GRAND CHUTE (NBC 26) — With Father's Day approaching, a story has emerged from our community, Melissa Kelly, shares her journey of finding her biological father after taking a DNA test.
Growing up in a large family with a stepfather who raised her as his own, Melissa had never felt the void of not having a biological father and initially lacked the desire to search for him.
However, as she grew older, her curiosity about her birth father intensified, and she started asking her mother some questions. Her mother had always been upfront and honest with her, or so she thought.
“[my mother] had the spelling of the last name and pronunciation wrong,” said Kelly.
There were 14 years of wonder and dead ends in her search. Despite undergoing multiple DNA tests, Melissa was unable to find any leads.
Everything changed when Melissa decided to use a 23andMe DNA kit. Several years later, she finally received a match with a cousin on her father's side.
“I’m stalking him on Facebook and other family members… and I found my father. Took one look at him and I knew that it was him,” said Kelly.
Longing to connect with her long-lost father, Melissa composed a letter to Ron Bures, introducing herself and explaining their connection. Ron Bures, Melissa's father, sat down with us from Nebraska for a FaceTime interview.
“Ya know you hear about these stories and don’t ever think it’s going to happen to you,” said Bures.
Despite the distance between them, Ron expressed his wish to see Melissa more often. However, they’ve made it work.
“We went to Florida, and I stayed up there for one Christmas,” said Bures.
After years of wondering and searching, Melissa now has many reasons to celebrate.
“How wonderful it is to see my father in me whenever I look in the mirror,” said Kelly.
Melissa has not only found her father but also discovered six new siblings, expanding her family in ways she never thought possible.
“That little void I never thought I had was being filled,” said Kelly.
In response to this remarkable reunion, 23andMe sent NBC 26 a statement expressing their joy at witnessing customers finding family.
“We are increasingly hearing stories of families discovering and reuniting with newfound relatives. These stories are truly inspirational, it’s incredible to see customers find family members after years of searching - and in this case, searching for over half a century! We wish Melissa and her family all the best, especially this Father’s Day weekend.”
Melissa told us that her birth certificate no longer reads “father unknown,” it is now officially Ronald Bures, accompanied by his signature.