Woman finds long-lost family - Republic-Times | News

Woman finds long-lost family

By on June 20, 2018 at 3:50 pm

Dennis Lurvey and Janet Kruz

Eight days after Mother’s Day, Phoenix, Ariz., resident Dennis Lurvey posted a tribute to his mother on Facebook.

It is something he has done for years, but this time he got an interesting response.

“Did she have a baby in 1951?” Waterloo resident Janet Kruz asked in a comment. 

“No, I was her last in 1949,” Lurvey replied. “Her name was Marie Evelyn. She graduated college with a degree in nursing when she was 56.”

Kruz, owner of Kruz Kennel Services, then dropped a bombshell: she was Lurvey’s sister. Her mother had given her up for adoption shortly after giving birth to her.

“Surprise!” she said after disclosing their relationship.

That revelation marked the climax of a journey Kruz has been on for half her life.

“I’ve been walking around with this big, stupid grin on my face for about three weeks,” Kruz said. “To find my roots and find family and find out why the way I am because a lot of it’s genetic is great.”

Kruz was adopted in St. Louis, where her mother gave birth to her. Her adopted family raised her without telling her she had been adopted.

When one of her adopted parents died in 1984, they told Kruz the truth. She was 33. 

Kruz knew she had siblings, but knew very few details about her biological family. 

She eventually tried to learn more about them, but a Missouri law prevented her from accessing the records because they were closed.  

She took other approaches to finding out about her family, but the state changed its laws and released a form that allowed people to access records like the ones Kruz needed.

After waiting five months for the results, she finally saw her original birth certificate. She was the daughter of Delbert and Marie Evelyn Lurvey of Springfield, Mo.  

Kruz quickly performed an internet search for her parents and found an obituary for her father in a local newspaper. He died in 2008, but the obituary included the names of his children. 

Kruz scoured the internet for those children, her long-lost siblings. She found Lurvey’s Facebook page and his post.

Within days of her first contact, Lurvey, who is a retired disabled veteran, had decided to come meet Kruz.

“It really does take a person back to find out about a sister you didn’t know about,” he said, becoming slightly emotional. “I couldn’t just sit there.”

The pair finally met last weekend, with Lurvey bringing a scrapbook of old family photos to show his sister.

Over the weekend, they talked, visited the Missouri Civil War Museum, ate lunch with Kruz’s adopted brothers, visited Civil War gravestones in Waterloo and went to the Missouri History Museum. 

During their time, Kruz and Lurvey quickly started behaving like siblings. By Sunday they began finishing each other’s sentences and interrupting each other. 

“We’re both alike. We do that to each other. Everybody in our family does that. It’s genetic,” Lurvey said with a chuckle. 

As if to underscore their similarity, the brother and sister summed up their time together in the same words. 

“This has been incredible,” they both said almost simultaneously. 

Kruz has two other biological brothers, Phillip and Vernon, and a biological sister named Saundra. The brothers live in Texas and Saundra lives in Wisconsin.

Kruz has plans to meet all her siblings and maintain relationships with them. 

She has already emailed her brothers and written letters to her sister. 

Kruz and Lurvey do not know why her mother gave her up for adoption.

In keeping with family tradition, Kruz and her husband, Bryan, also adopted two children of their own, Alexander and Anastasia, both of whom were born in Russia. 

In addition, Bryan was adopted. He was born in Albuquerque, N.M., a state that also has closed records laws like Missouri used to have. Bryan, too, is searching for his biological family. 

James Moss