Emotional reunion for mother, daughter apart for 38 years

By Chad Klassen
November 17, 2016 - 4:49pm Updated: November 17, 2016 - 5:25pm

KAMLOOPS — In November 1978, 18-year-old Edna Tom of Kamloops was on the verge of giving birth to a baby girl. But she knew at the time she could not raise a child on her own.

Edna made the difficult decision to give her baby up for adoption to give her a chance at a life she could not provide. It was the most difficult decision she has ever made.

Thirty-eight years later, Edna got to meet her daughter, Jenny Bontron, in person for the first time on Tuesday evening, and on National Adoption Day no less.

Both enjoyed a long, emotional hug 38 years in the making. 

"Very good. I didn't say anything, but hugged her and started crying. My baby girl. I've finally seen her," said Tom after meeting Jenny at the Kamloops Airport.

Jenny added, "it was really comforting, very heart-felt, emotional. Kind of feels like she's been looking for a long time, and to give her that embrace was special."

Edna has been thinking about Jenny her entire life since giving her up the day she was born: November 7, 1978. 

In 2010, she put out a post on Facebook with Jenny's picture. After the post was shared years later, they finally connected in September and started planning for their first meeting. 

"I've been thinking of her all these years. I've always thought of her and I always wondered how she's doing and who she's with, and is she ok," said Edna.

For Jenny, who was born in Kamloops at Royal Inland Hospital, she's always wondered who her mother is. But she's also grateful. 

"For me, I've had a great life. I had great parents and a great mother who took care of me very well. So for me on the other side, I was thankful she gave me up and I could have a good life and get a good education," said Jenny, who is an office manager in Ottawa. 

Now that her and Edna have finally met, the future is full of possibility --- a mother-daughter relationship that has just begun. 

B-100's Basics for Babies holds 10th annual fundraiser