FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – It was a dream come true and an answer to prayers. It was a moment decades in the making. It was a moment Kimberly Ball wasn’t sure would ever happen.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Kimberly said holding back tears. “I don’t think many people get the chance to be able to find somebody they’ve been searching their whole life for.”
That chance happened for Kimberly Friday morning at Lakeside Park when she got to hug her biological father for the first time.
“I’m just happy,” Wilbert May, Kimberly’s father, said. “I’ve been looking for her forever it seemed like. I just wanted to know she’s alright and she’s doing really well.”
Kimberly, who’s 48 now, was adopted at birth. Since she was old enough to understand, she knew she was adopted and she wanted to find her biological parents. She’s been searching off and on for about 20 years.
“When you get a child, you don’t know if they’ll ever find their family and there’s always that question of who do I belong to,” Marcia Ball, Kimberly’s adoptive mother, said.
Marcia was always supportive of Kimberly’s efforts to find her family.
“You’re my child and nothing’s going to take that away, but you have that blood in you and nothing beats that,” she said.
Her adoption was closed, but she knew her biological mother’s name. Then earlier this year, Kimberly caught a break on an adoption registry website.
“It said, ‘biological father looking for daughter,’” she said. “I was trembling and my hands were shaking and I had found my Daddy!”
She also found five siblings, three brothers and two sisters.
“I grew up as an only child, so to find out I’m one of six is amazing,” Kimberly said.
With the help of Facebook, Kimberly connected with her biological family. Six weeks later, her dad and two of her brothers drove overnight from Missouri to meet Kimberly in Fort Wayne.
“It’s been a long time coming, a long time coming,” Rusty May, Kimberly’s brother, said. “When you got a family member out there, you want to know how they’re doing. When you’re looking for somebody, you don’t think it will take 30 years.”
While the families had just met, someone watching from the outside would never have known it. Everyone embraced as if old friends and the six children there were all scooped up as if the new family had known them for years.
Kimberly’s son, Dontae Ball, and his wife adopted his two sons and is fostering four more children.
“It’s amazing to think my adopted mom could have a heart to take me in as her own and love me as her own and to think I raised a child who has the heart to take in even more children,” Kimberly said.
For Dontae, there was no question.
“If I was ever in a position to help another child that needed care, I would do that and my wife wanted to do that as well,” Dontae said.
Two families with so much love to give, now united.
“Going forward is what mattes and we have the rest of our lives,” Kimberly said.
Kimberly’s birth mother, Ellen Kelley, and her other new siblings couldn’t make the trip. Kimberly, who moved to Virginia Beach from Fort Wayne in 2010, is excited to now make a trip to Missouri to meet the rest of her family.