CBS 11 Header TXA 21 Header MeTV Header KRLD Header The Fan Header
CBS DFW WEATHER APP: iPhone App Store | Android App Coming Soon | More Information

Local

Adopted Son & Birth Mother Reunite During Holidays

By Bud Gillett, CBS 11 News
Taylor Cockenberg with his birth mother Heather Powell, who were reunited for the first time since his birth 18 years ago on Dec. 28, 2010.

Taylor Cockenberg with his birth mother Heather Powell, who were reunited for the first time since his birth 18 years ago on Dec. 28, 2010.

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A reunion at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Tuesday morning was in the making for one young man’s lifetime

Taylor Cockenberg, 18, was adopted as a baby. He met his birth mother face-to-face for the first time since his adoption Tuesday.

“I was excited, I really wanted to meet her,” he said as he exited the plane from Philadelphia. “I’m happy I got the chance.”

It hadn’t really set in for him, or for his birth mother and Frisco resident Heather Powell.

“It’s surreal,” Powell said. “I don’t even have words. I hoped and prayed every day that this day would happen and that he would be standing here with me … I’m just so blessed.”

Cockenberg echoed these statements, telling his mother how excited he was to finally get to know her, to “get to know what’s been going on for 18 years.”

Powell said there would be years of catching up to do. Cockenberg’s mother made the difficult decision to have her child when she was a pregnant, single college co-ed.

“I would’ve tried to do it on my own; my parents said they would support me,” Powell said. “I just didn’t feel that was the right choice to make.”

She offered to place him with a Pennsylvania adoption agency, and a second agency in Pittsburgh matched Taylor with Donna and Curt Cockenberg, who live and work in the Philadelphia suburb of Lansdale.

“It’s a wonderful experience,” Curt Cockenberg said. “And it’s all worth it to see the look or smile on his face when he met his biological mother; that made it all worthwhile.”

The Cockenbergs are a bi-racial couple and had a 4-year-old daughter of their own. Taylor is bi-racial too, and it seemed a perfect fit.

“So then we put in for a healthy bi-racial baby boy,” Donna Cockenberg said. “So the genetics would be kind of the same with our two children.”

Taylor was raised knowing he was adopted. Cards were exchanged during special occasions. Powell eventually married and has two other children, a boy and a girl.

But Taylor still wanted to meet his birth mother, and following a year of intense correspondence and e-mails, Tuesday’s reunion was arranged.

“One big family for Christmas,” said Powell’s husband Wayne. “It’s definitely worth the wait.”

They’ll all be opening presents a little later Tuesday evening, but this time it’s a holiday with two families. Besides big sister Marina, Taylor now has a younger sister Samantha and a brother named Brad.

“I was wanted a little brother and sister,” Taylor said. “It’s closure to know where you came from, and it definitely feels good.”