Adopted QCA twins, birth mother meet after 66 years
Jim and John Krup said they always knew they were adopted. “It really wasn't something that we were curious about growing up. Always thought we probably would never find our real mother anyway. So we just went through life that way,” said Jim.
The Krup twins only knew little bits and pieces of their story based on what their adoptive mother knew. They said they knew they were born in Rockford, Illinois. Their parents picked them up on January 19, 1954, exactly one month after they were born.
In 2017 Jim’s wife purchased a DNA kit from Anscestry.com. The initial intent wasn’t to find his biological mom but to learn more about his ancestry. In December of 2019, Jim received an email from the DNA website. The email said there were new results. There was a picture of a woman who was a 100% parent-child match. Her name was JoAnne Carlson.
Carlson told TV6 was 16 when she found out she was pregnant. She didn’t find out she was having twins until later in her pregnancy. “I went in about six months, she said I think I hear two heartbeats in there. He was on top of the other baby,” said Carlson.
Adoption was her only choice -- a decision she said was made by her mother. “There was no choice. I never saw them. I never held them,” said Carlson.
Even as decades came and went, Carlson never stopped looking for her sons. “I tried to find them. My daughter tried to find them, attorneys, birth records. They would not allow anything out at that time because everything was considered a closed adoption. Records are sealed,” Carlson said.
During all those years, Carlson just hoped that her sons were being well-fed and taken care of. “She just wanted to know if they went to a good family and were taken care of. We had a fantastic childhood growing up. You couldn't ask for a better one and we agreed before we called her the first time. That’s the first thing we're going to tell her. She needed to know that,” Jim said, while John nodded in agreement.
Their adoptive mother passed away in 2004, but Jim and John always assumed that their biological mother did as well. They realized Carlson sent them an email in October of 2019, but they didn’t see it until December of 2019. “I couldn't imagine what she was thinking. No response. Maybe they don't want to know me or whatever. And I felt absolutely horrible about it and I immediately emailed her. And it just started, so I stopped going through ancestry and gave her my email address,” said Jim.
In January they went up to Rockford to meet their mother and were greeted with a host of new family members, including a brother and sister.
For the past 66 years, their mother was only a couple hours away in Rockford. Jim, a retired Rock Island Sheriff's deputy, made many trips to Rockford to pick up inmates. When their sister was in high school, they would come to the Quad Cities area for her bowling league. Their mother and stepfather would camp right outside of East Moline. “I mean we're close all the time. I may have patrolled through that campground and we could have driven right by them, and just never even knew it,” said Jim.
“It is exciting” said John. “ It's just a whole new chapter, and to be able to do that at this age, to start a whole new chapter in your life, is pretty awesome,” Jim said.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe this was never gonna happen. Never. But it has and it's been a joyous reunion and it's just been really something special. Really something special,” Carlson said.