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Birth Mom, Daughter Reunited After 71 Years

Mom, daughter reunited after 71 years

An 89-year-old woman was reunited this past July with the baby she gave up for adoption over seven decades ago—the same one she was told had died shortly after birth. And the story of how they came to find each other again will really tug at your heartstrings...

It was back in 1945 when Brooke Mayo took a fateful walk to her car in the Hollywood Hills. She was attacked and raped, and soon after learned she was pregnant—at just 17. "In those days, having a baby as a single person, I just decided [adoption] was better for her," Mayo said.

So she carried the baby through her pregnancy, gave birth, and arranged for an adoption. But not before naming the baby Delphine (after a character in the 1940 film Kitty Foyle, she says) and sneaking a peek of her at the hospital (thanks to a kind nurse). She never did forget those rosy cheeks or that sweet face, even after going on to marry and have two more children.

Fast-forward nearly three-quarters of a century, and Mayo finally came face-to-face with that baby again—right on her own front porch. Except this time, that baby was a 71-year-old grandmother named Patricia.

"I was in a daze," Mayo told the San Luis Obispo Tribune of the reunion. "I'm still in a daze. I can't believe this. The people I talk to say it's like a book or a movie or something, it's just so amazing."All that shock was probably due to the fact that for most of her life, Mayo had thought little Delphine was dead. After all, that's what she'd been told by the very nurses at the hospital where she gave birth.

It happened after she came back from London, where she'd served in the Army during World War II. Feeling a strong urge to connect with her child, Mayo returned to the hospital to track her down.

"I just wanted to let her know she wasn't adopted because I didn't care about her. Because I did," said Mayo. But after hearing the news of the baby's death, she was crushed. What she never would have believed at the time, was that her baby was very much alive, and—remarkably—living just a few miles away from her Paso Robles, Calif., home.

In fact, for much of her life, Patricia didn't even know she had a birth mother out there mourning her loss—her adopted parents had chosen to never tell her of her past. But at 51, while trying to help her brother obtain a copy of his birth certificate, they both learned the truth about their adoptions.

“To start with, I was shocked and then really angry,” Patricia said. “I knew nothing [about my history] because everything my folks told me was a lie."

What followed next was an arduous 20-year journey, filled with lots of dead ends, bad leads and heavy emotions. But it all came to a close this summer, when a friend of Patricia with an interest in genealogy decided to help her out. Before long, the search for Patricia's mom narrowed down to one name: Brooke Mayo. Penning a note to Mayo herself, the friend wrote that Patricia would like to meet her. She also included a brief description of Patricia, which included the line: "She has a sarcastic wit and doesn’t have a problem voicing her opinion."

According to Mayo, any skepticism she may have had instantly faded. “That’s me!” she said.

After their first meeting, the pair talked for two hours straight; and today, the mom and daughter duo speak constantly, making up for lost time in a big way. Read the rest of the heartwarming story here. (With tissues handy.)

Image via The Tribune

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