As teenagers, Denny and Karen Vinar fell in love. They even had a baby when Karen was just 15 but they were forced to go their separate ways after putting their child up for adoption. What the two never expected was reunited with each other more than 50 years later.
Recalling the good old days, Karen shared, “I only lived two blocks from the school, so he would walk me home after school practically every day.” Meanwhile, Denny said, “After football games or basketball games you’d run down and shower and she’d be waiting up there all for me.” Back in 1961, the pair thought that they would be together forever but a positive pregnancy test changed everything.
When Karen’s family found out about her pregnancy, they took her to a home for unwed mothers where Denny would only have a few opportunities to visit her. The day their baby girl was born, the pair held their child for just an hour before she was given up for adoption. “That was the last we saw of her. We had a photograph taken of her and that was the last of our memories of her,” said Karen according to WSVN.
The couple still remained in love and after returning home from the military back in the 60s’ Denny proposed to Karen. Although she said yes, her family did not give their blessing as they wanted Jaren to get an education instead. Being in love with each other made it extremely hard for them to part ways but they ultimately had to. “No, I never stopped thinking about her. She has, I say, a corner of my heart. No, she was always there,” claimed Denny.
For 53 years, they two have lived different lives in different parts of the county. But then in 2014, became curious about Karen and decide to look her up online. Luckily he found her and left a message at her workplace in Everett, Washington. “I called back immediately and said – how did you find me?” recalled Karen who was thrilled to reconnect with her old flame. Next thing you know, Denny flew out to meet Karen.
“It was just magic. She got out of the car and she ran around and she jumped on me and said babe, you’re home. It did feel like nothing changed. Including his dimples. When he smiled and his sparkling eyes,” said Karen who tied the know with Denny 36 hours later and settled down in the Twin Cities. Then again, something was missing. It was their baby girl.
“One day he said, ‘Karen it took me this long to find you. My life would be complete if we could find our daughter,'” she shared of their conversation. Soon the two worked with Lutheran Social Services and managed to find Jean, who after much thought and letters decided to meet her biological parents.
“I don’t think there are many feelings that would compare to not ever having seen your parents and then they just walk in the door. It’s a very emotional, moving experience. When he walked through the door and I looked at him I was like, oh my gosh. Because I’ve never, ever looked like anybody before. Never. Ever,” shared Jean. Now they are busy making up for all the lost holidays, birthdays, and time.
Cover image source: YouTube Screenshot | WCCO – CBS Minnesota