She finds out on TLC’s “Long Lost Family” that her birth mother was someone she’d met years ago
Imagine you’re adopted and have spent years searching out your birth mother. It can be a long and frustrating process, one that can end in disappointment for any number of reasons. But sometimes, that search ends with complete joy and relief or in this case, an unbelievable surprise.
On the TLC show “Long Lost Family”, adults who’ve been adopted can apply to be featured on the show in the hopes of having their birth parents tracked down. After 15 years of searching on her own, 40-year-old Jenny Thomas, of Rochester, NY, did just that and was accepted. Her long search finally ended as she was one of the shows big success stories — they found her birth mother. Her journey, however, has a very interesting detail.
Thomas tells the NY Post that as it turns out, she had already met her birth mother — and worked alongside her for two years. During her episode of “Long Lost Family,” the host shows her a photo of her birth mother and she immediately recognizes her as Nita Valdez, a patient transporter at the hospital where Thomas once worked as a patient care technician.
Of the discovery that she was actually well-acquainted with her birth mother, Thomas says, “I had looked in so many faces for so many years, [thinking] ‘Could that be her? Is she looking at me because she knows me?’ All the while I had looked at the woman who once knew me as her daughter.”
The two women worked together 10 years ago and though they got along and worked well together, Thomas admits there was no special connection. “She’s very quiet, funny. I’m comical, so she would always laugh at my jokes, so that was a plus. We never went past a working-professional relationship at all.”
Whether they sensed the fact that they were related or not, it’s still a one-in-a-million chance that an adopted child and her birth parent end up working together with no knowledge whatsoever of their actual relationship to one another. Can you imagine finding out that the birth mother you’ve searched for throughout most of your adult life was actually with you on a regular basis for two of those years? What an amazing and happy shock.
The search for a birth parent can be fraught with emotion and at times, end in extreme disappointment. While Thomas didn’t have a magical realization that her birth mother was someone she’d had a real connection with, her outcome was still a very desirable one. She knew her birth mother at one point and got along with her. She was also alive and well — a result some people aren’t fortunate enough to have. After all those years of searching, Thomas can rest her mind knowing that she’s met the person who gave birth to her and that she’s OK. And after 15 years of wondering, we can’t imagine how incredible that must feel.
Congratulations to Thomas and her mother. “Long Lost Family” premieres March 6th and this story is one of 16 the show will feature throughout the season.