Local Lifestyle

Woman reunites with birth son with help of local co-workers

by Kate Shunney

A part-time hostess at The Country Inn received unex- pected help in flying to Colorado to reunite with her birth son this month.

Patricia White said she was contacted six months ago about her biological son after his son took a DNA test that led the family to connect with her.

White said she was on her shift at The Country Inn when she received the news that her son had found her and wanted to make contact.

“I was hostessing at the Country Inn Restaurant when I got a strange message in 23&Me. It asked if I gave birth to a son at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colorado in 1980? The color drained from my smiling face, and my heart pounded in my chest as my fellow colleagues celebrated the indescribable joy that I felt reading the news,” White said.

“Everyone was so touched they basically paid for my trip to go meet my son,” said White. “Just before Christmas, I was handed an envelope with enough money to reserve airfare for the trip to Denver!”

White said Mary Hollenshead was one of the people to organize the collection of funds so she could travel to Colorado.

“It’ s something I never thought would happen,” White said of reconnecting with the son she surrendered for adoption as a newborn.

Early this month, White traveled to Denver and met her son Ben.

“What a wonderful surprise to learn Ben has been searching for me for 30 years – since he learned he was adopted at the age of 13,” she shared.

Patricia White with her son Ben and grandson Jeremiah in Colorado.
photo courtesy of Patricia White

“We clicked instantly and amazed those around us with numerous similarities in appearance, sense of humor, verbal expressions, etc.,” White said after the reunion.

Patricia White has a son, Ken White, who asked her to move to Berkeley Springs in June 2023.

Her daughter Brandi is a server at The Country Inn. Another son, Martin, lives with her.

“Our little family has enjoyed living in this lovely, friendly community. The kindness and generosity shown is a bright light in a world of less than positive news,” said White.

While in Colorado, White discovered she has five additional grandchildren. The oldest, 23, is the one who took the DNA test that brought White and her son – his father – together.

“My heart is full to over- flowing with love and gratitude at the generosity of our community and my family.”