A MAN spent decades searching for his birth mum after he was adopted as a child – only to find her dead on the bathroom floor.
Steven Smith, 41, was born in Carmarthen, Wales in 1980, and was adopted when he was a baby.
He eventually settled in Harlow, Essex – but never stopped thinking about his birth mum.
Mr Smith told WalesOnline: “My adopted family told me the truth about where I came from when I was in my teens and it came as a real shock.
“I found out I’d been registered as Jason Neal Jones and that I was originally from West Wales, but that was about it.
“What is more, the case file containing my adoption details, which I should have received at the age of 18, ended up getting misplaced by Tower Hamlets social services.”
He found out from his birth certificate that his mum’s name was Daphne Morfydd Jones.
Using details he described as “sketchy at best” he managed to find out that his birth dad had been sent to prison.
Last year Mr Smith took a DNA test, and found out he had a brother.
He said: “”It turns out he’d done the same test a few years before – that’s how they were able to put us together.
“He’d been fostered by a different family and had been living just half an hour up the road from me in Essex all that time. And, even crazier than that, we found out that his adoptive dad used to date my adoptive mum when they were both in college.”
He then discovered he had a sister who told him more information about his birth mum, although the pair were not on speaking terms.
Mr Smith said: “I waited until the lockdown restrictions had eased a little bit and, the day before Mother’s Day this year, decided to go round there.
“I got all suited and booted, because I wanted to make a good impression – although I was conscious about not freaking her out too much.”
Mr Smith took his daughter Amy with him, but when he arrived at the house he noticed there was a pile of unopened letters at the door.
“So I knocked on the neighbours’ door and they told me they hadn’t seen her for a few weeks,” he said.
“We then went round the back and Amy noticed the door was unlocked, so I went in. The bed was unmade and there were dishes in the sink.
“At which point I noticed her slumped in the bathroom. She’d been dead a while – heart attack, apparently.”
Mr Smith then found himself organising 62-year-old Daphne Jones’ funeral.
He said: “It seemed like the right thing to do really. My brother even helped me shoulder her coffin.
“We had her ashes scattered in the garden of the cemetery near to where I live, so now we can always be close to each other.”
Mr Smith said he has now discovered more sibling he never knew he had, and believes there may be more relatives living in Wales.
“”It’s been overwhelming meeting them all – I never thought it would happen, and my adoptive family have been great about the whole thing,” he said.
“Now I can’t wait until Christmas because we’re all going to have a massive get-together.”