After 50 years apart, a Minnesota couple got married and reunited with the daughter they gave up when they were teenagers.
In the 1960s, Dennis Vinar and Karen Lehmann of Minnesota fell in love, but Lehmann’s parents were against it. So despite their desire to keep their newborn daughter, Vinnar and Lehmann were forced to put her up for adoption by familial pressure.
The story began at South High School when Vinar, a soccer player, met Lehmann, the band’s clarinet player. Their relationship quickly developed.
By 1959, they considered themselves a pair and told everyone they knew about it.
However, Lehmann’s parents urged her to continue her study. Things got even more convoluted when Lehmann was pregnant at 15.
Lehmann was placed in an unwed mothers’ home. On Aug. 13, 1961, she gave birth to Denise, a healthy baby girl.
Vinar agreed without thinking twice when Karen asked him to sign their daughter’s birth certificate. After that, they had no contact with their child.
Lehmann continued her education at the University of Minnesota while Vinar joined the military.
After seven years of military service in Germany, Vinar returned to the U.S. and wished to marry Lehmann. But Lehmann’s parents were again opposed to the marriage since she needed to continue her education. So the couple must move on and let go of their previous love.
In 2014, their reunion became a reality when Vinar discovered Lehmann on the professional networking site Linked In.
“I typed in ‘Karen Lehmann’ and there she was—the third person down,” Vinar said according to SBLY Spotlight. “And I smacked my hands together and said, ‘That’s my lady!'”
Vinar has been divorced for a long time, and Lehmann has been widowed. Vinar finally got a “yes” to the marriage proposal he had asked for many times.
They subsequently wrote to the adoption agency searching for their daughter Denise, now known as Jean Voxland.
“I kind of felt like I belonged,” Voxland from Kenyon, Minnesota said according to My Journal. “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.”