Woman Bakes Birthday Cake for 'Stolen' Daughter Every Year, Finally Meets Her after 42 Years
After a 16-year-old girl gave birth to her daughter in the Bethesda Home for Girls, she never held her child. Four decades later, she met her daughter in an emotional reunion and saw her for the first time in her life.
Before discovering she was pregnant, Nancy Womac lived in an orphanage in Dalton, Georgia. After knowing she would soon give birth, the orphanage authorities sent her to Bethesda Home for Girls.
The teenager had no idea what was waiting for her in the new place. Behind closed doors, strange things turned Womac's stay into a nightmare.
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM
As a child, Womac and her siblings lived with their grandparents. After their demise, a Dalton-based orphanage took the responsibility of taking care of Womac.
After spending a few years there, she fell in love with a man and got pregnant when she was 16. Since the orphanage couldn't bear the responsibility of raising a child, they sent her to Bethesda Home for Girls, known for raising troubled children. She recalled:
"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."
Womac recalled how she felt living in Bethesda. | Source: Youtube/NBC News
THE TERRIBLE YEARS OF HER LIFE
The home claimed they trained children according to the religious teachings, but something else was happening behind closed doors. The women confessed they had no free will.
The homeowners controlled Womac's life to the extent that she had planned to run away from that place. However, she couldn't escape because the main doors were always locked.
They took her daughter away from her before she could take a glimpse of her.
The Bethesda authorities dictated the girls' lives and decided where their children would go. They forced many mothers to give up their children to families willing to pay a good amount of money.
The Bethesda home claimed to raise children according to the religious standards. | Source: YouTube/NBC News
THE TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE
Womac gave birth to her daughter in June 1979 but never got the chance to take her baby in her arms. She yearned for a glimpse of her child for decades before she finally met her.
The Bethesda authorities took her to East Ridge, Tennessee, when it was time for her delivery. She remembers that she fell unconscious after they gave her a shot. She recounted:
"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."
Womac cried while recalling her traumatic experience. | Source: YouTube/NBC News
SHE COULDN'T FORGET HER DAUGHTER
The 16-year-old girl was ready to have a child and take care of her, but the Bethesda authorities had planned something else. They took her daughter away from her before she could take a glimpse of her.
She had built an imaginary picture of her daughter in her mind and would often wonder what she would be doing. She baked a birthday cake for her every year and celebrated her milestones, assuming she would have achieved them. She confessed:
"I remember thinking, 'Well, she should be taking her first step now,' or, 'She should have lost her first tooth,' or, 'Her first day of school should have started.'"
Womac kept thinking about her daughter. | Source: YouTube/NBC News
MILES APART BUT CONNECTED BY THOUGHTS
Little did she know that her daughter, Melanie Spencer, was as curious to learn more about her as she was. A missionary couple had adopted her and raised her in Indonesia and South Africa. They told her that her mother wanted her to go to a "good Christian home."
The little girl wasn't satisfied with the information her parents gave her. She had many questions regarding her birth mother and was curious to learn more about her. She recalled:
"I wanted to find her, I wanted to know more about her. I think there was fear that it could be very hurtful if I dug more and found out that she didn’t want me."
A missionary couple adopted Spencer. | Source: YouTube/NBC News
Spencer moved to the U.S. for her higher education and started working as a counselor. She never thought about Womac until she had her own children and wondered what she would tell them if they asked about their ancestors.
She decided to take an Ancestry DNA test to learn more about her birth parents and curiously waited for the results to arrive.
Luckily, the test results led her to Womac's sister, Cheryl Blackwell. She sent her a message, hoping she would connect her to her mother, but Blackwell didn't check her inbox until a year later.
Womac connected with her daughter after 42 years. | Source: YouTube/NBC News
CONNECTED THROUGH FACEBOOK
Blackwell immediately connected Womac and Spencer after reading the message. They added each other as friends on Facebook and chatted with tears in their eyes.
Womac told her daughter how glad she was to talk to her finally. Spencer also said she always wanted to know who her birth mother was, and talking to her on Facebook seemed surreal. Womac replied:
"There’s not a day goes by that I have not thought of you. I want you to know that you are loved so much."
THE EMOTIONAL REUNION
After talking to her mother, Spencer decided to drive from her house in Maryland to her mother's place in Georgia. It wasn't easy to believe that she would finally see her mother after four decades.
Her anxiousness turned into tears when she saw her mother for the first time. On the other hand, Womac was overwhelmed to see her first-born – the girl who had only lived in her imagination. The mother-daughter duo spent several days together before Spencer returned to her house.
Spencer and Womac spent several days together. | Source: YouTube/NBC News
Womac hopes to inspire other Bethesda survivors by sharing her miraculous story with them. She had never thought she would meet her long-lost daughter, but fate had planned their reunion when they were separated.
Click here for another story about an emotional reunion between siblings decades after they lost contact when their parents died.
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