Hopping on a plane, a lost orphan was completing her mission of finding the one person she had wanted to embrace her whole life. The question was, after over half a century of separation, how would her surprise visit be received?
A young and naive Elizabeth was only 22 years old and unmarried when she gave birth to a baby girl in August 1937, in Dublin, Ireland -- now going by Eileen Macken.
However, Macken's mother didn't keep her as it was not seen as couture for a woman of Elizabeth's age to have a child with no one to call her husband.
Eileen Macken and her mother Elizabeth. │Source: twitter.com/BBCScotlandNews
The newborn was placed in an orphanage at only five months old, remaining there well into her teens. She left when she was 17 years old and, at 19 years old, began searching for her birth mother.
Sadly, decades passed, and there was no sign of her mom anywhere -- a reality that would lead many to give up on what seemed like a waste of time.
Eileen Macken. │Source: facebook.com/rtenews
THE POWER OF PERSISTENCE
However, Macken was determined not to give in, eventually reaching out to RTÉ's Liveline for help. This decision resulted in a genealogist informing her that she had located her birth mom. Macken expressed:
"Once I heard that nothing would stop me trying to get to see her."
The genealogist found that Macken's mother was now living in Scotland. So, in April 2019, this then-81-year-old long-time orphan made her way from Dublin to Scotland.
Although visiting unannounced, Macken was met with open and warm arms, also discovering she has two half brothers. Embracing her mother, she exclaimed:
"You've no idea what it's done to me. I'm just so happy."
Elizabeth's daughter also expressed that she had a deep connection with her mother when they met. She stated that the three days spent with her were delightful.
AN ANCIENT CONNECTION
It appears this reunion provided Macken with the bliss she had tenaciously been seeking for six whole decades -- a feeling that Charles Bruce Pate knows all too well.
Born in 1941, Charles Bruce Pate was dressed in all blue when he said goodbye to his biological mother, taken into the arms of his warm and loving adoptive parents.
Pate loved his parents but always felt as if something was missing, and so he began searching for his biological mother -- a journey that also spanned decades. Eventually, through the use of Throughancestry.com, he was able to track her down.
He contacted her, and so in 2014, with Pate at the age of 73 years old and his biological mom Pauline at 88 years old, the two met face to face.
They spent three days together catching up on a lifetime of memories and have made it a habit to chat on the phone consistently.
Both Macken and Pate may have never previously met their biological mothers, but based on their bonds, they have always known them in their hearts.