Two sisters’ lifelong search for their mother ended on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, at the Kansas City airport when the three reunited for the first time in four decades.
Lani Szarmach was separated from her daughters, Starla Medlock and Jeannie Toomey, when they were around 1 and 2 years old.
Jeannie explained: “Our dad signed up to the Air Force when he was 18 and went to Vietnam. Then he met our mom in Thailand and they got married. They went to Columbus, Ohio, in 1973 where Starla was born.”
“Then dad got stationed in England when she was pregnant with me. I was born there, and that’s where they got divorced. And that’s where she remained as far as we knew. Then we came back to the states when he got stationed stateside.”
“We asked our dad a lot about our mom, and he never spoke ill of our mom to us,” Starla recalled of their father, who passed away about six years ago.
Jeannie said: “When I sit back and I think of everything, I think he just tried to make it look like he helped. He was trying to protect us, or he was scared he was going to lose his baby girls. They always say there are three sides to the story. His side, her side and the truth.”
After years of looking up birth records and databases, the women finally decided to stop their search, but to their surprise, Starla suddenly received a message on Facebook from Mark Szarmach, their mother’s current husband.
“I open up my Facebook and look at message requests. There’s a picture I see of this family, and I see mine and Jeannie’s baby picture,” recalls Starla.
Mark and Lani flew down to Kansas City on Tuesday to meet their newfound daughters.
Lani said: “We’re going shopping for making Thai food. We’re going to go to the Asian store to look for all kinds of food and I’m going to cook for them. I’ve waited so long to cook for them.”
Sometimes all it takes is for the wish to be sent out into the world, and what comes back is the answer. From who, and when … some may say just leave it up to fate. It’s wonderful that Starla and Jeannie are finally able to reunite with their mother.
Watch the report below:
Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot | Tommy Freeman.
“Father and son reunion will give you a lump in your throat when the US Marine makes a surprise appearance”