Family are reunited in Newmarket after decades apart thanks to help of ITV's Long Lost Family
A Newmarket-born scaffolder has been reunited with the sister he didn’t know he had and his mother who gave him for adoption when he was born 50 years ago.
The family’s reunion, in the town’s Rutland Arms Hotel, will be just part of their story told in Monday’s episode of ITV’s Long Lost Family which will detail how Nick Rhoades, and his sister, Cayley Cox, were both longing to find each other but missed an opportunity several years ago because they were both too scared to make the first move.
Researchers for the popular show took up their case and finally were able to bring them together and track down their mother, Jackie Cruz, who made the 3,000 mile trip from her home in Chicago to be reunited with the son she gave birth to in Newmarket Hospital but gave up for adoption and the daughter she left to be raised by her grandmother when she married an American and moved to the States.
Nick grew up in Croydon and had a happy childhood but when he was a teenager his adoptive mother died suddenly from a heart attack leaving him devastated.
“Mum was always there, and then she wasn’t. It felt the end of my family. My birth mother, she was all I had” He always knew he was adopted but the only information he had about his birth mother was from his birth certificate, including her name and crucially her address at the time he was born. Several years ago, he went to that address in Haverhill, with his wife Sandra, with the intention of knocking on the door, but, worried that he would disrupt someone’s life, he could not go through with it.
Little did he know that behind the door was his older sister, Cayley ,who had known about him for over 30 years and had tried and failed to write a letter to put on his adoption file. “I tried to write the letter so many times and I could never seem to find the right words to start it,” said Cayley.
She knew that her address was on Nick’s birth certificate, so she did the only thing she could, she decided she would never move, in case he ever come looking.
When the pair finally met, Cayley told Nick about their mum. A young unmarried mother, Jackie was struggling to make things work with the help of her own mother. She already had Cayley when she fell pregnant with Nick, and knew she and her mum would not be able to cope with another baby. So she decided to put Nick up for adoption.
And when the trio were finally reunited she said: “This is the most I have smiled in 40 something years, my family is complete.”