Every day, people are searching for their families through online DNA websites. One woman with Denver ties just found some answers and shared her journey in a now-viral emotional twitter thread this week.
“I was born in South Carolina and I was adopted at birth,” explained Albreanna Watson, who is now 28 years old.
Her adoptive mother passed away from cancer when Watson was only 17. She moved to Denver in her 20s and decided she wanted to learn more about her birth family.
“I wanted to know where I came from and who I am, and where are my roots? Why do I act this way? Why is my personality like this? Who am I?” she said.
She decided to turn to the internet, where online DNA websites have become very popular. This summer, there was a match. She got an online message from a stranger that left her stunned.
“The words, him saying, ‘I’m your brother.’ And 'We - like WE a family - have been looking for you for years,'" she remembered. "My heart dropped to my stomach, went to my back, came back up to my throat and tears flushed back down my face."
She began communicating with several siblings in her biological family. Watson recently moved to California and learned one of her brothers lived only 30 minutes away from her new home.
Together, the siblings decided Watson should meet her birth mother and decided the meeting should be a surprise. Watson traveled to Atlanta for the meeting, which she documented in a Twitter thread that has now gone viral.
She shared her emotions, like being nervous, ahead of the reunion.
“I was terrified,” she said. “I was terrified of rejection. I was terrified of walking away and getting back on the plane. I was terrified of her not wanting to be in my life.”
Despite those fears, Watson said the reunion was a positive and fulfilling experience. She said she and her birth mother were both very emotional, and meeting her biological family answered many questions about her own personality traits. Watson said she and her mother talk frequently on the phone and plan to visit each other again soon to get to know each other better.
Her original post on social media was supposed to be a simple, one-stop explanation for friends. Instead, it’s gone viral.
“Now I’m getting thousands of messages from all over the world,” Watson said. “People are sharing with me their most intimate stories, asking me for help, they’re asking me for courage.”
In these messages, Watson discovered her new purpose.
“Now I have a new purpose, which is to help people,” she said.
Through her social media accounts, Watson launched her new mission under #AlbreannaFindMe. With the help of a GoFundMe page, she said she hopes to raise money to help people located their family members, too.
“This is why this happened to me, to help people find their families," she said. "To help people experience what I experienced, whether it was good or bad. But its answers. People want answers.”