A Story for the Season

Real Estate Broker/Owner with New Paradigm Partners LLC EB #1326335

In 1951, Therese McDonough, a young woman in Denver, became pregnant out of wedlock. Since she was Catholic and her boyfriend was Protestant, her family forbid Therese McDonoughmarriage, and, as was the custom at that time, she was sent to a home for unwed mothers in Kansas City to avoid bringing shame on her family.


In March, 1952, she gave birth to a daughter, who was placed for adoption. Therese returned to Denver, and shortly after, eloped with a man she had been dating for two weeks named Carl Chubb. Therese and Carl went on to have 5 children of their own, beginning with twin girls, Mary & Maggi. The children learned at a young age that they had a half-sister, but no one knew anything at all about her and the children's curiosity was discouraged. She remained a mystery for over 50 years.


Mary & Maggi had always wondered about their half-sister and often talked about trying to find her. But they had so little information about her, and with Therese's passing in 1990, there was little hope of piecing the puzzle together.


Flash forward to November, 2016. Mary received a letter from an attorney in Kansas City, informing her of the existence of a half-sister who wanted to establish contact with the family, and offering, if she or other members of the family wished, to provide contact information. I arrived home just as Mary was opening the letter - she was standing in the middle of the kitchen, repeating "Oh my God!" over and over, and it was several minutes before she could calm down enough to tell me what was going on.


After a call to the attorney, and many calls to family members, Mary & Maggi contacted their sister Shelley, first by Facebook, then for many hours by telephone and skype. Shelley wanted to know everything about her mother, and had been trying for 40 years to track down the family. And of course Mary & Maggi wanted to know everything about Shelley. Mary & Maggi were able to provide a lot of background, but were also amazed at how much Shelley knew about the family from her research, including much that Mary & Maggi weren't aware of. And they discovered that for 17 of those missing years, Shelley had been living near Fort Collins, and had unknowingly crossed paths with many family members over the years.


The reunion has been a joyous one. Mary, Maggi & Shelley connected like the sisters they are, and are now sharing their lives and stories regularly. And Mary & Maggi are continually delighted to find memories of their mother in Shelley's appearance, behavior and preferences. They will be traveling to Arizona to meet their long lost sister in person this coming spring, and are celebrating this Christmas season with an unexpected, but long wished-for, expansion of the family circle.

Posted by
Mary & Dick

Mary & Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC
2601 S. Lemay Ave. #41
Fort Collins, CO 80525


Data Source: IRES MLS


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Harry F. D'Elia
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

I very much enjoyed your blog post today. I look forward to the next one.

Dec 23, 2016 06:24 AM #36
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Glad you shared this story, happy for Mary and all the family to find their half sister Shelley after all these years. What an encouragement to others maybe going through similar circumstances this holiday season.

Dec 23, 2016 06:50 AM #37
Keller Williams Realty Partners SW - Cooper City, FL
Selling Broward County Homes with Passion!

Beautiful and heartfelt story! Thanks so much for sharing.

Dec 23, 2016 06:52 AM #38
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Dec 23, 2016 09:25 AM #39
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Wow!  This is truly a Christmas miracle.  So happy that Mary's half sister found her.  Warms my heart.

Dec 23, 2016 09:45 AM #40
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Featured in the group:  BARTENDER, MAKE IT A DOUBLE.

Dec 23, 2016 09:46 AM #41
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Very inspirational and joyous post, especially for families with similar circumstances who are seeking to reconnect with lost family members. The lesson is to never give up till it's over.

Dec 23, 2016 12:54 PM #42
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

That's a great story with a wonderful ending, Dick. Thank you for sharing it. 

Dec 23, 2016 01:20 PM #43
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

PS...Lucky has to go to the vet this afternoon. While playing at the dog park yesterday I noticed he seemed to be keeping his head to one side. It's probably nothing to get excited about. 

Dec 23, 2016 01:23 PM #44
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate

Hands down, that is going to be the best Christmas story I hear this year. Wow!

Dec 23, 2016 04:05 PM #45
Steven Beam
RE/MAX Alliance - Parker Colorado Real Estate. - Parker, CO
Parker Colorado Real Estate

That's awesome. Happens more than we think. There is a story like that right here in Parker too. Thanks for sharing. 

Dec 23, 2016 04:28 PM #46
Julia Borja

Just like in the movies, such an amazing story Dick . I always have said that the one who preserves, conquers as Mary, Maggi and Shelley did. Yeah!!!Finally the family will be completed with that older sister of yours. 😍😍

Dec 23, 2016 07:17 PM #47
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Such an exciting story and happy ending. SO happy for Mary Dick Greenberg 

Dec 24, 2016 06:12 AM #48
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I consider this to be about everyone you meet. We are all kindred spirits

Dec 24, 2016 07:07 AM #49
John Wiley
Jones & Co. Realty - Cape Coral, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Dick, thank you for sharing such an inspirational story.

It is heartwarming when families can be put back together.

Best wishes

Dec 24, 2016 08:55 AM #50
MaryKay Shumway, YourDoorCounty
The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948) - Sister Bay, WI
Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert

What a lovely holiday story; thank you for sharing.


Dec 24, 2016 02:47 PM #51
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

What a wonderful Christmas story and so glad that they have found each other after all this time. I know the relationship will bloom over the next years.

Dec 24, 2016 03:15 PM #52
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

What a sweet sister story for the season.     I found my long lost 1/2 sister about 15 years ago and we're both grateful.    Things were so different and difficult for women, like Therese, just 65 years ago...

Dec 24, 2016 04:43 PM #53
Praful Thakkar
eXp Realty - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Dick Greenberg - sounds like a movie story! Beautiful!

And now, Mary, Maggi and Shelly will be together forever.

Dec 26, 2016 06:54 PM #54
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

What a wonderful ending to a great story!  That must have been such an exciting day for Mary.   Good for her and the tenacity it took to find Shelley! It's thrilling to find family and connect the dots.  

My half sister has been seeking information about her adopted father's family for many years. It is a struggle and she's become an expert on ancestry.com!  

Make sure post reunion pics!

Dec 30, 2016 06:40 AM #55
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