20 years ago, Holly Shearer gave her biological son up for adoption. For years, she wondered where he was and if he was alright. Then she was reunited with him last November; it was something like in the movies.
Holly was 15 years old when she got pregnant with Benjamin. She told Fox 13 in Salt Lake City that when she was about 5 months pregnant, she decided to put him up for adoption. It was not an easy decision but one that she felt was necessary.
One of the things that she wanted for her baby boy was to have a wonderful life. Once the decision was made to put him up for adoption, she began looking at parents' profiles to place him with.
She told KSL TV: "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."
The couple that she chose to raise Benjamin was Angela and Brian Hulleberg. As her pregnancy went on, the three parents bonded. Agreements were made that while the adoption would be closed, Holly would not be forgotten in the baby's life.
On Thanksgiving day 2001, Holly gave birth to Benjamin.
Benjamin says that Holly was discussed in very glowing and happy terms. He says that his parents, Angela and Brian, never uttered a bad word about his birth mother.
Good Morning America interviewed the family; Benjamin told them: "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."
Holly admitted that he was always on her mind, particularly on the holidays and his birthday. She experienced a roller coaster of emotions but always held tight to the belief that she did the right thing. Still, she missed the little boy she gave up and wondered how he was doing.
Angela and Holly kept in touch for the first three years of Benjamin's life, according to KSL TV. There were letters and pictures sent every week.
In fact, Thursday was Holly's favorite day because that's when she would receive the mail from Angela. Over time, the correspondence grew more infrequent until it stopped altogether.
On Benjamin's 20th birthday, Holly decided to send him a Facebook message. The young man admits to being confused about who she was at first. He told Fox 13: "She reached out to me, and at first I didn't know who she was, but when I asked and she told me who she was, it was a stellar moment."
But the reunion was just the beginning of the story; Holly and Benjamin were in for another shock.
Closer Than They Thought
After Holly reached out to Benjamin, they agreed to meet for dinner. It was his idea to bring their families together for a birthday celebration.
Holly told Good Morning America: "I wasn't expecting that but he wanted to meet right away. And so we planned a dinner the next day to meet at Red Robin with both of our families."
The reunion went well. They talked about everything they had been doing. Holly thanked Angela and Brian for raising a fine young man when she couldn't. Emotions ran high at the meeting.
As the conversation continued, Benjamin told Holly that he worked at a hospital. This piqued her interest because she also worked for a hospital. It turned out that both worked at St. Mark's Hospital in Millcreek, Utah.
Holly worked in the heart center. Benjamin volunteered in the NICU.
"Out the window, I overlook the women's pavilion," Holly told KSL TV. "He was so close to me the whole time."
Both wondered how many times they rode the same elevator or ate in the cafeteria simultaneously without ever knowing that the other was so close.
Rather than being upset that her son wanted to meet his birth mother, Angela was thrilled. She told Good Morning America: "I think Benjamin is super lucky to have all of these people in his life that love him."