For 35 years, Tiffany Dow thought her dad was her mom's high school boyfriend, a blonde, blue-eyed man who left before she was born.
Dow always thought it was odd that her mom, also blonde and blue-eyed, would give birth to a dark-haired, dark-eyed babe who looked different from everyone in the family – but she left it at that.
That is, until this Christmas, when her boyfriend bought her a DNA test as a present. She expected the results to show a diverse ancestry. It instead revealed she's half Armenian.
"I'm not a mutt at all!" Dow recalls thinking.
"I called my mom. I didn't think she was lying, but I was in shock."
Her mom asked if she could come over to her house later to talk.
"I said, 'No, we're not doing this. You're telling me now.' "
So she told Dow who she suspected was her biological father, a man named Doug Davidian from Fresno. She said he had a beard, a light blue van, and was on a road trip across the U.S. when they met in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1971.
It was already evening so she waited until the morning to call his Fresno office. Davidian answered the phone.
The start of that exchange, as Dow recalls it:
"Hi Doug, do you have a minute?"
"Well good, my name is Tiffany. Have you ever been to Missouri?'"
Davidian said he had, on a road trip in the 1970s. Dow proceeded to tell him the story about her DNA test and how his name "came up."
Davidian then called Dow's mother to help jog his memory, and the pair decided Davidian was likely Dow's father.
Davidian and Dow became sure of it as they talked more later that night. Their resemblance in personality and appearance was striking and they felt an instant connection. They are thrilled to have found each other.
Before Davidian was contacted by Dow, he was reading a Bible passage about such a "crazy ass miracle" that he started to laugh.
It also inspired him to pray: "I prayed if there's something or someone who needs friendship or attention, I don't just walk by it, I show up. I do my part. … One hour exactly after I prayed that prayer, Tiffany was on the other line."
It was a different prayer than normal.
"A lot of times when I pray, it's about me and my need," Davidian said. "This prayer was not about me and my need, it was about being aware of other people, and I think that's something that God wants."
Another amazing twist: They learned each starts the day reading from the same Bible study daily devotional.
They met for the first time in March, when Davidian flew to Missouri to visit Dow at her home in Lee's Summit, a suburb of Kansas City, for her 46th birthday.
They've gotten more out of their relationship than each other.
Davidian, 65, also got grandchildren, Dow's children: Olivia, 24, Sam, 21, Jack, 20, and Ben, 17.
And Dow got grandparents. She's meeting Horace and Dolores Davidian for the first time this weekend. Dow flew into Fresno on Friday to celebrate Father's Day with her dad.
"We both talk a lot," Dow said of how they're alike. "We both don't let many people get words in, so we interrupt each other the whole time, but it's OK because we both don't find that disrespectful, and we talk with our hands."
Both are business savvy. Dow sells real estate, and Davidian is a past president of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce who once ran a large office furniture company.
They also share a reputation for winning arm-wrestling matches, Dow added with a laugh.
Dow was disappointed her mom didn't tell her about Davidian earlier, but she's found solace in the belief that "God's timing is perfect."
Dow's mother gave birth to her when she was 17 years old. When Dow was 11, she learned the man she thought was her father – her mother's husband – was actually her stepfather. She later learned the high school boyfriend she thought was her real dad died in a car accident.
"It's like a miracle," Dow said of finding Davidian. "I kept saying that inside, 'I have a dad. It's a miracle.' It really was a miracle."
Their families have been accepting of their relationship, including Dow's stepfather and Davidian's two adopted sons.
Davidian said finding Dow has brought more meaning to his life and helped "connect the dots."
Dow said finding her dad gave her "a peace."
"It was like all the pieces finally fit and I didn't even know they were missing," she said. "I'm still who I am, just finding out you have a father, it shouldn't make a difference, but it really, really did. I think for the first time in my life I felt 100 percent whole."