"We parked in the same garage, could have been on the same floor, had no idea that we were so close," shared Holly Shearer.
A Utah man has finally been reunited with his biological mom thanks to a Facebook message she sent out of the blue in November last year. Benjamin Hulleberg, a middle school substitute teacher, was a baby when Angela and Brian Hulleberg adopted him. From a young age, the 20-year-old knew about his adoption but has always been very curious about his birth mother, who he only knew by her first name, Holly.
Recalling the conversation he had with his adoptive parents, Benjamin said, "It was always a very positive conversation. It was my parents either expressing gratitude for Holly or me talking about how I'm grateful for her and how I want to meet her one day."
As for Holly Shearer, she too couldn't stop thinking about the baby she had given up for adoption 20 years ago on Thanksgiving Day. "He was always on my mind. More so on holidays and his birthday, roller coaster of emotions," expressed the 36-year-old according to Good Morning America. "I thought about him all the time."
Holly was a young teenager when she put her child up for adoption and for three years, the Hullebergs sent her letters and pictures of her son. But after their adoption agency shut down in 2014, the updates ceased and Shearer naturally grew curious about her son. In a bid to find Benjamin, she searched for him on social media and ultimately landed on his Facebook page.
"He was 18 when I found him and I was very hesitant. He had so much going on his life. … The last thing I wanted to do is to throw a wrench in his life. So I just watched from a distance," recalled the 36-year-old. Meanwhile, Benjamin too had been looking for her. He would write letters to her and had signed up with an adoption registry in the hopes of locating her. He even took a DNA test so it would help him find his biological mother who he only knew as Holly.
Then last year in November she reached out to Benjamin to wish him on his birthday and his life has never been the same since. "I can remember the exact place that I was at when I got the message. I was at work. I was a machine operator and I remember I was in machine No. 15," shared Benjamin.
"I was in between our hourly quality checks and I got on my phone and I saw her message and I just replied. When she texted me back and she actually explained who she was, it hit me like a load of bricks," recalled Benjamin, who immediately broke down into tears. "I was crying. It was all very positive emotions. But to me, this is a day I had been waiting for the past 20 years of my life and to imagine that it was finally happening was outrageous. It was a lot to take in."
He immediately set up a meeting with Holly, who wasn't expecting the prompt invitation. "We planned a dinner the next day to meet at Red Robin with both of our families," she added. "I was not willing to wait any longer. I'd waited 20 years and that was long enough for me," noted the young man.
What's more, the pair realized that they have been working at the same place for the past two years. While Holly worked as a medical assistant at The Heart Center at St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City, Benjamin volunteers at the neonatal intensive care unit of the hospital.
"Every morning, I would come in through the women's pavilion to come into work. So I passed right by the NICU every single day. We parked in the same garage, could have been on the same floor, had no idea that we were so close," shared the mother.
For Benjamin, it has been a very "healing" experience. "There was a little hole in me that I didn't know about and finding them really filled that in. I feel very whole, I feel very complete. I feel like I'm finally ready to continue in my life," he explained.
Cover image source: YouTube Screenshot | 11Alive