Mother reunites with daughter after 52 years

Mother meets daughter for first time in 50 years

AUSTIN - Donna Pavey sits, stands and paces back and forth at her daughter’s home in Burnet.

"I can’t wait,” said Donna Pavey. "Oh my goodness.”

She is counting down the minutes to meeting her eldest daughter.

"I don't know what I want to do, I want her to be here,” Pavey said.

50 years ago, as a young mother, Pavey said she was forced by her parents to give her child up. She's thought about her ever since.

"Every day I’ve prayed for her, and her birthday would come and go,” Pavey said. “I wanted her with me, and I prayed that she would have a good mother and father.”

Pavey went on to get married and had three children.

Her daughters, Donna Shaw and Deanna Bordelon, told KVUE they've wanted to meet their big sister as long as they can remember. 

"We just always felt like my mom was missing something,” Shaw said.

"I always wondered where she was -- what she could be doing," Bordelon said.

They searched for her for years. Pavey even reverted back to her maiden name, hoping her long lost daughter would find her.

Finally, just last week, she did. Her daughter, Sharon Glidden, now 52, reached out to her on Facebook.

Glidden found out she was adopted only a few days ago -- after her adoptive parents died -- and she went in search of her family history.

A DNA test pointed her to Pavey.

The two spoke and decided to meet in Burnet.

“I can’t wait. Like I said, I feel like I’m in labor and can’t wait to put my hands on her,” Pavey said.

"I've been look forward to this day for 30 years,” Bordelon said.

To calm their nerves while they waited, the three looked at photos.

"And this is me,” said Pavey as she showed KVUE some of the photos from when she was younger.

They played the piano, and even listened to a little Elvis.

Finally, after hours of anticipation and five decades of wondering, a mother was able to run to her daughter.

Pavey and Glidden hugged for the first time in 52 years. It was a hug they couldn’t hold tight enough.

"I love you,” said Glidden.

For the first time Glidden felt like she belonged.

"My eyes, my mouth,” said Glidden as she looked at Pavey.

Back inside, the family didn't waste any time catching up. They're already creating new memories.

"I feel like I'm floating. It is surreal for me,” Glidden said.

“Oh yeah, I'm finally breathing a little,” Pavey said.

Even though they've never met, it's clear the two are similar.

They look similar. They happened to be wearing matching shoes. They were both active in cheerleading. Bordelon and Glidden both have a love for horses.

It’s a feeling of belonging that Glidden said she’s never felt.

“I’m so happy that I finally fit somewhere,” said Glidden. “I felt like the ugly duckling. Nobody had my feet, nobody had my bendy back thumb.”

Glidden and Pavey both held up their thumbs. They both bend backwards.

“I saw me in her eyes, my mom in her face,” Bordelon said. “I just knew right away with her smile, and with her eyes, we all have the same color eyes.”

“It’s this indescribable joy that I’ve never felt,” Shaw said.

It was a moment Pavey didn't think was possible.

"I knew I would see her in heaven, but I never dreamed this day would come,” Pavey said.

Now neither mother nor daughter will let the forever bond the two have always shared fade away.

"I never want to let her go,” Glidden said.

Glidden said she now wants to build her mom a home in Oklahoma near hers. She said they have a lot of catching up to do and that they’re never going to be separated again.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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