It began with a letter. Handwritten by a 14-year-old new mother to her baby as she was put up for adoption in 1987. That baby was adopted by the Phinazee family and named Ashley.
Ashley had a happy childhood, full of opportunity. She is now a boutique owner in Fernandina Beach, but at 27-years-old she desperately wanted to meet her birth mother.
"it just seemed that nobody knew anything", said Ashley.
The agency that set up her adoption decades prior was closed and the files were split between lawyers.
As a last resort Ashley turned to Facebook. "I made a little post with my picture and some general information, so if anybody saw it they might recognize who she was."
Within a day she had a lead.
"I had an email from the lady that was watching me while they worked out the adoption."
Soon after, Ashley got her wish. With her adoptive parents and a small camera crew, she went to meet her biological mother for the very first time; a moment her mother had been waiting 27 years for.
"I was really nervous because you know this is the person that gave you life, but you have never actually seen her in person. Which seems so strange to most people. But it was really exciting finally seeing her and realizing, oh this is where I get my hair from, this is where I get my nose from!"
Her adoptive parents were very supportive the entire time during the search.
"You don't owe us a thing, you have given us so much", said Ashley's father to her birth mother.
She says her biological mother was worried that Ashley didn't want to meet her, but Ashley says that couldn't be further from the truth.
"She was just 14 when she had me, so I knew that if I stayed with her, I wouldn't have gotten the life I have now. So I was just really grateful to her and so were my parents since she gave them what they always wanted, a child."
Ashley and her birth mother have kept in contact since the reunion and they hope to see each other again soon. Ashley is also looking forward to meeting two younger siblings she didn't know she had.
What began with a letter, then a Facebook post, bridged the gap of 27 years, bringing two families together.