A woman’s life was turned upside down when a DNA test revealed surprising information: the child she had raised as her own for nearly five decades wasn’t her own daughter. Was she, on the other hand, prepared to learn the whole truth?
Everything was virtually perfect in her life until the stunning revelation rocked her world. She was a devoted mother and grandmother to a loving family. But everything changed one day when Kathryn Jones performed a home DNA test.
While a part of her wished she could go across time, another struggled to accept reality. Jones had to pick up the pieces 55 years later and come to terms with a past she had no idea existed until recently.
THE HEART-WRENCHING FACT Jones became a mother on May 18, 1964, at Duncan Physicians and Surgeons Hospital in Duncan, Oklahoma, when she gave birth to Tina Ennis. Ennis was the most beautiful child she had ever seen, and she instantly fell in love with her.
Jones had always assumed Ennis was her daughter, but she was proven incorrect years later when a series of at-home DNA tests revealed otherwise. The reality was too devastating for Kathryn Jones and Ennis to bear.
“It felt like a piece of my heart had been ripped out from under me.” Jones remarked on the day that changed her life, “I couldn’t take it any longer.” Ennis was in the same boat, unwilling to comprehend that the woman she’d always referred to as her mother wasn’t her mother.
A CHILDHOOD THAT WAS RELATIVELY NORMAL
Ennis had a terribly commonplace childhood, including the divorce of her alleged mother and father when she was two years old. Jones remarried after a few years, and Ennis had a father figure in her childhood.
Both families are still processing their loss, anger, regret, and newly discovered ties.
Jones’ new husband worked as a house painter, and she was a telephone operator. Ennis’ family was completed by Brenda, her older sister, and a newborn brother, eight years her junior. The two sisters had a special affinity and were incredibly close.
GETTING A DNA TEST
Because of her tall and slender looks, Ennis had always felt different from her family, but Jones reassured her by telling her that she looked just like her biological father. In the summer of 2019, Ennis’s now 26-year-old daughter encouraged her to take a DNA test from Ancestry.com.
The Oklahoma woman hoped to utilize the DNA test to track out her long-lost grandfather, but the findings returned names she didn’t recognize. Because “Brister” was one of the most popular names among the findings, Ennis inquired if Jones knew someone with that name.
Jones had no idea who Brister was and claimed she had never met somebody with the last name of Brister. Jones was persuaded by Ennis’ daughter to take the DNA test. Jones was not related to Ennis or her daughter, according to the findings.
THE OUTRAGEOUS RESULTS
Ancestry.com customer support was contacted by the astonished mother and daughter to ensure that the mix-up was not their fault. Ennis’ daughter was convinced that something was wrong and began researching into it online, despite the fact that none of them trusted the DNA test results.
Thanks to some internet detective work, she discovered an Oklahoman lady named Jill Lopez, who was born on the same day as Ennis and looked a lot like Jones. Lopez eventually agreed to take a DNA test after some persuading.
The results of the testing confirmed everyone’s worst fears: Lopez was born to Jones and Ennis and was found in Jones’s family tree. Fifty-five years ago, Ennis and Lopez returned home from the hospital with their biological families.
THE FAMILY BRISTER
Lopez was reared by Joyce and John Brister, a stay-at-home mother and an oil-industry father, in a remote region of Oklahoma. She lived in a neighborhood with elder sisters, close friends, and a grandma.
She then moved to Lawton, Oklahoma, where Ennis’ daughter contacted her and asked her to do the DNA test. Ennis decided to wait until she was confident before telling Jones the upsetting news, so she scheduled a meeting with Lopez at a restaurant.
“At that time, my heart just sunk because I was like, ‘This is for real,’” she says. After finding that Lopez was Jones’ biological daughter, Ennis remembered. She gained the confidence to tell Jones the news with the help of her two siblings.
MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUTH
As Ennis prophesied, Jones would be unable to cope with reality, and this is exactly what happened. Jones was taken aback and astonished.
“I couldn’t seem to let go of Tina.” She’ll always be my little girl, no matter what. Since the minute they placed her in my arms, I’ve adored her.” Jones expressed his feelings.
The bereaved widow conveyed her sorrow by claiming she had lost her daughter and grandchildren. On the other hand, Ennis indicated that she had no plans to leave Jones.
“She was worried that she was going to lose me.” And she had no intention of following through on her threat. Ennis admitted, “I had no intention of abandoning her.”
While Ennis and Jones’ relationship remained strong, further heartbreaking disclosures struck havoc on Ennis’ life. Ennis’ biological parents, Joyce and John Brister, had died a long time ago, denying her the chance to meet them.
LIVING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PAIN
Lopez wished she could embrace the Bristers as she and her family showed Ennis pictures and stories about them. Both families are still coming to terms with their grief, rage, sorrow, and newly discovered connections.
The three women are now suing the Oklahoma hospital for recklessness and negligent infliction of emotional distress, where the mix-up occurred in 1964.
Duncan Regional Hospital’s defense is that it is not the same hospital as the hospital where the two ladies were born because it merged with it in 1975. As a result, it is not accountable.
Because the nurses and doctors involved in the 1964 incident died, no one knows how the babies were switched at delivery. Despite the fact that their children and families are now acquainted. Ennis and Lopez continue to struggle with adjusting to their new family dynamics.
SELECTING THE PARTS
Over time, Lopez and Jones have discovered common ground, such as a shared love of purple, shopping, and estate sales. Jones claimed, though, that Ennis will always be her daughter.
Indeed, the experiences of Ennis, Lopez, and Jones during the last 50 years have been tremendously tiring and taxing. We wish these three ladies the best of luck in their future endeavors.
A Virginia mother’s life was flipped upside down when a DNA test revealed she had been raising a stranger as her own daughter, just like Jones.