For a mother, time and distance don’t diminish the love you have for your children. Even for mothers who, for a variety of reasons, must give their child up for adoption. For one mother, that reality rang true when she was finally reunited with her daughter after 40 years of distance.
Nancy Womac had a traumatic experience in 1979 that she hasn’t stopped thinking about to this day.In June of 1979, Womac gave birth to her daughter, Melanie. The road leading to her birth was long and troubled. When Womac was only 16, she learned that she was pregnant. As an orphan, she was sent to the Bethesda Home for Girls in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in hopes of “rehabilitating her”.
As you could probably guess, the home later was found to be incredibly abusive.
While Womac was there, she was physically and emotionally abused.
“It was a long dirt road from the main road down to Bethesda, It just kept going and kept going, and then it opens up to this long white building. It was like a nightmare.” – TODAY
After being abused for months, she was finally flown to a hospital in East Ridge, Tennessee to deliver the baby she had been carrying.
“I remember going into labor, and they just give me a shot and put me out,” she said. “I don’t remember having her. I don’t remember them wheeling me into the delivery room. I don’t remember nothing. She was then gone by the time I woke up.”
The new mother had her baby taken from her and had no idea where she had gone.
As her first child, Womac never forgot her. Each year she would bake a cake on her birthday and celebrate her life, even if she wasn’t able to be a part of it as she hoped. Tracking the years, she kept a tally of the likely dates of important events; things like birthdays, her first day of school, or losing a tooth.
“I loved her from the first time I knew I was pregnant. Never stopped loving her.” – TODAY
Across the world, Melanie Spencer was thinking something similar about her mother.
Spencer was adopted by missionaries and grew up in South Africa and Indonesia. When she asked about her mother, she was told:
“…it was important for my biological mother that I go into a good Christian home.”
When Spencer finally moved to the U.S. for college, however, she decided she wanted to know more about her mother, especially after having kids of her own.
After a DNA test, the two were able to contact each other and meet for the first time in decades.
The two spent days meeting one another’s family (technically Spencer’s siblings!), looking at old photos, and getting back some of the lost time from over the years. Although things didn’t turn out as either of them had hoped, they are finally reunited. For Womac, the most important piece of the picture is certain. Her daughter knows that she is and always was, loved.
“She will know the truth,” Womac said. “I’m happy she will know that she was loved.”
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