"When her picture popped up, I almost wanted to cry," Lisa recalled of the moment she realized who her real mother was. Sure enough, after taking a DNA test, her favorite childhood TV show became more significant to her than she ever could've imagined.
Reunited at Last
On a fateful day in 1964, a newborn child was separated from her birth mom - forever. Or so they thought. Safe to say, fate had other plans. And decades later, their paths would miraculously lead them back to one another.
"As a mother, you never, ever, ever forget," an emotional Lynne recalled of coming face to face with her baby girl, 50+ years later. "I was stunned — knocked off my feet." From the delivery room all the way up to their dramatic reunion, hang on while we rehash their remarkable journey to coming home...
As for how a teen mom came to reunite with her long-lost daughter half a century later? Safe to say, it was as "mind-blowing," as Lynne herself put it. But long before her reunion propped her front and center, the Detroit native was practically destined to live a life in the spotlight.
Born and raised in the Midwest, Lynne Moody always had her eyes set elsewhere: Hollywood. She was going to make it big, she was sure of it. Only as the aspiring actress continued to chase after her dreams, she was soon met with a brutal wake-up call.
Her Teen Pregnancy
At just 18 years old, the young girl had become pregnant; something she never planned for. What was she going to do? After all, she was a child... how was she supposed to have one of her own? Not to mention, Lynne had a promising future ahead of her - was parenthood really a path she was ready to head down?
The teenager was lost, completely in over her head. Or at least that's what her parents thought, as she sat them down to tell them the big news. What was she to do? Unfortunately for Lynne, that decision was made for her from the moment she came clean to her family that fateful day.
Forced To Put Her Baby up for Adoption
On December 10, 1964, as the teen mom welcomed a baby girl into the world, nothing would ever be the same. On paper, it should've been a day of sheer happiness. Only the overwhelming emotions that filled that hospital delivery room were anything but.
"They covered... my eyes, so that I couldn't see her," Lynne recalled as she prepared to say bye to her newborn. They thought it'd be easier that way. Only it wasn't. "I could hear her cry," she recalled. "All I could say was, 'I'm sorry, baby.'" Little did she know, that wouldn't be the last time she'd hear her baby's voice...
...Which brings us to the other half of our story. Meet Lisa Wright. Raised in sunny Los Angeles, the young girl grew up with so much love. In fact, it was never a dull moment in the Wright household; something Lisa still remembers to this very day.
"Will never forget the woman who raised me and nurtured me," Lisa gushed of her adoring mother, Naomi. As for her father, Phil? When she wasn't busy catching the latest Lakers game with her pops, the young girl spent her days occupied completely elsewhere.
It was practically a ritual, something the Wright household did together every single week: Each Wednesday, the family would gather 'round the couch as they flipped through the television to their favorite sitcom, That's My Mama. As Lisa put it, it was simply "our must-see TV."
But Lisa's time with mom and dad went far beyond weekly marathons spent by the television screen. Or at least it was about to: as Mr. and Mrs. Wright sat their little girl down in the living room one fateful day, their relationship with Lisa was about to change forever.
"Your Mommy Loved You"
What happened? They told her the truth. "Your mommy loved you, but she was really young, and she knew she couldn't take care of you," Lisa recalled of the words she was met with: She was adopted, something the young girl couldn't quite wrap her head around.
But as Mrs. Wright explained it, it was actually quite simple. "I wanted the baby so bad, and that's why your mom let me take care of you,'" she assured her curious daughter. "You weren't abandoned. This was just the best thing for you." But how did Lisa really feel?
Lisa Was Curious About Her Past
Mr. and Mrs. Wright were sure they were doing the right thing. As they put it, their child deserved - needed - to be told the truth about the past. After all, if not now - when? They wanted to protect their daughter from any potential future heartache. But in doing so, they left Lisa Wright with endless questions.
Where was she really from? Who were her birth parents? Had they turned the page on that emotional chapter? Or perhaps more importantly: What if they hadn't? Lisa was desperate for answers. Only she'd have to wait half a century before she'd get any...
She Welcomed a Child of Her Own
In fact, the years that followed led Lisa down a completely different path. Sure, those questions she once had hadn't gone anywhere. But the truth was that she was... happy. Why revisit the past and risk changing that? Perhaps that's why it's no surprise what came next.
As the years continued to pile on, the young girl simply carried on with her life. She started a career as an account executive before welcoming another exciting milestone: Parenthood. Little did she know that her latest step forward was eventually going to bring her ten steps back…
Her Son Became Curious About Her Past
54 years: That's how long it took for Lisa Wright to revisit the past and all the questions it called for; something she never planned on ever doing. But while the single mother was fine with moving on (or at least trying to), not everybody felt the same.
The truth? Nic Wright had always been curious about his mother's adoptive past. He simply couldn't help the questions that haunted him. And he knew his mother felt the same, whether she'd ever admit it or not. Perhaps that's why he decided to take matters into his own hands.
He Suggested She Take a DNA Test
"It was really by happenstance," Lisa revealed. Sure enough, on December 10, 2018, life as she knew it was about to change. Sure, she was another year older. But in ringing in her latest birthday, Lisa decided to welcome something else: It was time to confront the past.
"I just wanted to know what I was made of. I was interested in my DNA," Lisa explained. She was ready to get answers, once and for all. Only as she held a 23andMe DNA test in her trembling hands, she couldn't fight the butterflies that came flooding in. She was really doing this. There was no going back now.
The Long-Awaited Results
Sure, she was officially one step closer to uncovering the truth. But was that something she was truly ready for? Lisa was headed down a very slippery slope, one with lots of room for disappointment. And on May 28, 2018, she was about to come face to face with those very fears...
As Lisa picked up her ringing phone, her heart suddenly dropped. "I got an alert," she recalled of the 23andMe notice suddenly plastering her screen. What awaited her on the other side of that app? She was ready to find out. She took a deep breath as she opened up the message…
Enter "Mr. Moody"
Lisa stared at the screen in front of her, her heart racing like never before. All she'd expected was an answer about her heritage, perhaps a nod to her ethnic background or genetic makeup. Only the words suddenly written before her hit like a ton of bricks: "This person is your uncle."
Lisa's mind was racing with questions. Who was he? Where was he? She raced to her computer, eager to find out for herself. As she began typing out a message to the stranger - "Mr. Carlton Moody" - she had no idea what to expect. "I would love to chat with you to see what all of this means," she wrote.
Reconnecting With Her Uncle
Lisa was so close to the truth, she could practically feel it. But as the hours continued to pass, that same hope was beginning to dwindle. She had yet to hear back from her alleged relative. What if she never would? Was she holding onto something that wasn't even there?
Sure enough, 24 hours later, that was all about to change: Mr. Moody had finally gotten back to her. And to Lisa's surprise, he was just as curious about their alleged link - if not more. After all, here was a 54-year-old stranger claiming to be part of his family. He needed to know more.
She Told Him About Her Past
"Tell me about yourself," Carlton suddenly blurted. But where would she even start? Lisa took a deep breath, ready to rehash her entire life to a stranger. "I told him that I was adopted as a baby," Wright recalled. "That my mother was very young and had come to Los Angeles because she wanted to make it in Hollywood."
But it was what she said next where things took a sudden turn. "She knew she loved me but couldn't take care of me," Lisa began to open up about her birth mother. "Before I could finish, he stopped me." What was going on? "I'm thinking, 'OK, here it comes. He's going to say don't ever call me again.'"
"Lisa… You Are My Niece"
As Carlton Moody held the receiver to his ear, suddenly, his heart stopped. He knew somebody who fit Ms. Wright's timeline perfectly: His very own sister. Could it be? He searched for the right words to say, his mind running wild. Suddenly, he blurted out 5 of them: "Lisa... you are my niece," Carlton muttered.
Lisa was speechless. All of her suspicions were true, after all. "I'm in my office, sweating and crying," Wright recalled of the emotional exchange. From knowing the date of her birthday to the location of her birth, this stranger had known everything. "As of this minute, you are my favorite niece," her newfound uncle gushed.
The Search for Her Mom's Identity
It was all so surreal. In the span of mere hours, Lisa's search for answers had left her with a new family member. She was suddenly more hopeful than ever before. Was she going to find the truth about her birth mother, once and for all? It was a thought that sent chills down her spine.
Lisa cleared her throat as she began to ask her uncle, the one question that'd been haunting her the past 54 years: Who is her birth mom? But was she ready to hear the answer? She was about to find out. Only as she held the receiver to her ear, Lisa was suddenly more confused than ever before.
That's My Mama!
"Wait a minute, I know that name," Lisa blurted, as Carlton began to fill in the missing pieces. Where had she heard it before? She raced to her computer, eager to answer that question herself. But as the curious woman typed her birth mother's name into her Google search bar, her heart suddenly dropped.
"When her picture popped up, I almost wanted to cry," Lisa confessed. One quick glance at those deep, brown eyes and massive smile, and that's when it hit her: "I grew up watching my mother on TV and didn't even know it," Wright recalled of That's My Mama actress, Lynne Moody - her birth mother.
She Received a Phone Call
Lisa's mind was running in circles. It was almost dizzying - so much information suddenly hurled her way after mere minutes on the phone. Only as the overwhelmed woman hung up the phone, there were still many more surprises headed her way.
Mere minutes later, her phone began to ring again. What now? Lisa looked down at her blaring phone to see an unfamiliar number suddenly perched on her screen. Was Carlton calling from a new number? The confused woman held the receiver up to her ear when suddenly, everything became clear.
She Found Her Birth Mom
"Is this my daughter?" the voice on the other end shakily asked. And it was at this very moment that suddenly everything clicked. Lisa had spent her entire life waiting for this very moment... and here it was. "Oh, my God, is this my mother?'" the young woman blurted as her eyes began to well up with tears.
"And then she goes, 'Yes, sweetie, this is your mom,'" Lisa recalled. "It was just the most indescribable feeling." After 54 years spent searching, wondering, everything was finally falling into place. But how did Lynne feel? After all, she, too, never dreamed of stumbling across her daughter that fateful summer day.
How Did Her Mother Feel
Sure enough, as Mrs. Moody held the receiver to her ear, she, too, broke down in tears. As she listened to her daughter's voice for the first time in 54 years, it was suddenly as if she was back in that California hospital room. She was emotional, more than she ever could've imagined.
"When I found out that she was my daughter, at that moment, it was like I was giving birth," the newfound mother confessed. "I lost my legs, I was on the floor in a fetal position, screaming and crying." After all of these years, the mother's love for her baby girl was just as evident. "I didn't know how deep that hole was."
"As a Mother, You Never, Ever Forget"
The truth? Lynne Moody never stopped thinking about her little girl from the moment she let her go 54 years earlier. "For 54 years, I had to learn how to deal with the fact that I had a daughter out there, not knowing if she was dead or alive," the emotional mom confessed.
Sure, she may have tried her best to move on. But despite welcoming a life of fortune and fame, the Hollywood star never stopped searching - unsuccessfully - for her baby. "As a mother, you never, ever forget," Moody admitted. "During those 50+ years, all I did was try to learn how to live with it."
They Both Lived in Los Angeles
Lynne was overwhelmed, and then some. "It's amazing what God has done for me," she gushed. But perhaps the most remarkable part about the mother's journey back to her baby girl? Lisa was right under her nose the entire time: Both she and her daughter had lived in Los Angeles, mere miles apart.
And now that fate had finally brought them back together? It was time to meet, face to face. Only as Lynne hopped in a car and raced towards the Wright residence, she had no idea what to expect. "I was still nervous: I wasn't sure if she'd hate me, resent me, accept me, love me," Moody confessed. She was about to find out…
As Lynne Moody stepped out of her car that fateful day in 2018, she never could've prepared for what followed. "I was stunned — totally blown away and knocked off my feet," Lynne gushed: There she was, those same deep, brown eyes and massive smile in tow - her daughter.
With tears in her eyes, she ran over to her little girl and squeezed her hard, never wanting to let go. "For the first time in my life, I was able to say, 'Yes, honey, I am your mother,'" Lynne recalled. It was indescribable, a moment she'd dreamt about for 54 years. Of course, her daughter felt the exact same...
Making up for Lost Time
"For the first time ever... I'm looking at somebody who looks like me," Lisa gushed of the woman suddenly standing before her - someone she grew up admiring on her TV. "I just could not believe it." In the blink of an eye, Lynne Moody had gone from her celebrity idol to her mother. It was truly remarkable.
And while they were technically still strangers, to the naked eye? It was like they'd known each other forever. From birthdays to brunches, Lynne and Lisa quickly became inseparable. And with good reason. After all, they had more than 50 years worth of catching up to do. But their story wasn't done just yet.
Meeting Her Birth Dad
After all, in discovering the truth about her birth mother, Lisa Wright had opened an entirely new can of worms: What about the rest of her birth family? What had happened to her birth father? Did he also share Lynne Moody's enthusiasm? Or perhaps had he already closed that door?
She was about to find out. Lisa headed back to 23andMe as her quest for answers continued: "First, it was my Mom. Now it's my Daddy, 4 sisters, a bunch of nieces and nephews!" the adopted woman gushed after finally reuniting with her birth dad. "We a whole movie!"
There's no doubt about it: From searching for answers to reuniting with her birth mother - and now, father - nothing about Lisa Wright's journey to coming home was ever ordinary. Perhaps that's why it wasn't long before the inspiring story found its way online.
Safe to say, it took the online world by storm. From talk-show interviews to an army of inspired fans, Lisa and Lynne's story quickly swept across the nation. But it wasn't just strangers behind the keyboard whose hearts they won over. Even celebrities like Tina Lawson couldn't get enough of the remarkable tale.
How Her Adoptive Parents Felt
But forget fellow celebrities for a second: How did those who have been by Lisa's side from the very beginning really feel? What did Mr. and Mrs. Wright truly think about the charming woman they once watched on their television screens each and every week?
Perhaps that's one thing we'll never know the answer to. Unfortunately, Lisa's adoptive parents passed away in 2006 and 2010. But while they never got to see their daughter reconnect with her past, Lisa's sure they're looking down, smiling from above. As she proudly put it, they've supported her journey from the very start.
Well, what now? Where are Lisa Wright and Lynne Moody supposed to go from here? Will they continue to make up for lost time? Or perhaps might all of those years spent apart drive a wedge between the duo? While only time will tell, we do know one thing...
“The last year and a half has been mind-blowing,” as Lynne herself put it. “At 73, I’m experiencing a new world... and I couldn’t be happier:” While she and her baby girl might be turning the page on their former chapter, we’d say their story is just getting started…
Life Is Full Of Surprises
When an 18-year-old Lynne said goodbye to her baby girl back in 1964, she never could’ve imagined life would pan out the way that it did. Sure enough, despite the heartache and hurdles thrown her way, the actress never gave up on her biggest dream: Reuniting with her daughter. And perhaps we could learn a thing or two from her...
"Life is full of surprises sometimes, so hang in there no matter what your circumstances are," the
That's My Mama star newfound mother assured. "Be open to miracles, be open to surprises, and keep the faith." After all, sometimes the best things in life are worth waiting for...