20 years ago, a West Virginia woman named Estelitta Murg gave birth to little girl. Estelitta, who goes by Leah, already had two daughters and was going through a tough divorce. She didn’t think she was in a state to properly take care of a 3rd child.
“She wanted [her baby] to have a better life,” said Hope, Leah’s sister, of the choice. “She struggled with it; these are not easy decisions, but she wanted what was best for her daughter.
Last month, a 20-year-old woman in Florida named Natalie Rodgers reached out to Leah. She had tracked her down on Facebook in order to share an important message: “I think I’m your daughter.”
Over the next few weeks, Leah and her long-lost daughter talked on the phone and sent photos back and forth, bonding despite the years apart and despite the distance.
Natalie also connected with her biological brother, Zian, who suggested she come visit Leah on her 42nd birthday. The whole family secretly coordinated behind Leah’s back to plan the surprise.
Hope recalls how Leah kept asking “Why is everyone making a big deal about this dinner?” But when Natalie walked through the door, Leah immediately burst into tears. Natalie’s birth mother stood by in support as Natalie and Leah shared their first embrace.
“I knew one day she would be able to see her daughter,” said Hope. “They didn’t skip a beat. Natalie fit right in, like she should have been there her whole life.”
Besides her presence, Natalie also gifted Leah with a scrapbook of her life. The surprise meant the world to Leah.
“It was like all of her children were there; she feels whole again,” Hope said. “It’s surreal; it’s not something you can prepare yourself for. It was such an emotional moment.”
Watch the emotional reunion below and share!