EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 11, 2014

The wondering is over

After 47 years, Methuen mom reunites with son she gave up for adoption

For 47 years, Ruth Raimondo lived with countless questions about the son she gave up for adoption when she was 19.

“(I was) always wondering what he was like, what he was doing. Does he even think of me? Does he even care?” she said.

In her home on a recent afternoon, she held up a photo of herself and her son, Timothy Speck, reunited last year inside Logan Airport. While she described the meeting as “surreal,” she said she never thought of the story that brought them there as being remarkable, until she started sharing it with other people.

“Everyone is always telling me that it’s like a Lifetime movie,” she said.

Raimondo, 67, grew up in Lawrence and now lives in Methuen. She kept her firstborn a secret for most of her life.

“It was so hush-hush in the ‘60s that I never talked about it, and then as time went on, there didn’t seem a reason to talk about it, but I never stopped thinking about him,” she said in an interview last week.

Her pregnancy was the result of a date rape, and the stigma of being an unwed mother led her parents to push her to move in with her grandparents in California until she had the baby. The family arranged a private adoption, and after Raimondo gave birth, she never saw her son.

“It’s very painful for me to talk about. It was one of the most horrible parts of my life. All I did was cry,” she said. “I had to come back (to Massachusetts) and act like nothing happened to me.”

Years later, she joined the ALMA Society, a non-profit that helps to reunite adopted children with their biological relatives. But, when it began to seem like a lead would never materialize, she let the membership lapse.

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