WINCHESTER - It was a simple selfie in front of Winchester Hospital that set off a chain of events no one expected on a dreary Monday morning.
Jennifer and her son Chris were finishing off a great Easter weekend and decided to grab a mother/son selfie in front of Winchester Hospital on Monday, April 22. At first, they idled around the front entrance, debating whether or not to hop out. But once they saw a parking garage they decided to go for it.
While snapping the picture, Jane, an emergency department nurse coming in to start her shift (and one who is quick to make conversation with everyone she sees) proclaimed, “I’ve never seen anyone take a selfie in front of the hospital before!”
“There’s a story behind it,” Chris said with a smile.
Jane asked, “Well, is it a good story?!”
And that’s how it all began.
Jennifer, originally from Iowa, flew into Massachusetts to give birth to Chris at Winchester Hospital on May 11, 1992. She placed him for adoption to a lovely family just outside of Boston.
As the years went by, Jennifer decided it was time to find Chris and reunite. Unfortunately, about three years after she gave birth, the adoption agency she used closed; little information was available to facilitate Jennifer’s search. So she enlisted the help of a reality television show who did end up finding Chris in Cambridge. While Chris did not want to participate in the program, he asked for the show to pass his contact information on to Jennifer, but it mistakenly never was.
By chance, Chris’ adoptive parents found a piece of paper that had Jennifer’s last name on it, so they shared it with their son. He used that information to find Jennifer posting messages on an adoption website, and first contact was made in November of 2018, 26 years later.
Thanks to Jane’s affable remarks, Chris and Jennifer were whisked inside of the hospital and brought up to Labor and Delivery. There, with the help of volunteer services director Jillian Buttaro, they got to meet with nurses who were at Winchester most likely on the very day Jennifer gave birth to Chris, almost 30 years ago. The staff brought photo albums of the nurses from the 90s to help Jennifer remember and identify who was on duty during her labor. They even brought her to the room where she had Chris.
“I am almost positive that this is the room where he came into the world. A room that I thought about for 26 plus years,” said Jennifer in a reflective, emotional tone.
During the interview, a nurse came in with a newspaper. She had the day’s horoscope for Chris’ zodiac sign, Taurus: “One on one relating takes a higher priority than normal. You’ll see a situation far differently than you thought possible.”
The two embraced, one of many to occur before they headed home.