Man meets birth mother — and they work in the same hospital

Benjamin Hulleberg always had an open relationship with his parents and knew from a young age that he was adopted.

Hulleberg’s desire to find his birth mother was welcomed by his parents, and they supported him as he signed up for adoption registries and took DNA tests in hopes that his birth mother would also have one on file.

Little did they know that his birth mother, Holly Shearer, was searching for him as well. Even more surprising was the fact that they both worked in the same Utah hospital.

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Shearer gave birth to Hulleberg when she was a teenager and chose to put the baby up for adoption. Two decades later, Shearer did an online search for Hulleberg. It was his birthday when Shearer first messaged him, sending a “happy birthday” greeting and striking up a conversation that would change both their lives forever.

“He was 18 when I found him and I was very hesitant,” Shearer said in an interview with Good Morning America. “He had so much going on in his life. The last thing I wanted to do is to throw a wrench in his life. So I just watched from a distance.”

When Hulleberg received the message, he was on his lunch break and her words hit him hard.

“I was crying. It was all very positive emotions,” he explained to Good Morning America. “But to me, this is a day I had been waiting for the past 20 years of my life and to imagine that it was finally happening was outrageous. It was a lot to take in.”

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As the two started to get to know each other, they were shocked to discover that they both worked at the same hospital — HCA Healthcare’s St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. Shearer was a medical assistant at the hospital’s heart center, while Hulleberg was a volunteer at the neonatal intensive care unit.

“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.