Original story posted here.
Growing up, no one in Kimberley Hunt’s family looked quite like her.
She was the only black child in a family of six, adopted and raised by her much older half-sister after her mother died.
“I was literally the black sheep of the family,” she laughs.
“But I felt welcomed and loved,” she adds.
Still, she had always wondered, but never knew, the identity of her birth father. It was a secret her mother took with her to her grave in 1970, when Hunt (born Power) was just four years old.
But a Christmas gift of an AncestryDNA test kit has unlocked that mystery, and now the 52-year-old has connected with dozens of relatives she never knew existed, including a half-sister she says very much looks like her.
“I can see the resemblance,” she says as she talks happily about her new-found family. “I finally look like someone, you know?”
She recently travelled to Montreal for a reunion with four aunts and as many as 60 others of her extended family.
“I cried the whole day. It was pretty amazing,” she said after the trip.
Hunt’s adoptive mom gave her the DNA kit last Christmas Eve, and she did the test right away. She very quickly was connected to two cousins on her father’s side who had just done the test two months earlier. She reached out to them, then met them in person, and the family reunions haven’t stopped since.
And finally, her suspicions about who her birth father might be were confirmed – he was Newfoundland hockey Hall-of-Famer Clobie Collins.
Hunt was born in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, but moved to the GTA, and eventually Brampton, where she lived from aged 10 until she went to college.
She did the test with modest expectations.
“I was kind of hoping to find out who my dad is, and mostly for medical reasons for my son.”
She realized any family she did find may not be accepting or happy to hear from her, and she was ready for that possibility.
“I had my wall up, I was good with that,” she says.
She always suspected Collins was her dad.
“He was the only black guy in Newfoundland,” she laughs.
Her newly found relatives are more than she could have hoped for, though.
“It’s pretty beautiful,” she says. “They’re so accepting and loving and happy.”
Hunt speaks proudly of the dad she never knew, noting he was talented enough to have played in the NHL had it been another time, and another place.
“My dad was a famous hockey player in Newfoundland,” she says. “He made a living playing. If there wasn’t racism back then, he would have been in the NHL. He was so good.”
Her own son Lucas, 16, is a Triple A hockey player, and her new family is thrilled that his grandfather’s talents have been passed down, Hunt says.
They all laugh about the fact Hunt, who now lives in Toronto, is a private investigator by profession, but needed a DNA test to find her dad.
According to AncestryDNA, the average Canadian is related to more than 22,000 eighth cousins or closer around the world.
Ancestry has a network of more than 7 million people.
The test can connect you to relatives or trace your heritage to as many as 350 different regions.
Meanwhile, Hunt’s adoptive mom is “so happy for me” but she felt bad that she didn’t encourage her to take the test sooner, Hunt says.
As it turns out, Collins died in 1985, at the age of 49.
“I would have loved to have met him, but at least I have everyone who was around him,” Hunt says.