Melanie and Darrell Sinclair, their two children – Abigail, 4, and Noah, 9 – with Doug Sherk. (Contributed)

‘We are so happy we found you’: B.C. son meets father thanks to online DNA test

Father and son unite for the first time on April 4

Darrell Sinclair had been searching for his biological father for 22 years.

Last week, he got to meet him for the first time after an Ancestry DNA test and hard digging by his wife Melanie, who made it her mission to make it happen.

All Darrell knew was that his mother became pregnant with him at 15 after a summer fling in Port Moody with a construction worker from Ontario.

His mother would eventually marry another man and had two girls.

Darrell met Melanie in 1997. Together they decided they were going to look for his father.

He told Melanie that he had previously found a baby book with the name Doug Sherk handwritten beside the title father, then crossed out. That is how the couple’s search began.

Melanie knew Darrell’s biological father was from Ontario, but ended up talking to men with the same name in Pennsylvania and Ohio, as well, but to no avail.

In December 2018, Melanie and their two children – Noah, 9 and Abigail, 4 – bought Darrell an AncestryDNA kit for Christmas. They were going to give it to him for his birthday in March, but were too excited.

Still, the kit sat on a shelf until March 8, when Darrell decided he was ready to take the DNA test. He spat into a tube and sent the sample to Australia.

When the results came back, Darrell found a match to a familiar name: Sherk.

Darrell’s DNA matched a man named Brian Sherk, whose DNA results were already in the company’s database.

Melanie looked up Brian Sherk on Facebook and he told her he was not the right man because he had never taken the DNA test, but that he was friends on Facebook with a man with the same name and who he is related to.

Melanie wrote to the other Brian Sherk. He was pretty sure his great uncle and aunt were Darrell’s biological grandparents. Sherk sent her an obituary.

Melanie saw that a man named Doug Sherk was listed as one of the children in the obit. She had messaged another man on Facebook by the same name two years earlier, but received no reply. This time, she was going to look for his wife, Sheryl, whose name appeared in parentheses.

When she found Sheryl on the social media site, she also saw a picture of Doug and realized that the couple had two daughters.

She messaged the daughters and received a reply from one of them, Rachel.

Melanie asked her questions about her father, then told her that she might want to sit down before telling her that she thought her husband was Rachel’s brother.

Rachel gave Melanie Doug’s number and asked him directly if it was possible that he had a child in B.C. and he said that it was.

Doug met Darrell and his family for the first time on April 4. He had surprised them when he let them know he’d be flying in from Medicine Hat, Alta., where he now lives with his wife.

The Sinclair family met Doug at Vancouver International Airport, all holding signs.

Darrell’s sign read: “The search is over! 40 years later … Nice to meet you dad”.

Noah’s read: ” We made a wish and it came true. We are so happy we found you.”

Abigail: “Welcome Papa Doug.”

They brought Doug to Ridge Meadows Hospital to meet Darrell’s grandmother, Beatrice Laurene Meger, who at 78, was suffering from leukemia and dementia. It was her dying wish to see father and son reunited.

“She said, ‘I held on for this moment,’” Melanie said.

Meger passed away on Wednesday morning, her wish fulfilled.

The Sinclair family plans to visit Doug and Sheryl in May and meet the rest of the family and also plans to attend a family reunion in Ontario next year.



cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Noah, 9, Abigail, 4, and their parents, Darrell and Melanie Sinclair, with their signs at the airport as they waited to meet Darrell’s father for the first time. (Contributed)

Just Posted

West Kootenay SAR crews rescue injured mountain biker near Rossland

Crews were called in to help after the biker seriously injured himself at around noon Saturday

Suspected fentanyl and cocaine seized during RCMP search in Castlegar

Two men were taken into police custody during the search warrant

Truck thief runs out of gas, Nakusp man facing charges

Pickup stolen from Coldstream, found not far away

Morning start: This is the fastest growing city in the Kootenays

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Monday, May 25

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

Most Read