Dennis and Karen were high school sweethearts in 1959. At the ages of 17 and 15 respectively, Karen got pregnant.
Because of Karen’s age and the societal taboos of the time, the couple’s parents forced them to place their baby girl up for adoption. Instead of pursuing her dream of going to college and earning a degree, Karen was sent to a “home for unwed mothers” where she delivered the baby, then watched the nurses take her away. Dennis was still in love with Karen and asked her father if he could marry her, but he said no.
Though Dennis joined the military and Karen went off to college, the pair continued dating in their twenties when Dennis was discharged. Dennis proposed but Karen’s father wouldn’t have it. In fact, he threatened to cease paying for her college tuition if she married Dennis.
The couple felt they had no choice but to cut ties. They eventually married other people and the decades passed by.
But there came a day when Dennis was divorced and Karen was a widower. One evening, Dennis was playing a game at a social gathering when he was asked a question: If you could spend one hour with anyone in the world, who would it be? Out of all people, Dennis said Karen’s name. He took it as a sign.
The next day, Dennis found Karen’s contact information online. He took a big chance and called her, not knowing her circumstances — and the romantic spark was still there.
After 56 years, Dennis and Karen finally wed in January 2015. But their journey was just beginning… because they decided to find the daughter they were forced to give up as teenagers.
No one, however, expected what was about to unfold once the search began.
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