California Mom Meets her Child 29 Years After Being Told He had Died at Birth

A mother secretly celebrated the birthday of her baby daughter for nearly three decades. After her daughter was born, she was told she had died. But what she discovered in 2019 was a complete change to everything she knew for nearly 29 years. 

The love a mother has for her child is unconditional and grows stronger every day. But losing your child can be devastating. Nothing can prepare you for the grief. 

Tina Bejarano of Los Banos (California) spent a lot of time wondering if the baby she gave birth as a teenager had passed away. But there were still many things she didn’t know. 

Tina Bejarano and Kristin Cooke reunited almost 29 years after Kristin was born. | Photo:

Bejarano gave birth to her daughter in 1990, when she was just 16. She was also a mother to a 1-year old daughter, but she was forced by her mom to adopt her newborn. She revealed: 

“The next day, she [my mother] comes back to tell me, ‘The baby died 15 minutes after it was born. It never made it. It was sick.”

Bejarano mourned and longed for her baby girl for 29 years. Each year on April 6, Bejarano and her husband, Eric Gardere, hid in their room, brought a cake, lit a candle, and wished “happy birthday” to their little princess. 

Even her own sweet notes to her daughter were still recalled by her. She was devastated to learn about her loss. Although she was able to move on with her life, she missed her little girl. 

Gardere was 28 and Bejarano was 18. She had two children and began to pursue her dreams of studying arts and photography. However, there was still a part of her longing for the child she had lost so many years back. 

In 2018, her daughter EncouragedSince she didn’t know much about her father, she decided to get a DNA test. Surprisingly, Kristin Cooke, an American man living in New Jersey, sent her an email. 

She discovered that the man who had contacted her was her child. But she was unable connect the dots since she had already given birth to a girl. The transition of her child was something she discovered at that time. She also added: 

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s my baby.’ I thought he was dead. I never got to name him. I never got to hold him.”

Cooke said to her that he was raisedHe was living in Las Vegas when he transformed into a man. Bejarano said that she didn’t care if he had changed. She was glad he was still alive and that his adoptive family had treated him so well.

Cooke and Bejarano soon shared their heartbreaking details about their separation. Bejarano described how she was forced to give up her son and how her mother lied to her. 

Cooke did not hold grudges against his mom, but he was like a good and wise child. Cooke was happy to have gotten to know his mother and be able to connect with her after all these years. He also told her that he had a granddaughter called Scarlet. 

Gardere also connected to Cooke, despite the fact that he wasn’t his birth father. He stated that he considered Cooke his child and had been since childhood. Cooke and Bejarano first met on Thanksgiving 2019, and there have been many sweet interactions since.


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