Irishman tracked down by his American daughter he never knew existed
California woman finds family via Facebook after biology lesson alerted her
A woman from Sacramento, California, began tracking down her Irish father when a biology lesson in high school made her realize she was not genetically related to her parents.
Courtney Hardy, now 27, tracked down her father Emmanuel Cullen, a Belfast man.
The Fox 40 news account executive shared her story on Facebook Stories.
Hardy told the Belfast Telegraph about the illuminating high-school biology class. She said, “We were learning about dominant and recessive traits. My teacher was using eye colour as an example of how two blue-eyed parents have almost a 0% chance of having a brown-eyed child.
"That was my situation, both of my parents had blue eyes and mine are brown. I went home from school that day and talked to them about it and my parents told me I was actually adopted."
At the time Hardy was 15-years-old. She waited another seven years before she started to trace her birth parents.
At 22 she wrote to the State of California, asking for more information about her birth. She received a packet of the information they had on file including some details, the ages of her brothers and details of her birth in San Diego.
Then, she explained in her Facebook story, “I had a list of known family members that I plugged into Facebook. Almost instantly, I had found a cousin by marriage who lived in Hawaii. She was only 18 years-old, and I wrote to her explaining that I was searching for my birth family. I got a response in less than an hour. I had no idea if I was really ready for this.”
She found her mother, Wendy Moten, from San Diego and connected with her the very next day.
Moten introduced Hardy to her new family and told her that her father was Belfast-born Emmanuel Cullen.
When Cullen heard the news he said that he was “blown away”.
He said, “Her mother got in touch with me and said 'Are you sitting down, because I have a bombshell for you'.
"I thought something was wrong with my son - who is my daughter's full brother - but she said "you also have a daughter. I was going through all kinds of emotions. I was ecstatic, as I've always wanted a daughter.”
Cullen described that first time he met his daughter. He said, “It was so emotional, as soon as I saw her it was instant.
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