Brandi Guicciardini reunited her father with his father on May 7 – after nearly 60 years of separation – after tracking down her paternal grandfather via an ancestor test
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A daughter granted her dying father his dying wish – by reuniting him with his biological father in a “heartbreaking” video call just days before his death.
Brandi Guicciardini reunited the couple on May 7 – after almost 60 years apart.
First, the loving daughter located her paternal grandfather by producing her father’s pre-accepted birth certificate and ancestry test.
The 33-year-old says she still speaks to the 81-year-old every day – and that her family plan to visit him at Christmas to spread her father’s ashes together.
The mother-of-one hopes her father’s story will inspire other adopted children to ‘never give up on finding their roots’.
Brandi, from Oklahoma City, said finding out who his birth parents were was one of her father’s greatest desires.
“He’s been ill since December 2021 – it started when he broke his ribs while coughing,” she explained.
“He was also in remission from cancer after being diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and lymphoma in 2009.
“Then in February of this year he developed Covid-19 and pneumonia.
“While he was in hospital, he fell ill with Covid-19 for the second time and got pneumonia again.
“During that time, I remembered that my father still didn’t know who his birth father was.”
Brandi’s father was born in August 1964 and was put up for adoption at birth.
While his birth name was James Edward Odell, when he was adopted he became Robert “Bobby” Hadley Reinhart Jr.
Robert served in the Army from 1982 to 1986 where he was deployed to the Caribbean island of Grenada.
Brandi, who professionally teaches children at home, said it wasn’t until her father was a little older that he wondered where he was from.
On January 15, 2020, the state of New York signed new law allowing adopted citizens to find their birth parents.
Brandi had previously described the process as “almost impossible”.
She said: “Nine times out of 10 the state will deny your application to be adopted – but opening pre-adopted records opens the doors for so many people to find out about their birth families.”
New York is only the 10th state to give adoptees full access to their birth certificates.
In 2021, Brandi was able to pay for her father’s original pre-accepted birth certificate — which mentioned his mother’s name, “Barbara Hall,” but not his father’s.
Brandi said: “We were able to find my father’s half brothers through Barbara’s name, but unfortunately she passed away in 1999.”
After much searching, Brandi was able to determine that her grandfather—her father’s biological father—was Robert Stratton, who lived in Bennington, Vermont.
She contacted him through the ancestral site and eventually spoke to him via FaceTime.
She said: “It was amazing – I was absolutely over the moon and I immediately wanted to phone my dad to his real dad.
“I had to do it – I didn’t want to let him down”.
She made some arrangements and managed to get the couple to video chat.
While the call came “pretty quickly” about her father’s breathing problems, she was thrilled to fulfill her father’s “last wish before he died.”
“My grandfather started crying and said to my father, ‘I wish I had met you 50 years ago’.
“He never knew about my father and I honestly think if he had known he wouldn’t have adopted him, he would have raised him himself.
“My dad replied and said, ‘Well Dad, my lungs are down to 5% and my kidneys are failing – my heart is dying.
“‘I won’t be able to come up and meet you, but Brandi, Mama and JoJo will visit you.’
“Grandfather said it was fine and they would ‘meet one day.’
“Then my dad hung up with a fit of coughing – and that was the first – and last – time they spoke. I felt my heart break.”
Unfortunately, Brandi’s father passed away just a few days later on May 12 – at the age of just 57.
Brandi hopes her father’s story will inspire other adopted children to “never give up.”
She said, “If you’re adopted and you want to know your roots, don’t give up. You never know if you don’t try.”
“Even on his deathbed, my father never gave up – so we fought to the end, too. You’ll never know if you don’t try.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/daughter-reunites-dying-father-long-27218268 Only a few days before his death, the daughter reunites the dying father with the long-lost father