The past two months have been a whirlwind for a woman who found out she has two half-siblings who were also abandoned at birth in Prince Rupert.
Kathie Rennie grew up in the Lower Mainland, and always knew that she was adopted but learned that she was abandoned when she was 19 years old.
“It never really bothered me to be honest. I wasn’t left for dead. I made peace with it many years ago,” she said last week when she was in Prince Rupert for the first time since she was an infant.
When she met up with her half-siblings Janet Keall and Kevin, who does not want his last name printed, they had both travelled back to the place where they were born, and she felt like the odd one out.
Last week, she decided to take a road trip where her husband Gord, and their three children from the Lower Mainland to Prince Rupert for their summer vacation.
The first search
In 2003, Rennie had made an appeal to find her biological mother or family. She was interviewed by the Prince Rupert Daily News who was in touch with Keall for a previous article about her own search for her parents. After the article came out, Rennie said it seemed like she was responding to Keall.
Keall said she couldn’t find Rennie after the article was published because the paper had printed her last name wrong. Keall had also given the reporter her contact information to get in touch with Rennie who had such a similar story to her own.
“He never passed any of that along. Had he, we would have found each other in 2003. That gives me goosebumps,” Rennie said.
Her article didn’t draw any leads, but Keall read the article and spent the last 13 years trying to find Rennie. In April, Keall renewed her search for the last time to unearth more from her past using social media and more media coverage. She received an anonymous tip about how to contact Rennie.
On July 7, Rennie received her email.
“You get this email from somebody and you phone them and you’re like, ‘Are you crazy? Are you certifiable?’ We talked for probably 45 minutes and she said, ‘and you have a brother.’ I thought I was going to pass out,” Rennie said.
Since then, all three half-siblings have reunited and are going through a process of putting their DNA into Ancestry.ca, Family Tree DNA and 23andme to hopefully expand the family tree.
Kathie Rennie and Janet Keall, who were both abandoned at birth in Prince Rupert, met for the first time in June. DNA results have confirmed that they’re half-siblings. CONTRIBUTED/THE NORTHERN VIEW
On Aug. 4, Rennie went back to the spot where she was found on the doorstep of a home in Seal Cove. She said she didn’t really feel connected to the place.
“If anything it made me feel better because I can see that I was left in a dry spot, not left out in the rain or anything like that,” she said.
What really matters to her was how all the media coverage lead her to find the people who discovered her that night when she was abandoned.
Karen and Bill Taylor had spent years looking for the baby who was left to their care. When Bill saw Rennie’s story in The Province, he showed his wife and they used the Rupertsbaby.com website to get in touch.
That was only a few weeks ago. They told Rennie what happened on the night of Feb. 7, 1976 when she was found.
What happened the night she was abandoned
It was 3 a.m. and Karen heard a knock at the door. She had a six-week old baby, and her husband, who was a marine operator in the navy, was at work.
Karen called out, “Who are you? What do you need?” A person responded, “I need help, call an ambulance.”
She called her husband and he told her to stay on the phone while he called an ambulance to their house. When she could hear the ambulance she opened the door and saw Rennie, but the person was gone.
Rennie said, the spot where she was left was insignificant compared to the circumstances behind that night.
After a short visit to the place where she was born, she returned back home where she will continue to spend time with Kevin, who also lives in the Lower Mainland, and speak to Keall over the phone, who lives in Prince Edward Island. They will also continue the search together.
“How do three babies in 39 months get abandoned in a small town like this and nobody knows anything. It doesn’t add up to me,” she said.
The three Rupert’s Babies ask that if there are any leads to their story they will be held confidentially as this is a private family search. They can be sent through to firstname.lastname@example.org or call a private confidential voicemail 604-260-6890