The mystery of life came full circle after a Colorado man who was adopted as a baby somehow led his biological parents to marriage more than 36 years later.
Martin Schmidt didn’t try to track down his birth parents until he had kids of his own, despite knowing from a young age that he had been adopted, The New York Times reported.
The 36-year-old man from Gunnison County told the Times that when his wife, Carin, became pregnant in 2014, it “kind of pushed the issue” for him to meet the rest of his family.
The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families got in touch of Schmidt’s biological mother, Michele Newman, who was living in Hilo, Hawaii, at the time.
Newman, 53, who was working at a nonprofit organization for men who had experienced or had been accused of domestic violence, said she immediately burst into tears when she received the call from the department on her lunch break.
A son, given up for adoption, searches for his biological parents. That search leads to his parents reconnecting, after more than 30 years of not talking. Now, that son is the officiant at their wedding. https://t.co/uZVLSPRkwS
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 1, 2018
She and the son she never met spoke for the first time just days later.
“We were two strangers, meeting for the first time, who already had an emotional bond,” Schmidt said.
Newman was a high school junior when she gave birth to Schmidt during a severe snowstorm, she told him. Her family and the family of Schmidt’s biological father, Dave Lindgren, were close and lived in the farming community of Loyal, Wisconsin.
The couple dated for several months and broke up before Newman realized she was pregnant.
Newman described Lindgren as “a good man with a good heart” and that they was “never any real bitterness between them.”
Since then, Newman moved from Wisconsin to Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and then Hawaii, and married twice but had no children.
She “always wondered about” the boy she gave up, she said.
“I felt so blessed that this happened in my life at 50-something years old,” Newman said.
Newman also hadn’t spoken to Lindgren since she told him she was pregnant and decided to reach out after she met their son. Lindgren, 55, had not yet heard from Schmidt.
Lindgren had been married three times and had several children – four biological and four stepchildren, all of whom he considers his kids.
“I was always meant to be a dad,” he told the Times.
Lindgren stayed in Wisconsin and worked as a plant manager at Lynn Dairy and is also a certified master cheese maker from the University of Wisconsin.
After a reunion over the telephone, Newman and Lindgren couldn’t stop talking. They talked every day, sometimes multiple times a day.
“We had long deep discussions,” Newman said. “We were going through all these serious life topics. We became very close that way.”
One day, Lindgren told Newman that he’d always wanted to go to Hawaii, and she offered to show him around the Big Island.
Since he was in the middle of a divorce, Newman didn’t think of the visit as romantic. But when she saw him walking toward her on the airport’s escalator, she felt something shift, she said.
Newman thought to herself, “Oh my God,” while Lindgren thought, “This is it,” they said.
Once they gave each other a hug and a kiss, they felt like teenagers again.
When it came time for Lindgren to leave after days of swimming and touring volcanos, both he and Newman wondered what may happen next.
“I’ve never had that hard of a time leaving anywhere,” Lindgren said. “I worried I might not ever see her again.”
All the while, while Lindgren and Newman were getting reacquainted with each other, they were getting to know their long-lost son as well.
Months after Lindgren visited Hawaii, Newman decided to move back to Wisconsin — not for him, but to be closer to her mother, she said.
Once she was back in the continental U.S., Newman set off to meet Schmidt in-person.
“She drove to me first,” Schmidt said. “It’s a powerful moment to give a hug to your birth mom.”
Schmidt learned of his biological parents’ romance during that first meeting with his mother.
The couple eventually moved in together, and exactly one year after Newman sent Lindgren the text that she’d found their son, he proposed to her.
Newman protested at first since they’d both been married multiple times, but Lindgren insisted that he wanted to “marry his sweetheart.”
The wedding took place on Aug. 4 in the couple’s backyard in Marshfield, Wisconsin. One hundred guests, included Schmidt’s wife and children, attended the nuptials.
“With every blessing, there’s some sadness,” Newman said on her wedding day. “But I wouldn’t change any of this at all. The day that I got the call that Martin wanted to reach out to us was the best day of my life. And it’s just gotten better every day after that.”
Schmidt, who was responsible for the reunion, officiated the ceremony.
“For those of you who haven’t met me, I’m Martin Schmidt. I’m their son,” he said. “And related or not, this is the group of people we call family.”
(H/T: The New York Times)