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

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)

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

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP locate driver and vehicle, but are asking for video footage

Students from AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni write anti-bullying messages and draw colourful chalk art around their school for national anti-bullying Pink Shirt Day, Feb. 24, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY LISA ARBANAS)
Chalk art brightens public walkway on Pink Shirt Day

Students from AW Neill Elementary in Port Alberni write messages of hope

Mary Mason of Owls Path Foundation presents plans for a Nuu-chah-nulth Cultural Centre to Port Alberni city council. The structure pictured in this image is the Copenhagen Opera House. (SCREENSHOT)
Nuu-chah-nulth cultural centre pitched for Port Alberni

Three possible locations put forward for multi-million-dollar centre

An endangered Vancouver Island marmot suns itself on rocks at Mount Washington, near the Comox Valley. Learn more about this endangered species with the Alberni Valley Nature Club. (PHOTO COURTESY SANDY MCRUER, AV NATURE CLUB)
Marmots, underwater mysteries part of Alberni Valley Nature Club lineup

Club kicks off membership drive with series of Zoom chats

The current exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre. The art gallery has COVID-19 protective measures in place. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre puts out a call to artists

Port Alberni’s Community Arts Council will hold a pandemic-inspired art exhibit

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read