Man learns his wife's niece overseas is actually her biological daughter

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family friend and neighbor, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

When I was growing up, my family had a neighbor who was born and raised overseas before moving to the United States from Europe to live with her relatives.

The young woman was single with no children, but she was especially close to her niece whom she'd left behind when she moved from Portugal to America. She often visited us, bringing letters from her niece and photographs of the little girl.

Our neighbor loved to gush about her niece while showing us her letters and photos. She was definitely a proud aunt, except as it turned out, she wasn't the girl's aunt at all.

Years passed before she revealed the truth. She was the child's mother.

Here's what happened. When our neighbor was a teen, she fell in love with a boy around her own age in the village where they lived.

Unfortunately, her parents disapproved of the match, and they forbade her from seeing her suitor. Obviously, that never works out for the controlling parents, or at least it didn't in this case.

Not only did she disobey her parents' decree to stay away from the young man, she ran away with him and planned to marry him. Sadly, her parents found her and brought her back home, much against her wishes.

This time, her parents vowed that she wouldn't leave the house unaccompanied again. That's how serious they were about keeping the two lovebirds apart. They thought they were successful until they realized their daughter looked a little bit pregnant.

As it turned out, she was indeed pregnant. Her parents weren't pleased.

Shortly after she gave birth to her child, her parents arranged to ship her to the United States to stay with relatives. In the meantime, they would raise her child. Everyone was sworn to secrecy until ...

One day the young woman met and married a nice man and started a family with him. Of course, her younger children were no replacement for the older child she'd left behind. She decided she'd have to confess that the girl she so faithfully kept in contact with was actually her biological daughter.

It was the only way she could arrange for her firstborn to join her in the United States.

Fortunately, her husband was understanding and supportive, after a small adjustment period. It took nearly a year, but our neighbor was finally reunited with her daughter.

I still remember how happy she was to have all her children together after so many years.

It's been years, and all her children are grown now with children of their own. They were still our neighbors when we moved out of state, and they were still happy the last time we saw them.

It was so nice to see a complicated situation have a happy ending for a change.

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