BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A Kern County woman lived 39 years of her life knowing she was adopted as a baby but never meeting her biological family.
Mia Rudd grew up with her adoptive mom, dad, two brothers, and two sisters and they were the only family she'd ever known until a DNA test she took changed her life.
“ These are my roots, even though I have other roots biologically, this is where I feel like me,” said Rudd.
More than 3o miles north of Bakersfield, through the greenhorn mountain foothills by the Sierra Nevada, Mia Rudd was raised in Glennville after being adopted at just seven weeks old.
“I’ll never forget the phone call, I was sitting on the couch and they said we have a little girl and they explained more and said would you be interested and I said yes...that’s my baby,” said her adoptive mother Debby Jameson.
Rudd was one of five adopted children.
“We are a multicultural family, we come from all different backgrounds and races and we grew up on the ranch.”
For years, the curiosity of finding her biological family never sparked.
“All of my siblings had already found their siblings or some sort of connection and for me, I never had that strong desire like they did to find someone from my family…”
However, in 2015, when her sister Erica bought all of her siblings a DNA kit and Rudd decided to take the test and mail it in.
“I had no idea what was going to come with that. Not knowing that ancestry they also find other people doing the same thing and tell you if you are blood-related, so my heart skipped a beat when i saw that I had a second cousin back in Texas and that was the start of my journey in finding my birth family.”
That second cousin led her from one extended family member to her blood sister who lived just two hours north from her in Fresno.
“I could not believe that I actually had a sister, I didn’t know I would have a physical sister that would be that close and blood-related to me.”
Rudd and her biological sister Crystal finally met and she says they talked for hours and she was able to learn more about her biological family. Like the fact that her birth mother had passed away from breast cancer in 2015 and her birth father had also already passed away.
But mostly, she says she just soaked everything in, calling it all a blessing.
“I looked at her and I said we are sisters, I promise I am never going to leave. I kind of want to re-irritate that I never felt like I was missing anything in my life and I don’t want it to sound rude but my life is very complete. But this is the most amazing added bonus to my life and kind of a miracle. Not everyone has this opportunity and it doesn’t always work out this way for everyone but its really a blessing.”