After all, beer-can collecting had been a teenage hobby of Chuck's when they started dating. So Laurie asked another question: Did Missi know when her biological birthday was?
It was April 14, 1981.
After Missi left the office, "I was in shock," Laurie said. "And I sat there for the longest time thinking, is this happening? Is this really true? Could this be a coincidence?"
On her way home, Laurie phoned Chuck and told him she thought that by some bizarre coincidence the daughter they had given up for adoption might be her new employee.
That night, between them, they cooked up a plan to try to prove it without letting Missi know until they were certain. The next day, Laurie told Missi that she wanted to monitor some of Missi's sales calls.
Missi wasn't sure how to react. "Cold-calling's bad enough, not to mention cold-calling when your boss is standing over your shoulder."
As they drove together in Laurie's car, Laurie told Missi she had to stop by Chuck's workplace to give him a checkbook he had forgotten. Chuck was waiting when the car pulled up, and he looked through the window at Missi.
Neither he nor Laurie said anything, but Chuck later recalled that he knew instantly that Missi was their biological daughter. "I didn't think there was any doubt, especially with the two of them sitting side by side," he said.
As soon as the women drove away, Chuck called Laurie's cell phone so they could speak privately. He said three words: "Oh, my God."
Laurie took Missi to a restaurant on Erie's bay front. They sat down to lunch, with Laurie sensing 25 years of lost history as she looked across the table, and Missi wondering something else altogether as she looked back at her boss.
"She crosses her arms and she starts looking at the floor," Missi said. "I'm reading her body language, [thinking] that there's something wrong. And she says to me, 'Well, there's actually another reason why I asked you to come out with me today.' And I said, 'Oh no, am I getting fired?'"
"I explained to her … if I was going to fire you, I certainly wouldn't take you out to lunch to tell you," Laurie said.
Instead, she asked Missi, "'If I thought I knew who your biological parents were, would you want to know who they were?'"
Missi shook her head in surprise, then smiled and said, "Yes."
"I think it might be me and my husband, Chuck," Laurie told her.
"I think I was sitting up straight in my chair at the time, and I just sat back, and I said, 'Wow,'" Missi said. "And I know for sure that I didn't look at her."
"Then I started to tell her the story," Laurie said. "And we started comparing other notes [on their similarities], like she gets migraine headaches, and we both have some crooked toes."
"I was still in shock," Missi said, "because I thought, this woman's my boss, yet she might be my mother? I mean, it's just strange."
The more they talked, the more the details seemed to fall into place.
"And then there was one thing that I knew that was very specific to my birth," Missi said. "And this is what really gave me goose bumps. I said, 'I was coming out breach, and so I had to be delivered by C-section.' And she looked at me and she said, 'I have the scar to prove it.'"
Both realized they could be completely certain of their relationship only by unlocking the papers associated with Missi's adoption.