Mom Meets Her Beautiful Baby Daughter After 82 Years of Waiting

baby doorstepLooking to kick off the new year on a happy, hopeful note? Have I got a story for you! One word of warning: The beginning of this tale is definitely less than happy, but stick with it and you won't be sorry.

That's what's so amazing about 100-year-old California great-grandmother Minka Disbrow. Not merely that she stuck with life for an entire century, but that she spent most of those decades clinging to the hope of someday meeting the daughter she was forced to give up for adoption as a 17-year-old farm girl in South Dakota.

Especially when one considers how Disbrow got pregnant in the first place.


Remember, this was back in 1928 -- in, as I said, South Dakota. Where Disbrow lived as the daughter of Dutch immigrants, working on the family dairy farm because her stepfather believed high school was something for "city kids with nothing else to do."

Her adolescence was so sheltered that Disbrow actually believed, as she'd been told, that babies came from a stork. (File that info away for a minute.) So sheltered that when she and a friend were attacked and raped by three strange men walking home from a post-sewing class picnic (I know! Talk about innocence lost!), neither girl knew what to do or say because they weren't even sure what happened to them. So, naturally, they said nothing.

You can see where this is headed ... nine months later, exiled to a Lutheran home for pregnant girls, Disbrow gave birth to a baby girl she named Betty Jane and sadly gave her up for adoption. But she never stopped hoping she would see her daughter again. Not even after she got married and had two more children. Not even at 94 years of age!

That's when she got a call from a man who turned out to be one of her grandsons. Betty Jane, now 82-year-old Ruth Lee, was looking for her birth mother.

You can see where this is headed ... Disbrow and her daughter's reunion has been as fairy tale-esque as their parting was nightmarish. Among Disbrow's six grandchildren by Ruth: Astronaut Mark Lee, who has four space flights to his credit and has circled the world 517 times. (As a mom, I can't even wrap my head around what meeting adult grandchildren I never even knew existed would be like.)

See, I told you this story had a happy ending! Beyond that, though, I think there's an incredible lesson to be learned here about hope. Why we should never give it up. No matter how long we've waited or how unlikely it seems that we'll ever get whatever it is we're hoping for. And how a mother's love never, ever fades.

Does Minka Disbrow's story inspire you to be more hopeful?


Image via Valerie/Flickr

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