LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Tracy Melton was born and grew up in Los Angeles and always knew she was different than her sisters. They were both blue-eyed blondes and looked different than she did. Tracy's mother never gave her any details of her dad and their brief encounter.
"I just wanted to know my heritage and what my ethnic background was," Melton said.
Melton never set out to find a father. She simply swabbed a sample and sent it off to Ancestry.com. She didn't expect her life to change forever.
"We opened the email and we did the breakdown and it was really cool - 39 percent Great Britain, 17 percent western European and 27 percent Native American," Melton said. "There was a link at the bottom that linked me to 673 relatives. We were in shock! I clicked on the link and there it was. It said, 'Reynaldo Delgado. This is your parent or child.'"
Melton reached out to Delgado on the phone.
"She said, 'Hello, I think you're my father,'" Delgado said, through tears. "I said, 'What?'"
Delgado had one question for Melton. "I asked her, 'Where do you live?' and she said Spokane and I thought it was a joke."
That's because three years ago, after decades in Los Angeles, former firefighter Reynaldo and his wife were looking for something new. So, despite having no connections, they went north to Spokane.
"As it turns out, she lives 12 miles from me, and I never knew she existed," Delgado said.
They met the next day after that phone call -- 35 years was long enough.
"She walked in -- she did stick her hand out to me, and I looked at her hand and I started to, then I said, 'You don't shake hands with your daughter!' So we hugged. It was very emotional," Delgado said.
"From the moment we met, it was very comfortable. It felt natural. It's very hard to explain. It was like I never knew something was missing," said Melton.
Now, they're making up for that lost time. They talk or text every day and have dinners together, with Melton's kids. Both realize the miracle that brought them together.
"We probably passed each other at the mall, we probably passed each other at the grocery store and didn't even know it," said Delgado.
"It still sometimes feels very unreal. I cry almost every morning in the shower with excitement and joy. I know a lot of people don't get this kind of outcome," said Melton.
Los Angeles woman submits DNA to website, finds father 12 miles away from new home in Spokane
More TOP STORIES News