Mother and daughter reunited with help of a stranger - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Mother and daughter reunited with help of a stranger

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Sandra Barnette says it was a dream come true to find her long-lost daughter. "I never, ever thought I would get to see her," she said.

Sandra never knew what happened to her little girl. Her parental rights were stripped when the girl was 18 months old.

A few weeks ago Sandra got the surprise of her life, when a stranger knocked on her door.

"If I got that same reception every day, I would come here every day!" said Jen Rawson, almost laughing and crying at the same time.

Rawson is not the long-lost daughter. She's just a kind-hearted stranger who belongs to a native Charlotteans facebook group.

It's where Christie Eastwood started asking questions about her birth mother.

Rawson loves genealogy and knew she could help. She did some online research and tracked down public court records. It cost a lot of time and just $1.25 to find a marriage license which led to Christie's mom.

Within days, Sandra and Christie arranged a reunion in New York. Christie moved there four years ago.

"Just to get my arms around my child after that long was just so heart warming. It was a miracle in itself," Sandra said.

They were separated by the courts 32 years ago, over abuse allegations which Sandra denies.

Christie grew up in foster care, and was later adopted. Despite the years, her connection to Sandra is strong.

"I didn't know her, but somehow, it was like my soul had not forgotten her. She felt really familiar to me," said Christie.

Now, they talk every day. Sandra has the chance to know her daughter and granddaughter, named Emily.

"There was a whole in my heart that was empty. Ever since the day she was taken. I didn't think it would ever be filled. It's filled now," she said.

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