At the age of 18, the young woman discovered that she was pregnant and that she had a difficult choice to make.

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WADSWORTH, Ohio (CBS/AP) — A Medina County lady has been wondering for years about the kid she gave up for adoption almost three decades ago.

What does he appear to be like? What does he make a living doing? Was he content?

She now has those answers and more due to 23andMe, a prominent DNA genetic testing business.

Melanie Pressley became pregnant with her first child, a son when she was only 18 years old. Her partner was not supportive at the time and wanted her to have an abortion. Pressley declined and carried the pregnancy to term.

But she realized she couldn’t keep him forever.

“I just knew I wouldn’t be able to accomplish it financially.” “And the other issue is that I wanted him to have a mother and father, so I decided it was best to place him for adoption at that moment,” Pressley explained.

She went through the adoption procedure through an Akron-based agency with the help of her family.

She gave birth to her baby in Canton’s Timken Mercy Hospital on June 17, 1988. She didn’t give him a name since she wanted his adoptive parents to be the ones to receive it.

She stated she wasn’t permitted to hold him that day, but her sister asked a nurse the next day if they could.

“She said, ‘I’ll take you into a private room so she can hold him,’ and ‘Take as much time as you need.’ My sister took a picture of me holding him at that point, and that was the last image I had of him for the next thirty-three years. “That was the only photo I had of him,” Pressley explained.

Pressley has since had three additional children and is happily married, but she said she thinks about the son she put up for adoption every day, especially on June 17th.

“On that day, there was still a little amount of that melancholy in me.” “And that’s basically the simplest way to put it,” Pressley remarked.

Pressley’s son was also thinking about her in Winchester, Virginia, 307 miles distant from her Wadsworth home.

Greg was his name after he was adopted by the Vossler family. After he was adopted, they resided in Stow for around seven years before moving to Winchester.

“They shared with me the tale that I was adopted and that the woman who gave me up for adoption thought I could have a better life abroad when I was maybe nine or ten years old,” said Vossler, who still lives in Winchester.

Vossler admitted that his interest wasn’t piqued right away.

Years later, he discovered descriptions of his birth parents based on hospital records, but no names, birth dates, or ages.

“I’ve never been very curious. ‘I don’t see a star who looks like me,’ or ‘No one who is a king or queen in some foreign nation resembles me,’ I’d always joke. And I always said it was a joke. When people inquired, it was just my way of having a quick response in my back pocket; I’d never really given it much thought,” Vossler explained.

However, he claimed that it was always on his mind as he went through college, married, and raised two sons.

“I named my first son Gregory because he was the first blood relative I had ever met.” “I wanted to have that link,” Vossler explained.

Through 23andMe, I was adopted 33 years ago.

A Medina County lady has been wondering for years about the kid she gave up for adoption almost three decades ago. She now has those answers and more due to 23andMe, a prominent DNA genetic testing business.

Through 23andMe, a Wadsworth mother discovers the son she gave up for adoption 33 years ago.

Jade Jarvis is the author of this piece.

Originally published at 6:19 p.m. on August 12, 2021, and modified at 2:51 p.m. on August 13, 2021.

WADSWORTH, Ohio (CBS/AP) — A Medina County lady has been wondering for years about the kid she gave up for adoption almost three decades ago.

What does he appear to be like? What does he make a living doing? Was he content?

She now has those answers and more due to 23andMe, a prominent DNA genetic testing business.

Melanie Pressley became pregnant with her first child, a son when she was only 18 years old. Her partner was not supportive at the time and wanted her to have an abortion. Pressley declined and carried the pregnancy to term.

But she realized she couldn’t keep him forever.

“I just knew I wouldn’t be able to accomplish it financially.” “And the other issue is that I wanted him to have a mother and father, so I decided it was best to place him for adoption at that moment,” Pressley explained.

She went through the adoption procedure through an Akron-based agency with the help of her family.

She gave birth to her baby in Canton’s Timken Mercy Hospital on June 17, 1988. She didn’t give him a name since she wanted his adoptive parents to be the ones to receive it.

She stated she wasn’t permitted to hold him that day, but her sister asked a nurse the next day if they could.

“She said, ‘I’ll take you into a private room so she can hold him,’ and ‘Take as much time as you need.’ My sister took a picture of me holding him at that point, and that was the last image I had of him for the next thirty-three years. “That was the only photo I had of him,” Pressley explained.

Pressley has since had three additional children and is happily married, but she said she thinks about the son she put up for adoption every day, especially on June 17th.

“On that day, there was still a little amount of that melancholy in me.” “And that’s basically the simplest way to put it,” Pressley remarked.

Pressley’s son was also thinking about her in Winchester, Virginia, 307 miles distant from her Wadsworth home.

Greg was his name after he was adopted by the Vossler family. After he was adopted, they resided in Stow for around seven years before moving to Winchester.

“They shared with me the tale that I was adopted and that the woman who gave me up for adoption thought I could have a better life abroad when I was maybe nine or ten years old,” said Vossler, who still lives in Winchester.

Vossler admitted that his interest wasn’t piqued right away.

Years later, he discovered descriptions of his birth parents based on hospital records, but no names, birth dates, or ages.

“I’ve never been very curious. ‘I don’t see a star who looks like me,’ or ‘No one who is a king or queen in some foreign nation resembles me,’ I’d always joke. And I always said it was a joke. When people inquired, it was just my way of having a quick response in my back pocket; I’d never really given it much thought,” Vossler explained.

However, he claimed that it was always on his mind as he went through college, married, and raised two sons.

“I named my first son Gregory because he was the first blood relative I had ever met.” “I wanted to have that link,” Vossler explained.

Then, in 2019, he made the decision that he wanted to learn more.

“One night, my wife and I were sitting and talking, and I said, ‘I don’t know anything about my medical history, genetics, or where I’m from.’ And there was some sort of 23andMe campaign going on. As a result, I took the test,” Vossler explained.

Melanie’s mother died the same year, prompting her to undertake something she’d always wanted to do.

“It had always been my wish for him to meet my mother, but she had passed away.” My nieces, nephews, sisters, and I were all gathered around the table the night she died away. “And we were just walking around saying stuff, and it got to me, and I began crying, and I said, ‘I need to find my son,’” Pressley explained.

Melanie didn’t find out until May 2021, when one of her daughters gave her a 23andMe test as a birthday present.

In just a few days, the results arrived, along with a possible son named Greg Vossler.

“I sent a message right away, and my first message was, I believe we’re connected,” Pressley said. “I feel I am your birth mother,” said the next message. It just exploded out from there.”

“‘Are you happy?’ was one of the first questions I asked him, and it was a major question for me.” And he came back and said, “Oh my God,” he’s married and has two sons. “It was like spilling everything,” Pressley explained.

I became emails, then messages, and eventually texts.

According to Vossler, they meticulously researched each other to ensure the connection was genuine.

“You know, the hospital where I was born changed its name, so we were very suspicious of each other.” ‘Well, do you recall the hospital where I was born?’ I said. And she mentioned the name from back in 1988. “And I was like, ‘OK, alright, we got there,’ and there were a couple more questions I had, and she answered, and she passed the test,” Vossler said.

“You’re just sitting there,” Vossler explained, “and it’s not something you can ever psychologically prepare for.”

When Vossley asked if he could call Pressley, she said she didn’t want to hear his voice until she could see him face to face.

Vossler, his wife Chelsea, and their two sons drove to Wadsworth for the weekend in June.

Both Vossler and Pressley were concerned that the link would fail and that the whole thing would be a farce, but they were blissfully wrong.

When Vossler and his wife first met each other, his wife snapped a photo.

“I’m grateful to her for doing that because it was the first time, and it was fantastic,” Pressley added.

That first day, Vossler stated he and Pressley talked for four hours straight. He also met 17 of his new extended family members, including two of his siblings, aunts, and grandfather.

“Everyone is emotional, and they’re all shaking hands or hugging one other.” ‘Hey, I’m your half brother, your half-sister,’ and so on. Melanie’s elder sister, who was key in permitting Melanie to take that initial photo, approached me and touched my face. “It’s the first time she’s seen me in 33 years,” Vossler added.

“It’s a fantastic sensation.” “It simply goes to show that there’s always room for families to expand and greater love among one other,” Vossler added.

Pressley and Vossler are still working on their newfound friendship. Pressley and her husband, Tim, intend to visit the Vossler family in Virginia this weekend.

Vossler has also been invited to his half-wedding sisters this fall, which he intends to attend.

“I’m just thrilled that the ball is moving, and I’m going to take it all in and appreciate it.” “Enjoy the small ones whenever we get a chance to see them,” Pressley added.

Now, the photo taken by Pressley’s sister in the hospital 33 years ago isn’t the only one of this mother and son together.

“Life has a funny way of providing you with what you require rather than what you desire. “I guess life just understood we needed this connection, and our families needed each other,” Vossler explained.

 

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