In 1959, Dennis and Karen were high school classmates in Brownton, a small city in McLeod County, Minn., when they began dating. Dennis, 17 and Karen 15 fell in love with each other. Soon later, Karen got pregnant.
Given her age, the times and the potentially severe social opprobrium she faced, Karen was forced to put her baby girl for adoption. The couple fought to stay together. But Dennis was rejected by Karen’s parents when he asked them to marry their daughter.
Dennis joined the military. Karen went off to college. When Dennis was discharged and returned home, the couple rekindled their love. He was 24 and she was 22. They dated for six months and Dennis decided to try his chance again and marry Karen. Of course, Karen said yes, but her father, dead set against the match, again said no — Not only this, but he also backed up his verdict with a threat. Karen was a college senior at the time, and her father threatened to cease paying for her college tuition if she married Dennis.
The couple had no choice then, so hey stopped seeing each other. They went on separate ways and eventually married other people and pursued their careers.
Decades passed. One evening, Dennis was playing a game at a social gathering when he was asked a question: If you could spend one hour with anyone in the world, who would it be? Instead of choosing a famous politician or a movie star, Dennis said Karen’s name. his old flame.
By that time, Dennis was divorced from his wife and Karen was a widower.
The next day, Dennis did a search on LinkedIn and found Karen’s contact information. Karen was working as an interior designer out in Washington state. Dennis was running his own marketing business in Eden Prairie. He took a big chance and called her, not knowing her circumstances — and the romantic spark was still there.
After 56 years, Dennis and Karen finally wed in January 2015. But their journey was just beginning… because a year later, they decided to find the daughter they were forced to give up as teenagers.
No one, however, expected what was about to unfold once the search began. Watch the video below to find out: