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A whale of a tale: 66-year-old man meets family for first time

Imagine meeting your biological family, for the first time, at 66-years-old. Or even more bizarre, going that long without knowing that the people on your birth certificate aren't even your real parents.

It's a story you might expect to see in the movies, but for Randall Lorenzo it's his life.

Randall says he has always felt like something was missing, but he just couldn't put his finger on what. He had questions that no one seemed to be able to answer.

Then, one day, he took a DNA test. Suddenly, everything he thought he knew about his life began to unravel.

There's been a lot of secrecy in my family, said Randall Lorenzo. "It has taken 66-years to start uncovering this.

For Randall, the results to his DNA tests were shocking; he wasn't actually related to a single person in his family.

"That's kind of strange because [...] I have an actual birth certificate, not adoption," said Randall.

Since then, Randall has gone back to Cook County, Illinois where he was born and says he could find no record of any adoption.

"So, everywhere I have been turning it's saying 'no, these are your parents' but, DNA is saying otherwise," said Randall.

More confused than ever, Randall says he turned to the one thing that was adding up. DNA.

This led to another bizarre discovery.

I [found] out I was taken from my mother at birth," said Randall. "it's one of the areas that has left me empty and searching.

Eventually, in his search, he found several potential long lost family members; Including, Jerica Starkweather, who lives in Emmett, Idaho. DNA points to them being first or second cousins.

Randall reached out to Jerica and her mom, Valerie.

"He was like, 'I'm sorry if this is weird.' I was like, 'no, I actually feel at peace about this [and] I don't know why," said Jerica, about their first time talking on the phone.

Randall believes the two of them could share a great grandmother.

"Her grandmother's sister was a nun in the Catholic Church, and from my understanding, in the Chicago area. There is a good possibility my mother was a nun. If that was the case then the Catholic Church would have wanted to quelch that. They do not believe in abortion, so she would have had to have the child, but then the child would have been gotten rid of very quickly," said Randall.

Randall believes that is where his parents, the ones on his birth certificate, came in to take care of him. Something that he says he is forever thankful for, especially now that those parents have passed away. Randall says having his new found family welcome him in is exactly what he has been yearning for.

This has nothing to do with finding fault or blame," said Randall. "This is about reconciliation with family and having a family.

Like a message in a bottle that has finally found its way to shore, Randall says it feels like his heart has finally found its way home.

"An interesting thing about whales, if a whale gets separated or lost, it can tell by song where its home is," said Randall. "That's what DNA is now doing for us.


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