Melanie and Darrell Sinclair, their two children – Abigail, 4, and Noah, 9 – with Doug Sherk. (Contributed)

Maple Ridge son finds father thanks to DNA test

Father and son unite for the first time on April 4

Darrell Sinclair had been searching for his biological father for 22 years.

Last week, he got to meet him for the first time after an Ancestry DNA test and hard digging by his wife Melanie, who made it her mission to make it happen.

All Darrell knew was that his mother became pregnant with him at 15 after a summer fling in Port Moody with a construction worker from Ontario.

His mother would eventually marry another man and had two girls.

Darrell met Melanie in 1997. Together they decided they were going to look for his father.

He told Melanie that he had previously found a baby book with the name Doug Sherk handwritten beside the title father, then crossed out. That is how the couple’s search began.

Melanie knew Darrell’s biological father was from Ontario, but ended up talking to men with the same name in Pennsylvania and Ohio, as well, but to no avail.

In December 2018, Melanie and their two children – Noah, 9 and Abigail, 4 – bought Darrell an AncestryDNA kit for Christmas. They were going to give it to him for his birthday in March, but were too excited.

Still, the kit sat on a shelf until March 8, when Darrell decided he was ready to take the DNA test. He spat into a tube and sent the sample to Australia.

When the results came back, Darrell found a match to a familiar name: Sherk.

Darrell’s DNA matched a man named Brian Sherk, who’s DNA results were already in the company’s database.

Melanie looked up Brian Sherk on Facebook and he told her he was not the right man because he had never taken the DNA test, but that he was friends on Facebook with a man with the same name and who he is related to.

Melanie wrote to the other Brian Sherk. He was pretty sure his great uncle and aunt were Darrell’s biological grandparents. Sherk sent her an obituary.

Melanie saw that a man named Doug Sherk was listed as one of the children in the obit. She had messaged another man on Facebook by the same name two years earlier, but received no reply. This time, she was going to look for his wife, Sheryl, whose name appeared in parentheses.

When she found Sheryl on the social media site, she also saw a picture of Doug and realized that the couple had two daughters.

She messaged the daughters and received a reply from one of them, Rachel.

Melanie asked her questions about her father, then told her that she might want to sit down before telling her that she thought her husband was Rachel’s brother.

Rachel gave Melanie Doug’s number and asked him directly if it was possible that he had a child in B.C. and he said that it was.

Doug met Darrell and his family for the first time on April 4. He had surprised them when he let them know he’d be flying in from Medicine Hat, Alta., where he now lives with his wife.

The Sinclair family met Doug at Vancouver International Airport, all holding signs.

Darrell’s sign read: “The search is over! 40 years later … Nice to meet you dad”.

Noah’s read: ” We made a wish and it came true. We are so happy we found you.”

Abigail: “Welcome Papa Doug.”

They brought Doug to Ridge Meadows Hospital to meet Darrell’s grandmother, Beatrice Laurene Meger, who at 78, was suffering from leukemia and dementia. It was her dying wish to see father and son reunited.

“She said, ‘I held on for this moment,’” Melanie said.

Meger passed away on Wednesday morning, her wish fulfilled.

The Sinclair family plans to visit Doug and Sheryl in May and meet the rest of the family and also plans to attend a family reunion in Ontario next year.



mailto:cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Noah, 9, Abigail, 4, and their parents, Darrell and Melanie Sinclair, with their signs at the airport as they waited to meet Darrell’s father for the first time. (Contributed)

Just Posted

Council ponders next steps for Pitt Meadows Official Community Plan

Revising a blueprint for how to keep growing and developing the city has been stalled by COVID

LETTER: Why are mobile lab workers not getting hazard pay?

A Pitt Meadows essential service worker questions why she and coworkers are not being compensated

PHOTOS: Maple Ridge Cubs conduct porch-based food drive

A Scouting from Home effort sees kids collecting non-perishables for the Friends In Need Food Bank

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

LETTER: Hear your postie’s plea about dogs

When a canine bites, it’s seldom the animal but rather the owner at fault

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

Most Read