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Lafayette woman meets daughter after being separated for 70 years

Posted: 11:09 PM, May 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-12 00:23:23-04

Wanda LeBlanc and her family received DNA kits for Christmas. Their plan was to find out their heritage and have a dinner party with dishes from their culture. The result of the kit brought much more.

LeBlanc noticed a name under relatives she didn’t recognize. She clicked on Lynne Wray’s name, and the profile read: “I am adopted, and I have never met my birth family.” LeBlanc reached out to Wray immediately. “I just emailed her right away. I had to know who she was,” said LeBlanc.

LeBlanc found out 70-year-old Wray is her aunt.

Wray was adopted in 1948. She and her mother, 90-year-old Elizabeth Pullen, never thought they would meet in person.

Until this last month.

Wray stayed in touch with LeBlanc. Then, one day, Wray received a phone call that she’d never forget. “I got a phone call from my mother, and she said, ‘I’m your mother, and you’re my daughter.”

Within one month, Wray flew from North Carolina to Lafayette. On Monday, the pair met in a park to have a “first look.” The moment was photographed by LeBlanc.

Wanda Gale captured the moment the mother and daughter saw each other for the first time.
(Courtesy of Wanda Gale Photography Co.)

“I thought we were never going to turn around,” said Wray.

Pullen added, “I didn’t either, and I was standing there, jumping up and down, saying, ‘I’m going to turn around,’ and then one of Pullen’s other daughters said, ‘Wait, Mom. Just wait.'”

Wray had been hoping to meet her birth family her entire life but used the kit four years ago to find out her medical history. “I got so much more than what I was looking for,” said Wray.

Since the meeting last Monday, Pullen said, “We have been partying and talking and just constantly talking.”