CRAWFORDSVILLE , Ind.- Over the holidays, a Crawfordsville man got a Facebook message that changed his life--and family tree--forever.
Online DNA testing showed the connection between Chris Livesay and Jane DeGrand--the common thread between them is their late father, John.
He spent most of his life in Crawfordsville, except for a few years in the late 60s and early 70s while serving in the Air Force. Part of that time he was stationed in the Philippines, where he met Jane’s mom.
“Apparently, my mom didn’t know she was pregnant until she was already five months pregnant,” said Jane, who now lives in the Washington, D.C. area.
By the time Jane’s mother realized she was pregnant, her father was back here in the U.S. with no clue about his daughter on the way.
“The first thing they would ask is who’s your dad? Who’s your dad because I look different than any other Filipino—I stick out in the Philippines,” Jane said.
When she sent a Facebook message to Christ back in December, she had a name from her mom and a likely match to the Livesay family tree from Ancestry DNA. Chris said he started connecting the dots when he saw Jane’s birthday on her Facebook profile, but he wasn’t entirely convinced.
“That’s when he brought up ‘my dad had these slides’ that he knew had from the military,” said Jane.
On one of those slides was a picture of Jane’s mom and her dad.
“I was like well that’s my mom—and that’s my mom feeding your dad coconuts,” said Jane.
Ancestry DNA couldn’t say for certain if these two were siblings. They took a second DNA test that cleared up any remaining doubt.
“It kind of validated me as having a father. He did exist. Even though he didn’t know I existed, I know he actually existed and he is real,” said Jane.
On a cold January morning—Jane, her brother, and their father were finally all together.
“I’ve had this cross for a very long time –there’s a little girl on it and she’s just there praying," Jane said. "Even though I’m 46 years old I always see this little girl in me and I see that cross and the little girl praying so hard for something and I always like that for some reason and every time I think of that I know what I’ve always prayed so hard for is figuring out who my dad is. So I’m leaving that with him and putting that little girl to rest.”