Teenage Lovers Reunite After 51 Years Apart

Mary Kelligar was just 16 years old when she met the love of her life, 18-year old Jimmy Hayes in the work cafeteria. After five years together, a misunderstanding led Mary and Jimmy to go their separate ways. Both of them seemingly moved on and lost touch. Each went on to marry other people and raised their own families. Although he moved on, there was something about Mary that Jimmy couldn’t let go.

Mary and Jimmy
Mary and Jimmy Source: Pinterest

Jimmy made a mistake that significantly impacted his life and future. Mary stayed in his heart over 50 years after they broke up. She was such a big part of his life, and nobody made him feel the way she did. After Jimmy became a widow, he started spending more time in his Irish homeland. That’s when fate stepped in and brought the love birds back together. This is Mary and Jimmy’s beautiful love story and how they were destined to be together.

Young Love

Okay, so Jimmy Hayes and Mary Lloyd got married back when they were teenagers. He always held on to the poems and love letters she gave him, including the first note she ever gave him- her scribbled phone number she wrote for him after he asked her out for the first time.

A photograph of the handwritten letters between Mary and Jimmy.
The handwritten letter between Mary and Jimmy. Source: Pinterest

Ironically, a few years ago, Jimmy was eating a local bar when his cousin gave him a piece of paper with another phone number on it. To his surprise, the name on it was also Mary; it was her. What are the chances? As it turns out, she was also a widow.

She Was Widowed too

Her son Andrew played a role in the reunion. He was a teacher and found out that one of his colleagues were related to some people in Co Cork, Jimmy’s hometown. Andrew asked them if they can try and track down a Jimmy Hayes. Obviously, his mother told him about her high school sweetheart.

A mother and son playing at the side of an apartment
Photo by Vyntage Visuals / Shutterstock

Andrew wanted to make his mom happy, and he knew that she often thought about her first love. It was 51 years after they broke up. This meant the couple haven’t spoken to each other for half a century! But once Jimmy and Mary saw one another, they fell in love all over again.

Falling In Love Again

At 75 years old, Jimmy lived in Oxford and revealed, “My prayers have been answered. I couldn’t believe it when I was handed that note. But it was our destiny to meet again. We are back in love… and it’s lovely.” I guess you can’t escape your fate.

A senior couple sitting by the lake in the summer during the sunset
Photo by Ruslan Huzau / Shutterstock

Mary, on the other hand, was living in Liverpool and was a 72-year-old grandmother. She admitted, “It’s just amazing. All that time, Jimmy was wondering about me, I was thinking about him too.” They both led different lives for 51 years, but still, they managed to find a way back to each other.

Met at Work in 1957

Mary went on to say, “Every year on his birthday, February 14th, I thought about my lost Valentine. Now I’ve found him, and I can’t believe we have another chance at this time in our lives.” Some souls are just meant to be together. It didn’t work out for a while, but they remained in one another’s heart.

Men standing in the food line
Photo by Everett Collection / Shutterstock

This love story started at Cork oil refinery, way back in 1957. Jimmy Hayes worked as a welder and noticed Mary right away. She was a beautiful brunette with blue eyes working at the cash register in the cafeteria. He couldn’t resist.

They Had the Hots for Each Other

Jimmy recalled: “When the siren went off to announce lunch, I’d race to the canteen hoping for a glimpse of Mary. The other lads would tease me, saying she took a shine to me because she always gave me an extra apple.” His friends were right; Mary did indeed have a crush on Jimmy too.

An old black and white photograph of a young couple in a passionate embrace
Photo by Everett Collection / Shutterstock

She was also attracted to him and would feel butterflies whenever Jimmy was around. Mary explained, “I was very shy and would blush when I served Jimmy, but I thought he was handsome and very easy to get on with.” Most of us can relate to the excitement of teenage love.

Jimmy Asked Mary Out on a Date

Eventually, Jimmy got the guts to ask Mary out. The pair went for a nice walk on the East Ferry beach, which wasn’t too far from where they worked. “That was our first date – an afternoon stroll to the sands. We began courting and went to dances and the cinema. We shared kisses and held hands. It was all very innocent then – and we fell in love.”

A couple in a restaurant looking at each other and sharing a milkshake with two straws
Photo by Everett Collection / Shutterstock

“We loved our walks on the beach. We’d look at the boats out at sea and wonder where they were bound, talk about the future and where it might take us.” There love story started off great, but sadly, teenage romances don’t usually last forever.

I Decided We’re Engaged

Jimmy, along with many other young Irish men, needed to leave home and find a job in England. He moved to Oxford in 1959, but never forgot about Mary. He wrote her love letters every week and called her when he had the chance (phone calls weren’t as cheap or accessible back then). He really put into making things work.

A couple sharing a noodle in a restaurant
Photo by Everett Collection / Shutterstock

Long-distance relationships don’t always work out, but in 1962, Mary moved to Liverpool. Her aunt was willing to give her a job at her hotel, and she could spend time with Jimmy. After one visit, Jimmy told his girlfriend, “Consider yourself engaged.”

Long-Distance is Never Easy

What? He didn’t really ask her; he basically just told her. Jimmy admits, “I was a bit full of myself back then. I wanted her to know she was my girl, and I saw our future together. I planned to propose properly once I’d bought a ring.” At least we know he had pure intentions.

Jimmy and Mary
Mary and Jimmy. Source: Pinterest

However, the distance was also affecting Jimmy. He went on to say, “It was hard having a long-distance relationship. If we had a tiff, it always seemed bigger than it should have been.” As someone who has been in a long-distance relationship. I completely understand Jimmy.

Jimmy’s Jealousy

Jimmy just really didn’t want to lose her. He went on to say: “On my next visit I saw a guy in the hotel paying her a lot of attention. I was jealous and bid her a frosty goodbye. Now I realize she was just doing her job- talking with a customer. But I got in a huff.”

A portrait of a young couple in 1950
Photo by cate_89 / Shutterstock

Unfortunately, jealously got the best of Jimmy, and Mary didn’t want to deal with it. Jealously can cause tension in many relationships and lead to fights. What Jimmy didn’t expect was for this argument to take a fateful turn. He gave Mary a call the next day.

Not Just Another Fight

Mary explained exactly how that phone call conversation went. “He rang me the next day and said, ‘Don’t you want me anymore?’ I was annoyed, so I cut my nose off to spite my face and said, ‘No.’ But I didn’t mean it, and I never thought it would help finish us.”

Portrait of a woman on the phone looking upset
Photo by Everett Collection / Shutterstock

Jealousy is a very ugly emotion and combined with long-distance, it can really put a strain on any relationship. But sadly neither one of them really saw this coming. They didn’t expect it and certainly didn’t want it. The pair was heart-broken, but they didn’t think there was anything left to do.

Maybe We’ll Get Back Together…

Jimmy admitted that he was devastated, but he had no choice but to move on with his life. He thought maybe going out with someone else might help. He said: “I dated a girl, but it wasn’t the same so I sent Mary a letter saying, ‘I’ve tried to forget you but I can’t.’”

A vintage photograph of young people partying and drinking alcohol together
Photo by Elzbieta Sekowska / Shutterstock

“I thought when we were back in Cork for Christmas, we’d get back together. I went to our favorite dance hall and spotted Mary immediately… walking off the floor with a fella. So I walked out. I got the wrong end of the stick. I gave up too easily.”

Accepting That It’s Really Over

I can imagine Jimmy’s let down. I mean, he was really hoping to make up with this girl and thought they would get back together, but he spotted her with another guy. What Jimmy didn’t know was that this was just one of Mary’s friends. She was still very much in love with Jimmy.

A photograph of people dancing around a bar together
Photo by Everett Collection / Shutterstock

Mary admitted, “I was just dancing with a man I knew. I wasn’t dating him. I was really hoping Jimmy would be there, but I never saw him that night.” This story could have had a different ending if Jimmy didn’t jump to the wrong conclusions.

50 Years of Moving On

After that night, Jimmy thought Mary moved on, and he thought it was time for him to do the same thing. They both went on different paths and went on to lead separate lives. In 1967, Jimmy got married and started a family. He had three kids before getting divorced in 1994.

A photograph of a happy bride and groom covering their heads to block the rice that was thrown at them while smiling
Photo by AnnaKostyuk / Shutterstock

Jimmy married again in 2001, but sadly, just four months after the wedding, his new wife passed away. Meanwhile, Mary got married in 1964. She had a happy life and five beautiful children, but unfortunately, in 2009, her husband also died. The couple spent decades married to each other.

Mary Told Her Children About Jimmy

Mary was always really open and honest about her life with her family. She wasn’t shy about her past, and her family knew she had a previous first love. Mary thought about him often and wanted to share what’s in her heart with the people she cares most about- her family.

Mary and Jimmy
Mary and Jimmy. Source: Pinterest

Mary explained, “My children knew I had a first love before their dad. I thought about Jimmy a lot. When I look back over the years, I realize the embers of my love for him never stopped burning. I just boxed them away.” Even though she moved on, her love for Jimmy was lingering on her heart.

Mary’s Memory was Stuck to Jimmy’s Heart

It wasn’t too different on Jimmy’s end. He was haunted by his memories with Mary and, ‘what could have been?’ Even though they were so young, their love was real. Everyone fights, but an argument shouldn’t have ended this romantic bond. He thought about her the entire time they were apart.

Photograph of a woman at the beautician getting her hair curled
Photo by Everett Collection / Shutterstock

Jimmy says, “I always made a point of Visiting our beach at East Ferry, walking along, wondering where she was.” He went on to say, “Many times, I walked up to the lane to her old home. I asked the folk who lived there if they knew her, but they didn’t.”

What a Small World

Luckily, fate (or Andrew) brought these two back into each other’s lives. Jimmy revealed, “One night in 2013, I was feeling a bit lonely, and as I said my prayers, I asked God, ‘I am old now. Please send me a companion for these years of my life, someone like Mary.” It looked like God listened.

A woman writing a handwritten letter
Photo by LivDeco / Shutterstock

Just six weeks letter, Jimmy got that note in the bar. Mary explained how her son intervened, “My son Andrew was chatting with a colleague who had relations in Mitchelstown. He knew about Jimmy, wondered if he was still alive, so he asked her to find out.”

Is it Really You?!?!

She went on to say, “It turned out her relative did know Jimmy and said he went home every year. I was shocked and delighted and agreed for him to text the lady my contact details. Two weeks later, Jimmy built up the courage to give Mary a call. He was so nervous, but Mary didn’t pick up.

Mary and Jimmy
Mary and Jimmy. Source: Pinterest

She wasn’t in at the time. Jimmy said he “left a message and my phone number and sat quietly for an hour or so. Then the phone rang. I was so excited! Mary’s voice came on, saying ‘Jimmy, is that you?’ and I said ‘yes.’ ‘Is it really you?’ she said, and I said, ‘Yes, it is.’ But she had to ask a third time before she believed it.”

It’s Was Like they weren’t Separated for Half a Century

Jimmy once again reassured her. He said, “IT IS, Mary… now, how are you doing?” After not speaking for over five decades, Mary and Jimmy stayed on the phone, laughing and chatting for about two hours. It was like all those years that they were apart, melted away.

Mary and Jimmy today
Mary and Jimmy. Source: Flickr

For the next three weeks, the pair called each other every single night. Finally, Jimmy traveled to Liverpool to see his high school sweetheart. He said, “We recognized each other right away. It was a shock for both of us. We were young when we last saw each other, and now we are old.”

Feeling Young and in Love Again

They gave each other a friendly kiss on the cheek and went out for lunch. They spoke about their good times together, and their unfortunate misunderstandings. Jimmy admitted, “I felt a right idiot when Mary told me the truth, but we were young and headstrong.”

Jimmy and Mary today
Mary and Jimmy. Source: Flickr

Mary is just happy to be around him now. “I feel so young again now… I’m so at ease with him.” The couple visited one another’s home and met each other’s families. Mary explains why they chose to take it slow. “We have taken in steady, respectful to our late spouses and children.”

Happily Ever After

The couple fell in love again, and after a while, they bought a house together in the exact place where they fell in love. They were ready to move back. Jimmy said, “It’s near East Ferry Beach. That’s where it started, and that’s where we will finish our days together.” Wow! You can really find love at any age. If the universe wants you to be with someone, it will happen. Now, with social media, it’s easier to track people down, but back then, Mary and Jimmy’s connection ended when they broke up.

Jimmy and Mary today
Mary and Jimmy. Source: Flickr

Thankfully, they found each other and can live out the rest of their days happy and in love. Believe it or not, Jimmy and Mary are not the only couple who reunited after being apart for decades. Dennis and Karen also had a teenage romance that resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. After giving up the baby, the couple split up and led separate lives. Years later, Dennis was curious bout Karen and looked her up; feelings immediately returned, and the couple reunited. Together, they tracked down the baby they gave up years before. Here is their story.

Do you remember the passion you had when you fell in love in high school? Teenagers feel love so strongly and deeply. Unfortunately, they usually break up. But many high school relationships beat the odds. Well, this high-school romance played out a little differently. When Karen got pregnant in high school, her boyfriend Dennis wanted to make their family work. Unfortunately, the circumstances forced them to give their baby up for adoption.

Dennis Vinar and Karen Lehmann.
Source: Facebook

After the difficulty of giving up their daughter, Dennis and Karen separated. Despite their love for each other, life got in the way. The funny thing about life is that it can’t stop fate. Everything works out the way it’s supposed to in the end. Decades after giving up their child, and leading separate lives, Karen and Dennis found their way back to each other. It didn’t take them long to discover what happened to their daughter.

A Strange Love Story

Love can be found in all sorts of places all around the world, especially if you’re a teenager filled with raging hormones. When you are young and less guarded, it’s easier to fall in love fast and hard. Well, things weren’t much different back in 1958. In every generation, era, or decade, young teens enjoy falling head of over heels.

Dennis Vinar and Karen Lehmann.
Source: Pinterest

Most of the time, high school relationships don’t last, but the memories last forever. It takes you back to a simpler time of innocent love. Dennis Vinar and Karen Lehmann were high school sweethearts from Browntown, Minnesota. Karen and Dennis were very different from one another but still fell in love with each other. You know what they say: opposites attract.

He Was a Football Star

Back in high school, Dennis was a classic American teenager with his life ahead of him. As the star of his football team, he had big dreams to follow. Although a childhood illness held him back a few years, Dennis was determined to work hard until he reaches his goals. His dad worked in St. Paul as a Buick salesman, and Dennis would often help him out.

Dennis Vinar.
Source: Pinterest

Growing up, Dennis was usually preoccupied with sports. By the time he started high school, he had grown up into a handsome man. As an attractive young teen, many of the ladies in his class developed a little crush on Dennis. Plus, he was a football star, which only added to his appeal.

She Was Sweet and Quiet

Karen, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. She was more introverted, shy, and quiet. She was living in a small town where nothing was ever really going on. Instead of trying to be popular, Karen directed all her focus on her education. The one thing these two did have in common was their incredible work ethic.

Karen Lehmann.
Source: YouTube

Both Karen and Dennis were motivated to work hard for what they wanted, despite wanting different things. While Dennis put all his efforts in sports, Karen invested her time playing and practicing the clarinet. In fact, she got so good that she was a star player in a band before even starting college. Well, it didn’t take for these two talented stars to fall in love.

True Love

Okay, this is where things start to get interesting. The first time they met in 1958, Karen was 13. At the time, Dennis was 15, and he was really attracted to Karen. At first, he tried not to pay attention to it. When 1960 came along, the two of them have already reached their dreams. Karen was a wonderful musician, and Dennis was known as a star football player.

Young couple walking in love.
Photo by Rock and Wasp / Shutterstock

When Dennis asked Karen if he could take her to prom, things started moving faster. She said yes, and the night was magical, and they seemed perfect together! During an interview about the story, Karen said, “all the girls were jealous.” Their love story seems like it came out of a high school rom-com.

Getting Serious

Even though the two couldn’t be more different, Dennis and Karen couldn’t get enough of each other. Sometimes, Dennis would get to football practice late because he would walk his girlfriend home from school. Karen was unique and really enjoyed the attention she was getting from the star of her school’s football team.

A couple mid proposal in front of a sunset.
Source: Pinterest

They fell head-over-heels and fast. When you feel such a strong, passionate, and intimate connection with someone at such a young age, you think it will last forever. It was no different for these two. Dennis was so committed to Karen that he planned to start a life and build a home with her. Unfortunately, there was something that got in the way.

A Bump in the Road

Sadly, their lives didn’t go as planned. They came across a difficult obstacle that nobody saw coming. When she was just 15 years old, Karen found out she was pregnant, and obviously, the father was Dennis. Neither of them were prepared for this news and didn’t know what to do. They were way too young to become parents.

Karen’s parents.
Source: Facebook

Not wanting his girlfriend to feel abandoned or alone, Dennis decided to propose. As you can imagine, Karen’s parents weren’t happy about their daughter getting married at such a young age. Since she wasn’t even 18, her parents had the final decision about this marriage. Since they were clearly against it, they sent Karen to live in a maternity home.

Hiding Away

Before the 1970s, Maternity homes were a thing, but now there are very few that are still around. These facilities were intended to help mothers with financial and medical care. Since Karen was pregnant at the time, the maternity home was focusing on adoption. This was back in the day when having an illegitimate child was considered taboo in that society.

Photograph of a young mother in her back yard holding a baby.
Source: Pinterest

Because of the social norms, everyone involved felt like it was mandatory to keep this pregnancy a secret. The maternity homes of the created negative stereotypes which gives modern maternity homes a bad reputation. Thankfully, today’s maternity homes are completely different from the ones in the 1960s. Nowadays, they are geared towards the best interest of the woman and not what society thinks.

Baby Denise

Karen felt heartbroken but was forced to listen to her parents and accept their decision. Naturally, this messy situation meant that it was the end for the young couple. Karen ultimately gave birth at the maternity home. She had a girl that she named Denise after her father, Dennis. Soon after she was born, Denise was given up for adoption.

The baby.
Source: Pinterest

Dennis and Karen were both devastated by their breakup and the whole outcome of the situation. Even though her parents were clearly against Karen’s relationship with Dennis, she still managed to get in touch with him. He ended up proposing again. This was an adorable gesture, but unfortunately, nothing changed. Her parents were still against the marriage and wouldn’t allow it.

Long Distance

Karen’s parents were clear about how they felt about their daughter’s relationship. However, this wasn’t the only thing standing in the way. Denis got recruited into the army (which Karen’s parents were probably happy about), and Karen started studying at The University of Minnesota. They knew that they would be separated for a long time and worried that distance would ruin their relationship.

Denis, a military soldier.
Source: Facebook

Dennis remained just as committed as he always was during challenging times. He even made sure to send his girlfriend letters so that she would know he’s thinking about her. Sadly, Karen’s parents hid the letters from her, so she never got the opportunity to write back. Eventually, Karen thought that Dennis moved on, and their relationship slowly fizzled.

Moving On

After everything they have been through together, Dennis and Karen were both heartbroken. However, it was time for them to move on with their lives. Dennis explained, “I went through hell to be with her, but I couldn’t. We couldn’t be together.” As time went by, they went on their separate ways and lived their separate lives.

Karen at graduation.
Source: Facebook

Karen earned a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design when she graduated from college and even got married. She had children and started her own family. Dennis finished his military service and also started his life. He married a different woman, and they have two children together. 50 years went by, and the high school lovers didn’t communicate ever again. They were both focused on their own lives and families.

Years Later

As decades went by, the relationship these two had as teenagers became nothing but a memory. They say that time heals all wounds, and they both moved on. However, fate stepped in from the past and made its way to the present. Somehow, Karen and Dennis were once again in the same place at the same time.

Closeup black and white photo of hands clinking glasses at the restaurant.
Photo by kryzhov / Shutterstock

In October 2014, Dennis went to a dinner party where he was playing parlor games with a few friends. One of his friends then asked him, “If your doctor gave you 60 days to live, who would you want to take out to dinner and talk to?” Dennis didn’t hesitate, and his immediate response was Karen Lehmann. He got in touch with her just a few days later.

Modern Technology

At this point, Dennis and his wife were separated. Nothing was stopping him from contacting the girl who stayed in his memory for all these years. Finally, one of his friends convinced him to open a LinkedIn account with the hopes of finding Karen. With technology and social media on the rise, Dennis was certain that he would find her.

The Linkedin logo.
Source: Linkedin

After opening the account, Dennis started exploring the website and learning all the features. At first, he looked for some of his past co-workers to freshen up his memory. He started searching people he knew, and after finding them, he decided to make a bold move. His curiosity made him type Karen Lehman in the search bar.

Finding Her!

Dennis wasn’t even sure if she had a LinkedIn account, but he was hoping she would. After searching her name, her picture popped up as the third profile. As he was looking through her page and seeing what she’s been up to, he noticed that she was working in home design and living in Monroe, Washington. He was extremely happy to see that Karen was fulfilling her dreams.

Karen Lehmanns profile on Linkedin.
Source: Linkedin

Dennis admitted that even while he was married, Karen never truly left his mind or his heart. He decided to call the girl he fell in love with as a teenager. The receptionist answered the phone and Dennis said, “Tell her an old friend from 50 years ago called. My name is Denny.” As soon as Karen got his message, she called back right away.

Talking Again

At first, Karen could barely believe she was actually talking to Dennis after all this time. However, there was a time in her life where he was the most important thing to her, so she was more than happy to speak with him and see how he is doing. She knew he was the love of her life back then, but she thought she had lost him forever.

An old house phone.
Source: Twitter

They found their way back to each other, and this time nothing could stop them. Coincidentally, Karen was single too, and the high school sweethearts started talking through email and on the phone once in a while. After spending two months talking, they decided it would be amazing to see each other in person. Maybe see if that young love and passion was still there.

Then Meeting Again

Dennis did not hesitate and decided to book a flight to Washington. He was in disbelief. It still didn’t hit him that he was on the way to meet his first love once again. Karen was just as excited to see Denis. It has been over 50 years since they were together last. They were just kids back then. She wondered if feelings would come back if they were to see each other again.

Denis and Karen.
Source: Facebook

For Dennis, the flight seemed like it lasted forever. Finally, on January 19th, 2015, Dennis landed in Washington. He was excited, nervous, and ready to see Karen after all these years. He also wondered if this reunion could lead to something more. Their love was so real back then, and if it were up to them, they would have probably gotten married.

Still In Love

Finally, this highly anticipated reunion happened. Dennis and Karen saw each other once again. They both suspected that their old love was still there, but once they looked at each other, they immediately felt it. They were still connected by the happy memories they shared. Could this be a sign that they were meant to be together? All they knew was that they didn’t want to be apart again.

Denis and Karen.
Source: Facebook

Shockingly, just two days after meeting again, they got married. They already spent 50 years apart, and they didn’t want to waste another moment. There really was no reason to prolong it. Dennis later described the wedding, “It was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.” The couple packed their stuff and went back to Minnesota.

The Baby From Long Ago

The newlyweds were living out their teenage dream and couldn’t be happier. However, there was one thing that they couldn’t forget about. There was someone who should have been part of their family. Many years ago, they created a child together that they were forced to put up for adoption. Karen and Dennis both wanted to meet their daughter, but they weren’t sure if it would be the right decision.

A baby’s hand holding his mother's hand.
Source: Pinterest

They didn’t know if contacting her right now would disrupt her life. However, Dennis truly believed in his heart that their daughter would love to meet her biological parents. Karen, on the other hand, was worried that this would be a huge shock for their daughter, and it would cause a huge change in her life.

Making a Choice

Dennis said to Karen, “I found you now, and my life will be complete if we find our daughter.” Karen was so touched by what Dennis said, and she knew it was time for them to find their child. She always loved him and truly wanted to see him happy. They started off looking up the adoption agency that Karen’s parents contacted back in the 60s.

Denis and Karen on the couch during an interview.
Source: Facebook

They asked the agency to please help them find their child. It’s been decades, so it took a while to get all the documentation together, but they didn’t stop. Finally, they did it! After 50 years, the couple managed to locate their daughter. They wondered what she looked like, what her interests were, but most importantly, they just hoped she was happy.

Their Long Lost Child

When her baby was born, Karen decided to name her Denise. But her real name is Jean Voxland. Jean is a 56-year old woman at this point. She had a family of her own and was happily married with three wonderful children. She was happy and seemed to have her life together. Jean wasn’t very far away, living in Kenyon, Minnesota.

Jean Voxland.
Source: Facebook

Jean got a letter saying that a family member wanted to reconnect, but she thought it was a scam. If her husband didn’t want to look further into it, she probably would have thrown the letter away. Once he found out the letter was, in fact, from the adoption agency, Jean was shocked. She couldn’t believe that her biological parents were looking for her.

Will She Understand?

Jean finally made the decision to call the adoption agency and schedule a meeting. At one point in her life, Jean did think about looking for her biological parents, but she never went through with it. What she didn’t expect was that they would be looking for her. I mean, they must have given her up for a reason.

The Center for changing lives Lutheran social service.
Source: Yelp

Karen and Dennis were both thrilled that their daughter agreed to meet with them. Dennis didn’t see his child since the day she was born. Finally, after all this time, they were about to reunite. Since Jean was now a mother herself, Dennis and Karen hoped she understands the difficult decision they had to make in the 60s. It was a sensitive situation, but they wanted to explain it.

A Family Reunion

In May 2016, a meeting was set up in the Lutheran Social Services offices in Saint Paul, Minnesota. There was a caseworker there who was assigned to accompany the families and supervise their reunion. Karen and Dennis were excited but super nervous about meeting their daughter. It’s been 56 years since they saw her.

Denis, Karen, and Jean on the couch being interviewed.
Source: Facebook

However, once the three of them were all together, they knew that they had nothing to worry about. For all three, this reunion was extremely emotional. Karen and Dennis finally felt like their life was complete. They couldn’t believe that they found each other and now they found their daughter! Now that the family is reunited, it was the beginning of a new chapter.

Back Together

Jean couldn’t put the feeling and emotions she had once she met her biological parents. She went through a lot in her life. She has many past and distant memories living as an adopted child. To make things sadder, she was dealing with the recent death of her adoptive mother. The reunion happened at a good time, and the three kept getting close and closer.

Denis, Karen, and Jean in front of the trees in the fall.
Source: Facebook

Now, they meet up at least once a week. In an interview, Jean said, “I feel like there’s been divine intervention here. For us to get together the way we did, everybody had to be in the place at the right time.” She forgives them and understands. She is just happy that she had the opportunity to make up for the lost time.

Merging Families

Now that Dennis and Karen finally got together, they formed a massive family. This included Dennis’s three children, Karen’s son, Jean, her husband, and their three children. Most of the time, these Brady Brunch situations cause arguments and family feuds. It happens often and can even lead to bigger issues. Well, things were different for this cheerful family.

Denis and Karen with Jean and her husband.
Source: Facebook

Reunited and being one big happy family wasn’t enough for them. They decided to start a business together and opened a company in the furniture and lighting industry. The company is called Vinar Companies, and they are all working there together. I guess mixing family and business doesn’t always cause problems. At least that was the case for this merged family.

Writing Her Feelings

After meeting her parents, Jean was happy but overwhelmed with so many emotions. I mean, this reunion was a shock to everybody. To help her cope with her feelings, Jean decided to let everything out on paper. She hoped that maybe writing it down with help her wrap her head around the situation. As she learned more about her family, she kept writing.

A handwriting with a pen.
Source: Pinterest

With time, her feelings were turning into a story. The friends of everyone involved were shocked by this unbelievable story. Andrew, Jean’s husband, has been supportive of Jean throughout this entire situation. He was so inspired by the wonderful story his wife wrote that he came up with the idea to share it with the world and get it published.

Sharing Their Story

After reading his wife’s heartfelt story, he knew that it would touch other people. He told Jean his idea, and she knew that she did have a pretty remarkable story. That’s when she decided to take all her diaries and turn them into a book. Jean convinced Karen and Dennis to be a part of her project and tell the stories from their perspective.

Photograph of their book cover.
Source: Amazon

They spoke from their heart as they explained how heartbreaking it was to be torn apart. They also expressed how incredible it was when they all managed to reunite, even though it’s been decades. It was a unique and heartwarming story. The book is called “How Did You Find Me… After All These Years: A Family Memoir.”

Love and Fame

Andrew’s prediction was right. The book was published and became a huge success. The story of Dennis and Karen took the world by storm. The couple went on a book tour all around the United States, where they can tell their story in libraries and bookstores all over America. People were stunned to read a story with so much feeling and emotion.

Karen, Denis, Jean, and her husband sitting at a booth in a restaurant.
Source: Facebook

Back when Karen and Dennis were high school kids, they never thought their life would turn out this way. They both found their way back to each other, and the outcome was truly shocking. Jean was also surprised by the sudden fame she got from the book. She said: “It’s a good story, and it is a true story.”

A Story for the Grandchildren

As you can imagine, today, this big family is even closer. They make sure to meet up for dinner each week. They still have to take a step back every once in a while to wrap their head around what their lives have become. Not only do they have an incredible story to tell, but they can also enjoy the fame from the success of their book.

Denis, Karen, Jean, and her husband on vacation.
Source: Facebook

The family keeps getting bigger. In a recent interview, Karen confirmed, “We now have five children, nine grandchildren. And five great-grandchildren.” The entire family is grateful for their opportunity to share their story, and are excited to keep telling the tale for generations to come as the family continues to grow.