MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Adopted as a newborn, a Twin Cities woman grew up never thinking too long about the family she never knew.
A milestone in her life led her on a surprising journey, which she is now sharing with others.READ MORE: Man Who Escaped From Northern Minnesota Corrections Facility Back In Custody
That journey started this spring, when Aundria Arlandson celebrated her 50th birthday.
The Arlandsons adopted Aundria, who was born in Minneapolis, through Lutheran Social Services.
“The only times I really ever thought about it is when people pointed out we were different,” Aundria said.
She always fit in with her two adopted siblings and Scandinavian parents. Aundria never felt the need to ask many questions.
“We also say ‘uff dah’ we all eat lefse,” she said.
Around the time of her 50th birthday, a DNA kit came in the mail from a friend.
“It just sat at my house for six weeks and I was just like, ‘Ugh, I don’t know if I’m ready for you yet,’” she said.
So, when answers arrived in two weeks, she could not believe just hours later she would located a cousin who filled in the blanks.
“He knew about my story, he just gave me some names to reach out to so I plugged those in. Went on Facebook and started sending messages,” she said.READ MORE: Next Weather: Chilly, Cloudy Saturday With Light Showers
Those messages that were returned by two brothers and a sister who all share the same mom. Aundria has a different dad. The kids grew up in St. Paul before settling in other parts of the country.
“That led to a phone call, a three-hour phone call,” Aundria said.
Then, plans for an in-person meeting that finally took place just a few weeks ago.
“Sure enough, as soon as Kim came through the door, I lost it,” Aundria said. “It’s crazy to look at it because I see my face in them. We have the same eyebrows, which is crazy.”
Aundria is sharing all of it online, to help other adopted children piece their own story together.
“It’s been really helpful to me to talk to other people about their journey,” she said.
She is also thanking her birth mother and the mom who raised her, who did not live to see this full circle moment.
“I wanted to be sure I recognized Barbara. She’s the reason I’m here. Then, she’s the reason for who I am,” she said.
Aundria now has even more reasons to feel loved.
“I think we’re super lucky to be in each other’s lives now, for sure,” Aundria said.MORE NEWS: Smeltzer Backed By Garlick, Miranda As Twins Beat Royals 6-4