Tyler woman finds birth family after 50 years
TYLER, Texas — The coronavirus pandemic is causing isolation for many. It’s one of the reasons family is so important now more than ever.
A Tyler woman found that to be true while she searched for her biological family after 50 years of separation.
“I’m, I’m blessed and I knew I was blessed,” Bonnie Beall said.
Beall says she grew up pretty content. “I never really had any desire to look for parents because I had such great parents growing up. I couldn’t have asked for better parents,” she said.
Beall found a home with her adoptive parents at 4-years-old.
Throughout the years, Beall knew something was always missing – her biological parents.
“When my mother passed away, about 12 years ago, I got some letters that were written between my mother and foster parents,” she said. “In there, my last name was revealed. So when I found the last name, I got very curious and so I just went out and started looking.”
52 years later, she met her biological family.
“I did 23 & Me, and I sent off my DNA. I got my results back, and in it are listed two young ladies and there was a cousin, which I was related to by 14 %,” she said. “I actually contacted all three. He’s the only one that responded. I told him what information I had thought I had found. He said, ‘yes, we were related,'”
Her biological father died in 2009. She says he was a Korean War vet, received the Bronze Star of Valor and Purple Heart Medal. Her biological mother is still alive and lives in Indiana in a nursing home. It took ten years after finding her mother, to meet her.
“They told me she has dementia. But, I wanted to try,” Beall said. “They have a plexiglass door that they put in a doorway, so that I’m on one side and she’s on the other. I [told her] I’m Bonnie Lou, I’m your daughter and her eyes got really big. And then she said, ‘you’re home.’ And that was very hard.”
Though COVID-19 has stricken many with death and uncertainty, the pandemic brought Beall hope.
“I was terrified that she would die before I had the opportunity to meet her,” She said.
Beall says her biological mother’s husband died the first week of June due to COVID-19. She says now was the best time to make her introduction.
“It was still very rewarding to meet her and know that I got to see you before anything else might happen to her or to me,” she said. “In that regard, it was worth it.”
Beall not only found her biological mother, but her family.
“I think family next to God is the most important thing there is,” she said.