Long Lost Family’s emotional reunion for mum and daughter after 50 years apart

Long Lost Family’s emotional reunion for mum and daughter after 50 years apart

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The moment Lisa Phillips met her birth mother for the first time, all the worries, all the questions she had ever had were answered when the first thing Susan Atkins said to her was: “I love you. I’ve loved you for 50 years.”

Lisa, 51, says: “It couldn’t have been more perfect. I felt my life was finally complete. It was a fairytale after so many decades of wondering.

“What was she like? Was she well? Does she think about me? Would I ever find her and would she like me? Would we have that connection?”

Lisa, 51, was just seven when her parents Sonia and Gerald Clark told her she was adopted.

But on the day she wed husband Paul in 1992 it really hit home that one person was absent.

Searcher Lisa Phillips on her wedding day in 1992 – when she realised she wanted to know her birth mother
(Image: Wall To Wall)

Mum-of-one Lisa, from Burton upon Trent, Staffs, says: “It was a big, traditional white wedding. All day my heart was aching because my biological mum wasn’t there.”

Lisa knew her mum’s name, Susan, from her adoption file, but didn’t pursue a search because she didn’t want to hurt adoptive dad Gerald.

Lisa dreamed of introducing her adoptive parents to her birth mum, and last year, with Gerald ailing with dementia, felt time was running out.

Searcher Lisa as a young girl (centre) with her adoptive older sister Sarah (left), and adoptive mother Sonia (right)
(Image: Wall To Wall)

She contacted ITV show Long Lost Family, and in scenes to be shown in the new series, starting tonight, Davina McCall tells Lisa that, after a tricky search, Susan has been found.

As they are reunited, Susan, 71, from Southampton, says: “I never thought this day would come, it’s just a miracle. I wanted to tell Lisa how much I love her, how much she’s been loved for 50 years.

“She’s always been on my mind. She was never shoved in the background, everybody knew about her.

“I always said I had three children, but one was adopted.”

Searcher Lisa Phillips as a baby in her adoptive father's arms
(Image: Wall To Wall)

When Susan got pregnant at 19, she was living in a tiny house with her parents and siblings.

She says: “My brother, sister and I were sharing one bedroom, my mum and dad the other. There was no inside toilet, no room for a cot let alone a baby. I couldn’t do it to her, she deserved more.”

But when it came to giving up her baby, Susan was heartbroken.

Lisa Phillips as an adorable young baby
(Image: Wall To Wall)

She says: “Lisa was born two weeks early and the adoption agency didn’t realise, so I had her for 10 days. Those days were so precious.” For 50 years, she questioned if she had done the right thing having Lisa adopted.

Susan, who lives with husband Peter, 66, has two children, Tony and Lisa, naming her second daughter after her first, and three grandsons.

She says she and Lisa, who has a daughter Bethany, 21, “instantly connected” when they were reunited, adding: “Now I even have a granddaughter.”

Searcher Lisa Phillips (right) and her found birth mother Sue (left) on their reunion day
(Image: Wall To Wall)

And has Lisa finally got her wish to introduce her birth mum to her adoptive parents and sister Sarah.

She says: “My dad Gerald, thankfully, understood what was going on that day. He had nothing but love and admiration for Sue.

“It was the best day. Everything is just natural. She’s made me complete.”

*Long Lost Family, Monday at 9pm, ITV.

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