After 35 years of searching, a Nova Scotia woman has finally found her birth mother.

Colleen McCann was put up for adoption by her teenaged mother, who says she never got over it.

Five decades later, the pair has found each other and hope to meet soon.

“When you’re adopted, you feel like you have a hole there and don’t know who you are or who you look like,” says the Shelburne resident.

Olive MacMullin was young when she became pregnant and couldn’t look after a baby. So, she put her child up for private adoption in Halifax, but never forgave herself for the decision.

“I had my baby for seven days in hospital, seven days,” says MacMullin. “It was the hardest thing I ever did in my life. I looked for her, kept on looking for her.”

McCann learned she was adopted when she was a teenager and started her search for her birth family right away.

She first turned to the phone book and then reached out to Parent Finders of Canada, but details about her family were sparse.

“Anybody I met, I'd ask if they knew an Olive MacMullin,” says McCann.

“I was talking to this girl and she thought her aunt had a best friend named Olive. Two months later, we are on the computer with them just like that, and they were in Ontario.”

Since then, the mother and daughter have talked on the phone, but have yet to meet in person.

McCann has multiple sclerosis and her mother, who lives in Leamington, is now in her 70s. They hope to see each other soon, but right now neither family can afford a plane ticket.

“I would appreciate it if I could get my daughter up here with me as quick as I can, because life is short. You know 51 years is a long time,” says MacMullin.

“Now that I know where she is, it's just, you want to be there,” says McCann.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl


Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so by donating to the Ruelland Reunion Fund at any branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia. 

Monies raised will go to reuniting Colleen and her children with the Ruelland family in Ontario.

All extra funds raised will go to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and the youth and outreach missions of Christ Church Shelburne.

Cheques payable can be sent to the Ruelland Reunion Fund:

C/O Christ Church Shelburne

PO Box196,

Shelburne, NS

B0T 1W0