A woman’s life was turned upside down when a DNA test revealed the child she raised as her own for nearly five decades wasn’t her own. Was she prepared to learn the whole truth?
Until the shocking revelation rocked her world, everything in her life was perfect. She was a devoted mother and grandmother. One day, Kathryn Jones performed a home DNA test that changed everything.
A part of her wished she could travel back in time, but another struggled to come to terms with reality. A 55-year-old Jones had to pick up the pieces 55 years later and come to terms with a past she had no idea existed.
Jones became a mother on May 18, 1964, when she gave birth to Tina Ennis at Duncan Physicians and Surgeons Hospital in Duncan, Oklahoma. She instantly fell in love with Ennis, who was the most beautiful child she had ever seen.
Jones believed Ennis was her daughter, but at-home DNA tests proved otherwise years later. Kathryn Jones and Ennis were devastated by the reality.
Jones said, “I couldn’t take it any longer.” Ennis was in the same boat, unable to accept the fact that the woman she’d always called her mother wasn’t her mother.
EXPERIENCED A RELATIVELY NORMAL CHILDHOOD
Ennis had a terribly commonplace childhood, including the divorce of her alleged mother and father when she was just two years old. After Jones remarried, Ennis had a father figure in her childhood.
Both families are still processing their grief, anger, regret, and newly discovered ties.
Jones’ husband worked as a house painter, and she was a telephone operator. Brenda, her older sister, and a newborn brother, eight years her junior, completed Ennis’ family. The sisters had a special bond and were extremely close.
GETTING A DNA TEST
Ennis had always felt different from her family because of her tall and slender appearance, but Jones reassured her by saying she looked just like her biological father. Ennis’s daughter, now 26 years old, encouraged her to take a DNA test on Ancestry.com in the summer of 2019.
The Oklahoma woman wanted to use the DNA test to track down her long-lost grandfather, but the results returned names she did not recognize. “Brister” was one of the most popular names among the findings, so Ennis inquired if Jones knew anyone with that name.
She did not know who Brister was and said she had never met anyone with the last name of Brister. Ennis’ daughter convinced Jones to take the DNA test. According to the findings, Jones is not related to Ennis or her daughter.
THE OUTRAGEOUS RESULTS
An astonished mother and daughter contacted customer support to ensure that the mix-up was not their fault. Despite the fact that none of them trusted the DNA test results, Ennis’ daughter was convinced that something was wrong and began researching it online.
She discovered an Oklahoman named Jill Lopez, who was born on the same day as Ennis and looked a lot like Jones, after doing some internet detective work. Lopez eventually agreed to take a DNA test after some persuasion.
The testing confirmed everyone’s worst fears: Lopez was born to Jones and Ennis and was found in Jones’s family tree. In 1955, Ennis and Lopez returned home from the hospital with their biological families.
THE FAMILY BRISTER
Lopez was raised 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 older sisters, close friends, and a grandmother.
After she moved to Lawton, Oklahoma, Ennis’ daughter contacted her and asked her to do the DNA test. To be sure that Jones would be able to handle the upsetting news, Ennis scheduled a meeting with Lopez at a restaurant.
Suddenly, her heart sank as she realized, “This is for real,” she says. Ennis remembered that Lopez was Jones’ biological daughter. Two of her siblings helped her gain the confidence to tell Jones the news.
MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUTH
As Ennis predicted, Jones would not be able to cope with reality, and that is exactly what happened. Jones was shocked and astonished.
“I couldn’t let go of Tina.” She will always be my little girl, no matter what. I have adored her since they placed her in my arms.” Jones expressed his feelings.
Grieving widow expressed her sorrow by claiming that she lost her daughter and grandchildren. Ennis, on the other hand, indicated that she was not planning to leave Jones.
She feared losing me. And she had no intention of following through on her threat. “I had no intention of abandoning her,” Ennis confessed.
While Ennis and Jones’ relationship remained strong, further heartbreaking disclosures wreaked havoc on her life. It was too late for Ennis to meet her biological parents, Joyce and John Brister, who died a long time ago.
LIVING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PAIN
While she and her family showed Ennis pictures and stories about the Bristers, Lopez wished she could embrace them. They are still coming to terms with their grief, rage, sorrow, and newly discovered connections.
Now, the three women are suing the Oklahoma hospital for recklessness and negligent infliction of emotional distress, where the mix-up occurred in 1964.
Duncan Regional Hospital argues that it is not the same hospital as the one where the two ladies were born because it merged with it in 1975. It is not accountable.
The nurses and doctors involved in the 1964 incident died, so no one knows how the babies were switched during delivery. It is true that their children and families are now acquainted. Lopez and Ennis continue to struggle with their new family dynamics.
SELECTING THE PARTS
Lopez and Jones have discovered common interests over time, such as purple, shopping, and estate sales. However, Jones said Ennis will always be her daughter.
Ennis, Lopez, and Jones have experienced a great deal during the last 50 years. We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.
A DNA test revealed a Virginia mother had been raising a stranger as her own daughter, just like Jones.