LINCOLNTON, NC (WBTV) - For 67 years, Marilyn Wallace has been thinking about the baby she had to give up.
“I never thought I’d ever hear from him or anything," she says.
She tells the story of nurses holding her son up to the glass, an image that has been in her mind for nearly seven decades.
Now, after decades of searching, the pair had a long-awaited reunion, in the Charlotte airport. Greg Wendt met his 94-year-old mom.
“I thought, well, he wouldn’t be interesting in seeing his mother after all these years,” Wallace says.
“Wrong!” Wendt butts in.
The searching sent both sides online, from Lincolnton, and from Kentucky, where an ancestry tracking website eventually made the connection.
“From thinking I wasn’t wanted all those years, to finding out that people were searching for me, it was pretty emotional,” Wendt says. “I kind of melted down at that point.”
Wallace served in the Army Air Force. Wendt was a Marine Corps drill instructor.
An instant connection.
“To have a mother who’s a veteran, to understand how I feel, being a veteran,” Wendt says.
Before meeting, Wallace was worried what her son would think of her.
“That kind of broke my heart,” Wendt says. “Because I thought, ‘What hurts has she been through that she would think that I would reject her?’ I tried to reassure her and say we’re past that point, ‘I already like you.’”
Wendt says he didn’t have much of his adoptive family left, and he was afraid he would live the rest of his life alone.
“I didn’t really like the sound of that,” he says. “So I’d been kind of thinking about that, and praying, and talking to the Lord, and look what He’s done. He’s brought me a family.”