WADSWORTH, Ohio — An Ohio woman who was a teen-aged single mother when she placed her first born son up for adoption 33 years ago, was reunited with him recently through a genealogy website.
Melanie Pressley was 18 when she was pregnant and decided to place her son for adoption, WEWS reported.
“I just knew, financially, I wouldn’t be able to do it,” she said. “And the other thing — I wanted him to have a mother and father, so I decided at that point it was best to put him up for adoption.”
She is now married and has had three more children since that time. But she always wondered about him.
He was born June 17, 1988. She did not name him, in order to let the newborn’s adoptive parents make that decision. He was adopted by the Vossler Family. They named the baby Greg.
“Never was really curious,” Vossler said about meeting his biological parents. “I’d always joke saying, ‘You know, I don’t see a celebrity that looks like me,’ or, ‘No one who’s a king or queen in some faraway land resembles me.’ And I always said that was just my joke. You know, whenever somebody asked, it was just my way of having that quick response in my back pocket, I’d never really given it some serious thought.”
But in 2019 that changed. Vossler wanted to find out more about himself.
“My wife and I were sitting and talking one night, and I’m like, ‘I don’t know any of my medical history, genetics, you know, where I’m from,’” he said. “And there was a 23andMe promotion or something going on, and so I took the test.”
It wasn’t until May 2021 that Pressley got a gift from one of her daughters, a 23andMe test kit. Her results came back days later.
“(I) instantly sent a message, and my first message was, I believe we’re related,” Pressley said. “The next message was, I believe I am your birth mother. And from there it just blew up.”
Vossler lived in Virginia about 300 miles away. Eventually, the two would meet.
“You’re just sitting there and it’s not something that you can ever prepare for mentally, and the way I would constantly describe it was just a surreal moment,” Vossler said.
They saw each other for the first time in June. Vossler and his family drove to Ohio to meet. They talked for hours and Vossler got to meet 17 relatives.
“Everyone’s emotional, everyone’s shaking hands or hugging. And, you know, ‘Hey, I’m your half brother, your half sister.’ And her oldest sister, who was instrumental in allowing Melanie to have that first picture, came up and grabbed my face. The first time in 33 years that she’s seen me,” Vossler said. “It’s an amazing feeling. And it just goes to show that there’s always room for families to grow and always room for more love within each other.”
Vossler is grateful now to be reunited.
“Life has a funny way of giving you what you need, not what you want. And I guess life just realized that we needed this connection and our families needed each other,” he said.
Pressley plans to go to Virginia to meet more of Vossler’s family.
“I am just excited with the ball moving and I am just going to soak up every moment and just enjoy it,” she said. “Enjoy the little ones also with every opportunity that we get to see them.”
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