Holly Shearer was only 15 years old when she gave birth to her son, Benjamin Hulleberg, and placed him for adoption. The two went 20 years never seeing each other only to find out they had been working at the same hospital for two years.
Shearer met Angela and Brian Hulleberg through an adoption agency as the couple was struggling with infertility.
“My husband and I were married and…we had infertility issues, so we thought , well, there’s kids out there who need a home and that we could love,” Angela Hulleberg told “Good Morning America.”
The couple ended up adopting Benjamin Hulleberg who was born in 2001.
“It was sad and happy, happy for us, but I’m sure super hard for Holly,” Angela Hulleberg said.
Continuing she said, “We just knew we could feel how much love Holly had for him.”
As a result, they chose not to keep the fact that Benjamin Hulleberg was adopted a secret from him as he grew up.
“We always had told him, you know, hey how much she loved him, because she did. Never felt that she never loved this child,” Angela Hulleberg said.
Shearer told “Good Morning America” that when holidays came around and Benjamin Hulleberg’s birthday, it was “a roller coaster of emotions.”
“I thought about him all the time,” she added.
Benjamin Hulleberg said that the topic of his adoption “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 wanna meet her one day,” he said.
As he got older, trying to find his birth mother was difficult. However, on his 20th birthday he received a Facebook message from Shearer, after she found him through a google search.
“20 years ago I placed my beautiful baby boy up with a beautiful family and that I didn’t want to throw a wrench in his life but I just wanted him to know I was thinking about him and happy birthday,” Shearer said.
Benjamin Hulleberg responded 12 hours later and Shearer said she was “shaking” and “was so excited and so nervous.”
Shearer said that Benjamin Hulleberg was 18 years old when she initially found him, and on many occasions she “went back and forth” on whether to reach out. This time she finally decided to message him.
“It was a very emotional moment for me. But to me this was the day I had been waiting for, for the past 20 years of my life. To imagine that it was finally happening was outrageous,” he said.
Just a few days later, biological mother and son were reunited and the two families met as well.
“He walked up and tapped me on the shoulder and just joy just overflowed me,” Shearer said.
Benjamin Hulleberg said the opportunity to meet his biological family, “was very healing” for him.
The two also discovered that they had both worked at Healthcare’s St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City in the last two years.
Shearer is a medical assistant at the hospital and Benjamin Hulleberg volunteers at the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, according to “Good Morning America.”
“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,” Shearer said.
The long separation paid off. Shearer said, “All the pain, all the sadness is just long gone. It’s just exciting I’m part of his life.”
“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. And for me, 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. Remember that your story is completely unique to you, that nobody has the same story,” Benjamin Hulleberg said.
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