For six decades this 81-year-old Irish woman kept desperately looking for her birth mother and was finally united with her three weeks ago. Thanks to DNA testing, she’s “not an orphan anymore.”
Eileen Macken started searching for her biological mother when she was 19. She grew up at the Kirwan House orphanage on North Circular Road in Dublin and had lost hope of ever finding her mother. She thought was likely dead.
A year ago, Macken called into RTE Radio’s LiveLine in a final bid to locate her mother, according to the Irish Post. RTE Radio is the principal radio channel of the public-service broadcaster in Ireland and LiveLine is its phone-in chat show.
"I think I am Ireland's oldest orphan" says 80-year-old Eileen Macken. Born in the Bethany Home and moved to Kirwan House at 2. Given someone else's birth cert at 16 and lived under that identity for 60 years. Found out, after DNA, the family she thought was hers was not. #Shame pic.twitter.com/ZInfqvaYMe
— Stay With Me Exhibition (@mynamesisbridge) June 30, 2018
A genealogist who heard her on the radio broadcast then came forward with assistance and worked along with her for a year in her genetic search.
“I can’t believe it, and when I got the word that she was alive, all I want to do is to meet her,” Macken told Joe Duffy on RTÉ Radio 1 this week, according to the Irish Post.
“Unfortunately, she lives across the water but two of my cousins have decided to help me… they know that all I want is to see her.
“I don’t want to upset anybody, I won’t give any names or anything,” Macken said.
Eileen Macken is 80 years old and grew up in a Dublin orphanage. After years of searching for relatives, she thought she'd finally found her family. But a DNA test last year showed that the people who welcomed her into their lives were not related to her at all. #Liveline
— Liveline (@rteliveline) January 2, 2018
Since then, the daughter and mother have shared a phone call, but they had difficulty listening to each other on the line. Macken, however, has seen an old photograph of her mother, taken many years ago.
“When I got the word she was alive, Joe, all I wanted to do was meet her.
“My mom is 103 and she will soon be 104. I spoke to her on the phone but she couldn’t hear me. She’s a bit like myself, Joe, I’ve only one good ear.
“I’d love to go on a big mountain and scream it out to everybody, ‘I’m not an orphan anymore!’”
She said she wants to meet her mother as soon as possible but has to wait because her mother had an eye operation and is unable to travel.
EXCLUSIVE: Illegal adoptee Margaret Norton who was trafficked by Dr. Irene Creedon has been reunited with her biological family. While 81 year old Eileen Macken has also traced her birth mother who is 103 and still alive. Both women are in my book 'MyName Is Bridget' #TuamBabies pic.twitter.com/VudMGqgKod
— Stay With Me Exhibition (@mynamesisbridge) January 18, 2019
A Bigger Family
Macken is married to her husband Ronald and has two daughters and a son, but she always longed to meet her blood mother. Her family is bigger now, since her mother has two sons.
“I think I have two half brothers. I’d say they’re in their mid 70s. The brothers are like myself only younger, probably about 20 years younger,” added Eileen.
“The sadness that goes with being alone is there even to this day. Different things would set me off, I’d say, ‘if only I had a brother, if only I had a sister,’ I think it’s just within you that you have no blood relatives.
“But I have now.”
Macon’s cousins are helping her to reach her mother, and she wants her children to meet their grandmother soon in the near future. She wants them to “know who their grandmother was, their grandpeople, and their great-great grandpeople.”
Until then she has much to cherish and much to be grateful about knowing the origin of her life.
“I’m the happiest person alive. I really am,” she said.
From The Epoch Times