Mum reunites with daughter 29 years after she was adopted
A mum reunited with her daughter 29 years after she was adopted – when the adoptive mum reached out on Facebook.
Marie Fulmer, 53, gave her four-day-old baby up for adoption after giving birth at age 19 and ‘not being ready’ for parenthood.
She never knew what happened to her child, as it was a closed adoption, but says ‘not a day went by’ she didn’t think of her long-lost daughter.
Marie went on to have four more children – Spencer, 27, Allie, 25, Jackson, 22 and Liberty, 19 – and is married to Clark, 56, a podiatrist.
She kept her daughter a secret for nearly three decades, with only her parents, two siblings, and Clark knowing.
But in March 2018, Marie received an unexpected message on Facebook from a complete stranger, Ann Edwards, who said she was trying to find the birth mum of her daughter, Jamee, 29.
Jamee had taken a DNA test a year earlier that had found a genetic link to Marie and enlisted the help of her mum Ann to track her down.
Marie knew ‘right away’ Jamee was her daughter after seeing a baby photo and was ‘overcome with emotion’ and ‘in shock’.
In July of that year, Marie met Jamee and her husband and children for the first time.
The families have remained close, with Marie’s daughter, Allie, inviting Jamee to her wedding in 2019.
Marie, from North Dakota, US, said: ‘My heart was racing when the doorbell rang. I was very nervous. I just didn’t know what to expect.
‘I’d seen what she looked like in pictures, but then to see her in person – she looked just like me and my daughter Allie.
‘It was incredible to hold her again after all these years.
‘There were a lot of tears leading up to that point. It’s still very emotional, but they’re happy tears now.’
Marie decided to give her newborn daughter up for adoption in December 1988.
She said: ‘I wasn’t married, and I just wanted her to have a family.
‘I was very young and I wasn’t ready to have a baby.
‘It was the hardest decision I ever made.’
Marie was able to hold her daughter before putting her up for adoption through an agency at her church and wrote her a letter for her adoptive parents to give to her when she was older.
She said: ‘I felt immense love looking down at her for the first time – I loved this baby more than anything.
‘I tried to just express and explain to her why I did what I did.
‘I told her that I loved her and that’s why I gave her up.
‘I wanted her adoptive parents to be a mum and a dad who couldn’t have kids of their own.’
She said she prayed for her daily, for her health and happiness.
Getting that Facebook message out of the blue was a complete shock – though, a welcome one.
‘As soon as I got home,’ Marie said, ‘I texted my sister a screenshot of the message and called her. She started crying and said – “that’s your baby”.
‘We couldn’t believe she looked so much like me.
‘I was overcome with emotion. I cried, I was in shock, I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. I had waited and hoped for this day for 29 years.’
Marie exchanged messages with Ann and arranged to meet at Jamee’s adoptive grandparents’ house in Utah, in April 2018.
She said: ‘The night before we went, I sat all of my kids down and I said – “I have something to tell you”.
‘They were old enough to understand. I just started from the beginning and explained everything.
‘I didn’t know how they’d react, but I said I was going to meet Jamee’s mother tomorrow if they wanted to come with me.
‘They were very supportive and excited and wanted to find out more about their sister.’
The two families met for the first time at Jamee’s parents house, and they hit it off immediately.
She said: ‘She had a wonderful family – it was such a relief and I was so happy. Jamee’s grandparents had childhood photos of her up around the house, and she looked just like me growing up – that was really fun to see.’
Then Marie and Jamee spoke on the phone for the first time.
Marie said: ‘When we spoke on the phone for the first time, I cried and she cried, because I think she had waited for that day for as long as I had.
‘Just to hear her voice – it was great.
‘The one thing I wanted her to know more than anything was that I gave her up for adoption because I loved her – I didn’t ever want her to think she wasn’t loved or wanted.’
Marie and her family rented a house in St George, and Jamee came over with her husband and their three young children in July 2018.
The families spent three days together, and Jamee then met her wider family at a reunion.
Marie said: ‘I feel like there was a reason why I got pregnant. Jamie’s parents couldn’t have children so I believe I was meant to have children for them.
‘I’m grateful that I could give Jamee’s mum a beautiful daughter, and that she could give Jamee the life I so wanted for her.’
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