Life

By David Aspinall

This is the heart-warming moment a birth mum is surprised by a reunion with her daughter after giving her up for adoption 20 years earlier.

Estelitta Murg – known as Leah – was celebrating her 42nd birthday on January 28 with a meal surrounded by family and friends unaware of the incredible shock awaiting her.

While sat in CJ Maggies in Buckhannon, West Virginia, USA, Leah’s sister Hope Cunningham leads her niece Natalie Rodgers, 20, and her adopted mum Anita up the stairs quietly.

As soon as Leah spots Natalie she gasps before bursting into uncontrollable tears before throwing her arms around estranged daughter in a loving embrace.

Hope said: “Leah had no idea what we had planned so she was in total shock when Natalie appeared.

“The pair of them had spoken on the phone and that had been emotional for my sister enough.

“The first time they called, Leah left work and came straight to my house and bawled her eyes out.

“Bringing them both together for the first time in 20 years just made her birthday and I was so happy to organise it.”

PIC BY HOPE CUNNINGHAM / CATERS NEWS –

The pair had their first contact on January 8 when Natalie messaged Leah on Facebook after her adopted parents confirmed her birth name was Dakota Love.

Along with help from Leah’s son Zian, her husband Jayson and Anita, Hope could bring Natalie up to West Virginia from Florida, USA, where she lives.

Hope said: “Anita has been fantastic through the whole process.

“When we all met up Natalie told us she has been very loved her whole life and is a spoiled princess.

“With them living in Florida, it is expensive for regular contact.

“However, from speaking to each other Natalie and Leah are so similar.

“They even have the same interests and hobbies.”