A WOMAN who was forced to give up her baby when she was 15 reunited with her teen boyfriend and married him 50 years after they parted ways.
Karen Lehmann and Denny Vinar found each other thanks to LinkedIn decades after giving their daughter up for adoption in 1961.
The high school sweethearts, from Minnesota, were physically separated when 14-year-old Karen was sent to a home for unmarried mothers after she became pregnant.
However, Denny was able to visit Karen sometimes and even got to hold their daughter, who they named Denise, before she was taken away.
While they managed to stay together for a while, the couple split in their early 20s due to pressure from Karen's parents, who did not approve of the relationship.
But 50 years later, in 2014, Denny found Karen, then a widow living in Washington, on LinkedIn and messaged her.
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Denny reportedly decided to search for her when he was asked at a dinner party who he would want to have dinner with if he was given 60 days to live.
"I never stopped thinking about her," Denny told WCCO. "She has, I say, a corner of my heart. No, she was always there.”
The pair picked up right where they left off, and spent three months talking before reuniting in person.
Once they finally met in person, they were married just 36 hours later and settled in Minneapolis together.
"It was just magic. She got out of the car and she ran around and she jumped on me and said, "babe, you’re home,'" said Denny.
"It felt like nothing much had changed including his dimples when he smiled and the sparkle he has," added Karen.
The couple then set out to find their daughter with the help of the adoption agency.
In 2016, they reunited with their daughter, now named Jean Voxland.
Jean did not respond to the couple's messages at first but eventually agreed to meet her biological parents.
Denny, Karen and Jean have been making up for lost time ever since.
“I don’t think there are many feelings that would compare to not ever having seen your parents and then they just walk in the door. It’s a very emotional, moving experience,” said Jean.
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