5 Best Reunion Stories of 2017

It’s a wonderful time to reflect on some of the most loved and viral adoption reunion stories from 2017.

Jennifer Mellon February 02, 2018

2017 was a good year for heart-warming adoption reunion stories. With the advent of DNA testing and an increase in states choosing to unseal adoption records, these stories are becoming more and more commonplace.

Through my work in adoption, I’ve had the privilege of hearing hundreds of adoption search and reunion stories that have touched my heart. Here are a few from 2017 I think you’ll love.

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American College Student Reunites with the Chinese Parents Who Placed her for Adoption
1. American College Student Reunites with the Chinese Parents Who Placed her for Adoption

One of the most viewed adoption reunion stories in 2017 was the meeting of Catherine Su Pohler with her biological parents, Qian Fenxiang and Xu Lida on the Qixi Festival in China. 22 years ago, these two parents were forced to abandon their baby girl due to China’s draconian one-child policy. They left her with a note that stated: “Our daughter, Jingzhi, was born at 10am on the 24th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, 1995. We have been forced by poverty and affairs of the world to abandon her. Oh, pity the hearts of fathers and mothers far and near! Thank you for saving our little daughter and taking her into your care. If the heavens have feelings, if we are brought together by fate, then let us meet again on the Broken Bridge in Hangzhou on the morning of the Qixi Festival in 10 or 20 years from now.” The parents went to the bridge at year ten waiting to see if she would arrive. Due to a twist of fairy-tale fate and a documentarian, they were eventually reunited with their daughter on the Broken Bridge in Hangzhou on the eve of the Qixi Festival.

Reunited Biological Brothers are Classmates
2. Reunited Biological Brothers are Classmates

Christmas 2017 was a season full of surprises for Kieron Graham, who was reunited with his biological family after taking a DNA test. He quickly was matched through Ancestry.com with his biological brother who also turned out to be studying political science, just as Kieron is, at Kennesaw University. This holiday season also brought a reunion with this birth mother and younger brother who live only 15 minutes away from him. The adoption search and reunion was complete when he was finally reunited with his biological father and brother. Graham said, “It was pretty much all I could wish for.”

Greg Louganis Reunites with His Birth Mother
3. Greg Louganis Reunites with His Birth Mother

Greg Louganis, the U.S. Olympic diver was reunited with his birth mother last year, after 57 years apart. It was a day of gratitude on Thanksgiving 2017 as he met his biological mom and learned he had biological siblings. As Greg stated, “My family’s tripled! It’s such an unexpected surprise.”

Louganis had ended 2016 by submitting his DNA to an online DNA search site with the hopes of confirming the identity of his birth father, whom he had known for many decades. However, instead of just receiving that information, he was contacted by a now confirmed biological cousin who reached out and said “I think you may be my aunt’s son.” Greg was connected with his biological mother and together they met for a Thanksgiving neither one will ever forget.

Reality Television Star Lisa Vanderpump’s Son finds His Birth Mother
4. Reality Television Star Lisa Vanderpump’s Son finds His Birth Mother

The Bravo hit reality television series Real Housewives of Beverly Hills dealt with the adoption search and reunion process last season. One of the stars of RHBH, Lisa Vanderpump, spoken openly about her adopted son, Max, who has been a fixture on the series’ search process. Max utilized a private investigator to find his birth mother. Lisa spoke candidly about her emotions as an adoptive mother through the process, and about her son’s desire to be reunited with his birth mother but also not upset his parents.

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Jennifer Mellon

Jennifer Mellon has worked in the child welfare field for more than a decade, serving in varying capacities as the Executive Director and Chief Development Officer of Joint Council on International Children's Services (JCICS) and the Corporate Communications Program Manager for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI). Jennifer has served on the Board of the Campagna Center, which provides critical educational services to children and families in the DC Metro Area and on the Development Committee for the National Council for Adoption. She is the mom of three children and resides in Alexandria, Virginia.


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