A Bay Area woman finally met her daughter for the first time after 51 years.

  • Bay area woman finally meets daughter after 51 years
  • Elaine Hensel got pregnant her senior year of high school 
  • Hensel gave up Rani Stiles-Brannon for adoption
  • Rani reached out to Elaine after submitting DNA to ancestry.com

Elaine Hensel was getting ready to start her senior year in high school in 1965 in Michigan when she found out she was pregnant. Her mother convinced her giving up her baby for adoption was the only good choice. She really didn’t want to do that but she did, so she never got so see the baby.

Elaine went on to marry the baby’s father and had two other children with him, but she always wondered what happened to her little baby girl.

(Elaine Hensel, her husband, and two kids)

That baby girl was Rani Stiles-Brannon. She was adopted by a loving couple but when they died she started wondering about her birth mom.

“And questions start coming and the curiosity gets the best of you,” said Stiles-Brannon.

(Rani Stiles-Brannon)

So she submitted her DNA to ancestry.com and there was a close match to Elaine’s sister Carolyn. A few months ago, Carolyn surprised Elaine with a letter from Rani. It said Rani wanted to meet Elaine.

The two women spoke on the phone and Rani flew into Tampa International Airport from Idaho Thursday where she was met by Elaine. They got to meet each other and embrace for the first time.

(Rani Stiles-Brannon and her mom Elaine Hensel met for the first time at Tampa International Airport)

Over the past few days they have been meeting each other’s families and getting to know one another.

“We are having a really good time. And I can see where I am a lot like her,” said Stiles-Brannon.

“I don’t want to let her go. She can’t go back to where she lives,” said Hensel.

(Rani Stiles-Brannon spending time with her family)