A mother has been reconnected with her child almost three decades after she was told the baby died minutes following birth.
Tina Bejarano of Los Banos, California, welcomed a daughter when she was 17, she explained to KMPH. But a day after the baby girl was born, Bejarano’s mother delivered devastating news about her child, Kristin.
“The next day,” Bejarano recalled to the news station, “she comes back to tell me, ‘The baby died 15 minutes after it was born. It never made it. It was sick.’ “
For the next 29 years, Bejarano and her husband, Eric Gardere, would celebrate the baby’s birthday. It was always a painful experience no matter how much time had passed.
“It was a hard time every year,” she told KMPH. “I would get depressed. I would cry all the time.”
“She would go into major depression,” added Gardere, who married Bejarano shortly after the baby’s death and now shares five children with her.
But Bejarano would be in for the surprise of a lifetime when her daughter encouraged her to get an DNA kit test in 2017.
After taking it, Bejarano received an email from a man living across the country in New Jersey, she told KMPH.
“I think we need to talk, it says we’re related, and it says you’re my mom,” the email read, recalled Bejarano, who would soon learn of a horrible truth.
Her mother, Bejarano said, had been abusive and told her while she was pregnant that she couldn’t keep the baby. When she told her that baby Kristin had died after being born, Bejarano’s mother had actually put her up for adoption, Bejarano told the outlet.
Kristin told Bejarano about being raised in Las Vegas and transitioning into a man. He now has a wife and child.
“I don’t care,” Bejarano told the news station. “I don’t care if he’s in transition. I don’t care if he hasn’t transitioned. I don’t care. That’s my kid. We’re just glad he’s alive.”
RELATED VIDEO: Grandparents Reunite After Four Years Apart
Gardere, while not Kristin’s biological father, said he has been texting him every day and considers him a son. Kristin and his family plan to visit Los Banos in November to meet his mother in person for the first time.
“Looking at him,” Bejarano said, “just makes me want to cry.”