BAILEY, Mich. (WZZM) - An elderly man was just starting to accept that he may never get to see his long-lost daughter again, when a Christmas miracle happened.
Steve Pangborn and his daughter say they've been searching the country for each other all of their lives. Trisha Bailey, 55, finally came to meet Pangborn for the first time she can remember, just in time for Christmas.
"For 54 years, I've always wanted to meet my dad, and it finally came to be," says Bailey.
She was only a year old, living in Philadelphia, when she says her mother separated her from her father. "I looked in Philadelphia for her, but I couldn't find her," says Pangborn.
Bailey was told her father was dead. As she grew older and farther apart from her mother, she learned the truth, and looked to www.ancestry.com for answers. That's how she found Pangborn's granddaughter, who connected the two on the phone.
"As soon as it clicked, that this was for real, we both started crying," says Bailey.
It was instant chemistry; they noticed similarities in each other, particularly their love of chatting. Pangborn invited Bailey to his home for the holidays.
"As soon as I got to Michigan, I'm like, 'What do I say?' I couldn't get out of the car!" Bailey recollects.
Bailey drove all the way from New York to meet her brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews for the first time.
"It was meant to be," says Panghorn. "I loved her when she was born. I played with her when she was born, and I love her now; that never changed."
Bailey and her husband are heading back to their home in New York, but say they've loved their time in West Michigan so much, they may move here.