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September 17, 2014

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Burger King Baby finds birth mom, feels ‘pure joy’

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Katheryn Deprill / AP

Katheryn Deprill posted this photo on Facebook on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in which she holds a sign that says she is seeking her birth mother.

A woman who, as a newborn, was abandoned in the bathroom of a Pennsylvania fast-food restaurant said Tuesday she has found her birth mother just three weeks after launching a search that garnered worldwide attention.

Katheryn Deprill, 27, said she felt "pure joy" when she met her biological mother for the first time Monday at an attorney's office.

"She is better than anything I could've ever imagined. She is so sweet and amazing. I'm so happy," said Deprill, who has become known as the Burger King Baby.

Deprill began her quest on March 2 by posting on her Facebook page a photo in which she held up a sign that said, "Looking for my birth mother. ... She abandoned me in the Burger King bathroom only hours old, Allentown PA. Please help me find her by sharing my post."

The photo was shared more than 30,000 times by Facebook users around the world, and Deprill's story landed in numerous media outlets. That caught the attention of the woman who abandoned her, and she came forward to attorney John Waldron, who arranged for them to meet.

Deprill said she bears a very strong resemblance to the woman, whose name she wouldn't disclose.

"It looked like I was looking in a mirror," she said.

Deprill, an EMT and married mother of three who lives outside Allentown in South Whitehall Township, said she embraced her mother.

"I got the hug that I had wanted for the last 27 years, and that broke the ice," she said. "I asked if I could have it, and she said, 'absolutely,' and just held her arms open, and the rest is history."

The pair met for about four hours and exchanged contact information. Deprill said they plan to meet again.

"We are definitely going to have a relationship," she said.

Deprill declined to address the circumstances of her abandonment, referring those questions to Waldron.

The attorney said the woman said that, as a 16-year-old, she was raped while traveling abroad and became pregnant. The woman said she hid the pregnancy from her parents and, after giving birth in her bedroom, felt she could not take her newborn to the hospital because she would be required to answer questions.

Waldron had his staff prepare for the reunification with flowers, chocolates and boxes of tissues.

"It was one of the most emotional, joyful, dramatic, exciting things I've ever seen," Waldron said, adding there's no doubt in his mind that his client is Deprill's mother.

"If you sat there for five minutes and heard them and watched them and observed them and looked at them, you would know," he said.

The woman had decided about six months ago to launch her own search for the daughter she gave up.

Deprill said her mother expressed regret during their tear-filled meeting. She said she forgave her "110 percent, absolutely."

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