An Alabama father has connected with his long-lost daughter and other family members, including grandchildren after more than 60 years and just in time for the holiday weekend, thanks to a DNA testing kit.
WHNT reported last weekend that 81-year-old Thomas Williams celebrated July Fourth in Decatur, Alabama, with his 62-year-old daughter Tylin Rosser for the first time in more than half a century. The Marine Corps veteran told the news outlet that he always knew he fathered a child from a past relationship while deployed in the Philippines after a military friend showed him a photo of a small child. Williams said he didn’t know whether it was a boy or girl because the picture was so small, but he knew the child was his.
By contrast, Rosser revealed that she didn’t know the male figure she grew up with wasn’t her biological father until after his death. She said it was a secret her mother kept from her until only soon before her own passing. “She had dementia, and she was in several stages then, but when I asked her was he my biological father, all she could remember was just ‘William,’” she explained.
After Rosser’s daughter bought her a DNA kit from Ancestry.com, she said six weeks later she received a notice stating that someone named “Caral Minor Williams was a cousin or close relative. I said that must be the ‘William’ my mom was always saying.” Through the DNA testing, Carla and Williams’ other American-born children were confirmed to be Rosser’s relatives.
Shortly afterward, Williams’ kids arranged for the pair to meet in person after initially meeting virtually. It was an emotional moment for Williams, who told his daughter while embracing her for the very first time, “God answers prayers. I think about you all the time. I always did.” She replied, “I’m here.”
The two spent the time reconnecting, as Williams shared stories about his time while stationed in the Philippines. “I got that when I was in Subic Bay,” the father said, pointing to his arm tattoo. He also explained the heartbreaking reason why he never returned to the Philippines. “My mother got terminally ill,” he revealed. “That’s the only reason I didn’t come back there, but then after that, I didn’t know how to find you.”