By Cara Sulieman
A MOTHER has been reunited with the son she was forced to put up for adoption more 44 years ago – never knowing that he had grown up living only a few miles away.
Margaret Wilson, 64, had to give her son David up for adoption when she was just 19 because being a single mum was frowned upon at the time – and she lost all hope of ever seeing him again.
But at the start of August she received a mysterious phone call that would eventually lead to her meeting her son – now called Stephen Basey.
A few days later Margaret, from Cardenden, Fife, received a touching letter from David, 44, asking to get back in touch.
As soon as she realised who it was from she got on the phone and was talking to her son like they had never been apart.
She said: “A few weeks ago I had a phone call from a lady who turned out to be David’s wife Pauline asking for my date of birth and calling me by my maiden name.
“She said that someone in her family was trying to get in touch with me and I would get a letter soon.
“It was really odd, but I didn’t even for one minute think it would be about David.
“But when the letter arrived and I opened it my heart just burst with joy – the feeling was just indescribable.
“The tears just poured down my cheeks when I realised who he was.”
“Everyone was crying”
Margaret’s husband Bob was with her when she received the letter and initially thought that something was wrong.
She said: “I just couldn’t stop crying, my husband thought some bad news had come, but when I told him what it was he started crying too.
“For the rest of the day the house was full of folk crying and bringing me flowers and cards.”
Margaret gave her baby boy up for adoption four decades ago because her grandparents left her no choice.
With her parents dead Margaret’s grandparents struggled to bring up her and her two siblings and said they couldn’t afford another mouth to feed.
Margaret said: “It broke my heart, those nine months were really hard, because I knew the baby would be gone at the end of it.
“As soon as I gave birth David was taken away from me – and after 40 years I had given up all hope of ever being able to hold him.”
David and his wife Pauline came up to visit Margaret from their home in Duns, Berwickshire last month.
Margaret said that as soon as Stephen stepped out of the car she recognised him.
She said: “He is the spitting image of me and has a lot of the same mannerisms.
“I ran over and hugged him for what felt like five minutes.
“We sat and talked for hours and poured over the photos of David’s childhood that he brought with him.
“When he told me where he grew up I couldn’t believe it.
“He stayed just a few miles away in Leven and used to play football even closer in Lumphinnans.
“I have missed out on so much of his life, but in all these years I never forgot about him.
“I would sit and wonder what he was doing and where he was.
“Now that we’ve found each other again where going to keep in regular contact.
“To have him back in my life again is just wonderful.”
David, an off-shore oil worker, said finding his real mum still hasn’t quite sunk in.
He said: “It was weird meeting my mum, but weird in a good way.
“I didn’t want to get in touch with her whilst my adoptive parents were still alive because they were very good to me.
“I was very nervous. I didn’t know how she would react.
“But this is better than I could have thought.”
He and his own wife Pauline – a carer for disabled children – have been married for seven years.
Although they have never had their own children together, Pauline, 52, has two sons from a previous relationship, Gary, 30, and Mark Bell, 31.
It means Margaret is now a great-grandmother to Gary’s son Ethan, five, daughter Brooke Lee, one, and Mark’s daughter Lauren, six.
Margaret and her husband Bob have been together for 35 years and married for 20 of them – celebrating their anniversary last Wednesday – never having expected that they would be blessed with a new son.
Doting Bob, 66, says Margaret has longed to see her son for 35 years.
He said: “This is absolutely brilliant, I can’t get used to somebody calling Margaret mum.
“She’s spoken about David every day since I’ve met her and I know how much this means to her.”
“She’s over the moon and I couldn’t be happier for her.”