It was an emotional Thanksgiving for an Arizona mother and son who hadn’t interacted since childbirth but reunited on Thursday after 51 years.
Marilyn Parker gave up her son for adoption when he was born, in the 1960s, according to KGUN in Tuscon.
Years passed, and both she and her son, Dave Froerer, said they always felt a part of them was missing.
Froerer, who had not met his mother since he was born, said he was “a little nervous but very very excited” about spending the holiday with her.
“We have been living separate lives,” said Parker, his biological mother.
Froerer did not know that Parker had given him up for adoption when she was 16 years old.
She said she didn’t plan on getting pregnant with her high school boyfriend and was horrified, humiliated and ashamed. She didn’t want to bring a baby into her life when she was not prepared to take care of him.
When she gave birth, the doctors wouldn’t tell her the baby’s gender or let her hold him, she said.
But Parker said she thought about him every day as the ensuing years went by.
“I had almost given up,” she said. “Every year on his birthday it was such a special day in my heart, and I just always wondered.”
Froerer wondered the same thing, he said, to the point that he took a DNA test last year. From a list of matches, he found a second cousin who could link him up with his mom.
“So I open my email Sept. 19 and it said, ‘It think I am your birth mother?’” he recalled.
Parker said he had looked him up on Facebook and found a telltale sign.
“Just the month prior there are all these birthday… ‘Happy birthday Dave, happy birthday,’ and it is all on his birthday,” she said. “I am like, ‘Oh my god that is the day, that is the day. Oh, this is it.’”
After that, they talked on the phone daily and decided to meet for the first time to spend Thanksgiving in Tucson together.