Through the power of social media and a photo that attracted thousands of shares, the woman dubbed by the media as the “Burger King Baby” finally reunited with the woman who abandoned her as a baby at a restaurant 27 years ago.
“It's better than what I thought,” Katheryn Deprill told HLN affiliate WFMZ after reuniting with her birth mother just before 2:00 p.m. Monday in the office of attorney John Waldron.
Deprill’s story made headlines back in 1986 when she was found abandoned at the fast-food restaurant in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Nurses said she was just three hours old when a woman sipping coffee heard the baby’s cries and discovered her lying on the bathroom floor, swaddled in a red sweater on top of a white plastic bag.
Deprill, now married with three children, posted a photo of herself on her Facebook page in early March, holding up a handwritten sign that read:
“Looking for my birth mother. She gave birth to me September 15, 1986. She abandoned me in the Burger King bathroom only hours old, Allentown, PA,” the message read. “Please help me find her by sharing my post. Maybe she will see this. Thank you.”
Sure enough, the woman she had been searching for saw the message and contacted Waldron to arrange the meeting.
"They immediately hugged," Waldron told WFMZ. "It was exciting, emotional, dramatic."
Waldron said Deprill's birth mother had been raped while traveling in another country and become pregnant at the age of 17. She was able to keep the pregnancy a secret from her parents, but knew she couldn't take care of the baby.
"She left the baby in a location where the baby would be found and cared for," Waldron said. "She kissed the baby on the forehead ... and left."
Deprill told the affiliate her mother "was extremely upset that she had to leave me and it wasn't what she wanted, but she felt she had no other means."
"She left me somewhere she knew I'd be found. She did not want to throw me away."
Deprill declined to identify the woman, saying "she did not want to be in the limelight."
Also at the reunion Monday were Deprill’s 7-month-old son and her adoptive mother.
She told the affiliate her birth mother wants to be involved in her life, and she hopes they’ll meet again soon.