LOS BANOS, Calif. (KMPH/CNN) - A California woman was shocked when she learned that the baby she thought died at birth is alive and getting in contact.
She gave birth at 17, and at first, her mother told her she wasn't allowed to keep the baby.
"The next day, she comes back to tell me, 'The baby died 15 minutes after it was born. It never made it. It was sick,'" Tina Bejarano said.
For almost three decades since then, Bejarano and her husband have celebrated that baby's birthday.
"She would go into major depression," said Eric Gardere, Bejarano's husband.
"It was a hard time every year," Bejarano said. "I would get depressed. I would cry all the time."
Last year and a long time since Bejarano gave up hope the baby was alive, she received an email.
"I think we need to talk. It says we're related and it says you're my mom," Bejarano said.
Her long-lost kid, Kristin, is an adult now at 29-years-old. He lives with his wife and baby.
Instead of a daughter, Bejarano now has a son.
"I don't care. I don't care if he's in transition. I don't care if he hasn't transitioned. I don't care. That's my kid," Bejarano said.
"We're just glad he's alive," Gardere said.
Kristin was adopted by a loving family five days after he was born and grew up in Las Vegas.
He could never have known just how much his biological mom thought about him.
"Looking at him just makes me want to cry," said Bejarano. "He sends us pictures almost on a daily basis of him and the baby."
"We've been communicating with Kristin for a few months now," said Gardere. "He calls me dad. I call him son. We texted him. I text him every morning."
The families expect to see each other in-person soon. The family of three is planning a visit to California to meet Bejarano and Gardere at the end of November.