When National Guard veteran Benjamin Tveidt found out he was adopted, he never could have expected the news that came next. ABC News reports that not only was Tveidt adopted as a newborn, but he found out he had been abandoned in a cardboard box.
On that fateful day in September 1986, two teenagers who just happened to be in the area were lucky enough to find Tveidt and usher him to safety. He was adopted shortly after by a couple from Idaho.
It wasn’t until age 11 that Tveidt learned of his adoption and the unbelievable story of being found abandoned next to a Salvation Army. Tveidt spoke to ABC News saying, “[My parents] brought the newspaper clippings out that they had preserved … They showed me my bracelets from the hospital,” he said. “I was spinning. I mean I was like, ‘What, this is all a joke, right?’
WIth understandably mixed emotions and shock, it wasn’t until many years later that Tveidt began his search for some biological connection. Through DNA matching, he was able to have an unexpected reunion.
Tveidt’s biological father, Richard Blanchfield, did not know he had a son. Through genetic genealogist CeCe Moore, Tveidt submitted his DNA into a registry and soon found a lead on his mother and his father.
Tveidt was featured on 20/20 who was able to follow him as he also tracked down his mother through CeCe Moore’s further investigation. He was able to trace both his mother and aunt to Anchorage, Alaska where he traveled and attempted to reach them by phone for the first time.
Tveidt sat outside the office building and made the call to a woman he believed to be his mother. She denied that she or her sister were related and was not open to further conversation when pressed. The woman’s sister soon called back and told him never to call again.
Feeling rejected, Tveidt tells 20/20, “I’m crawling back inside of myself. I’m starting to feel nothing again.”
Luckily, Tveidt’s biological father, was much more receptive to learning his son was searching for him. A decorated Vietnam veteran, Blanchfield says he would have been a father had he been given the chance.
Blanchfield even noted to ABC News that he has spent his time in Vietnam rescuing abandoned children. Tveidt’s reunion with his father was apparently much more joyous and life-affirming than the attempt to reunite with his mother.
While his attempt at a reunion with his birth mother left Tveidt feeling rejected all over again, he spoke to ABC News to talk about the good that came from his search.
Tveidt said, “There was that feeling of rejection that I had for so many years being abandoned, and it counterbalanced that feeling because I was accepted and I was wanted,” he said. “It lifted a weight off my shoulders, off my chest. I couldn’t go to bed angry anymore.”