David Hjerto (centre right) meets his brother Richard (far left) and sister Robbin (far right) for the first time after reaching out to his biological mom Patsy (centre right) and reuniting with her.                                Contributed photo

David Hjerto (centre right) meets his brother Richard (far left) and sister Robbin (far right) for the first time after reaching out to his biological mom Patsy (centre right) and reuniting with her. Contributed photo

Norwegian man finds biological family in B.C.

Family reunion for adopted man almost 50 years in the making.

“It is our fairytale ending,” said a mother after being reunited with the son she gave up over almost 50 years ago.

Earlier this year, an adopted man living in Norway who had been born in Smithers reached out to The Interior News looking for help to find his birth mother.

Forty-eight-year-old David Hjerto, whose birth name was David Bruce Parker, tried to reach out to her a couple of times over the years but either got cold feet or hit a wall in his research. He was finally ready to meet her, find out if he had any biological siblings and discover the reason he was given for adoption.

He had heard that his father had abused him and child services took him away. Hjerto would discover later, that wasn’t totally true.

After The Interior News ran an article with his story in it, someone called the office thinking she could be his sister — and that part was totally true. After contact information was exchanged, a DNA test was taken shortly afterwards. It was confirmed with 99 per cent certainty that David had found his biological mother and it didn’t take either of them long to decide to meet.

He flew into Canada two weeks ago and had a family reunion where he met his mother, brother and sister, which exceeded his expectations.

“There aren’t words for it but yeah … it was nice,” he said after meeting his mom. “It is much more than I hoped for. It feel liked a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”

When Patsy Fleming learned that he was looking for her, she was in shock.

“My sister in Cranbrook first found out. It was her friend that sent her a copy of the article that ran in The Interior News. It took her three times to open the paper but when she [her sister] read it, she freaked out and phoned my daughter in Edmonton and tried to get her to tell me, but she wouldn’t. When my sister called me, I didn’t even know who it was at first, she was being all goofy and crying. But when I finally figured out what she was saying I went into shock. I had always said I would never try to find him; I felt I gave up that right when I gave him up. The fact that he was looking for me was overwhelming.”

Fleming, who lives in Endako, said meeting her son again was a God-given gift.

“He is just such a good man. He has had wonderful parents and he has had everything that I could have wished for him. The only thing for me that is hard is that I missed out on years, but at the same time I am much happier that he had a good life. It isn’t about me, it is about him,” she added.

“I am so grateful that the people that took him in are good people; his mom and dad are good people. He had every opportunity to grow and become the man that he is. He had an upbringing to be a good man, you can’t ask for more than that for your child, especially if you were never in a position to offer that for him.”

Hjerto has also learned a lot more about his childhood since arriving in Canada. He thought his father had hurt him and that was the reason he was taken away from his mom, but it was actually his mother’s boyfriend at the time. Fleming made the decision to give him up for adoption shortly before he turned two. He’s discovered that his dad is still alive and he’d like to meet him one day.

His family back in Norway is supportive of him meeting his Canadian family. He has left again to go back home to Norway but he plans on keeping in touch with his biological family and hopefully visit again soon.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The old Yount school in Youbou has stood empty for years, but now a group has plans to turn it into a mixed-use property with affordable housing and tourist services. (Submitted)
Group sets sights on tranforming old Yount school property in Youbou

School District 79 has already commenced a process to sell the school through a formal proposal call

North Cowicha to extend the time lines of its official community plan update. (File photo)
North Cowichan to extend time line of OCP review

Municipality also adds $55,000 to OCP budget

Cowichan Capitals’ Logan Rands digs for the puck along the boards in the Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ zone midway through the third period of their BC Hockey League game at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Cowichan Capitals pick up first two wins of BCHL season

Brockman, Moffatt both up to four goals on the year

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Police surround building as homeowner held in apartment by adult son

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada’s incoming supply of Moderna vaccine slashed in half through end of April

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
P.1 variant likely highest in B.C. due to more testing for it: Dr. Henry

Overall, just under 60% of new daily cases in the province involve variants

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Most Read