Mother and child reunion

June 11, 2006|By NANINE HARTZENBUSCH | NANINE HARTZENBUSCH,SUN REPORTER

Last winter, I heard from an acquaintance about Terri McLaughlin's long search for her birth mother, a frustrating effort that began a few years ago when her adoptive mother, Dolores Hauser, died of cancer.

I talked with Terri repeatedly and then asked for a features writer to join me in pursuit of a possible story on Terri's challenging effort to reconnect with her mother after finding and helping her.

Her mother, Donna Hayes, homeless and mentally ill, had been living in shelters just a few miles from Terri's home in Howard County. In late March, she had been missing for more than a week, and Terri was concerned about her.

Then, after days of search, Terri discovered her mother in a ballpark watching a softball game. Luckily, both Abigail Tucker, the writer, and I were with her when they reconnected.

Finding Donna was an emotion-filled moment for Terri. Donna looked worn out as she sat in her daughter's van.

nanine.hartzenbusch@baltsun.com

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