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Mother, Daughter See Each Other First Time In 36 Years

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Elaine Harmon, left, meets her mother, Jenny Hadley, for the first time. (CBS)

Elaine Harmon, left, meets her mother, Jenny Hadley, for the first time. (CBS)

Mike Parker Mike Parker
Mike Parker has been a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago...
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(CBS) — A Hobart Indiana woman and her daughter are back together after 36 years of separation.

They were separated when the mother – then a 15-year-old unwed mom – gave her baby up for adoption and what she knew would be a better life.

CBS2’s Mike Parker has the story of their joyous reunion on Monday.

Jenny Hadley waited for the South Shore train carrying her long-lost child.

She had been searching adoptee reunion websites for years.

“I kind of started to lose faith, thinking maybe she doesn’t want to be found,” Jenny told Parker as she waited.

It turns out her daughter had been searching for her, too. They found each other online just after Christmas and have been exchanging phone calls, e-mails and photos ever since.

After an hour of waiting, the train pulled in and life suddenly changed for Jenny and Elaine Harman. They kissed and embraced for what seemed like minutes.

“Amazing, just amazing,” Jenny shouted. “It only took me 36 years.”

Two women, who battled an emptiness in their hearts for so long, were reunited. Those two hearts are full again.

“It’s unbelievable,” Elaine said.  “I mean, I’m the luckiest person alive today.  I’m incredibly fortunate. My parents told me from day one how much they wanted me and how great my mom was.”

And Elaine brought a gift for her mother from Virginia, where she lives now. It was two photos showing both of them at the same age. It’s hard to tell them apart.

“I’m about to start crying,” Jenny said as she held the frame. “It’s a dream come true. A billion-dollar lottery doesn’t feel this good.”

What about the future?

Jenny is eager to meet her daughter’s husband when he returns from serving in Afghanistan.  And she has a standing invitation from Elaine’s adoptive parents to spend every Christmas with them.

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