A woman took a DNA test on a whim and received a life-changing message. After undergoing a DNA test via 23andMe, Melanie Presley patiently waited for the results online. Eventually, she received a notification that a match had been found on the company’s system. When she read it, she couldn’t believe her eyes.
Melanie, a resident of Wadsworth, Ohio, and her husband were the proud parents of three adult children. On the surface, they appeared to be a strong family unit with many other relatives making up their clan. Yet, despite that, the mom was constantly dealing with an inner turmoil that just wouldn’t go away. In fact, it had been lingering since the summer of 1988.
During that period, Melanie was an 18-year-old living in Canton, Ohio, and she was preparing to become a mom for the first time. Sporting an ever-growing baby bump, the big moment finally arrived on June 17, 1988, at a local hospital, and she welcomed a beautiful little boy into the world.
Shortly after Melanie delivered the baby, she was pictured cradling her sleeping son at the hospital. It was a lovely shot and could have been the first of many, but the Teen Mom couldn’t look ahead to a future with her child in Ohio. Rather, she was confronting a devastating truth. Quite simply, she didn’t have the money to support him. Melanie had to make an extremely difficult decision. She knew that she couldn’t keep the baby, so the teenager turned to an adoption facility with a clear goal in mind. Speaking to local TV station News 5 Cleveland in August 2021, she said, “I wanted my son to have a mother and father.”
Thankfully, Melanie got her wish in the end. Yes, the facility was able to find a family that fit Melanie’s vision, which must have come as a relief to her. It was a closed adoption, meaning she’d have no contact with her son or any of his new relatives. Now she was left with just one keepsake to remember him by, that beautiful snapshot in her hospital room.
Mind you, Melanie went on to receive an unexpected message a short time later. As the Wandsworth resident explained in September 2021 to TV channel Fox News, “My son’s adoptive mother had written me a letter a couple of months after he was born, and she said that when he’s old enough, she’ll tell him that he was adopted.” Anyway, Melanie was able to start her own family following that emotionally draining spell, but as we suggested earlier, she couldn’t let go of the pain.
The mom informed Fox News, “You go through a mourning period. And yet, live the rest of your life mourning.” She carried this burden for years before her daughter decided to step in. So, what happened then? Well, to mark Mother’s Day and Melanie’s birthday in May 2021, Rachel Presley handed her mom a gift card from 23andMe. Without telling her, she was hopeful that this would open up a potential path for her to find her now adult son.
Rachel hid those intentions by flagging up another feature offered by the genealogy company. Melanie noted, “I lost a mother to lung cancer who never smoked or drank a day in her life, so Rachel was selling that to me, saying, ‘Oh my gosh, then you’ll see if you have any of those genes or if there are any flags.'” With those words ringing in her ears, the Wandsworth resident took a DNA test, and it wasn’t long before 23andMe found a match. His name was Greg Fossler.
The results suggested that he and Melanie were potential relatives, so she reached out to him to learn more, which led to a huge moment. After posing the question about Greg’s age, he revealed that he’d been born on June 17th, 1988. “I believe I’m your birth mother,” she replied. A resident of Winchester, Virginia, Greg had spent the first few years of his life unaware of the truth, but his adoptive mom kept her promise to Melanie. As he told News 5 Cleveland, “I was maybe 9 or 10 or somewhere around that age, and my parents told me the story that I was adopted.” Greg took it in his stride, though, and grew up to be a loving family man.
He and his wife have two kids together, but still, thoughts about his past persisted over those years ahead of a key moment in 2019. The dad said, “I didn’t know any of my medical history, genetics, or ours. From there, there was a 23andMe promotion, so I took a DNA test.” It might have taken two years of patient waiting, but Greg eventually found that much-desired length through Melanie. But was a face-to-face reunion on the cards here? Well, once the duo had developed a correspondence both online and via texts, a plan was soon put into motion. In June 2021, Greg and his family traveled up to Wadsworth, making their way to Melanie’s house. Upon their arrival, the mom and son laid eyes on each other for the first time in 33 years before sharing a heartwarming hug on the lawn.
His wife caught the gorgeous reunion on camera, much to Melanie’s delight. “I’m so thankful to Greg’s wife for doing that,” Melanie told News 5 Cleveland. “It was awesome.” From there, the Fosslers and the Pressleys all got to know each other a little better at the house. The two families had now become one, and Greg couldn’t have been happier with the outcome. He shared his thoughts with Fox News in September 2021. “Life is a funny way of giving what you need and not necessarily what you want. Sometimes those wants and needs do match up, but sometimes you don’t realize what you actually need until the future. Melanie’s family coming into my life at this point has been a blessing.
It’s kind of reignited some passions and excitement.” As for Melanie, this incredible experience prompted her to share an important message to those in a similar position to her 18-year-old self. The Ohio mom told Fox News, “After finding Greg, I felt like my heart was just whole again. Becoming older, you kind of become a little wiser, but there’s no shame in giving somebody up for adoption. There are loving couples out there that cannot have children that would love to raise a child.” Melody added, “I’m telling you, if you could meet Greg, he was given a life beyond my belief. He was raised with manners, he was raised how you would dream. It’s just unbelievable.”
Something tells us that she couldn’t have asked for more. Melanie and Greg wasted little time in organizing their next meeting. She planned to travel with her husband to meet her son’s adoptive folks, as well as the rest of his family. After more than three decades apart, the pair still had plenty of catching up to do. But their at-home DNA test result ultimately brought them the desired outcome. For others, however, the results opened a can of worms that left them wishing they had never taken the test.