Mother’s Day Miracle Story: Mother-Daughter Reunited After 77 Years

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | May 12, 2014 4:39 PM EST

A mother reunited with her daughter eight decades after she had left her for adoption. Minka Disbrow met her daughter Ruth Lee after 77 years and nothing could have made a better a Mother's Day story.

Disbrow got pregnant after she had been raped by a stranger when she was 16. It was 1928 when the stranger grabbed her in the woods close to her house in South Dakota. She had to abide by her family's wish and she handed her daughter over for adoption. She named her daughter "Betty Jane" before she had to give her away for adoption. She could never forget her daughter even after that. She kept on writing several letters to the House of Mercy adoption agency as she requested for news. The only thing that was left to her was a photograph of her daughter captioned, "Sweetest little girl in the world - Betty J."

The daughter was renamed as Ruth. She, raised by a Lutheran pastor and his wife, eventually had a happy childhood as she never thought of searching for her real mother. She had a family and five children, one of which went on to become a NASA astronaut. But it was when she suffered from several health problems at 77 that her children requested her to know about her genetic history.

When Lee looked for her mother, she was surprised to find a package of over 60 handwritten letters. She found her mother on the phonebook the moment she searched for it. The mother and the daughter met with each other for the first time in 77 years. The 102-year-old mother has now become friends with her daughter.

Lee's daughter, Cathy LaGrow, wrote a book on the reunion. The book called "The Waiting" said the mother-daughter relation between the two has been replaced by a sisterly camaraderie. They have even started dressing alike, it added.

The story was originally published in the New York Times.

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