For nearly the first two years of her life, Ranell Garner was raised by her single mom. Then one fateful night, everything changed.
Garner says, “June of 1984, my birth mom was murdered. The man that killed her was actually caught. So we didn’t really have to deal with a whole lot of that.”
From there Garner was raised by her grandparents, but it never seemed quite right.
“I’m just kind of like ehh, in a lull because I don’t have siblings, I’m an only child, and didn’t know my dad,” explained Garner.
Then on her birthday this past January, her friend’s decided on a gift idea.
“Some friends got together and purchased an Ancestry DNA Kit for me,” says Garner. “And I was kind of excited but kind of nervous.”
At first, she connected with a first cousin she never met in Virginia.
“At first she didn’t message me back but I was like look here’s the deal, I don’t know who my dad is, my birth mom was murdered, nobody in my family knows who he is and you’re my first cousin,” she explained. “That means one of your uncles is my dad.”
And then, the big news happened.
“I gave her some specifics about my birth mom being in the Navy and what years and she was like, ‘It’s my uncle John.'”
Not only did she find her father, but also realized she’s not an only child.
“You definitely have two different personalities on this side of my sisters. Just talking to them, they’re excited, they’re ready to spend time with me and I’m ready to spend time with them just to try and get to know them more.”
Garner says she will finally get to meet her long-lost family in December, but until then she’s just filled with excitement and nerves.