PHOENIX — “I’m not gonna lie, I’m excited to send a Father's Day card,” said Whitney Thompson with a smile Tuesday.
Just two months ago, after 33 years, Whitney finally found and introduced herself to her birth father.
“It’s really cool to actually talk to him and kind of share who we are and things that we like, stuff like that,” said Whitney.
Her story began in 1988. Her mother wrote in a journal at the time about a night she met a man named “Chuck from Michigan”. Calling him “cute and really nice” adding they “talked for a while” while it rained outside the diner she worked in. This happened to be their one and only meeting.
“All these years I didn’t know who it was, and she didn’t know who it was, and this DNA test really opened up a lot of doors,” said Whitney.
Like so many these days, she enlisted the help of Ancestry.com. Matches immediately appeared, helping to point her in the right direction, identifying three first cousins.
But she admits, being a rookie on the site, she reached out on a few Facebook groups for help.
“One was for Ancestry, and I said hey, you know this is kind of the dilemma that I have, I feel like if you have any advice, I could probably find out who he is,” said Whitney.
A woman in New York with an expertise on the site messaged her back. She took up the case to identify exactly who Whitney’s biological father was based on the matches so far.
“Within two weeks she narrowed it down and was like I’m 100% that it’s this person,” said Whitney.
Chuck turned out to be Charles Shirey, who never knew Whitney even existed. They connected by phone shortly after.
Whitney soon learned she had two sisters as well. She and her father also realized they shared the same birthday.
“He sent me a birthday card in the mail that said love dad in it, I ended up breaking down in tears,” said Whitney showing off the card.
She says the entire family has embraced her with so much love. They all plan to finally meet in person in the next few months, not wanting to waste a second making up for lost time.
“I feel complete, I know who I am, I know where I come from now,” said Whitney.