A man from Utah has finally met his birth mother after 20 years of searching for her. Benjamin Hulleberg is a middle school teacher and he was adopted as a baby by his parents Angela and Brian Hulleberg.
From a young age, he always wondered about his birth mother and her identity. His adoptive parents often talked about his birth mother and how grateful they were to her.
Holly Shearer, Benjamin’s birth mother, also spent many years thinking about her son and hoping to one day meet him.
When Benjamin was adopted, his parents kept her updated with letters and photos, but when the updates stopped in 2014, she wondered about him constantly. Shearer was only a teenager when she gave birth to Benjamin, and now she has finally been reunited with him after all these years.
After searching for a long time, Shearer found Benjamin on social media. She was nervous about reaching out to him because he was 18 and had a lot going on in his life. But little did she know, Benjamin had been hoping to find his biological mother for years. He even took a DNA test and signed up with an adoption registry.
Finally, Shearer sent him a message on Facebook wishing him a happy birthday. Benjamin was working as a machine operator when he got the message and he replied right away. When Shearer explained who she was, it was a lot for Benjamin to take in. He was crying and it was all positive emotions. This was the day that he had been waiting for his whole life.
After 20 years of waiting, Benjamin wanted to meet her biological mom as soon as possible so they planned dinner with their families at Red Robin the next day. On November 21, 2021, the reunion finally took place.
When Shearer and her family met Angela and Brian Hulleberg, they recognized each other right away. They chatted until Benjamin arrived and walked up to tap Shearer on the shoulder. They hugged and cried for about five minutes, overwhelmed with joy and disbelief that they finally found each other.
For Benjamin, the meeting was a surreal experience. He cried when he saw Shearer and felt like it was real that she was finally in front of him. The reunion was emotional and filled with joy for both families.
“It was a dream come true,” said Benjamin. “I’ve said that about things in my life, like ‘Oh, I’m so glad I graduated. It’s a dream come true.’ But this? This was the most true time I’ve ever said it.” Benjamin was talking about finally meeting his biological mother, Shearer, after all these years.
The reunion between their families lasted for three hours and they realized that they had both been working at the same hospital in Salt Lake City for the last two years without knowing it! Shearer worked as a medical assistant at The Heart Center at St. Mark’s while Benjamin volunteers at the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
Shearer said, “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.”
Since reconnecting with Shearer, Benjamin has also met his half-brother and half-sister and now tries to see his “mom” once a week for coffee before his shift at the hospital.
For those who are still searching for their biological parents, Benjamin has some encouragement. “Don’t give up hope. For me, I felt like I was at a point where I’d given up just a little. I had tried so many things, and they just hadn’t worked. It came when I was least expecting it. It was something that just happened out of the blue. That isn’t what happens to everyone. Meeting my biological family and meeting my half-siblings and meeting my biological mom, was very healing for me. 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.”
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