WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio – A father and daughter are spending the holidays as a family thanks to a popular DNA test that brought them together this year.
Looking through old family photos is become a favorite pastime for Ashley Smith and her father Mansfield Frazier.
The two have a lot in common; both are career driven, strong-willed and have a love of writing. Those similarities are just coming to light, since they only met less than one month ago.
Smith says, "I was 6-years-old and I called him and he said, 'What you want, money?'"
She was talking about the man who she initially thought was her father. But, the 30-year-old wife and mother of two says it was ten years ago when her reality changed in an instant with shocking news coming from the woman who raised her.
"So at 20, my grandmother said look, 'I don't think that he's your father' -- the man that was supposed to be my father all those years. My mother had given me a couple other names and back then, 10 years ago. I searched the couple names and nothing," explained Smith.
Smith would eventually go to the popular DNA website, ’23 and Me’ to find her real father. But the hunt would not be easy because the first person tested wasn’t a match.
"I sent my mom a text like, you brought this information to me," she said.
However, she eventually found a match and the biological connection between Smith and Frazier was confirmed on November 19.
Frazier, a journalist and winery owner, briefly dated Smith’s mother in the 1980s.
"If they would've asked for a paternity test, I would have taken it but they didn't press the issue,” said Mansfield.
Smith says, "I never lost hope or faith, I figured if it were meant to be, it would be."
The father and daughter meeting face to face for the first time at Smith’s graduation from Ohio Media School.
Now, the holiday season is taking on a whole new meaning for the pair.
"Then it hit me, wow my God must favor me, because he's given me this wonderful gift at 76 years old," Frazier said.
"The fact that he has done everything that I aspire to do, I've been blindly following in his footsteps. It's truly amazing," Smith said.