A woman who thought she had been abandoned decades earlier in Germany was recently reunited with her mother via Facebook only to learn she had been kidnapped by her father as a child.
According to Yahoo! Shine, Angela Palmer spent her entire life believing the story her biological father had always told her: Her mom had abandoned her at a German orphanage when she was less than a year old.
"Later, my father took me in, and although he was an alcoholic and mentally and physically abusive, he was the only parent I knew," Palmer told Yahoo.
But a few weeks ago, Palmer's world was rocked by a curious Facebook request.
"I was at work the week before Thanksgiving, when I received a friend request from a woman named Helga Simeckie in Croatia," Palmer, who now lives in Oceanside, Calif., told the outlet. "I didn't think much of it because I get random requests all the time, until she sent me a message written in German asking when I was born."
At first Palmer was skeptical, she told The Stir.
"I called my friend Charlene, saying this crazy person friend requested me, saying she's my mom," Palmer told the site.
But after producing copies of Palmer's birth certificate, baby photos and other personal items, Simeckie was able to convince Palmer that her father had lied to her for 44 years. She said Palmer's father was wanted for kidnapping and domestic violence in Germany. Suddenly, a lifetime of moving around Europe made sense to Palmer.
“It was surreal," Palmer told local station San Diego 6. "You sit there. You try to take it all in. You try to make sense of it, and you have so many conflicting emotions. You don't know to be happy, to be angry, to just dismiss it, to follow it; you don't know what to do.”
Palmer and her mother spoke for the first time in San Diego 6's studio via Skype last week, in a touching reunion that even had the translator close to tears.
Now Palmer is hoping to fly her elderly mother, remarried and living in Croatia, to the United States to meet in person. To that end, Palmer has started a Fundly campaign to raise enough money for airfare. She has currently raised close to $2,500 of her $4,000 goal.
"I am raising money to meet my birth-mother," Palmer explained on the crowdsourcing site. "I was abducted by my father when I was an infant. My mother had sole custody but my father took me. We moved all over Germany and France."