Father, daughter meet for first time after 53 years

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 11:35 AM CDT
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TULARE, Calif. (KFSN) - Just in time for Father’s Day, a daughter is meeting her biological dad after 53 years and 2,000 miles kept them apart.

A surprise result from Ancestry DNA set the whole story in motion.

Deb Scales went from researching her nationality to discovering a new reality.

“I wanted to know more about my ancestry. I wanted to know, you know, was I mostly Irish or Scottish or English or whatnot,” Scales said.

The man Scales believed to be her father died last year, so Scales went to Ancestry DNA for answers he could no longer provide. It was only through them that she discovered that man wasn’t her biological father.

A common match helped solved the puzzle.

Scales said she discovered she was a 25% match with someone who she didn’t know. From there, she found another match and another, and got to wondering how she was related to them.

That first match turned out to be Tim Herrick’s sister.

“Six weeks ago, my sister called me and said that this young lady from Tennessee said that she was family,” Herrick said. “Well, I said ‘How is she family?’ And my sister said her and Deb are 25%.”

Herrick said 53 years ago was a long time, so he does not recall much, other than he was a bachelor at the time.

Herrick’s now married to his wife of 51 years and has three kids, one stepson, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Now, his family has grown even bigger.

“She’ll be a great addition to the family, we welcome her,” Herrick said.

They both quickly realized they have many similar traits and mannerisms, like the way they eat, the way they walk and even their sense of humor.

“It will still sink in,” Scales said. “It’s still so new and fresh and we just got to feel it out. But, I see him in my eyes, or I see my eyes in his … and it’s just, I look like them and I’ve never looked like anybody.”

Despite the time lost, they’re happy for the unconditional love now.

“I was missing something. And now I feel like I’m home,” Scales said.

In celebration of the newfound family members, relatives from five different states are getting together for a reunion this Father’s Day weekend.

Copyright 2021 KFSN via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.