Parenthood
Chance encounter reunites woman with son she placed for adoption 13 years before
Kelly had decided to place her son for adoption, but she never got to hold him and say goodbye. For years she thought about him - until one day a chance encounter brought them together again.
Kate Miano
05.03.22

Sometimes life twists and turns in ways that end up making a lot of sense.

For two women who live 300 miles apart in Utah, they never could have guessed that they shared a connection.

But a chance encounter prompted them to uncover what they had in common, and helped one woman heal a wound from the past.

Kelly got pregnant when she was 19 and made the difficult decision to give her baby up for adoption.

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She was single and felt that she wasn’t in a position to raise a baby right.

Although she knew this was the right thing for her to do, it was still a difficult decision to make. Something that made it even harder was that when she gave birth, she was not allowed to hold the boy she birthed. She explains her experience to Oprah:

“I wanted him to have a mother and a father, and I wanted him to have things in life that I knew I couldn’t provide at the time…I really wanted to hold him just one time to say goodbye. To tell him that I loved him and tell him why I was making the decision I was making.”

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The adoption was a difficult event in her life, but she went on to experience life’s joys as well.

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Kelly later got married and ended up having three children.

She was finally in a position to become a mother, and it was a great opportunity for her.

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But that does not mean that everything was easygoing and great, either.

At one point, Kelly and her husband both lost their jobs at the same time.

This unfortunate event set off a chain reaction that completely changed her life and the life of others around her.

After losing her job, Kelly decided to seek career counseling.

It was going well. On one notable day, her regular counselor was out for the day, leaving Kelly to work with a stand-in.

The stand-in’s name was Shauna Bradley, and she asked Kelly one very important question: what do you want to do with your life?

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That question inspired Kelly to reveal that one of her goals was to write a book about her experience with adoption.

While describing this goal, she also mentioned the place where the adoption took place, a very small town that 13 years ago, Shauna Bradley had adopted a little boy from.

Suddenly it clicked for Shauna that the boy she adopted was the boy that Kelly was longing to meet.

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Making that connection was difficult for Shauna. She described her feelings on Oprah by saying:

“I could not breathe, it was like the breath had been knocked out of me. I was in shock about how could this happen? Why is this happening? What am I gonna do?”

One of the first things Shauna did was go home and tell her son.

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It was an exciting day for both mother and son!

While explaining the whole story to her son, Shauna emphasized how similar Kelly and he looked and how much they were going to get along.

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A few weeks after that, Shauna arranged for Kelly and her son to finally meet.

That reunion was filled with emotions for everyone.

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Kelly finally got the closure she had been longing for. After waiting so long to hold the boy she gave birth to, she had the chance to hug him and see how much he had grown.

She was also able to explain to him why she made the decision to give him up for adoption. What she didn’t ever expect, was his reaction. She says:

“I said even though I knew I was doing the right thing it was still really hard. And he put his hand up and took my hand, and he squeezed it. And it was as if he was saying to me ‘it’s okay, I understand.’ That was a pretty great gift that he gave me.”

Watch below for this incredible chance encounter!

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By Kate Miano
hi@sbly.com
Kate Miano is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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