Eighteen years ago, in June of 1995, Paula Johnson gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Callie. The next day, Whitney Rogers also gave birth to a girl, Rebecca. Somehow, these babies were switched and went home with the wrong parents. All this happened at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.
Three years later, Paula and Callie’s father split up and demanded a DNA test to determine if Callie was really his. It turns out he wasn’t, but the real shocker was that Paula wasn’t Callie’s mother either. When she alerted the hospital, the staff soon realized what had happened. Callie actually belonged to Kevin Chittum and Whitney. Tragically, the couple had died in a terrible car accident on the same day that the hospital was about to make them aware of what had happened.
Paula tried to claim her biological child, who was with her grandparents who had legal custody of the child. After a three year long battle, a judge ruled that the girls would stay with the families that had been raising them. Callie visits with her biological family but Rebecca doesn’t really want to see her biological mother.
Paula has three other boys, older than Callie, Wesley, Cody and Frankie(deceased), by different men. She is now married to Greg Gentry, whom Callie calls dad.
Paula says she has always been immensely respectful of Callie’s connection with Whitney and Kevin, allowing space for it to develop, and Callie confirms this. Callie tells me she has an especially close connection with Lindsey, her 12-year-old birth sister. The two girls often talk about one day, when they are older, moving into the house Kevin was renovating for Whitney and his young family before he was killed, a house that the Chittums have kept on. ‘It has a kinda special significance for all of us,’ Callie says.
I think that Paula has done a good job of raising Callie. It’s good to see how accepting and loving Callie is to her biological family, without losing a bit of love for her nurturing family. I hope Rebecca is doing just as well too.
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