INDIANAPOLIS — Imagine gaining a whole family you never knew you had in one phone call. A Marion County woman had been looking for her biological mother her entire life and finally found her.
For 46 years, Dana Verrett had a piece of her missing.
"It's like a love that you know, it's out there, but you don't know where it's at or how to find it, if that makes any sense," Verrett said.
It was a lifelong effort with papers to prove it.
Earlier this year, she took a test through 23andMe.
"I didn't have a mom. I didn't have a dad. I didn't have any siblings. I almost wanted to cry but I was like, 'Well, I've got 5,000 cousins,'" said Verrett. "Someone's gotta know something."
Sure enough, one of those cousins knew someone who knew someone.
That night, she got the phone call that would change everything.
"She asked me what my birthday was, and I told her. She said, 'Thank you, Jesus.' She was like, 'I have your mom on the other line. Would you like to speak to her?' She's like, 'My baby,' and I just started bawling," Verrett said. "I just felt my heart mending itself."
It turns out that her mother had been looking for her as well after she said she was forced to give her up at 16.
However, Dana's name had been changed and her records were sealed.
"Every birthday, I would be like, 'Father, just let her be okay,'" said Theresa Cox-Patterson.
The two met almost immediately after that phone call and have been catching up since.
"We talk pretty much every day," said Verrett.
This October will be Verrett's first birthday with her mom since being born.
"Do I get her a bouncy house? Where do I start?" Cox-Patterson said. "I'm not praying she's OK — I know she's OK."
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That's because now, her daughter is whole.
"I've been looking for my mother for forever and in 24 hours, I found her," Verrett said. "I know who I am. I know where I belong. I know where I fit in. It feels good to actually fit in, and you don't have to worry about not being you."
Her mother later took another DNA test. The results were a 99.999998% match.
Cox-Patterson drives a semi for a living and had been driving right past where her daughter works on a regular basis, without knowing it.
Two of Verrett's children were studying to be truck drivers before meeting their grandmother.
Her daughter and mother also share a birthday.