mother and son embracing

Pregnant Teen Chose Adoption – 33 Years Later, She Reunites with Her Son

For many women, giving a baby up for adoption is not an easy decision. For this woman, who became pregnant at only 18 years old, it was gut-wrenching. She knew, however, that it would be the best decision for her baby. Thirty-three years later she finally reunited with her now-adult son. This is their heartwarming story.

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Mom Finally Meets Son She Gave Up For Adoption 33 Years Earlier

When Melanie Pressley became pregnant at just 18 years old, she had some hard decisions to make. She wanted to keep the baby, but her boyfriend at the time wanted her to terminate the pregnancy. He told her that if she kept the child, he would not be taking an active role as the father. Heartbroken, the young woman knew that her financial situation was not enough to care for a baby. She also desperately wanted the child to have two loving parents, not just one. With that, she decided to instead give the child up for adoption. (1)

She gave birth to her son on June 17, 1988. She did not name him because she wanted his adoptive parents to have the opportunity to do so. Though it wasn’t technically allowed, she was able to hold her tiny baby boy for just a few moments. Her sister took a photo of the pair, which is the only connection she had to her son for the next three decades. (2)

Since that day, Pressley went on to be happily married and have three other children. She has never forgotten her first son, and she thinks about him often. This is especially so on the 17th of June.

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“There was still always a little bit of that sadness in me on that day. And that’s basically the easiest way to describe it,” she said.“You go through a mourning period and yet live the rest of your life mourning,”

Read: Father who never stopped searching for abducted son reunited after 24 years

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Her Son

Her son, named Greg Vossler, went on to live a happy life with his new family. Though at first, they didn’t live too far away, when Greg was seven years old the family moved to Virginia. His parents finally told him that he was adopted around the age of nine or ten. (3)

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“Maybe nine or 10 or somewhere around that age range, they shared with me the story that I was adopted and that the woman who gave me up for adoption thought I could have a better life elsewhere,” he recalled.

Melanie Pressley holding her son Greg Vossler in 1988.
Melanie Pressley holding her son Greg Vossler in 1988. Image Credit: Lee Ann Dewey

Greg explained that he wasn’t immediately curious about who his birth parents were. He had a happy life with a loving family, after all. At some point, he found descriptions of his birth parents, but there were no names or any other information on them. He explained that he would often whip out a joke about not having a celebrity look-a-like whenever people asked him about it. Still, there was always a little bit of wonder in the back of his mind. (4)

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“The reason I named my first son Gregory was because he was my first blood relative that I knew. So I wanted to have that bond,” he said.

Read: Teen Who Spent 12 Years Homeless Graduated Top Of His Class ‘Because I Have Everything To Lose’

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23 And Me

In 2018, he finally decided to take a DNA test using the site 23andMe to learn about his genetics. He thought this would be a good idea for things such as medical history, since he didn’t know anything about his family health history. He knew, however, that the site always suggests new possible DNA relatives, so finally one day he decided to check that out, too.

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The Best Mother’s Day Gift

Meanwhile, Melanie’s daughter Rachel had been searching for something that might connect her mother to her long-lost son. She knew that her mom had always wanted to know him. Rachel gifted her mother the 23-and-me DNA test under the guise of learning more about her genetics for health reasons, as well. Melanie’s mom had died of lung cancer despite not being a smoker or drinker, so Rachel said Melanie should check for any red-flag genes. Within just a few days, the site matched Greg and Melanie as potential relatives.

As soon as Melanie realized that it was an option on the website, she sent Greg a message. She asked him how old he was and what his birthday was. When he confirmed that his birthday was June 17, she then told him the truth: That she believed she was his birth mother.

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The Big Reunion

They began emailing each other and then switched to text messages. They finally met in June 2021 – 33 years after they were initially separated. Greg and his family drove to Ohio to meet Melanie and her family. Their reunion was nothing short of emotional.

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Greg Vossler and Melanie Pressley in June 2021
Greg Vossler (left) and Melanie Pressley (right) in June 2021. Image Credit: Chelsea Vossler

“Everyone’s emotional, everyone’s shaking hands or hugging. And, you know, ‘Hey, I’m your half brother, your half sister.’ And her oldest sister, who was instrumental in allowing Melanie to have that first picture, came up and grabbed my face. The first time in 33 years that she’s seen me,” Greg said. “It’s an amazing feeling. And it just goes to show that there’s always room for families to grow and always room for more love within each other.”

Melanie is incredibly proud of her son and still knows she made the right choice all those years ago. The Vossler family has raised him to be an incredible man – polite, kind, and caring. The pair are very happy to be reunited and for Greg to know his blood relatives. The plan was next for Melanie to go to Virginia and meet Greg’s adoptive parents and the rest of his family, too.

“Life has a funny way of giving you what you need and not necessarily what you want. Sometimes those wants and needs do match up, but sometimes you don’t realize what you actually need until the future,” Greg explained. “Melanie’s family coming into my life at this point, has been a blessing. It’s kind of re-ignited some passions and excitement.”

“After finding him, I felt like my heart was just whole again,” said Melanie. “Becoming older, you kind of become a little wiser, but there is no shame in giving somebody up for adoption. There are loving couples out there that cannot have children that would love to raise a child.”

Keep Reading: Mother and child reunion: They had looked for each other for decades. A DNA test reconnected them

Sources

  1. Wadsworth woman finds son she put up for adoption 33 years ago through 23andMe.” News5 Cleveland. Jade Jarvis. August 12, 2021.
  2. Woman finds son she gave up for adoption 33 years ago thanks to DNA test.” Fox News. Cortney Moore. September 8, 2021.
  3. Ohio woman finds son she placed for adoption 33 years ago through genealogy website.” Kiro7. Jared Leone. August 13, 2021.
  4. Woman finds son she gave up for adoption 33 years ago thanks to DNA test.” NY Post.Cortney Moore. September 9, 2021.
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.
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