Fate has a remarkable sense of humor.
Benjamin Hulleberg knew from the very start that the family he grew up with all these years was not entirely his. His adoptive parents, Angela and Brian Hulleberg, were open about their relationship with him.
“It was always a very positive conversation,” he said to Good Morning America. “It was my parents either expressing gratitude for Holly or me talking about how I’m grateful for her and how I want to meet her one day.”
Holly – it was a name he heard sparsely yet possessed a weight of importance.
Hulleberg grew up to be an amazing man. He became a middle school substitute teacher and a volunteer at St. Mark’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
And through all those years, he has always been curious about who his biological mother was. Unbeknownst to him, someone else has been feeling the same way.
One day, on Hulleberg’s 20th birthday, he received a message he has been waiting for.
The message only said “Happy birthday. I hope you had a wonderful day.” With some emojis like a birthday popper, a heart, and a present. Hulleberg asked who the woman was and from there, his life changed forever.
“I can remember the exact place that I was at when I got the message. I was at work. I was a machine operator and I remember I was in machine No. 15,” Hulleberg said to Good Morning America. “I was in between our hourly quality checks and I got on my phone and I saw her message and I just replied.”
The lady explained who she was.
Holly Shearer was pregnant with Benjamin when she was still 15 years old. Knowing that she could not give Benjamin the life he deserved, she put him up for adoption.
Angela and Brian Hullenberg adopted her son and have since been sending her updates. But when the updates stopped and the adoption agency closed down, Shearer was left to her own curiosity. This is when she found Hulleberg’s Facebook account.
Little did they know, they could’ve met at an earlier time.
As Hulleberg worked in the NICU, Shearer was also working in the same hospital. She was working as a medical assistant at the hospital’s heart center.
“Every morning, I would come in through the women’s pavilion to come into work. So I passed right by the NICU every single day. We parked in the same garage, could have been on the same floor, had no idea that we were so close,” Shearer said to Good Morning America.
The two have since spent time together.
Upon knowing the truth, Hulleberg quickly invited Shearer for dinner. Their families met and the reunion was emotional and positive.
“Being able to sit down with my biological mom and just have coffee and talk before I go on my shift at the NICU? It’s been amazing,” he said.
“It’s just exciting. I’m part of his life. Just knowing that his phone number is in my phone and I can call him or text him anytime … it’s amazing,” Shearer said to Good Morning America. “My heart is full.”