20-year-old Benjamin Hulleberg had been searching for his biological mother for years. When she finally contacted him and they both met, they made a surprising discovery.
Benjamin Hulleberg is a young man from Utah. He works as a substitute teacher in middle school and also volunteers in the neonatal unit at the local hospital. The 20-year-old leads a happy life, but he knew early on that he was adopted. His parents, Angela and Brian Hulleberg, had always been open with him about it. Benjamin even knew photos that were taken when he was born in the hospital and that show him with his birth mother and both with the adoptive parents. You can see a very young woman, almost a teenager, who looks a little uncertainly into the camera and tries to smile, which doesn’t quite succeed.
The Hullebergs knew the birth mother, but only by her first name – Holly. They kept in touch through the adoption agency for almost three years, sending photos and letters and reporting on Benjamin’s growing up. But then the agency unexpectedly closed and the connection was lost. The Hullebergs were still trying to get contact information for Holly, but were unsuccessful. And Benjamin’s desire to get to know his biological mother in person grew over the years, even though he was very happy in his adoptive family.
Mother and son wanted to find each other again
The 20-year-old began actively looking after his mother around the age of 16. He wrote letters to authorities, registered in a registry for adopted children, and even took a DNA test, which is becoming increasingly popular in the United States to find biological relatives. But everything was unsuccessful. What he didn’t know was that Holly Shearer, his mother, had kept trying to find him after the adoption agency closed. When Benjamin was 18, she finally discovered him on Facebook. But she didn’t dare write to him.
“There was so much going on in his life right now… The last thing I wanted was to throw him off track somehow, so I was kind of watching from afar,” she told Good Morning America. When he finally turned 20, she couldn’t hold back any longer. On his birthday, she sent him a message with congratulations. “Thanks,” replied a surprised Benjamin, “but how do we know each other?” And then Holly poured her heart out to him in a long message, not realizing that her son had wanted the contact as much as she had for years.
Benjamin and Holly met at the restaurant
“I cried,” says Benjamin, “It was all very positive feelings, but I’ve been waiting for this day for almost 20 years and it was just a lot to process.” He didn’t want to waste any time – the next evening he invited Holly and her family to dinner with him and his adoptive family. His mother, now 36, was taken aback. “I was shocked, I didn’t expect him to want to meet up the next day. But we immediately planned a dinner with our respective families.”
In the restaurant, Holly Shearer first met Angela and Brian Hulleberg, “They hadn’t changed at all since I met them in the hospital, which was nice,” she says. And then Benjamin came along. “I was so overwhelmed, we hugged and cried for minutes and I couldn’t believe it was really happening.” Benjamin was also overwhelmed: “I looked at her and thought: ‘You really exist, you stand before me!’ It was surreal. It was like a dream come true.”
The first meeting lasted three hours
The two families sat together for more than three hours, talked and got to know each other. And then Benjamin and his biological mother made an amazing discovery: Both had worked in the same hospital for years, probably seeing each other from time to time without knowing about each other! Holly Shearer works as a nurse at St Mark’s Hospital in Millcreek, where her son also volunteers in the neonatal unit. “I walked right by the neonatal unit every day,” says Holly. “We parked our cars in the same underground garage, probably on the same floor. I had no idea how close we were!”
Since the first meeting, Benjamin has expanded contact with his “second family” and also got to know his half-siblings from Holly’s current marriage well. He meets his biological mother at least once a week for coffee in her hospital office. Because, as you now know, mother and son are colleagues there at the same time!
Quelle: “Good Morning America”