A woman who feared her eldest son would never forgive her for giving him up for adoption was left visibly emotional after receiving a letter from him on Long Lost Family, praising his ‘selflessness’ and ‘courage’ .
Caroline Kinsey, 63, from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, gave birth to Simon when she was just 18. After breaking the news of her pregnancy, her boyfriend and the baby’s father took her away.
She made the painful decision to leave the newborn with no way to raise him the way she wanted him to.
She admitted on tonight’s Long Lost Family that she didn’t even hold her son because she knew she couldn’t let him go if she did.
But luckily, researchers from the ITV program found Simon, who was named Thomas by his adoptive parents, and the birth mother and son were reunited in emotional scenes. Before the reunion, Tom sent Caroline a touching letter.
After being told the team had tracked Tom down, Caroline asked: ‘I want to ask him if he’s forgiven me, because how can anyone really give a baby away?’
She was then handed a letter written by Tom to Caroline which read: ‘Dear Caroline. Thanks for reaching out. My feelings about being accepted are a genuine sense of wonder and gratitude.
‘Being a parent myself, I can only imagine the courage and selflessness it takes to make such a decision. And I feel obliged to thank you. We look forward to meeting you, Tom.’
‘There is always the possibility that he can fix it [say] “Oh well he left me, I don’t want anything to do with him”, said an emotional Caroline after reading the note.
The mother of three says she hasn’t stopped thinking about her long-lost son for the past 43 years. He showed Long Lost Family the diary from the year he lost his son.
Caroline said: ‘This is my diary from 1980 which automatically opens to the page when I have Simon. It also tells me the day I came home alone.’
He added: ‘I never held him because if I held him I couldn’t let him go.
‘I remember this little bundle of very dark hair. And that was the last time I saw him.’
Caroline Kinsey (pictured), 63, from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, gave birth to Simon (now Tom) when she was just 18.
Tom wrote her a letter, praising her for her courage and ‘selflessness’ while Caroline worried she might not forgive him.
Caroline Kinsey (pictured center right) with her husband David (pictured right), her son Tom (pictured left center) and her wife Sam (pictured left).
Now when handed a photo of her son, she says: ‘Oh my goodness, dark hair, handsome. She looks beautiful.’
She previously recalled: ‘The decision to adopt him was entirely my own. I believe that a family unit should be a mother and father because you work as a team to raise a family.
‘I had no money. And I couldn’t give a child the upbringing and childhood I wanted.’
Recovering in hospital after the birth, Caroline only saw Simon – who weighed eight pounds three ounces – twice.
Simon is renamed Tom by his adoptive parents, ironically what Caroline’s other son is called.
Caroline later married her husband David and has twin children, Tom and Amy, who are now 23.
Tom, 43, who lives in Somerset, is married to Sam, and has two children, aged 8 and 3, meaning Caroline is a grandmother.
Caroline got married after giving Simon up for adoption and has twin children (pictured) who are now 23.
Caroline is depicted as a young woman. She says she has thought about Simon every day since she left him as a baby
She told co-presenter Nicky Campbell that she’s known she was adopted for as long as she can remember and that her adoptive parents were amazing and she’s grateful to Caroline.
A week after hearing that her son had been found, Caroline visited the Berkshires to see Tom for the first time in more than 40 years and said she felt ‘nervous, scared, excited’.
He added: ‘It’s like meeting a stranger who should be really close.’
Tom said: ‘I’m curious where some of my fog comes from. Because if you don’t know me, you might misinterpret my general demeanor as not being very affectionate.’
‘I’m most looking forward to hugging him because it’s the first time I’ve ever held him,’ said Caroline.
Despite Tom admitting that he’s not a hugger, the pair smiled at each other and then engaged in a long, heartfelt hug that Caroline had always wanted.
Tom asked Caroline if she was okay, to which she replied: ‘I’ve waited 43 years for that hug.’
Caroline asked ITV to help her find her son so she could deal with the guilt she’s had since giving him up for adoption.
Tom said his adoptive parents had given him a lot of opportunities and Caroline then said ‘how grateful she is to Tom’s parents for giving you what I couldn’t.’
Oddly enough, it seems the pair may have met years ago and are not even familiar. Caroline owned a sports shop in Bishops Stortford, where Tom went to school and played hockey.
He said: ‘I went to school in Bishops Stortford so I probably went to the shop and probably bought a hockey stick from you,’ to which Caroline replied ‘terrible’.
Caroline said: ‘I was so nervous before I came through the door, but that all disappeared as soon as I saw Tom. It was really like a dream come true. There seems to be something in common, we both speak quite quietly.’
Tom then shows Caroline pictures of his grandson and she calls them ‘gorgeous’.
He said: ‘It was really nice to meet him. I think the way we talked is exactly the same. He’s pretty thoughtful, I think we’re pretty similar like that.
‘I’m a bit shocked but the question has been answered, or is beginning to be answered,’ said Tom.
Tom was introduced to his siblings Tom and Amy via video call and even joked about whether the name needed to be changed.