After Bobbi Gambrell was placed for adoption as a young kid, her daughter Mary Butler was able to bring her back together with three of her siblings she had lost contact with for 65 years.
“Family is important. It gives you a sense of belonging,” Butler said to Good Morning America. “It gives you a sense of identity.” Since she started raising her own family, this has become of even greater significance for her.
Butler looked for her ancestry on the internet two years ago. She explained that she made that decision given that, as her mother was adopted, she became curious about her ethnicity. So in the summer of 2021, she placed an order for a DNA test on MyHertiage.com.
Initially, no significant matches were found until she received a phone call from Randolph Mitchell, who claimed to be her uncle. He confirmed that he was one of her mother’s thirteen brothers and informed her about the DNA matches she had obtained on her MyHeritage account. He went on to say that he has tracked down three of her sisters so far, with her mother being the fourth.
Mitchell then shared photos of himself and his daughter, along with his birth certificate, that mentioned Gambrell’s parents.
Her mother, Gambrell, was speechless during a video phone chat with Mitchell, the baby brother she had never met, as she struggled to process the equally sad news.
“I can’t right now, baby,” she says in the clip, tears streaming down her face. “It’s just too much.”
Earlier this year, Butler once again got a call from Raymond Tate, an uncle she never knew existed. “I answered it, and he’s like, ‘Um, I know you don’t know who I am, but I found you on MyHeritage; we’re matching, and I’m your mom’s brother,” Butler recalled to ABC Action News.
Tate, Gambrell, Rodger, and other siblings were separated in the 1960s, according to the family. A few of them were placed in the foster care system and became disconnected.
Tate had no idea he had any sisters at all before that. “You know, I’ve been looking for many, many years for my siblings and my family. And this is a dream come true,” he expressed.
Gambrell, Mitchell, and their older sister Lois, 77, reunited in Florida earlier this month with some of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.