‘She’s never hugged her’: Mother meets daughter for first time in 51 years

‘She's never hugged her’: Mother meets daughter she put up for adoption for first time in 51 years

SAN DIEGO (KSWB/CNN) - San Diego’s airport was the scene of an emotional family reunion Friday that was really more like a first meeting.

An Ohio woman flew in to meet her mother who she hasn’t seen since she was a baby more than 50 years ago.

Lori Webster waited anxiously at San Diego International Airport with her sister and their stepmom for a very special family reunion.

Karen Leslie flew in from Michigan and was about to meet the daughter she put up for adoption 51 years ago.

“She has never heard her daughter’s voice,” Webster said. “She’s never hugged her daughter. The hardest thing for her to ever do was to give that baby up.”

Leslie’s daughter, Erin Chatterton flew in from Ohio.

“She grew up in the same area where they lived and Karen would always say she always wondered if the person walking by was her daughter,” Webster said.

After a flight delay, Chatterton finally arrived and then the hugs and tears flowed.

“How do you love somebody that you’ve never met?” Chatterton said. “But you can. She gave me life. It could’ve been the alternative, unfortunately. I always knew I was adopted. She gave me life, and I’m so appreciative of that.”

The reunion only came about because Chatterton and Webster’s sister, Lisa had gone on Ancestry DNA last year to take tests and then matches were revealed.

“I was sitting by a campfire, opened my email and saw the results and I just cried and cried. This part of me that I’ve always wondered is now answered,” Chatterton said.

"I'm just happy they were able to find each other and reconnect again," Chatterton said.

The family said they have a lot of catching up to do.

They're going to start that process with a family barbecue.

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