
At the time, however, hundreds of unmarried mothers were told their babies died or had their infants taken away from them because of their controversial marital status. Puriton didn’t realize it at the time, but nurses at St. Mary’s Mercy Hospital, which is now closed, tricked her into signing adoption papers giving up her rights as Moultroup’s mother. “I was told it was a girl, but she died,” Puriton told The New York Times.
The First Meeting
“I had no idea what I signed,” she said. According to Puritan, she never thought to ask to see the death certificate. “Who at 18 would think about something like that?” she said. After that, Puritan, who never had any more children, moved to Florida, where she has lived ever since. On December 3, 2018, Moultroup flew to Florida to finally meet her mother at the elderly home she lives in.
An Emotional Reunion
“I walked into her retirement home and I knew it was her because she walked with a walker. And [there] was only one woman there with a walker. She turned around and it was like looking in the mirror. I look just like her. We just walked over to one another and both of us started crying,” Moultroup said.
A Life-changing Experience
“It was just a crying fest,” Moultroup said. Now Moultroup has plans to meet two half-sisters from her biological father’s side of the family. “Not everybody has this kind of outcome when looking for their parents, but I recommend you give it a try, you don’t know what will happen.”