A woman has been reunited with her birth mother after 50 years apart in emotional scenes on tonight’s Long Lost Family.
Lisa Phillips, 51, from Staffordshire, was raised by Sonia and Gerald Clark after being put up for adoption by Susan Atkins, who was just 19 when she discovered she was pregnant.
Susan, now 71, of Southampton, lived in a tiny house with her parents and siblings at the time and decided to put her child up for adoption in the hope she would have a better life.
Last year, mother-of-one Lisa contacted Long Lost Family, reuniting with Susan in moving scenes which aired tonight on ITV,
Following their reunion, mother-of-two Susan commented: ‘The happiest day of our lives I think’, with Lisa replying: ‘Definitely.’
Lisa Phillips (pictured with her birth mother), 51, from Staffordshire, was raised by Sonia and Gerald Clark after being put up for adoption by Susan Atkins, who was just 19 when she discovered she was pregnant
Susan, now 71, of Southampton, lived in a tiny house with her parents and siblings at the time and decided to put her child up for adoption in the hope she would have a better life. Lisa pictured as a baby
Speaking on the programme prior to meeting her first born, Susan said: ‘I never thought this day would come, it’s just a miracle it’s happened.
‘I would like to tell Lisa how much I love her, how much she’s been loved for 50 years. She’s always been on my mind, I just want to hug her and tell her I love her.’
Susan and Lisa were Covid tested so they could meet safely at a London hotel.
The pair fell into each other’s arms, with Susan saying: ‘Look at you, oh you’re so beautiful.’
An astounded Lisa asked: ‘Do you believe it, really?’ to which her birth mother replied: ‘No, I never thought this day would happen.
Lisa as a young girl (pictured centre) with her adoptive older sister Sarah (left), and adoptive mother Sonia (right)
Searcher Lisa Phillips as a baby in her adoptive father’s arms. When asked whether she was nervous to meet her real mum, Lisa said: ‘There’s an apprehension of course there is, is she going to like me? Is it going to work out?’
‘I had you for ten days, for those ten days I hardly slept because I just kept looking at you and thinking you’re mine. And then when the day came, I broke down.
‘I hope you don’t think I ever abandoned you because that wasn’t the case,’ she added.
‘No, I’ve never thought that at all,’ Lisa reassured.
Susan continued: ‘I’ve always loved you, it was just something I had to do, I wanted you to have a fantastic life and I’m so glad you’ve had that life.’
Speaking about the reunion, Susan (pictured) said: ‘Fifty years, I’ve waited for this moment, and when I hugged her all those years disappeared. It was fantastic, just to hold her so close’
Lisa explained that she’d had an ‘absolutely amazing life’, adding: ‘You did what you thought was right for me, and it was the best thing you could ever do.’
‘You were my first love, and you always will be my first love,’ said Susan, who lives with husband Peter, 66, has two children, Tony and Lisa, who is named after her first daughter, and three grandsons.
Speaking about the reunion, Susan said: ‘Fifty years, I’ve waited for this moment, and when I hugged her all those years disappeared. It was fantastic, just to hold her so close.
‘This is unbelievable isn’t it. I just feel whole now, because I’ve got my children back together again.’
The pair, who now phone each other weekly, appeared on Lorraine today to share their joy at finding one another.
The pair appeared on Lorraine today to share their joy at finding one another and Susan said ‘not a moment has gone by’ without thinking of her child
‘Every day I thought of Lisa, every day’, said Susan. ‘Not a moment went by without thinking about her, but I was always afraid.
‘I was contemplating trying to find her, but I thought. “It’s not my place. I’ll be interfering in her mum and dad’s life”, and I couldn’t bring myself to upset them, but I’m so glad she found me.’
Lisa said it took her ‘half a century’ to find the courage to look for her mum, admitting she was scared to hurt her adoptive parents.
‘It was out of respect for my mum and dad,’ she said. ‘But the yearning every single year gets deeper and deeper and now look what I’ve got, I adore her!’
Lisa was born two weeks early, meaning Susan was able to spend ten ‘glorious’ days with her daughter before giving her to the agency, and the mother said being able to bond with her daughter was ‘the best thing’.
She requested that the adoptive parents named her daughter Lisa, and says she was touched when she discovered Sonia and Gerald had carried out her wishes.
‘I am so grateful to them for doing that for me,’ she said. ‘I honour her parents, they are wonderful people.’
Speaking of meeting her mum for the first time, Lisa gushed: ‘She is absolutely stunning, all I saw were those eyes and the love she’s had for me for 50 years and I am so grateful I have had such a beautiful life
‘I can’t explain it. You are absolutely beautiful and I cannot thank you enough because I know it was a really hard sacrifice and I am nothing but grateful to you. I love you to bits
Susan replied: ‘ I love you all the world, seriously’.
When asked whether she was nervous to meet her real mum, Lisa said: ‘There’s an apprehension of course there is, is she going to like me? Is it going to work out?
‘But with the show, when you look at a photograph, I couldn’t understand how you could have a connection with a photograph, and as soon as I saw that beautiful woman there, that was my mamma.’