By Lily Belcher
Two years ago, James Coldren had received a hit on Amazon from a DNA test he had taken. His DNA was matched with Kayla Fox and, through a little bit of digging and a conversation with his son, he discovered that the new match was likely his granddaughter.
As Kayla and her husband, Jacob Fox, prepared to sign the closing papers on their new house in Brandon in October, their new next-door neighbor, James, waited to introduce himself. Neither Kayla nor her grandparents, Carol Ann Coldren and James, knew the strangers living next door were actually long-lost family.
The Coldrens invited the Foxes over to their house to talk a little and get to know each other, while waiting to close on the house.
“At this point in time, I could see that there was something beautiful here. They were happy,” said James.
Through hearing a little about Kayla’s family during their conversation, the Coldrens confirmed what they had suspected: their new neighbor was their long-lost granddaughter. They weren’t sure how to approach the topic, but Kayla came to the same conclusion when she recognized the Coldren last name in a letter left from the seller of the house.
Their second introduction wasn’t just getting to know the strangers next door but rather introducing themselves as grandparents and granddaughter.
The newfound family was a blessing to both the Foxes and the Coldrens. Kayla’s mother had passed away a year earlier and Carol Ann was afraid she was getting bored with where her and her husband were at. Kayla now has new additions to her family in her grandparents and the Coldrens now have their granddaughter and four great grandchildren, Kayla and Jacob’s four kids.
“I really needed this. I’ve really felt very low since my mom passed,” explained Kayla. “They just couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Kayla and Jacob will start attending Nativity Catholic Church with Carol Ann and James, who have been parishioners since 1986. They have also put up a gate between the two houses so their four kids can visit their great grandparents anytime they want.