When you first step into a class at the university, it can be overwhelming. It’s not just about the new challenges that come with the new teaching methods, but also meeting new people and trying to make new friends.
Katy Olson had no idea that a classroom icebreaker exercise would lead her to discovering a decades-old secret about her own family! While for many young adults life changes as you begin college, Katy’s life took a very different turn…
Katy was born in Tampa, Florida, but she grew up in Iowa. She thrived in the midst of her adoptive family, but had a tough childhood. That was because she had a mild case of cerebral palsy.
Katy’s childhood was different than the one of most kids. She had to undergo some medical procedures to correct her condition. Nonetheless, it didn’t stop her from being a curious and passionate little girl. And talking about curiosity, that’s how she stumbled upon a life-changing secret!
Katy wished to move to NYC when she grew up. She did finally get to do that when she began pursuing her dream of becoming an actor and a stand-up comedian.
She showed up in some comedy shows and a few clubs, but she soon changed not only her career direction, but also her entire life. Writing her stand-up comedy routines, she reignited her old passion of writing…
Katy’s biggest dream was in fact to become a creative writer. But she was already in her 30s and had to find a way to balance her school and the lifestyle she had in New York.
Finding some courage, she decided to apply to some programs and see if something pans out. She had no idea that her studies would lead her to discovering an old family secret. People all over the world learned of her story and had to agree that this was the work of fate!
After applying for various creative writing programs, Katy learned that she got accepted into Columbia University! She may have been older than most students, but she was as excited as everyone about the classes and the beginning of the semester.
One of the classes was focused on literary reporting, also known as WRIT W3680. This is the place that would soon change her life, right from the first day…
Most first days at universities, professors choose to spend those hours doing icebreaker activities. That included the literary reporting class as well. The professor asked students to share something about themselves.
One of the classmates who had just signed up for the course before it began, began speaking. As she muttered the first few sentences, Katy’s jaw just dropped!
Lizzie Delgado was introducing herself to the entire class. She said she has a young daughter and she is married. She grew up in Bergen County, New Jersey. Lizzie was also in her 30s and very passionate about writing…
This young woman noticed Katy’s reaction and didn’t understand why she looked so shocked. After all, Lizzie was just stating some random things her life, as well as some funny facts about herself. She would soon learn why this classmate looked so appalled.
Although Lizzie noted the classmate react that way, she shared a short story about herself, saying how obsessed she was with the Olsen twins. She also noted she worked as a personal assistant and a bartender.
She talked about her adoptive parents and mentioned her father was a television news producer. The more she talked about her family, Katy looked even more mortified! She wondered what was that classmate thinking about, but waited for the class to finish and ask her in person.
Katy was really freaking out when she heard Lizzie talk about herself. Soon after this story got viral, Lizzie told reporters that from the front of the class, “it looked like [Katy] was having a panic attack.”
And indeed, Katy was shocked to hear everything about a woman she’s heard about before! You see, Katy knew some details about someone just like Lizzie. But it was impossible! What where the odds of finding this woman by mistake?
Katy was all pale and nearly forgot breathing as she thought this was too good to be true! While she had been in New York, Katy began researching about her biological family.
Years of searching for her mother ended without any result. She couldn’t find anything on her birth mother, but she did learn about another woman that could help her find the missing pieces of the puzzle!
Although Katy was happy with her adoptive parents, she knew she wouldn’t be complete if she didn’t get to see her birth mother. As she looked for her biological mother, she found out that she may have a bigger sister.
Katy looked on social media for months and found a girl she suspected she could be her sister. She tried reaching back but never got an answer. It was a dead end, or so she thought… Then she heard Lizzy in the classroom, talking about adoptive parents.
The woman on social media was indeed Lizzy and she had a photo of a small girl on her page. Katy assumed she was her daughter. Then she learned more details about her that first day in the class.
Katy freaked out and tried her best to hide her shock. I was worried that she’d think I was stalking her,” Katy said in a later interview. “I didn’t want to let her get away. I couldn’t go home and sit for a week without getting an answer to this question,” Katy added. She had to find the right way to ask her…
Let’s all agree that being approached by a classmate in the first day of college and asking you a personal question is not what you’d want to experience. Katy knew it was strange, but she had so many questions…
She had to know whether this Lizzie was her sister or not. She’s been searching for her for years and this time she had to do something. Katy walked up to Lizzie and asked her so many confusing questions that at first didn’t make sense. Then, both women were staring at each other, crying!
Lizzie was so confused when Katy asked her “Were you given up for adoption in Tampa, Florida, to a woman named Leslie?”
Then she later told reporters she was so confused and thought about answering to her questions, when Katy blurted out: “I think we’re sisters.” Lizzie was stunned!
Lizzie’s reply was “Is this real life?” She felt the room freeze for a few moments and then the two women had both a lot of questions. Now it wasn’t just Kate who was having a panic attack moment!
Lizzie was curious about Katy and together they compared what they knew about their biological mothers. They described what they knew about the birth certificates and what their adoptive parents told them.
Both girls were put to adoption in Tampa. It was very likely that they were sisters, but Lizzie was still hiding some secrets that Katy had no idea about…
As they kept talking to each other, the two realized they had made a connection. Two long-lost sisters were now sitting in the same room! They headed to a bar and kept on talking.
After they had a regular small talk about favorite food or weird stuff, Lizzie revealed an unexpected secret to his sister. It started with Katy asking about their biological mother…
Lizzie confirmed that their mom’s name was Leslie Parker and that she lived in Florida. But there was more to her story. Their mom had once been attacked by a serial killer, and her life wasn’t that easy before either…
Katy has hoped to find her biological mother for years. Then, Lizzie told her that she had actually met their mother just a little while before discovering Katy was her sister!
Lizzie advised Katy to reach out and talk to their mom, so she gave her the contact information. Not being comfortable to call her, she first sent an email. She had no idea whether her mother would ever read that email, though.
Katy was afraid to lose contact with her mom now that she was so close to seeing her. Meanwhile, Lizzie was recalling the memories of meeting their mother.
Then, she remembered an essential detail that Katy had to know! It was about a call her mother received in 1980!
“My adoptive mother was contacted in 1980 about adopting another girl from my biological mother,” Lizzie recalled in an interview. That person from the other end of the line had some serious arguments…
Lizzie’s mom was “told that the baby may not survive because of complications with her birth and delivery.” Then, she never heard about the baby and assumed that it passed away. It was clear Katy was that baby!
Lizzie and Katy’s mom responded to the email and told her the story about the adoption. Leslie had put the two girls up for adoption as she was a teenager when she had given birth to them.
The young mother knew she couldn’t give them a life she had hoped to. Later on, Leslie had two sons that she raised. Lizzie and Katy had two half-brothers they had never known about!
Katy wanted to meet them all and learn more about her mother. With all that drama, Lizzie and Katy were able to study and their work paid off.
Graduation day arrived and guess who was attending the ceremony! Her birth mother was there to meet her little girl after all these years…
Reuniting with her biological family was Katy’s wish and after years of search, she finally did it with the help of her bigger sister, Lizzie!
Their story was unique, and since they just majored in creative writing, it was a good idea to talk to the New York Times. They even showed up on television stations and they all got ready for that big day when Katy would meet her mom.
Graduation day is always a big event for families, but for Katy it was even bigger! She received her diploma as she walked on the stage and the sat next to her biological mother, Leslie.
Talking to reporters, Leslie said Lizzie and Katy are “both amazing, beautiful women,” explaining she had never thought the two would ever find each other. “It felt like the world was coming full circle,” she said.
Their lives completely changed after finding each other. Lizzie and Katy are very close and always meet, and spend holidays together. They have even visited each other’s adoptive parents.
And most importantly, they have never forgotten about their mom’s sacrifice. She let them go and hoped they would find loving families that could provide them with more than she could have offered.
Leslie Parker was heartbroken knowing she had to give her girls up for adoption. It was a painful loss that she had to endure and she hoped to reconnect with her daughters and see if they’re doing well.
Once she saw Lizzie and Katy, she knew her sacrifice wasn’t in vain! “I’m glad I chose to have them and gave them the chance at life,” Leslie explained, saying that while she isn’t religious, there has to be a higher power that made this story possible.