‘You look like me’: Mother meets daughter after 55 years apart

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Kansas woman and her daughter started a new chapter Saturday.

Separated 55 years ago, the two say they never thought they would meet again. But thanks to family, their wish to meet came true.

The emotional meeting happened in Hotel at Old Town Saturday afternoon. The duo tells us although time has passed, its the start of a beautiful relationship.

It’s a moment this pair says, cannot be put into words.

“You look like me,” said Teresa Miller, Rochester New York.

55 years ago, Lennie Castaneda gave birth to her daughter, Teresa Miller. It was the first and last time she would see her.

“I made the decision because I felt as a single mother back in that particular era, I could not have done for her what an adoptive parent could do,” said Lennie Castaneda, Wichita.

The two say they would think about each other but never reached out for fear of the unknown.

“She’s always been in my heart, but I never wanted to rock the boat,” said Castaneda.

And it wasn’t until Teresa did a 23andMe DNA test that she would find her mother.

“Says that you share 28 percent DNA with Michelle and mom didn’t have any idea what that meant, and the girl said, well I don’t mean to freak you out, but my half sister and I share 24 percent DNA,” said Elisa Heckathorn, Rochester NY.

Michelle, being Lennie’s other daughter, who also did the test to learn more about her ancestry. Teresa’s daughter sent a message to Michelle and the rest is history.

“We just kind of moved toward making this day happen,” said Michelle Bradbury, Scarborough, Maine.

“Oh my god, I can’t believe it’s really, real,” said Miller.

A day this new family will never forget.

“If you don’t believe in miracles we’re looking at each other right here, 55 years, it is a miracle, yeah,” said the women.

The two say they are looking forward to catching up after all these years. This weekend, Teresa will meet more family here in Kansas.



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Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.