Video: “My Surprise Family Reunion”

Years after Tomeka searched to find birth family, she received this wonderful surprise on the Montel Williams show.

Denalee Chapman April 14, 2016

Remember foster momma, hoping to be adoptive momma, Mary Brown? It was the 1980s and little Tomeka (her name was withheld from the public at the time) was in Mary’s care. Mary was white, Tomeka a mixed race. Because of her race, Tomeka was taken away and placed in the care of a black family. It was heartbreaking as the nation watched Tomeka taken from a mother who really loved her. Tomeka grew up and Mary moved on, but never really healed. When Tomeka was in high school she found a phone number for Mary and tried to contact her. Mary thought it was a prank call and refused to talk. By the time Tomeka found an address, Mary had passed away and Tomeka never got to thank her. Years later after Tomeka had searched to find birth family, she was gifted with a wonderful surprise on the Montel Williams show.  This is a video of sweet reunion.

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Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at

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