A woman who, as a newborn, was abandoned in the bathroom of a Pennsylvania fast-food restaurant has found her birth mother just three weeks after launching a search that garnered worldwide attention.
Katheryn Deprill, 27, said she felt "pure joy" when she met her biological mother for the first time Monday in an attorney's office.
"She is better than anything I could've ever imagined. She is so sweet and amazing. I'm so happy," said Deprill, who has become known as the Burger King Baby.
Deprill began her quest on March 2 by posting on her Facebook page a photo in which she held up a sign that said, "Looking for my birth mother. ... She abandoned me in the Burger King bathroom only hours old, Allentown PA. Please help me find her by sharing my post."
The photo was shared more than 30,000 times by Facebook users around the world, and Deprill's story landed in numerous media outlets. That caught the attention of the woman claiming to have abandoned her, and she came forward to attorney John Waldron, who arranged for them to meet.
Deprill said she bears a very strong resemblance to the woman, whose name she wouldn't disclose.
"It looked like I was looking in a mirror," she said.
Deprill, an Emergency Medical Technician and married mother of three who lives outside Allentown in South Whitehall Township, said she embraced her mother.
"I got the hug that I had wanted for the last 27 years, and that broke the ice," she said. "I asked if I could have it, and she said, 'absolutely,' and just held her arms open, and the rest is history."
The pair met for about four hours and exchanged contact information. Deprill said they plan to meet again.
"We are definitely going to have a relationship," she said.
Deprill declined to address the circumstances of her abandonment, referring those questions to Waldron, who did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
Waldron told a local TV station that the woman said that, as a teenager, she was raped while travelling abroad and became pregnant. The woman said she hid the pregnancy from her parents and, when she gave birth, felt she could not take her newborn to the hospital.
Waldron said the woman recently had launched her own search for the daughter she gave up.
Deprill said her mother expressed regret during their meeting. Deprill said she forgave her "110 per cent, absolutely".