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“Dream Come True.” Woman Tearfully Reunites With Birth Mom After 34 Yrs Apart.

Rachel Ruiz reunites with birth mother Angie Howard

Thirty-four years ago, teenage mother Angie Howard faced an impossible decision. At 17, she felt too young and unprepared to raise a child, so she did the best thing she could for her daughter by placing her for adoption. She prayed that the infant would go to loving parents who could offer her the stable life she couldn’t, and she said goodbye when the baby was just 2 weeks old.

Rachel Ruiz grew up in a loving home in Draper, Utah with adoptive parents Brent and Marianne Haslam. Though her adoption was closed, meaning no contact with her birth mother, she always wondered about the woman who’d brought her into the world. Brent and Marianne were open with Rachel about her being adopted, and on her 18th birthday, they shared a letter Angie had written her all those years ago.

In the letter, Angie told Rachel she hoped they’d get to meet someday. That was all it took for Rachel to embark on a search that would last a decade. With her parents’ help, she set out to track Angie down. Little did she know that Angie lived just 30 minutes from her childhood home!

“I wanted to show her that this decision was a good one and that I was happy and healthy,” Rachel said of her desire to meet Angie. “That’s when my parents and I put in the work to find her.”

In 2014, Rachel took a DNA test and found her maternal grandfather, but he never responded to her messages. Over the next decade, Rachel followed every trail, only to come up empty-handed. It wasn’t until 2022 when she came across a relative’s obituary that listed Angie as a surviving family member. On Christmas Day, she found Angie’s Facebook profile and sent her a message.

The next morning, Angie saw the message and immediately hit reply.

“She wrote, ‘I think you are onto something… I’ve been praying for this day for 34 years and always wished you would show up on my doorstep,'” Rachel recalled.

That day, Rachel gave her birth parents a print-out of her conversation with Angie. They were “ecstatic” that their daughter had finally tracked down this missing piece of her familial puzzle.

Angie was living in Arizona, but she arranged to come to Utah to meet Rachel and her family in January. Rachel’s husband Teddy recorded the entire reunion, and Rachel later shared the emotional video on TikTok.

“I finally reunited with my birth mom after 34 years!” she captioned her video. “My adoption was closed and I’ve been trying to find her for over 10 years with failed attempt after failed attempt.”

In the video, which has been viewed millions of times to date, Rachel greets Angie on the front porch and they share a long, tight hug.

Rachel couldn’t get over how similar they look, or how much their voices sound alike. Angie was delighted to meet Rachel’s parents, husband, and 2-year-old son, Enzo. Rachel found out that she has a half-sister in Arizona, and a half-brother who passed away in childhood. She even got to meet her biological maternal grandmother just days before she died.

Marianne and Brent finally got the chance to tell Angie what her gift meant to them, after all those years. The gratitude went both ways.

“My mom thanked Angie, as my parents couldn’t have biological children,” Rachel explained. “Angie said how grateful she was that I was raised by such loving parents. She always prayed for that.”

Rachel now feels that her family is complete, which she says “is a dream come true.” Meanwhile, millions of TikTok viewers are still recovering from the beautiful, emotional video Rachel shared of their reunion. See if for yourself in the video below!


I finally reunited with my birth mom after 34 years! My adoption was closed and I’ve been trying to find her for over 10 years with failed attempt after failed attempt. Thank you @ancestry for being a huge reason why this was able to happen. #adoption #birthmomreunion #adoptionreunion #birthmom #adoptionsucess #closedadoption #ancestrydna #love

♬ Unstoppable (I put my armor on, show you how strong I am) – Sia

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