Nancy Unlocks Her Mother’s Past Through MyHeritage DNA

Nancy Unlocks Her Mother’s Past Through MyHeritage DNA

At age 13, Nancy Bonno from La Verne, CA, found out that her mother was adopted. Nancy overheard her mother, Kathy, and her grandmother discussing Kathy’s birth certificate. When Nancy asked her mom, “Are you adopted?” her mom responded, “Yes, I am adopted, but Nancy, you ask too many questions.” Despite her curiosity, Nancy understood it was best not to bring up the subject again.

Finally, at age 21, Nancy worked up the courage to ask Kathy about her biological parents. Kathy said that she didn’t know much, but that she was now eager to find her biological family. Together they were able to piece together some of the story:

Nancy explained, “My mom’s birth mother had my mom, disappeared, then reappeared to drop her off at the birth father’s house, and was never seen again. In the end, my mom was raised by neither birth parent and ended up being given up for adoption.”

In 2018, Kathy passed away without ever having met her biological parents.

Nancy decided that she still wanted to continue the search for Kathy’s biological parents in honor of her mother’s memory. She knew it was what her mother had wanted and Nancy felt it was important to close this chapter for her mother.

After watching a 20/20 episode that featured a family reunion based on a DNA test, Nancy decided that it was time for her to try to find her missing family by taking a DNA test herself. Nancy took several DNA tests and uploaded them to every free site she could find, including MyHeritage.

Unbeknownst to Nancy, Judy Cruz, Nancy’s aunt, had taken a MyHeritage DNA test.

“A friend of mine went on MyHeritage and said, ‘You know, it’s unbelievable! You can find family that you didn’t even know that you had.’” Judy said.

Judy was thrilled to get her results just a few weeks after sending in her DNA sample. Along with her ethnicity results, she got a DNA Match with Nancy — they have 870.8 cM of shared DNA.

Nancy recalls getting the email from MyHeritage about the DNA match with Judy. “I saw her picture and said to myself, ‘Wow, she looks like my mom!’”

Judy and Nancy spoke on the phone that same evening. They slowly filled in the missing pieces and realized that Judy was Kathy’s sister and Nancy’s aunt. Both were absolutely delighted to finally discover missing family!

They decided to meet in person at Judy’s birthday party so that Nancy could meet all the extended relatives.

Watch their emotional reunion here:

“I bought my kit, I sent in my DNA, and the rest is history! I have never done this before. I am so glad I did — LOOK. We found each other and I am so happy,” Nancy said.

Judy explained that her sister, Kathy’s mom, continued to celebrate Kathy’s birthday and mentioned her often. Although Kathy’s mom had recently passed away, it was comforting to Nancy to learn that her grandmother had cherished and loved Kathy throughout her life. Here is a picture of Kathy alongside her biological parents:

Nancy’s mother and her biological parents

Nancy’s mother and her biological parents

Nancy and her aunt Judy are thrilled to have the opportunity to connect and complete the broken circle in tribute to Kathy.