Less than three weeks after a plea for her birth mom to come forward blazed through media outlets across the globe, Katheryn Deprill has met the woman who abandoned her 27 years ago in a Pennsylvania Burger King restaurant.
Deprill, known as the "Burger King Baby," got a lifetime of questions answered when she met her mother Monday. It was the first time the two had contact since the mom, who has remained in the Lehigh Valley, left Deprill at the Allentown restaurant on Sept. 15, 1986.
"Oh, my God, I'm so excited!" Deprill said Tuesday. "I have literally not wiped the smile off my face. I never in a million years thought I'd find her.
"It's definitely the best scenario possible," Deprill said. "She's very normal. She's very sweet."
Deprill confirmed to the Morning Call on Tuesday that she had finally met her mom, but she said she wanted it to be her final media interview. She said she's been blitzed by media requests since she took to Facebook on March 2, looking for her birth mom.
Deprill's mom, who doesn't want to be identified, went to Allentown attorney John Waldron for advice on how to handle the situation on March 13 — 11 days after Deprill publicly launched her search.
Waldron arranged a meeting at his office. Deprill showed up Monday with her youngest of three sons, 7-month-old Jackson, and her adoptive mother. Her birth mom showed up with her husband. "It was pure shock to see it was actually her standing there," Deprill said. "The first thing I got was my hug that I wanted."
"Everyone hugged," Waldron added. "It brought tears to your eyes."
For hours, Deprill was able to ask the questions she had wanted to for decades: Why did you leave me? What is my heritage? Do you have any health problems I should know about? "It was emotional and dramatic," Waldron said.
Waldron said the mom explained she became pregnant when she was raped in a foreign country by a stranger during a family vacation when she was 16. Ashamed and embarrassed, he said, she hid the pregnancy. The mom, according to Waldron, said she gave birth in her bedroom at age 17 without her parents knowing about it and drove to Burger King to drop off the baby, knowing it would be crowded and someone would find the infant.
"She kissed the baby on the forehead and left," Waldron said. "She was a kid in high school. Back then, you couldn't just go to a hospital and drop the baby off, no questions asked. It wasn't, 'I don't want the child.' It was because of what happened. … Sometime rape victims blame themselves even though they're not at fault."
Deprill's birth mom was also able to tell Deprill she's of Irish and German heritage and they discussed health issues.
"I felt like I was looking at myself in the mirror," Deprill said. "She definitely looked like what I had thought."