More than a decade ago, Air Force Col. Bruce Hollywood got to Dulles International Airport well before his flight. It would change his life. The Washington Post recounts the incredible tale of the now 57-year-old, who was adopted by an American couple stationed in Japan and never really considered his birth mother until a 2005 heart attack spurred him to look for her. He found only dead ends, even after reaching out to the US Embassy in Tokyo and working with a private detective. But while passing the time at a bar at Dulles, he met Adm. Harry Harris, and they started swapping stories. Harris insisted he could help Hollywood track down his biological mother—and to Hollywood's disbelief, he did. A week and a half later he got a call from the Japanese Embassy informing him Nobue Ouchi would be phoning him in 10 minutes.
The story gets even more poignant. As his mother sobbed on the call, an interpreter explained she had spent her life dreaming of this day—and that the next day was Nobue's 65th birthday. So great was her faith that she'd one day reconnect with her boy, the interpreter translated, that she had never married, "because she said in her heart there was only room for one man. And it was you, and she knew you would be back." Her lifelong commitment to a son a world away extended to her work: Hollywood's adoptive mother had sent Nobue a baby photograph and told her they named the child Bruce—the name Nobue gave to the restaurant she ran. Read the full story at the Post for touching details about their meeting and how his adoption came to be; Nobue died three years after they reconnected, in 2009. (Read more mothers stories.)