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Tri-State Man Reunites With Birth Parents After 44 Years

It's a reunion 44 years in the making.

Posted: May 4, 2021 5:36 PM
Updated: May 4, 2021 8:22 PM

It's a story dating back 44 years.

"Some people have a birth story, I have an adoption story," says Rigling.

Daniel Rigling of Owensboro has had a good life, good parents, he married his high school sweetheart, and is raising two kids of his own.

But something was always missing.

"There was a hole there," says Rigling. "You know that desire to know where I came from, what are they like, who do I look like?"

All he knew was he was adopted from Missouri after being born in a car.

Daniel was able to obtain his birth certificate finally getting a clue ready to reach out to a woman named Diane.

His message to her:

"I love you for the decision you made, no hard feelings there at all," says Rigling. "If you want to communicate great, if not then I understand that too."

the message back:

"'Hey, I thought this day would never come, but here it is."

"I was nervous, and I was excited," says Diane Burrows, reunited with son. "You never know someone you only met once in your life, and they were tiny."

A few weeks later, the mother and son deciding they were both ready.

"What do you say when you meet your birth mom for the first time in 44 years," says Rigling.

Over four decades in the making.

"She comes walking in and I said, 'Long time no see," says Rigling. "She said 'you were a lot smaller the last time I saw you."

"It was like something I lost a long time ago that I thought was gone forever," says Burrows. "And there it was."

That unique birth setting, near a popular burger joint.

"Was I born at Steak 'n Shake? And she said, 'no you were born in the car on the way to the hospital, I guess that's just the address they put on there," says Rigling.

That reunion extending to more family members.

"I thought it was going to be really weird, but what was really weird, was how not weird it was," says Rigling.

In just a few days, Daniel will be meeting his birth father.

A void now filled with more love.

"It doesn't hurt to reach out and see what you find out there," says Rigling. "It can be a great thing."

65° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 65°
65° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 65°
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Hi: 65° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 62°
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Hi: 66° Lo: 51°
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Partly Cloudy
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It was an absolutely gorgeous afternoon throughout the Tri-State, but despite our seemingly endless supply of sunshine today, temperatures remained more than 10° cooler than the norm for this time of the year. Fortunately, today's peak temperature of 65° represents our coolest anticipated afternoon high temperature through the remainder of our extended forecast. While it is indeed encouraging that temperatures will gradually rise through the rest of the work week into the weekend ahead, we'll still have to deal with temperatures back down into the upper 30s and low 40s early Thursday morning.
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