SAN ANTONIO -- The story of Charlesina Mace is really amazing. On Monday, she was united with her birth family for the very first time. And the amazing part is that she is 56 years old.
Charlesina was born in 1955 in Corpus Christi to a 15-year-old mother who immediately placed her up for adoption. Charlesina grew up having no idea she was adopted.
Her adopted parents showered her with lots of love but went to their graves without ever telling her of her birth past.
But on her death bed, Charlesina's birth mother made her sister promise to find the daughter she had put up for adoption. It was a long journey.
In 2003, her birth relatives went about trying to have birth documents and records unsealed to tell her about her medical history and past. But after getting the records in open court, they weren't sure what to do, so the information sat silent for eight years.
A family cousin finally hired a private investigator who came up with a name, and that name was plugged into Facebook. Charlesina received lots of messages but never responded because she knew nothing of her past and simply thought they had the wrong person.
"She says, 'You must be mistaken. I don't have any family. My parents are dead," said cousin Sylvia Schultze.
But after receiving email documents and repeated phone calls, she finally came to the conclusion that her life was about to change in a huge way.
"I kind of got a double whammy: I wasn't told I was adopted and never had a chance to meet the woman who brought me into the world," Charlesina said. "But I can't say anything against my parents that adopted me, because they raised me to where I have the morals that I have today. But like I said, it's better late than never."
Charlesina and her husband drove from California to San Antonio the weekend before Valentine's Day, and the rest is family history.
"We make memories now. I said, we may be 59, 60 years old, I said, but this is when we start making our memories. Today," Sylvia said.