Adopted son’s search for birthparents rekindles an old love

Dave Lindgren, 53, and Michele Newman, 55, were high school sweethearts when they were growing up in Loyal, Wis. But after they’d already broken up, Newman found out she was pregnant. They decided to put the baby up for adoption.

Then they moved on in the early ’80s. Separately. He stayed in Wisconsin, married and divorced three times. She ended up in Hawaii, married and divorced twice. She never had another child.

End of story? No, because the baby grew up to want to know who his birth parents were.

Enter Will Schmidt, the former director of public health for La Crosse County, who ended up settling in Missouri with his wife, children, and a longing to know more about where he came from.

“I knew they had me when they were young,” Schmidt tells the La Crosse Tribune. “There is a lot of life between the time you’re a teen and 35 years later.”

He found his birth parents in 2014, and contacted them separately.

Then Lindgren and Newman contacted each other for the first time in decades.

“It was just catching up on 30 some years,” Newman tells the paper. “We were both kind of shocked by our connection, but it also felt comfortable.”

“It just felt right,” Lindgren said. “It felt natural. Before I even saw her again, I felt something.”

Newman moved back to Wisconsin and met her son. Then, in 2015, everyone met in Colorado so father could meet son.

Schmidt noticed something. His birth parents seemed to be in love.

“They had kind of changed the equation a little. But they seemed happy, and I was happy for them. You can kind of tell when people are good together,” he said.

“I’ve told Dave and Michele, ‘I’m so glad you gave me up for adoption and I had the life that I had,’” Schmidt said.

This summer, the two were married in Marshfield, Wis.

The officiant was their son.