2:26 PM PDT, July 6, 2021
For the first time in her life, 62-year-old Tylin Rosser finally met her father.
During a family reunion over the July 4th holiday, Rosser set eyes on Thomas Williams, her 81-year-old dad, thanks to a DNA testing site.
“I think about you all the time. I always did,” the elderly man said as he wrapped his arms around Rosser.
“I’m here,” his emotional daughter replied.
“God answers prayers,” her father responded.
The Marine veteran knew he had fathered a baby during a relationship he had while stationed in the Philippines, he said. But he didn’t know how to find the child, he said.
“A friend of mine in the Marines showed me a picture and I didn’t know whether it was a little girl or boy because it was so small, and he said ‘this is your baby,’” Williams told Rosser.
But Rosser didn’t know a thing about it until her mother told her, after the death of her step-father, that the man she had always thought of as dad wasn’t her biological father.
She was shocked to learn the decades-old secret, she said. Her mother, who was suffering the effects of dementia, couldn’t provide much help.
“All she could remember was just ‘William,’” she told WHNT-TV.
Rosser’s daughter gave her a DNA test from Ancestry.com.
“I got some information maybe about 6 weeks later saying Carla Minor Williams was a cousin or close relative,” Rosser said. “I said that must be the ‘William’ my mom was always saying.”
Carla Williams is one of Williams’ American children. The siblings decided to give their dad a momentous gift. They flew Rosser, her children and her grandchildren from their home in Ohio, to a July 4 Williams family reunion in Alabama.
Williams talked to his daughter of his time in the Philippines and showed her a tattoo he’d gotten there.
He also explained why he didn’t reach out to her.
“My mother got terminally ill,” he said. “That’s the only reason I didn’t come back there, but then after that I didn’t know how to find you,” he said.