When Khari Siegfried, Miss Pennsylvania, competes for the title of Miss United States this week, she’ll have the full support of her family–that is, both her adoptive and birth families.
The title holder, 26, reunited with her birth family when she won her crown at the Miss Pennsylvania pageant in March.
“My birth mother had me when she was 16, and I left the hospital as Jessica Lynn Bailey,” Siegfried said in a statement. “However, my mother soon realized she didn’t have the resources to raise me, and I was adopted and my name was changed to Khari Justine Siegfried.
“While I was out gown shopping to prepare for the Miss Pennsylvania pageant, my mom called me and said the agency that handled my adoption 26 years ago was looking to get in contact with me. I called the number, and soon found out that my birth mother had been looking to connect with me for the past six years.