A woman spent more than a decade searching for her birth mother. She desperately wanted to connect with her and was shocked to find out her mom was closer than she knew.
For most of her life, Jenny Thomas knew that she was adopted. She was also aware that her biological mom lived in Rochester, New York, and she always wondered if they had bumped into each other without knowing.
Over 15 years, Thomas searched for her birth mom on the internet and did not have much luck. When she signed up for the TLC reality show "Long Lost Family," she discovered that her mom was someone she had already met.
A photo reveals who Jenny Thomas' birth mom is [left]; Thomas is stunned when she recognizes her mom [right] | Source: youtube.com/Inside Edition
THEY ALREADY KNEW EACH OTHER
Thomas was shocked when she first saw a photo of the woman. Unknowingly, the women had worked together and met a decade earlier. Upon discovering her mom's identity, she said: "I didn't expect that, not in a million years."
Thomas worked for Rochester hospital as a patient care technician, and her mom, Nita Valdez, also worked for the same institution. She was a transporter, and the pair moved patients around frequently for two years.
A photo reveals that Nita Valdez is Jenny Thomas' birth mom | Source: youtube.com/Inside Edition
THEY HAD A PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIP
Thomas revealed that she never thought they had a more profound emotional or familial connection. The daughter added: "She's very quiet. I'm comical, so she would always laugh at my jokes, so that was a plus."
Their relationship remained strictly professional in the years they worked together, and they never became friends who socialized after hours.
Jenny Thomas is stunned when she recognizes her birth mom | Source: youtube.com/Inside Edition
SHE GOT ANSWERS TO HER QUESTIONS
Thanks to the TLC show, Thomas was granted an opportunity to reconnect with her mom in 2016. Although they had met before, this time, it would be different.
Thomas shared that the encounter was "very powerful, and very surreal." She was content because she finally got answers to the questions she had carried around all her life.
GETTING TO KNOW HER MOM PERSONALLY
Valdez explained why she put her daughter up for adoption. The mother revealed that she was young, and the father was not supportive. Thomas was glad to hear these revelations about her past and happy that her biological mom lived a good life.
More importantly, Thomas was looking forward to getting to know her better and introducing her to her kids. She stated:
“I hoped that she could build a relationship with my children … especially with my [20-year-old] daughter, who is at this age where she could benefit from a great relationship with a grandmother."
ANOTHER CHILD UNKNOWINGLY WORKED WITH THEIR PARENT
Another adoptee found out that he worked alongside his birth father for years in a similar turn of events. Nathan Boos of Wisconsin found out who his dad was in 2018 when his adoptive mom recognized a name on his Facebook Friends list.
The father and son duo were friends because they worked together in the trucking industry. Initially, it was a challenge to adapt to their new relationship dynamic, but Robert Degaro was happy to have the chance to get to know his son better.
Both Boos and Thomas never imagined that their birth parents were people they interacted with countless times. Thankfully, they made the discovery and could make up for the lost time.