When a teenaged Kathy Tucker held her newborn baby girl nearly five decades ago, she thought it would be the last time she ever saw her.
“I remember dressing her in my christening dress and some booties I made for her and I held her tight in my arms,” said Tucker. “I got to look at her, hug her and kiss her before they took her away from my arms.”
On Saturday, Tucker was once again able to hug her daughter — after 48 years apart.
Tucker gave up her daughter for adoption at the age of 16. Even though it was a hard decision to part ways from her daughter, she knew another family could offer her a better quality of life.
“After my sophomore year of high school my mother sent me to a Catholic home in San Francisco,” said Tucker. “During my stay in San Francisco I received a lot of counseling and that’s when I came to the decision to place my daughter in the better care of another family.”
Paulette Claros always wanted to reconnect with her birth mother, ever since she could remember.
“I’ve been looking for her for a very long time,” said Claros. “I didn’t have a lot of information on my birth mother, so I had to do a lot of research on my own. I went through various websites and looked through all the city directories. I contacted the agency where my mother gave me up and I was able to correlate all the information. It took me about a year to find her.”
Tucker and Claros talked for months before deciding to meet each other for the first time. Claros traveled from her hometown of New Orleans to Turlock last Saturday to hug her birth mother for the first time.
“As soon as I walked out the door I was crying like a baby. I couldn’t let go of her,” said Claros. “I’m still pinching myself because this is something I’ve been thinking about my whole life. It’s a dream come true.”
Tucker and Claros said they will keep contact from now on and make plans to visit each other in the coming years.
“I have two grandchildren, so I have to go and visit them,” said Tucker. “I’m absolutely ecstatic to be starting the next chapter of my life with my daughter and her family. My circle is finally complete because I have everything I’ll ever need.”