LOS BANOS (KMPH/CNN) – A California woman says she was shocked to learn that the baby she thought had died at birth was alive… and was now reaching out.

Tina Bejarano gave birth when she was 17.

Her mom at first just told her she wasn’t allowed to keep the baby.

“The next day, she comes back to tell me, ‘The baby died 15 minutes after it was born. It never made it. It was sick,” said Bejarano.

For almost three decades since then, Bejarano and her husband have been celebrating that baby’s birthday.

 “It was a hard time every year,” Bejarano said. “I would get depressed. I would cry all the time.”

Last year, ages since giving up hope the baby might somehow be alive – she got an email.

“I think we need to talk, it says we’re related, and it says you’re my mom,” said Bejarano.

Her long-lost kid, Kristin, is 29-years-old, living in New Jersey with a wife and baby.

And instead of a daughter – Bejarano now has a son.

 “I don’t care. I don’t care if he’s in transition. I don’t care if he hasn’t transitioned. I don’t care. That’s my kid,” she said.

“We’re just glad he’s alive,” said Eric Gardere, Bejarano’s husband.

Kristin was adopted by a loving family five days after he was born and grew up in Las Vegas.

He could have never known how much his biological mom thought about him.

“Looking at him just makes me want to cry. He sends us pictures almost on a daily basis of him and the baby,” Bejarano said.

“We’ve been communicating with Kristin for a few months now. He calls me dad. I call him son. We texted him. I text him every morning,” Gardere said.

The couple expects to meet Kristin soon.

He, his partner, and their baby plan to visit Central California at the end of November.

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