Nearly 50 years after she was given up for adoption, this Ohio woman and her biological mother have met for the first time in a tearful reunion.
Molly Caldwell, 48, said she went her whole life wanting to meet her biological mother. Now, the mother-daughter pair said they speak on the phone every day.
Caldwell, who lives in Cincinnati, said she was always supported by her adoptive parents to find her biological mother, but because of an Ohio law, she was never able to get her birth certificate for her mother's name.
"I always wondered why my birth mum gave me up," Caldwell said. "The only info I knew was that she was a teenager and not married, back in the 1960s — a single mother out of wedlock."
When she finally discovered her birth mother's name — Rosie Marie Clagett — in 2000, she began her tedious search to find her, but the hunt proved difficult as every number in every phonebook she stumbled upon happened to be out of service. Letters sent by Caldwell also failed to reach Clagett.
But that all changed recently when the two met face-to-face for the first time.
"It was so overwhelming but a phenomenal feeling to finally meet her in person and to hug her for the first time," Clagett, 67, said as the pair hugged and kissed, their own biological children watching in the background and capturing the experience on camera. "When I saw her for the first time I couldn’t believe it. There she was, a mini-me in person."
Caldwell even said, “My husband noticed we even make the same hand gestures, we both talk with our hands, sit with our hands crossed between our legs and start talking at the same time."
The meeting was made possible after Caldwell expanded her search to to Facebook, and came upon her birth mother's profile.
"It took me a little while to build up the courage to write her a message," Caldwell said. "Two hours after I sent one, she had seen my message."
Of course, Marie Clagette was thrilled to see her message: "I was literally numb with shock, I couldn’t talk because I was crying hysterically."
She said when she gave her daughter up at a young age, she wanted to make sure she would have a better life than she could have given her.
When Marie Clagette filling out her application with the adoption agency, she required her daughter to be raised in a two parent home, know from the start she was adopted, and be educated in Catholic schools.
But, she said she was still upset to let her go: "It was a long heart-breaking time all of those years, I prayed every day for her and on her birthday, I would say 'I love you.'"