A MOTHER has been reunited with her daughter nearly 70 years after giving her up for adoption.
Rena Ward, who turned 100 in November, last saw her daughter in 1942, when she was three months old.
Olwen Cox, now 68, tracked down her mother from across the Atlantic and set up an emotional reunion.
Mrs Cox, a retired teacher living in Canada, traced her relatives through a genealogy website and quickly found herself chatting to half-brother Ron and half-sister Pauline.
She soon arranged a two-week trip, including many visits to Mrs Ward, who lives in St Oswald’s Care Home, in Felling, Gateshead.
But due to the centenarian’s ill health and confused state of mind, it was only towards the end of the stay that Mrs Cox revealed her identity.
She said: “I told her I was that baby, the one she had to give away, and her eyes filled with tears and she grabbed hold of me with both hands.
“I hugged her and she really cried. And, of course, so did I.
“So I do know that for those few minutes, she did know who I am.
“I wish now that I had said: ‘You are my mam’. But I didn’t and it’s too late now. I can’t let that regret take hold.”
Mrs Ward gave up Mrs Cox, originally named Rayma, because she was the result of an affair with Raymond Martin – who was stationed with the Armed Forces in South Shields, South Tyneside – conducted while her husband, Robson Ward, was overseas.
Mrs Cox said: “My understanding is that I was the result of a real love affair, not a one-night stand, but that my father was shipped out by the Army as soon as they got wind of the situation.”
Mrs Cox was adopted and raised in Birmingham and London before she emigrated to Canada in 1966.
She made a second visit to the North-East last month to celebrate her mother’s 100th birthday and now keeps in regular contact with other relatives.