Mom Finally Reunited With Kidnapped Daughter After 44 Years Apart

angela palmerWhen Angela Palmer's biological mother found her on Facebook and told her she'd been kidnapped by her father as a little girl, the California woman thought it was just another Internet scam. So she did what most of us do when we think we're being scammed. She blocked her.

"I called my friend Charlene, saying this crazy person friend requested me, saying she's my mom," Palmer confessed to The Stir with a laugh. But then Charlene looked at the photos on the mystery woman's Facebook wall and noticed a striking resemblance. Maybe the woman wasn't so crazy after all?

As it turns out, she wasn't. After 44 years without a mother, Angela Palmer learned on the Friday before Thanksgiving that she's had one all along ... and Helga Simecki has been looking for her daughter this whole time.

In an interview with The Stir, Palmer, who lives in San Diego today but was born Angela Hostnik in Germany, explained that it took a day for Helga to convince her that she was really her long-lost daughter.

"You can get so many things off the Internet these days; I wanted serious proof that only family would know," Palmer explained.

What would follow were copies of Palmer's original birth certificate, stories about her appendix, baby pictures that she'd never seen, paperwork showing the various people hired to find her, and the story of how her parents divorced when Palmer was just a baby. Helga was awarded full custody, Palmer said, because her father was physically abusive. But Klaus Hostnik's parents had reportedly told him they would only financially support him if he had custody of his daughter. 

"One day, under the guise of taking me to a doctor appointment -- because my mother couldn't afford it -- he took me and never came back," Palmer explained.

It's a story she's only just learned -- her father always told her vague stories about a mother who wasn't very kind. In one he accused the woman of dropping off a baby Angela at an orphanage. In another she was a prostitute.

None, it seems, were true. Helga had tried going through the courts to get her baby back, but she was stymied as Klaus moved constantly, first throughout Germany and then into France. By the time Angela was a teenager, she herself was ready to split from her father and took off for the states, unaware that it would make it even more difficult for her mother to find her.

When it finally happened, right before Thanksgiving, Palmer said it took her breath away.

"I still haven't wrapped my head around it," she admitted. "It's not something you can literally comprehend in a week. I've had 44 years of thinking one way, but then you find out your life was not true.

"It's sinking in that I actually have someone I can spend holidays with, and I have a mother I can call, not just friends," she continued. "I have a stepdad and half-brothers."

Now Angela's biggest holiday wish is to meet her mom in person for the first time in 44 years. Helga lives in Croatia -- she moved there from Germany about seven years ago with her husband, who is Croatian -- but Angela would like to bring her to the states for a visit so she can also meet Angela's 20-year-old son, Helga's grandson, who lives in Pennsylvania.

Her best hope? A fundraising website set up to raise the money it will cost for plane tickets. It's only natural that she'd turn to the Internet to make it happen. After all, it was the Internet that brought daughter back to mother in the first place.

What is the strangest Facebook friend request you've gotten?


Image via Angela Palmer

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nonmember avatar Angela Palmer

Thank you so very much for sharing my story, I am moved by how it was writen and want to thank you for sharing it. I hope this inspires many people to not stop looking or to feel they have been unwanted as a child as this could not be further from the truth as I found out in my case. Keep the faith, great things can happen !!!

Megan Harvey

@ Angela - Many, many congratulations to you on being reunited with your mother, and many, many condolences for the years together that your father took away from the two of you. I remember hearing a kidnapping story in the news when I was a teenager, and my mother remarking that a missing child was every mother's worst nightmare. I pointed out that the death of a child would be worse, but I was very surprised when she disagreed. She said that the death of a child would be horribly painful, but at least it would be an ending; with a missing child, there was no ending until (or unless) the child was found. If the child was never found, the mother would spend her entire life being eaten alive with fear and what-ifs. Now that I'm a mother, I understand what she means, and kidnapping is my deepest fear. I'm so sorry that your mother had to spend all those years in fear and sadness, wondering where her baby was. It breaks my heart to think of it.

nonmember avatar angela Palmer

thank you so very much for your kind words. I agree with you 1000% and as a mother myself I could not imagine having been in the situation and not giving up...thats unconditional love for you :-)

monke... monkeymom1104

How awesome is this :) I hope you get to reunite very soon.

mmtos... mmtosam06

What a beautiful story. So glad that you and your mother will be reunited

mommy... mommy2jnlm

My half brother found me on Facebook a few years ago while he was searching for our dad. I was able to connect the two and now he is part of our lives (asking with his new wife, daughter, and son!)

Colleen Hart Haight

Wonderful story! My husband met his sister through Facebook...a sister he didn't even know about. They both grew up in Pennsylvania, yet wound up living 20 minutes from each other in Arizona, which is where they met. We have a neighbor and the internet to be thankful for that!

Jessy76 Jessy76

@ Angela your story gives me great hope. My Step Son was taken by his mom in a similar situation 11 yrs ago and my husband desperately wants to see and be a part of his sons life. I am so glad your mom found you. I hope you meet her soon.

Pixie030 Pixie030

Right before Christmas about 5 years ago my brother in law got a friend request and message on Facebook from a 20 yr old woman who said she was his daughter and wanted him to meet his grandchild. He was in his late 30s at this point and had no idea he even had a daughter, turned out it was from a short time girl he had dated at 17 years old that never told him she had gotten pregnant. They had the blood tests done and they now have a full relationship with each other with my mother in law meeting her and her now two children so that was a nice Christmas present that year.

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