Skip to content

Moose Jaw woman reunites with her father after a 51-year search

Little met her father face-to-face in April 2022 after they both drove to Kamloops where her twin sister lived.
Deann Little (left) has reunited with her father, Doug Wylie (right) after 51 years apart.

MOOSE JAW — A Moose Jaw woman has reunited with her father after an emotional 51-year search and is now hoping others in a similar position can find hope from her experience.

“All my life… I always felt that a piece of me was missing,” resident Deann Little said.

Little always knew that she and her twin sister were adopted, but despite a life-long search she was never able to meet her parents – until recently.

“There was just that curiosity in me that I wanted to find out who my birth parents were,” she said.

The search took a considerable leap forward when Little received an kit back in 2021. Curious about the process but not knowing what to expect, Little promptly submitted a sample of her DNA.

When her results came back, she discovered a first cousin who she immediately messaged.

It was remarkable that her cousin read the message on the morning of Dec. 29, 2021 – especially after stating later that she may have never checked the app for messages as she rarely used it.

In her reply, Little’s cousin said she remembered something her mother told her about her mom’s brother having had adopted twin girls out.

Little discovered that her biological father was receptive to meeting her and learned he’d been conducting a search of his own – sadly, to no avail. Part of this, he later explained, was due to the adoption agency refusing to provide any legitimate information about his twin girls which the agency claimed was standard procedure “for their protection.”

“I thought to myself, ‘How do I start this conversation…?’” Little recalled. “I thought, ‘You know what? He’s never been called dad.’”

When she picked up the phone on the night of Dec. 29, 2021, her first words were “Hi, dad.”

Her father, Doug Wylie, believed he would never be called “dad” and later reflected on the call which he described as “a moment that I’ll never forget.” “In one phone call that December evening, I was a dad, a grandfather, and a great grandfather… in 30 seconds, I was all three.”

Little met her father face-to-face in April 2022 after they both drove to Kamloops where her twin sister lived.

“When dad called to say, ‘I’m here in the lobby,’” she said, “I saw him and ran into his arms, and I wouldn’t let go.”

Little would learn that her father – quite like herself – had dedicated his life to helping people in need. Little has worked at the food bank for 13 years now, and her father is a retired Vancouver firefighter and current vice-president of the Canadian Firefighters Foundation.

The meeting could have happened by chance far earlier, as Little lived and worked at a diner in Maple Ridge, B.C. for 26 years before moving to Moose Jaw in 2000.

“I stopped at that restaurant all the time,” Wylie reflected. “Now it’s in my head.”

The story wasn’t entirely positive, of course, and Wylie still reflects on the important milestones in his twin daughters' lives he had to miss.

“All the things I couldn’t do… Most of them are done because they’re not kids anymore,” he said solemnly. “I didn’t get to walk her down the aisle…

“As the years (went) by, (I was thinking) it’s never going to happen,” Wylie said. “Now they’re 51. Are they still alive… You go through all those questions.”

Thankfully, many of these experiences from the first day of school to riding her first bike could be – although imperfectly – experienced through an extensive photo collection that Little shared with her dad.

The reunion is a testament to the enduring bonds of family and is a reminder to maintain hope.

“Take a chance, because the reward of finding what we have found is over the moon,” Wylie said. “I’m hoping (anyone in my position) will get what I have experienced. The joy of finding them out there… just never stops. It fills in so many blanks.”

“If you can describe my life as a puzzle,” Little added, “I felt I was missing pieces. And now that I found dad, its like… my puzzle is complete.”

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks