CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Christmas came early for one family.
A Missouri woman got the chance to meet her biological father who lives in Charlotte for the first time.
It’s a connection she found after taking a home DNA test through a genealogy company.
“I’m very nervous. Before I got here, I really didn’t have any feelings. I was just kind of numb but now it is starting to hit me,” said Kimberly Ruth, moments away from coming face-to-face with her dad.
It’s a day she has dreamed of since finding out she was adopted 10 years ago.
“I had no idea I was adopted. I was raised by my parents and they were my parents,” she said. “But I honestly always felt like something was different.”
She simply asked her parents and they confirmed her suspicions.
Ruth took to Ancestry where she found several connections including a first cousin. It was the closest match she had. Ruth reached out to her online.
“I saw before that we matched but I didn’t pay attention to it,” said Krystal Roberts. “So when she messaged me, I asked if she had a Facebook or Instagram. Immediately I said she looked just like my cousin Brandy.”
Roberts spoke to her own father and they did some digging. Ruth was in fact her first cousin. She eventually connected Ruth to her father.
“It was like 'wow, I’m finally talking to someone who looks like me,'” said Ruth. “I have siblings who look like me. I just had one other sister and now I have this huge family.”
It wasn’t too long before Ruth's husband, Christopher, started planning a trip for his wife and their kids to hit the road. They worked with Roberts to meet him in person for a surprise reunion.
“God brought my daughter home to me. And I’m thankful, I’m thankful, I’m so thankful,” said Timothy Perry with tears in his eyes.
Perry thought he was just getting breakfast with his brother and a few loved ones, but he got much more on his plate.
Several family members were there for the meeting. They all waited for the big moment in the parking lot. Then Ruth walked through the crowd to hug her father.
Perry held on to the daughter he said he never knew he had, holding her tightly.
“I love all of my kids and I would never turn my back on my kids,” he said.
It was more than a reunion; it was bringing generations together.
“I was just kind of happy for her to find some closure and to see she has a big family and then some because this is not all of us,” said Roberts.
They are ready to make up for the lost time.
“Building a relationship,” said Roberts. “Getting to know her, getting to know her family. Her family getting to know us to see how family-oriented we are.”
“I know we can’t get the past back but we for sure got the future,” said Perry.
Ruth has some advice for people who want to find their birth parents.
“Just keep looking,” said Ruth. “If you’re looking for your birth parents don’t give up.”
Ruth is excited about what is ahead.
“I felt like I had so many emotions and they were finally able to come out,” said Ruth. “We missed a lot of memories. We have a lot of memories with our own families. So just create memories with each other.”
Ruth hopes with the help of her father she comes closer to finding her biological mother.