Florida Father Buys DNA Kits for Family, the Results Leave Adopted Daughter Stunned

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
April 13, 2018US News
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Florida Father Buys DNA Kits for Family, the Results Leave Adopted Daughter Stunned
(Gustavo R Garcia/Facebook)

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A girl who was born in Guatemala and adopted by a Florida couple received some surprising news after sending in a DNA sample.

Keleigh Koeniger, 15, received a number of gifts for Christmas from her adopted parents Jim and Leigh. Besides a new phone, and a keyboard, she received a DNA kit from Ancestry.com.

The kit was purchased by Jim, who also got one for himself and his wife. The purpose was to trace the Koeniger’s ancestry, he told the Herald-Tribune.

The kit wasn’t used for a while but a few months after the holidays, Keleigh used it and sent it in. A few weeks after that, she received a shock—there was a strong match to a 20-year-old man living in Chicago.

That man, Gustavo Garcia, had also recently taken the DNA test. Keleigh’s given name is Garcia.

“It didn’t feel real at all,” Keleigh told Fox 13. “It still kind of doesn’t.”

Once the results were in, Keleigh contacted Garcia by sending him a message. “I think I may be your sister.”

The message led to a string of emails and phone calls, before a planned reunion.

The pair decided to meet over spring break and re-established a strong connection.

“We hugged for like two minutes nonstop,” Keleigh said.

“It filled a place in her heart that she didn’t know needed to be filled. It just completed her,” said Leigh.

“It was like I was looking at myself,” Garcia said.

The pair said they share a lot of similarities, both personality-wise and physically, and they’re planning to get together again over the summer.

The families said that anyone wondering about potential relatives or ancestry should try the kits out.

 

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