Jessica Douglas was given away as a young baby and separated from her family.
Her mother, Sandra Osorio, had no choice but to do this. It was the hardest decision she ever made, but she intended to come back for her. Until something got in the way.
Where The Story Begins
Sandra Osorio was living in Caguas, Puerto Rico at the end of the 70s. At the time she was a single mother, struggling to raise four children with no money. All of a sudden, Osorio was forced to leave her home.
The worst part, she could only take two children with her.
She decided to leave the two youngest children with her aunt and friend. She left Jessica with her friend Carmen Pimentel. However, Pimentel only agreed to take care of Douglas for just three short months.
What did that mean for baby Jessica?
While Sandra had to abandon Jessica, this did not mean that she wasn’t planning to come back for her. Her father, Rey Flores was in trouble with the law and had to flee the island immediately.
Back For Their Baby
Two months later, Rey left Chicago and flew to retrieve Jessica and the other child. By the time he arrived. Pimental was gone, and Jessica was nowhere in sight.
Now he had to deliver the news to Sandra. She was going to be heartbroken.
Asking For Help
Nothing To Do
Sandra was from an area called, Caguas, Puerto Rico. It was one of the worst areas in Puerto Rico and the police had no interest in helping anyone from there. Osorio spent 37 years trying to get her daughter back, with no one to help her. The police didn’t even believe her.
Can you imagine how hard this is for a mother?
While she was just a little baby, Jessica went through more than most people endure in their whole lives. She said in an interview that she remembers her “mother,” Carmen having contraband around when she was very young.
She was eventually put into foster care and adopted by a loving family.
On The Other Side
Sandra could not get through the day without thinking about Jessica. She created a new life in Cleaveland, but would never forget the daughter she abandoned.
While Osorio was desperately looking for her daughter, someone else was immersed in a search of her own.
The Wrong Direction
Pimentel lost custody of Jessica when she was five years old. Douglas was then placed in foster care and eventually adopted. She spent years looking for Carmen, who she assumed was her birth mother.
Making Her Way To The Truth
Jessica went on to ancestry.com as she began to look for her mother Carmen. Carmen lost custody of Jessica when she was just five years old. Jessica’s only memories of her mother were in regards to Carmen, so this is who she was looking for.
A Key Element
While Jessica was getting deep in her search, the name “Osorio” came to mind even though she was sure her mother was Carmen. She typed in Osorio Pimental, and that’s when her life turned upside down. Immediately, she found Osorio’s aunt and gave her a call.
Piecing It Together
After 37 years, on March 18th, Osorio got an interesting call from her auntie. She called to tell her that her daughter, Jessica, was looking for Carmen. She said, ” Jessica is looking for Carmen, not you. She doesn’t know you exist in this world.”
But that’s where things changed.
Not So Smooth
Jessica then called Sandra Osorio and inquired how she knew Carmen. This was a pivotal moment for the two women as Osorio had to tell Jessica that she was really her mother. How do you think you would handle news like this after 37 years?
Getting In Touch
The two got in touch but Jessica was not quick to believe that Osorio was her mother. The only way to find out the truth was to do a DNA test.
“I feel that if somebody is kidnapped that the FBI is involved, police get involved, there is a missing person and Amber Alert, there are faces on milk cartons,” Douglas explained.
The Next Step
The test results revealed that Osorio was indeed her mother.
Douglas spent 37 years living a lie. After seeing the results of the maternity test she flew to Cleaveland and Jessica was reunited with her mother. Now it was up to Jessica to decide if she could forgive her mother for abandoning her…
Dealing With The News
Jessica had this new information and she wasn’t quite sure how to handle it or what to feel. To her, a child gone missing meant FBI involved or a child’s face on a milk carton. However, she saw none of that.
Did this mean her parents were not actually looking for her?
At the time, Rey passed away and Sandra did not have the financial means or support to carry out a search like she wished to. Once the two got to talking, Jessica was convinced that Sandra was a “wonderful person,” but she was not ready to call her mom just yet.
Osorio admitted that it breaks her heart to think that her daughter was calling someone else mom.
After months of speaking, Jessica and Sandra decided it was time to see each other. It had been 37 years since Sandra saw her baby, and she could not wait any longer. She gathered her family and got ready to travel from Cleaveland to Jessica’s home.
This one’s definitely emotional, make sure you have a tissue nearby.
Osorio arrived at Jessica’s home. She jumped out of the car in tears saying “Can I give my baby a hug, please.” Douglas admitted that their connection was truly instant, and something she never saw coming.
The two women have reunited and have not stopped holding hands in complete awe of this discovery.