It was the final item on her bucket list: “Meet someone who looks like you.”
Shelly Foster, 78, had always known she was adopted.
As an 18-year-old, she saw on her birth certificate a name she’d never heard before: Ruth Mary Anthes. It awoke in her a desire she’d never had before. “I never knew what my birth name was until then,” she recalled. “Seeing my biological name written down, it sparked something inside of me. It was then that I began the 60-year search for my biological family.”
For many years when she traveled, Shelly would look through phone books for people with her same last name.
Then, several years ago, she found a name in the 1940 census that she believed was her mother’s. One thing let to another, and she ultimately discovered that she had a full brother out there: Frederic Vanderwoude, who had grown up as an only child but always longed for a sibling.
They were able to meet just recently for the first time, and it was a moment neither of them will ever forget.
“I looked in Freddy’s eyes and those were my eyes. They were exactly the same color, and I thought I was looking at me.”