Catelynn and Tyler have firsthand knowledge of adoption -- and during a brand-new special entitled Teen Mom Presents: Reunited, the longtime couple facilitated two female adoptees coming face-to-face with their birth mother. The reunion was emotional, raw and heartbreaking -- and understandably greatly affected everyone who participated in the candid conversation.
But before addressing the sit-down, the Michigan natives began the installment by declaring their desire to help others reconnect with missing people in their lives. Enter Kati, a 24-year-old who had a strong desire to meet her birth mother Jackie -- but wanted Cate and Ty's support during this life-changing process because they could relate to "every side of her story."
A bit of context about Kati's history: She was born in Hawaii, placed for adoption when she was two days old and learned of her past when she was around five or six. She knew that, at the time, Jackie had struggled with drug addiction, had recently been released from prison, and she needed to give "some of her kids up." Kati began her own digital investigation in the hopes of seeing the woman she had never known -- specifically, sifting through more than 200 people with the same moniker.
Then, a match. She sent a message and soon received confirmation that they were indeed related. Through their communication, Kati learned that her mother lived in the Aloha State, and that she had a sister named Hazel. Like Kati, Hazel was given up for adoption.
Cate, Tyler, Kati and Kati's boyfriend Tyler excitedly traveled to Hawaii to begin this journey -- all while doing their best to keep realistic expectations. But before it was time to become acquainted with Jackie, Hazel opened up about her devastating childhood to just Cate and Ty: She'd been forced to help raise her siblings, there was no food and she was physically and sexually abused. She was placed in foster care when she was seven; by age 10, she was adopted. Under the circumstances, Hazel warned she would probably not be able to forgive Jackie but wanted to be there for Kati during this process.
Fast-forward to Cate and Ty chatting with Jackie, who expressed remorse for her behavior and was on board with the plan to see Kati and Hazel. Next, Kati and Hazel had a tearful embrace during their initial moments together and, subsequently, the duo reunited with Jackie.
The sisters had different reactions: Kati gave Jackie a hug, while Hazel could not approach her. Past memories then came rushing back to Hazel, and she stormed out of the room when Jackie said she understood what her girls went through (Jackie was also the child of a drug abuser). Eventually, Kati joined Hazel when Jackie confessed that she'd used drugs while pregnant with Kati.
Kati and Hazel took a moment and separately rejoined Jackie. Hazel admitted that she didn't want to be an "evil daughter" and that she would always have love for her parent, while Kati acknowledged health issues that may have related back to her biological mother's drug use while pregnant.
"All I can tell you guys is I'm sorry," Jackie stated. "I'm not asking you to have open arms for me -- I just want to keep making better choices for myself."
Kati vowed not to shut out Jackie -- but during a catch-up four months later, she confessed that although Jackie had reached out to her, Hazel's experiences had a lasting impact. There was one happy ending, however: Kati and Hazel speak every day and, according to Hazel, are the "exact same person."
What did you think of this Reunited tale? Share your thoughtful insights in the comments.