Marc, who was adopted by a Jewish family as a baby, was determined to find his birth mother, but didn’t find her until the Long Lost Family team made a crucial breakthrough.
They found out that 49-year-old grandfather’s biological mother, Esther Howard, lived in New Zealand and had married and had two more children.
After learning that Marc wanted to meet, Esther said, “I couldn’t believe it. It was a huge surprise. I’m so glad he wants to meet me. I really thought about it but didn’t know where to go at first. ”
Revealing why she put Mark up for adoption, Esther explained that she was brought up in a strict Jewish family who were all Holocaust refugees.
Marc’s father was not Jewish and his parents were horrified to learn that she was pregnant, claiming it would “kill” his grandmother.
Revealing that she was not allowed to return home during her pregnancy, Esther explained, “I had no choice but to leave him up for adoption. It was horrible. If I had had the support of my family, I would have kept it. ”
Two days after Marc learned they had reunited with his mother, Esther flew to London for a very emotional reunion after nearly 50 years apart.
When Marc admitted he was still wondering if he was wanted, Esther explained that there was no choice.
“No one wants to abandon a child. I certainly didn’t want to abandon you, ”she said in tears.
Emotional Marc added: “I feel thrilled. I heard from my mother what I always wanted here. I was wanted and still am. ”
Unfortunately, things did not go as Marc had hoped after the cameras were shut down.
Almost 18 months after this first meeting, we discover that they subsequently struggled to bond with Esther living on the other side of the world.
Marc feels disappointed with their inability to overcome distance, telling host Davina McCall that they don’t really have a relationship.
“Unfortunately, even if she is my mother, we are still strangers. We really don’t know anything about each other, ”admits Marc.
“I think the distance really doesn’t help. With her being on the other side of the world, the only communication is emails. You can’t really get a link through emails.
“I guess it could be difficult for her because she hasn’t had me in my life for 50 years. She might not know how to handle this on her own.
“I would have liked to have a good and long relationship with Esther, so I am a little disappointed. ”
However, Marc’s search for identity does not end there.
In a very unusual twist, Marc was able to track down his biological father after researchers at Long Lost Family tracked him down by his unusual name in the voter registers.
Marc’s biological father, David Ledwith, was cautious at first and wanted a DNA test, but took a look at a photo and realized that he was definitely his son.
Making an Instant Connection Marc and David have now become very close and have discovered some strange similarities.
They have a surprising amount in common, as they’re both ex-military, both like building things and both driving heavyweights for a living.
“I have always been lonely. I spent most of my life hiding behind a brick wall that I erected. Just knowing that Marc broke that wall, ”admits David.
Marc is thrilled to have David in his life, but a big hurdle remains, introducing David to his adoptive father Terry.
“I don’t see anything worse that they hate each other. I don’t want to disturb my adoptive father in any way. It’s important to me that they get along, ”said Marc, worried.
For the first in Long Lost Family history, a son introduces his two fathers to each other – and it’s the assertive moment he’s always dreamed of.
Terry thanks David for giving him a son, while David thanks Terry for raising Marc.
“It means everything that daddy is there.” To also remind him that he has not been replaced because he will not be, ”says Marc.
“Everything makes sense now. It sets everything in place. I know exactly who I am now and where I come from. They will both be part of my family forever now. “
Long Lost Family has done a lot of research over the years that never made it to TV, usually because the situation is too delicate.
The second story in this episode has so far been too touchy to air on TV.
In 2017, Sheila Knox came to us desperately to find the baby she abandoned for adoption as a 15-year-old schoolgirl.
“Getting it adopted was the biggest decision of my life and having to do it myself as a kid was so difficult,” admits Sheila.
Sheila’s mother was very supportive, but the schoolgirl thought she was too young to care for a baby and knew the tight money was for the family.
Explaining the reason for her heartbreaking decision, Sheila said, “I wanted my child to have the things I never had. To have a better life than the one I had. ”
Sheila moved into a mother and baby house with other young pregnant girls, including roommate Marilyn, who has become a lifelong friend.
The schoolgirls started labor the same night and both had baby boys – then only spent six short weeks with their babies.
Reliving the moment she abandoned her baby, Sheila said, “I remember getting in the car feeling empty. Life is never the same. ”
Sheila married and had two other children, but never forgot her first child and needed to know that he had a happy life.
The Long Lost Family team found their son Mike, but their first meeting was not filmed because he wanted to protect the feelings of his adoptive mother.
“I wanted to do everything right by my adoptive mother. I didn’t know what my reaction would be. I didn’t want my mom to see that in case she was too strong, ”said Mike.
After Mike’s sister reunited with her birth mother, her adoptive mother was so upset that he vowed not to actively search for his birth mother.
Almost a year after this first meeting, the family shares for the first time their extraordinary experience with Davina and Nicky Campbell.
Mike admits he was a “nervous wreck” when they first met, while Sheila admits his legs were like jelly.
Mike explains that Sheila’s first words were, “I’m sorry,” while Mike told her there was nothing to complain about.
They have formed a close bond and Mike admits that they feel more like close friends.
“Something’s over that I didn’t know was complete. I did not know that this piece was missing. I’m glad you came to pick me up, ”said Mike.
Four months later, Sheila is celebrating Mike’s birthday with him for the first time – and it’s his 50th.
“I couldn’t have imagined what this little baby would have become. He has become a wonderful man and I am so happy to spend his birthday with him. “
The third story explores the impact of a meeting on the extended family as well as on the adopted child.
After the death of his adoptive mother in 1997, Richard Cue began to search for his birth mother and discovered that she was a distant relative of her parents.
“It’s kind of a comfort in some ways. At least you know the family was watching over you rather than just caring about it, ”admits Richard.
He never stopped thinking about his birth mother, but his search would have consequences that he could never have foreseen.
The Long Lost Family team reunited with his biological mother Patricia, who explained that she had tried to keep Richard but that the circumstances did not allow it.
She was “practically hungry” and wanted a better life for her son, so her aunt suggested that he be adopted by her husband’s niece.
“I always thought if their love would be as strong as mine. You never get over it. The child you are losing, ”Patricia said.
The mother and son were reunited in 2014 after more than half a century of being apart – Richard admitting it was a happy ending and a fresh start.
Richard and Patricia continued to develop a close relationship, but they were not the only ones affected by their reunion.
Their thriving relationship proved difficult for Patricia’s daughter Dawn, who grew up as an only child.
Admitting that she never expected to meet her mother’s son, Dawn admits, “I just didn’t quite understand why you would want someone to be with us. ”
As we catch up with the family, Dawn speaks courageously and candidly about her struggling to come to terms with sharing her mother for the first time and learning to love her new brother.
“Richard said” mom “and it sounded so weird that someone else called my mom like that,” says Dawn.
“I felt an underlying jealousy. Emotionally, I was very vulnerable and I think that caused a little break with me. ”
Richard adds: “Dawn was an only child for many years, then suddenly this guy turns out to be his brother. I can understand that it would be a shock to her. “
After seeking advice and spending time with Richard and his family, Dawn began the healing process.
“After getting to know Richard and seeing mom incredibly happy, it all started to fall into place,” says Dawn.
“Those negative feelings were replaced with a lot of excitement. I now had a brother. ”
They formed a romantic relationship, then mixed their own families together, which was wonderful for Patricia.
* Long Lost Family: What Happened Next is broadcast this evening on ITV at 9 p.m.