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Utah mom reunites with biological son after 20 years

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Posted at 7:40 AM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 16:30:28-04

MILLCREEK, Utah — A reunion for a Utah mother and her biological son was 20 years in the making.

In 2001, at just 15 years old, Holly Shearer got pregnant with a baby boy named Benjamin.

"When I was about five months pregnant is when I decided that I was going to place him up for adoption," Shearer said. "And that's when I started to pursue a family to pick for Benjamin."

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Sifting through files, she landed on Brian and Angela Hulleberg, who struggled with infertility.

"When I handed Benjamin to them, it was the hardest decision I've ever had to make," Shearer said.

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Although it was a closed adoption, the two moms kept in touch, but only until the boy turned three.

"We had agreed to write a letter every week to Holly and send her pictures," Angela said.

"My favorite day of the week was Thursdays because I could go pick up my pictures and just to see what he was doing that week," Shearer added.

As years passed, Angela made sure Benjamin still knew about his birth mother.

"We talked about Holly quite a bit, whenever he would ask questions," she said.

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Then last November, Shearer sent Benjamin a message on Facebook on his 20th birthday.

"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," Benjamin said.

Two days after that message, they all reconnected over dinner.

It was then that Shearer and Benjamin found out they both worked at St. Mark's Hospital and had been for the past two years.

Benjamin is a volunteer in the newborn intensive care unit.

"I would come to my shift right as she was leaving from hers, so we probably passed each other a few times in the parking garage in the Women's Pavilion," Benjamin said.

Shearer is a medical assistant in the heart center.

"It would have been crazy to think that we rode up in the elevator together and had no idea," she said.

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Both Shearer and Benjamin spoke about being drawn to work at St. Mark's Hospital.

Reconnected and reunited after two decades, the birth mother and son say they're glad they never stopped searching.

"It happened when I was least expecting it, but when I most needed it," Benjamin said.

"Just don't give up, because if I would have given up, I wouldn't be where I am," added Holly.

This story was first reported by Chris Arnold at KSTU in Salt Lake City, Utah.