After 60 years of searching, an 81-year-old Irish woman has finally been reunited with her 103-year-old birth mother and their story is living proof that a family’s bond can stand the test of time.
Eileen Macken grew up in a Bethany Home orphanage never knowing her birth mother.
She began searching for her mother when she was 19 years old, but it wasn’t until last year that Eileen really started getting somewhere.
“I felt, how could I be one person on this planet and having nobody – I had to go and search,” Eileen said.
The 81-year-old contacted RTE’s Liveline in hopes of getting their help to track down her mom.
Earlier this year, Eileen was contacted by a genealogist who said he discovered her 103-year-old mother Elizabeth living in Scotland.
When she received the exciting news, Eileen couldn’t wait to make the journey to meet her mom.
“Once I heard that, nothing would stop me trying to get to see her,” she said.
Last month, she headed out to Scotland with her family, to finally meet the woman who gave her life.
“I went over to see her and she’s the most beautiful lady, lovely family, they gave me a great welcome,” Eileen told RTÉ News.
She instantly felt welcome in her mother’s home.
“We came in and, honestly I haven’t got over the acceptance that I got. They accepted me and I had a great chat with my mother.”
Eileen said Elizabeth was reading a newspaper when she approached her.
“I said: ‘You know I’m your daughter’ and she just looked up at me and she took my hand.”
“I think it’s nearly gone past her, but there was such a bond between the two of us. It was fantastic,” she continued.
After speaking with soon to be 104-year-old Elizabeth, Eileen discovered she also has two half brothers, one of whom was there during the visit.
The 81-year-old daughter said meeting her mother was a moment that she will never forget.
“You’ve no idea what it’s done to me, I’m just so happy. I don’t think I’ll ever come down out of the cloud.”