In 2019, Criss Rosenlof found and reunited with his daughter Rachael Robertson through the genealogical website MyHeritage.com. “It was a long shot,” he remarked.
It was a moment they wished would one day occur, but doubted would ever occur..
“I absolutely shouted and flung my phone across the floor,” Rachael Robertson tells of the August 2019 morning when she got a life-altering message in her inbox..
The email, received by a guy via the genealogical website MyHeritage.com, informed her that her father, whom she had never met, had been located.
“After I had calmed down, my husband sat with me as I read his email over and over again,” she recounts of receiving her father’s email.
After a couple of hours, I was able to respond, and we began exchanging emails to get to know each other.
Rachael’s mother placed her for adoption when she was a newborn. Criss tells that Rachael’s mother became pregnant when they were dating, but neither was interested in marriage or a long-term relationship.
While Criss promised to assist Rachael’s mother and raise their child to the best of his ability, Rachael’s mother decided to move in with her family.
“She called me a few weeks later to inform me that she had decided to place the child for adoption,” he says.
Criss continues, “When Rachael was born, her mother called to inform me that she had given birth to a daughter and asked if I wanted to meet her.”
“When I questioned if she was still resolved to place the child for adoption, she confirmed that she was, so I decided not to meet her because I did not believe I could manage seeing her and then giving her up.”
Criss, who is currently married and has three children, has never forgotten the daughter he never met. Throughout their relationship, his wife has supported his search for Rachael, he claims.
Criss had submitted his DNA samples to MyHeritage.com approximately one year after Rachael. When he did so, he was skeptical that it would finally bring him to his daughter.
He told, “I took the DNA test knowing it was a long shot.” “There are other companies that offer DNA testing; what were the odds that my daughter had performed a DNA test, let alone through the same one I was using?”
But weeks later, he received an email from MyHeritage.com informing him of a match.
“When I received the email with my results approximately three weeks later,” he remembers, “you can imagine my amazement to see a young woman with the connection ‘daughter’ at the top of the list.”
After exchanging messages on the platform, the two met for lunch; Criss admits he was “terrified” about the encounter…,
“Was she going to be upset with me for adopting her? Did she lead a happy life? Did she want to get to know me at all?” Criss claims. “Rachael turned out to be a kind, loving person who was considerably more terrified than I was.”
Adds Rachael: “I felt both excited and anxious. However, once we began speaking, we had so much in common! I had so much fun conversing with him, despite being overwhelmed.
Even then, Criss understood my anxiousness and let me to complete things at my own pace.”
Since their reunion, both Criss and Rachael’s families have met, and the two learnt that Rachael grew up near Criss’s home. And against all chances, Rachael’s husband had met Criss at a Comic-Con conference two years prior.
The Utah father-daughter combo believes that fate brought them together.
Rachael explains, “When I began searching for my biological parents, I knew there was a chance I would discover someone who didn’t want me in their lives.”
“I was willing to accept that, as it was their decision. I simply desired to understand the why and some of my past. To meet someone who is so kind, wanted me in his life and was actively looking for me, and accepted my family and myself with such love is more than I could have hoped for.”
Includes Criss: “I’m simply happy I was able to locate Rachael. I always felt terrible about giving her up and have often wondered what happened to her over the years.
I am delighted that Rachael’s mother and I were able to offer a loving daughter for her new family, as I am aware that adoption is sometimes the most loving solution. I am thrilled that she and her family have returned to my life.”