In 1979, Nany Womac was just a teen whose daughter was taken from her at birth. Four decades later, she was finally reunited with her daughter.
“I loved her from the first time I knew I was pregnant,” Womac said in an interview with NBC News that aired Monday on Today. “Never stopped loving her.”
Womac was just 16 years old when she found out she was pregnant. At the time, she was living in an orphanage in Dalton, Georgia.
After the orphanage director found out she was expecting, she was sent to the Bethesda Home for Girls in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where Womac and other girls who were placed there said they were abused per court filings.
Two weeks before she was set to give birth, Womac was put on a plane to East Ridge, Tennessee, to deliver her daughter.
“I remember going into labor, and they just give me a shot and put me out,” she said. “I don’t remember having her. I don’t remember them wheeling me into the delivery room. I don’t remember nothing. She was then gone by the time I woke up.”
Womac shared how she would think about her daughter periodically. And Melanie Spencer would do the same about her biological mother.
Spencer, who was raised in South Africa by her missionary parents, would go on to move to the United States to go to college, and it wasn’t until she had two children of her own that she really focused on finding Womac.
“I really started thinking about what will I tell them about where they’re from,” Spencer said. “I decided to do Ancestry. The most interesting part was that it came up with a DNA match. It had been almost 40 years, and I thought, ‘Why not?’ “
After Spencer received her results from Ancestry.com, she was thankfully able to get in touch with Womac’s sister, Cheryl Blackwell. However, Blackwell didn’t see the message until a year later. But eventually, Spencer and Womac began chatting — which led them to meet in person at Womac’s home in Georgia.
“The drive down, I was kind of anxious,” Spencer said. “And then I got out of the car and there she was. Forty-two years of questions — it almost feels like there wasn’t any missing time. It feels like coming home.”
Spencer went on to spend a few days with Womac along with her other siblings, and Womac couldn’t stop beaming about her first-born daughter.
“She’s just how I thought she’d be,” Womac tearfully said in the interview. “She’s beautiful. She’s smart.”
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