Man finds birth mom 22 years later — at work
Michigan man learns co-worker was woman who gave him up for adoption
'As a delivery driver at the Lowe’s in Grand Rapids, Mich., Steve Flaig knew that you could find a lot of things you need in the superstore, but he never dreamed that one of them would be his birth mother.
But that’s where Flaig’s four-year search for his mother ended, not in aisle seven, but in the office, where the co-worker he knew casually in passing as Chris turned out to be the woman who gave him up for adoption after his birth 22 years ago.
“Passing each other, it was just, ‘Hey,’ ” Christine Tallady, 45, told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira on Thursday. “I didn’t really have a lot of contact with him. As a delivery person, he’d get his deliveries, leave the store, do his deliveries, come back and then pretty much leave. I was based in the store, so I stayed in the office.”
When Flaig turned 18, and with the blessing and encouragement of his adoptive parents, he began searching for his birth mother. He started at D.A. Blodgett for Children, the Grand Rapids agency that had handled his adoption. Tallady had left her records open, listing her name in the hope that the child she gave birth to as a young single woman would contact her someday.
It wasn’t an intense search, but more of an off-and-on thing on the Internet. After more than three years without success, he went back to the agency and found that the reason he couldn’t find his mother was because he was misspelling her last name. He put the proper spelling in a search engine and up popped a Christine Tallady living in Grand Rapids at an address not far from his own home and near the Lowe’s where he worked.
“I thought, wow, that’s really close to here, where I work,” he told NBC News. “I bet I’ve seen her in the store.”
‘You’ve got to be kidding me’
Two months ago, he learned that she didn’t just come in the store, she worked there. But now that he was so close to the person he'd been seeking for so many years, he didn’t know how to approach her.
“It’s a bizarre situation, and I was not 100 percent sure as to what to do about it, how to bring it to her attention and how to break the news to her,” he told Vieira. “There’s always that fear that it could potentially go wrong or something wouldn’t go right. So I had to be 100 percent sure before I went ahead with it.”
Finally, he went back to the adoption agency and asked for advice. An employee there offered to call Tallady and break the news to her for Flaig. She told Tallady only her son’s first name and that he worked in the store with her.
“I just sat down and just started crying,” she said. “I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ ”
She started running down the list of Steves who worked in the store, eliminating them by age until she settled on the nice young man who drove a delivery truck. Once she verified his birthday, she knew for certain who he was.
That was on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Flaig called her that afternoon and they agreed to meet for lunch at a nearby restaurant for a proper introduction.'
[Full story at the link up top.]