Posted: Apr 1, 2013 8:56 PM by Jen Fenter - MTN News
Updated: Apr 1, 2013 8:57 PM
GREAT FALLS - Leslie Dross always wondered about the family she never knew.
She recalled, "I found out my birth name when I was 20, and I got my original birth certificate when I was 27... so I found out my name then, and I really started looking."
Through decades of searching, Leslie had no luck.
Dead end after dead end, she decided to give it one last try.
Leslie said, "About a month ago, just before my birthday, I posted on Facebook. One of those posters with all the information I had at the time that I was looking for my family."
Leslie's last ditch effort to find her family worked, and she connected with her sister from Lolo, Barb Jenkins, for the first time.
Barb said, "It was shocking to get that email. I did know Mom had given a baby up, but I only knew of one that she had given up and I never knew any details. I always thought it was before my oldest brother was born."
But it appears Leslie was born in the middle of the family of five that Barb grew up in.
Their mother died in October, leaving Leslie to wonder who her birth mother was, and with so many unanswered questions, the two began digging deeper to piece together their family tree.
Barb said, "Her birth certificate says there were three children before her, and a still-born. And there were only two older brothers. So that's a gap there. And we started looking further and further down the line and the next brother just older than me has five and one listed, and mine says seven and one...but there is nobody between us. So there are three of us that are still missing.. well, two."
While they would love to find their other two siblings they never got to meet, right now, these sisters are catching up on a lifetime of missed memories.
Leslie said, "It's so cool to finally have somebody say, 'You belong to me,' and that's something I've wanted for so long."
Barb said, "When I look at her and saw her for the first time today, I couldn't stop staring at her face. Because her eyes look like Mom's. Really, really looks like Mom. It's uncanny."
Stacks of photos in hand, the pair are looking forward to their future ahead as family, and work together to piece together the past they'll never really understand.
Leslie was adopted at just three days old but grew up in Great Falls, just across town from her birth family, without ever realizing it.
The sisters believe the other two unaccounted for siblings were also born in Montana and have started searching to find the family members they never got to meet.
From the gaps in the birth records, Barb and Leslie believe one of the other siblings was born between 1959 and 1961. The second could have been born between 1965 and 1967.
Their mother was married multiple times, so birth records for the children born to her could be listed with a last name of either Neil or Boucher.
Anyone with information on their possible siblings is asked to call Barb at 406-240-9648.