Donna Pavey figured a reunion with the daughter she gave up for adoption wouldn’t happen until she made it to heaven. Incredibly, decades later, they managed to find each other.
In 1965, then 18-year-old Pavey was forced by her grandparents to give up her newborn daughter because they thought she was too young to have a child.
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Pavey, now 70, never forgot about that baby girl, she told KVUE.
“Every day I’ve prayed for her, and her birthday would come and go,” she said. “I wanted her with me, and I prayed that she would have a good mother and father.”
Pavey later married and went on to have three more children, but they had always felt as if something as if there was a void, her daughter, Donna Shaw, told KVUE.
“My mom was a great mom, but it was almost like something was missing with her,” Shaw told ABC News. “It was like this indescribable sadness that was always there.”
“I always wondered where she was — what she could be doing,” Pavey’s other daughter, Deanna Bordelon, said of the siblings’ long, lost older sister
After years and years of searching for her eldest child, Pavey even reverted to her maiden name in case her daughter was looking for her as well.
That fateful day came last week, when 52-year-old Sharon Glidden reached out to Pavey on Facebook. She had only learned that she was adopted just two days before.
After speaking one the phone, the two decided to meet at Pavey’s home in Kingsland, Texas, a six-hour drive from Glidden’s home in Henryetta, Oklahoma.
An anxious Pavey paced back and forth on May 5 as she awaited the arrival of a daughter she never knew.
“I can’t wait,” Pavey said. “Oh my goodness…I want her to be here.”
Once Glidden arrived, Pavey ran to her, and the two embraced. Upon examining her birth mother, Glidden saw features of her own, such as her eyes, mouth and thumbs.
“From the time I conceived her, I wanted her,” Pavey told ABC News. “I prayed and prayed, and as soon as I saw [pictures of] the adopted mother I said, ‘Thank you, Lord, for taking care of my baby.'”
Glidden was adopted into a loving home with Theodore Hotaling and Edna Gallo, who died in 2007 and 2011, respectively. A hospice nurse, Glidden cared for both of them before they died. They never told her she was adopted.
“My adopted parents made their whole life mission to make me feel like I was loved,” Glidden said. “I was a happy kid and I just accepted what they told me.”
When Glidden met her biological family, she felt as if she belonged for the first time, she said.
“I’m so happy that I finally fit somewhere,” Glidden said. “I felt like the ugly duckling. Nobody had my feet, nobody had my bendy back thumb.”
Pavey’s other daughters felt that same sense of connection.
“I saw me in her eyes, my mom in her face,” Bordelon said. “I just knew right away with her smile, and with her eyes, we all have the same color eyes.”
“It’s this indescribable joy that I’ve never felt,” Shaw said. “When Sharon came into this picture, it was like this instant healing.”
Now, mother and daughter will never be apart. Glidden, who is married with two children of her own, said she wants to build her newfound mom a home near hers in Oklahoma, adding that the two have a lot of catching up to do.
“I knew I would see her in heaven, but I never dreamed this day would come,” Pavey said.
Pavey has met one of her grandsons, but she will soon meet her granddaughter and great-grandkids as well.
“I’ll have a whole heart for the first time in my life,” Pavey said.
The women will celebrate Mother’s Day at Bordelon’s Texas home.
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