Adopted son and birth mother reunite after 20 years, realizing they both work at the same hospital
SALT LAKE CITY – This Mother’s Day is extra special for two Utah moms and their son.
Twenty years ago, Holly Shearer was a pregnant 15-year-old and placed her newborn son for adoption.
“He deserved a mother and a father, a home with a playset in the backyard that he can play on, a dog, all of those things I couldn’t give him,” Shearer said.
In November of 2001, the day before Thanksgiving, she met the adoptive parents she had chosen through an adoption agency. She only knew their first names – Angela and Bryan. The day was bittersweet for all the new parents. It was the hardest decision Holly had ever had to make. Angela and Bryan, who had struggled to conceive, were ecstatic but worried about the teenager who had just made them parents.
“We knew Holly loved Benjamin from the day she handed him to us,” Angela Hulleberg said. “She loved him with her whole heart and soul.”
The adoption was closed, and the Hullebergs only knew Holly by her first name, and she only knew them as Angela and Bryan H. When Benjamin turned 18-years-old, he started searching for the mom he only knew as “Holly.”
“I kind of grew up wanting to meet my birth mom,” Benjamin said. “To talk to her and, more than anything, thank her because I knew that I had been given a really good life, full of opportunity.”
Benjamin had been unsuccessful in finding Holly. But little did he know, she had found him with a “google” search and watched him on social media. On his twentieth birthday, Holly said she finally got up the courage to reach out to him.
“You could just tell in his posts that he cares so much about everyone, his friendships, and his family,” Holly said.
She sent him this message: “You don’t know me, which is weird to have a stranger message you. Twenty years ago, I made the hardest decision of my life and placed my beautiful little baby up for adoption with a beautiful family. I have no intention of flipping your life upside down. I have thought about you every day and finally had the courage to send you a message. Wishing you a happy birthday.”
Benjamin was ecstatic. The next night he, Angela, and Holly met for dinner. That’s when they discovered something else.
“I was like, ya, I volunteer at the hospital,” Benjamin told Holly. “And she’s like, I work at a hospital too.”
“She as like, I work at St. Marks.”
“I was like, I work at St. Marks too.”
Holly works in the heart center. Ben is in the NICU.
“Out the window, I overlook the women’s pavilion,” Holly said. “He was so close to me the whole time.”
The two couldn’t believe it. As for Angela…
“When we reconnected, it was just pure love,” the love from the mother Benjamin has known from birth, to the woman who gave her the greatest give all those years ago. Holly was drawn to Angela as a pregnant 15-year-old. She loves her even more today.
“Words can’t even describe how thankful I am for her,” Holly said. “She’s given Benjamin a wonderful life.”
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