A long overdue Mother’s Day

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(ABC 6 News) – Mother’s Day is a time to honor your mother for all the hard work she has done to help raise you. But for this mother, it was her first time celebrating Mother’s Day with her 58-year-old son.

July 1st, 1964, Linda Kelley gave birth to her son Michael. But a baby out of wedlock in the 1960s was not socially acceptable. She and her family kept it a secret and gave Michael up for adoption.

“Years went by and said am I ever going to see my son,” said Linda.

Separated from his mother at birth Michael Kelley grew up just 30 miles from his birth mother’s family near Phillipsburg, Pennsylvania.

“So, we played Phillipsburg in basketball. Actually, coached basketball at Phillipsburg. So here we are literally in the same town, but we didn’t know,” said Michael.

But years went on and so did their lives. Linda eventually moved to Rochester in 1993 to be closer to her sister. Michael served in the military and moved to Alabama where he is now married and has kids of his own.

Michael’s adoptive parents passed away before he was 30 and after their passing, Michael started his 25-year mission to find his birth mother.

“You know the whole time I had this desire to let her know that things turned out really well,” said Michael.

Through many hours of research over the years.

“You get excited when you think you’re getting closer, but then you can’t get close enough,” said Michael.

Michael eventually got in contact with Linda’s sister, Pam, and sent her a message.

“So, after she reads this. She calls her and says I think I need to come talk to you. And I think within an hour or so she texted back saying you have found your birth mother,” said Michael.

Linda says the first phone call she got from her son felt like a burden had been lifted off her shoulders.

“Because I had to lie about it all those years that I didn’t have any children and now I don’t have to lie about it,” said Linda.

Mother and son reunited to celebrate their first official Mother’s Day.

“July 1st is his birthday and I always looked up in the sky and always said happy birthday son and now I don’t have to do that I can tell him in person,” said Linda.

The two call each other every Sunday to talk and stay connected. Michael says he plans to come up from Alabama at least once a year to come visit his mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!