I rode the same bus as my birth mum every day and never knew

All her life Freda Pickering wondered what happened to the baby girl she gave up for adoption. She fell pregnant after a romance with a Croation exile who left her for someone else. She was only 19.

Freda didn't even realise she was expecting until she gave birth, the Daily Mail reports. "One night I got this pain in my tummy. I thought babies had to be cut out of you but all of a sudden this baby dropped out." She had the baby, carried it in to her mother and said, "Mum, I think I've had a baby."

She made the difficult decision to give the baby up for adoption. "Although I wished I could keep her, I knew there was nothing I could do."

To make matters worse, she and the man she eventually married, Ron Pickering, couldn't have children.

Ron was a bus driver and Freda worked on his bus as a conductor, monitoring the behaviour of the school children. She couldn't help but wonder what had happened to the little girl she gave up. The girl would be around the same age as some of the children on the school bus.

Carole Davies is the name of the daughter she gave away. She never realised that Freda, the bus conductor, was her birth mother. Carole had been adopted out to a local family and attended Tadcaster Grammar School. She and her birth mother rode on the same bus for seven years. She knew she was adopted but never thought to seek out her birth mother.

It wasn't until decades later that Carole found her and the realised they'd seen each other almost every day for seven years. At 57 years of age, Carole found Freda who was then 83. Carole wrote her mother a letter which included the following:


Before you start reading this, I suggest you make yourself a cup of tea, and sit down in your best comfy chair. No, it's not bad news, but it is information that may shock and surprise you and be emotional for you … I believe that you are my mum.

I don't really know why you were unable to look after me, but whatever the reason, I believe you did what you thought was best, or had to do, at the time.

Carole revealed that she didn't want to find her birth mother while her adoptive parents were alive and it was her foster brother Tom contacting his own family who inspired her to seek out her own.

She then tells Freda that she has two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. For Freda, who was alone after the death of her husband, she this must have been a shock as well as a delight.

One of her grandchildren, Michelle, married an Australian man named Nigel and moved here to live with their two children.

Freda immediately picked up the phone and called her daughter. The two have been reunited every since, speaking on the phone often and meeting up.

It's an incredibly beautiful story.

"It's nice to think I was a part of her life when she was younger when I thought I wasn't," said Freda. "Ron and I couldn't have children, and that's the only thing I regret is not having a family."

"As soon as I read the letter I picked up the phone and rang Carole. It was so strange hearing my daughter's voice. After all, I never knew what she sounded like before."

Mrs Davies, who traced her mother with the help of an amateur genealogist, said she "had no idea the lady who checked my bus pass twice a day was my mum. It was a complete shock when we began talking about our past and my school life, and that was mentioned."

They now have a normal mother-daughter relationship, speaking regularly by phone and meeting up.

Are you adopted? Have you tracked down your birth parents?