'A Whole New Family': 98-Year-Old Meets Relatives After Learning She Was Adopted - NECN
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'A Whole New Family': 98-Year-Old Meets Relatives After Learning She Was Adopted

"It's a very early Christmas present – a whole new family," Ellen Law said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    98-year-Old Grandma Meets Family She Never Knew She Had

    After discovering that she was adopted, 98-year-old grandmother Ellen Law finally met the family she never knew she had. (Published Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017)

    It's a family affair for 98-year-old Ellen Law since the Ontario, California, resident met her biological family for the first time after finding out she was adopted.

    Law didn’t know she was adopted until she was 85 years old. The news came as a shock for the woman and her children, but that fueled ambition to find her biological family members.

    "I was all alone in the world," Law said.

    Years without luck lead to the purchase of an ancestry DNA kit so she could learn more about her heritage. After accessing the DNA account online, Law's granddaughter Tonya Tyler began to email those who were listed as cousins for her grandmother.

    After not finding much luck with the emails, DNA genealogist Barbara Rae-Venter got involved to help the family. Within just 10 days, she figured who Law's birth parents were.

    "The names were slightly changed on the birth certificate, so without DNA, we wouldn't have been able to find them," Tyler said.

    To Law's surprise, she learned that her parents met the year she was born but parted ways to attend school. They changed their names on her birth certificate to ensure privacy after placing Law in adoption.

    Her birth parents later married in 1922 and they had two more children. Those children, who were Law's biological brother and sister, have since died but they both had their own children who were excited to learn they have an aunt they did not know about.

    "There were lots of tears, lots of laughing, lots of hugging," Liz Wagstorm, Law’s biological niece, said. "It's been a really good experience."

    Law, who is a mother of four, had her family extended by four newly-discovered nieces.

    "I saw the pictures and she looks so much like my mom, who died in March," Law’s biological niece Connie Vielmetti said. "I was just overjoyed that she found us."

    The Ontario resident said the discovery and meeting came just in time for a memorable holiday experience.

    "It's a very early Christmas present – a whole new family," Law said.