Shearer and Benjamin Hulleberg also realized they hadn’t been too far from each other after all these years, with both having worked at HCA Healthcare’s St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City in the last two years.
Shearer is a medical assistant at The Heart Center at St. Mark's while Hulleberg volunteers at the hospital’s 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.
Since reuniting with Shearer and her family, Hulleberg has connected with his younger half-brother and half-sister as well. He tries to meet with Shearer, who he also calls “mom,” at her office at least once a week, too.
“Being able to sit down with my biological mom and just have coffee and talk before I go on my shift at the NICU? It's been amazing,” he said.
“It's just exciting. I'm part of his life. Just knowing that his phone number is in my phone and I can call him or text him anytime … it's amazing,” Shearer said. “My heart is full.”
Benjamin Hulleberg has an encouraging message for others looking for their biological parents.
“Don't give up hope. For me, I felt like I was at a point where I'd given up just a little. I had tried so many things, and they just hadn't worked,” he said. “It came when I was least expecting it. It was something that just happened out of the blue. That isn't what happens to everyone.”
He added, “Meeting my biological family and meeting my half-siblings and meeting my biological mom, it was very healing for me. There was a little hole in me that I didn't know about and finding them really filled that in. I feel very whole, I feel very complete. I feel like I'm finally ready to continue in my life.”