Three days after Lydia MacNair was born, her adoptive family picked her up from a Raleigh, North Carolina, hospital. Now, Lydia is about two weeks away from reuniting with her biological mother for the first time in 21 years.
Lydia MacNair as a toddler. Photo courtesy of Lydia MacNair.
A viral post helped Lydia find her mother, two brothers, two sisters, and a nephew. Ironically, she also has two brothers, two sisters, and a nephew on her adopted side. Lydia got to fill in her family tree’s missing pieces just 10 hours after bringing her search to social media. It was the first time she’d done that.
Posting to social media on Black Friday was Lydia’s last attempt at leading the search for the woman who gave birth to her. Her next step was going to be hiring a private investigator. She had already tried using 23 & Me but didn’t get any matches for relatives.
So she started with the tweet, then a Facebook status update. She had also created a TikTok video with the same information, but her story blew up so fast that she didn’t get the chance to post it.
‼️pls share‼️I have been searching for my biological mom/family and have had no luck. A simple RT could help me find them. I was born September 15,2001(21 yrs old) The only info I have is my biological moms name is Demonica and she lives in the north Raleigh area. Thread below⬇️ pic.twitter.com/HDgO66ayyr
— Lyd🦋 (@lydiamacnair) November 25, 2022
Lydia spared no details while telling me her story on Tuesday. Her voice on the phone was eager throughout the hour-long conversation about her upbringing and the journey to finding her roots. At times, I caught shifts in her tone, as if her throat was locking up with emotions. Still, she remained graceful and open to all questions, even tough and invasive ones like, “are you making this story up for clout” and “do you think a DNA test is necessary.”
She’s not making this up. It’s her “real life,” she says. Lydia assures me that she has the Amazing Grace Adoptions paperwork about her closed adoption to prove it. And MacNair isn’t in a rush for bloodwork, if at all. The dates match. Her adoptive parents and biological mother met before the birth on September 15, 2001–so the faces are familiar.
How Lydia Connected With Her Family After Going Viral
But when she made the post, her only leads were her biological mother’s name Demonica, her birthplace and date, the adoption agency’s name, and knowledge of 3-4 older siblings. Still, she took the chance with innanet investigators on November 25. The flood of reactions happened in minutes. People filled her DMs and comment sections with leads.
In a recent interview, her older sister Vivian Thorpe told ABC 11 that Demonica received a message about putting up a child for adoption. Vivian searched for Lydia’s name on Facebook, and the post appeared. She left a comment. Then, they eventually connected in private.
Less than 12 hours after posting, she was on the phone with Vivian and their mother. She exchanged text messages with her brother. And the next day, Vivian drove about 3.5 hours from Raleigh to Asheville, where Lydia grew up, to meet her baby sis. They’re about a year apart in age.
Lydia says she waited at the window for Vivian to arrive. She says when they first hugged, the embrace brought instant tears. She called it a “once-in-a-lifetime moment, so full of love and happiness.”
Lydia MacNair and sister Vivian Thorpe during their first reunion in Asheville on November 26. Photo courtesy of Lydia MacNair.
The reunited sisters spent the day exploring Lydia’s favorite spots in Asheville. They ate Mexican food, which they both love, and drank hot chocolate. But most of all, they talked nonstop. Though they’ve spent 21 years apart, Lydia says it feels like they’ve known each other their whole lives.
My adoption story …Words cannot describe how grateful I am to the thousands of people who supported me through this journey. I never thought I would connect with my biological family , and i’m so happy they are just as happy to meet me.🤍 pic.twitter.com/WykcoKX2Ry
— Lyd🦋 (@lydiamacnair) November 27, 2022
Lydia’s Biological Family Looked For Her But Had The Wrong Name
Due to scheduling conflicts, Demonica and Lydia’s other siblings couldn’t join the last-minute road trip. But December 15 can’t come fast enough for her. The college junior will be back in Asheville for winter break. Then, she’ll head to Raleigh for her long-awaited reunion with mama Demonica.
“I literally feel like when I meet her is when everything is going to hit me at once and I’m just gonna be like ‘wow.’ But it just feels…it still doesn’t feel real like real. I feel like I’m going to literally wake up tomorrow morning and all this is going to be a dream,” Lydia told TSR. “It’s just crazy to think like now, we really have a date now, like I’m going to go down there and meet her. I’ve been waiting my whole, entire life for this moment and now it’s actually finally happening in a couple of days.”
The 21-year-old also learned that her biological family had been searching for her too. But they had the wrong name. Demonica had wanted her youngest child to be named Michelle, but the request got lost in the adoption paperwork. So, Lydia’s adoptive parents chose their own and started their new life together.
Lydia MacNair at about two years old on Easter. Photo courtesy of Lydia MacNair
Lydia’s Upbringing In An Predominantly White Community & Family
Lydia says she experienced a full childhood living on a farm with her adoptive, all-white family. She took horseback riding lessons and jazz, tap, and hip-hop dance classes and played basketball and soccer. She excelled in school, eventually getting an acceptance to the Xavier University of Louisiana. It’s an accomplishment she’s extremely proud of.
When her parents adopted her, they already had three biological kids. Four months after Lydia joined the family, the now-divorced couple adopted a son. Lydia and her younger brother are two of the few Black people in Asheville and in her immediate adoptive family–an experience that caused identity issues growing up.
“Growing up, it was just us two in an all-white family, and that was definitely a challenge,” Lydia The looks we would get when we all went out,” Lydia said, referencing the optics of white parents with three white and two Black children. “So, it was definitely a challenge trying to figure out who I was just because I never had anybody that looked like me. I never knew where I got my facial features from, where I got my personality…it was hard not knowing.”
Her parents have been supportive of her journey to meet her biological family. Lydia expressed her desire to do so early on. One misconception she wants to clear up is that she plans to abandon her adoptive family. That’s just not the case.
“My adoptive family is my family. They raised me. They taught me everything I know. They’ve supported me through everything, through my first car, my first apartment, college. So no, they will definitely still be a heavy part of my life, they still are even with me being in college,” Lydia said.
At this point in the conversation, Lydia’s voice cracked. She admitted setting the record straight made her emotional. She loves her adoptive family–that much is obvious.
Her parents’ last conversation with her biological mother is still 21 years old. They want to give Lydia a chance to mesh with her family without extra pressure. But they did meet Vivian when she spent the night in Asheville on November 26.
Lydia Is Judgement-Free And Ready To Meet Her Mother
Since learning about each other, Lydia and Demonica have spoken nearly every day. They talk about her classes, their days, and more casual aspects of their situation. But the heavier conversation of why ‘Michelle’ was put up for adoption hasn’t happened.
Lydia has bits and pieces: an abusive father with a record and a complicated living situation. But ultimately, she’s waiting until all the details come together during their in-person meeting.
“Even though I don’t know the full story, I fully believe in my heart that my biological mom did what she felt was best for me in the moment. Genuinely, I don’t have any ill feelings,” she said.
Lydia also has no worries about meeting her mom. And thankfully, before social media helped this family become whole again, Lydia explored all the possible outcomes with her therapist. All she’s focused on is her excitement and the hope her story has given others.
“Families aren’t perfect, and my biological family probably has their own stuff that they’ve dealt with, and personally, I’m just ready to accept that with open arms,” Lydia said. “I’m just happy I was even able to reconnect with them, that in itself is very special.”
Lydia MacNair, Vivian Thorpe, and their mother, Demonica, during their first joint Facetime call. Photo courtesy of Lydia MacNair.