A Mother And Daughter Reconnect After Years Of Separation At age 20, Janie Bush gave birth to a daughter with a life-threatening condition and placed her for adoption. After 12 years, Janie reconnected with Tracey Bush, who has since made a full recovery.

Mother-Daughter Duo Reunited Against The Odds: 'I Believed That You Were Dead'

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Janie Bush was a teenager in 1968 when she found out she was pregnant. She gave her daughter up for adoption. And then decades later, Janie came to StoryCorps in Dallas, Texas, with that daughter, Tracey.

JANIE BUSH: I loved being pregnant, but I decided that the best thing to do is make an adoption plan. You were born with spinal bifida, so I was contacted by a child welfare woman. She told me that you would probably die and convinced me that the thing to do was sign you over to the state for care.

TRACEY BUSH: Did you ever try to find me?

J BUSH: I didn't try to find you because I believed that you were dead.

T BUSH: Wow. I never knew that. I always knew about my birth mom. I knew I was named after you. And there was a time - and I don't know if you know this - there was a time that I would only go by Jane (ph). If they called me Tracey, I wouldn't answer.

J BUSH: When the residence that you were assigned to was going to close, the couple that owned it decided to adopt you. And then the time came that your adoptive mother called me. And she just started telling me about you and asked if I wanted to talk to you.

T BUSH: I remember I liked your voice. I could hear the smile in your voice.

J BUSH: After the conversation, I wrote in my journal - Tracey Jane M. (ph), 12 years old. Her voice sounds like mine. I'm overwhelmed. Sunday can't be here soon enough - because we had made plans to meet. And as it turned out, Sunday was Mother's Day.

T BUSH: I couldn't really grasp the concept of meeting a mom because I had a mom. But I got to meet this new lady that I had pictured my whole life. I remember paying extra attention to my hair that day, making sure my hair was really shiny since I thought that's probably something we had in common. And I remember just looking at you and thinking how pretty you were, the sun being on our faces. And the first time we held hands was when we sat on the porch. Going home, I remember just feeling warm like that sunshine. And what an absolutely perfect moment that was.

J BUSH: Now we're 34 years later, and I'm really glad to have you back.

T BUSH: Me, too.


KING: That was Tracey Bush talking to her mom, Janie Bush, at StoryCorps in Dallas, Texas. After years of physical therapy for her spinal bifida, Tracey now has full mobility. That interview will be archived at the Library of Congress. And here's an idea - if you're spending time with the people you love this Thanksgiving, try recording a family conversation using the StoryCorps app. You can get details at thegreatlisten.org.

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