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I Got a Used VHS Player off eBay – inside Was a Video of Me as a Kid, Taped By My Biological Mom Whom I’ve Never Met

Hi, I’m Mia, and let me tell you about the time a dusty old VHS player brought my past crashing into my present. It all started when I decided to surprise my fiancé, Adrian, with a vintage gift. Little did I know, the real surprise was waiting inside the tape we found tucked inside the player.

My fiancé Adrian and I have been together for three years, engaged for one. Last week, I decided to get him a special present. I got him a VHS player. I know it sounds weird, but Adrian loves vintage technology. His eyes light up whenever he finds something old and still functioning. So, I thought, why not surprise him?

A man kissing a woman on the forehead | Source: Unsplash

A man kissing a woman on the forehead | Source: Unsplash

I found a good deal on eBay and ordered the VHS player. When it arrived, Adrian and I were super excited to test it out. I had an old Lion King VHS ready to go. But when we opened the player, we found a tape already inside. It had no label or anything, just plain black tape.

“Let’s check it out,” Adrian said, his curiosity mirroring mine.

“Sure, why not?” I replied, feeling a mix of excitement and trepidation.

A VHS player with a tape and a remote control | Source: Freepik

A VHS player with a tape and a remote control | Source: Freepik

We popped the tape in, and the screen flickered to life. At first, there was just static, but then, an image started to appear. It showed a little girl, probably around two years old. She was playing with some tape in her hands, twirling it around like it was the most fascinating thing in the world.

My heart skipped a beat. The little girl looked exactly like me when I was a kid. I mean, the resemblance was uncanny. I glanced at Adrian, and he looked just as shocked.

“No way,” I muttered, my eyes glued to the screen.

A TV screen showing a little girl playing with a VHS tape | Source: Midjourney

A TV screen showing a little girl playing with a VHS tape | Source: Midjourney

The video continued, and the girl babbled something unintelligible. Then, a woman’s voice called out, “Mia, smile for the camera!”

I froze. The little girl’s name was Mia. My name.

“Adrian, this can’t be real,” I whispered, my voice trembling.

Adrian put his arm around me, squeezing my shoulder gently. “Just watch, Mia. Maybe it’s a coincidence.”

But deep down, I knew it wasn’t. I knew I was adopted when I was three. My adoptive parents never had any information about my life before the adoption, except for my name.

A shocked woman watching TV in her bedroom | Source: Midjourney

A shocked woman watching TV in her bedroom | Source: Midjourney

I’d always been content with that. I grew up in a loving and supportive family, and I never felt the need to search for my birth parents. At least, that’s what I thought.

As the video played on, the woman behind the camera encouraged the girl, me, to smile. Suddenly, a man’s voice boomed from another room.

“STOP FILMING HER!”

The woman, presumably my biological mom, responded, “But Dad, Mia is…”

“Oh, please, Penelope. Spare me,” the man interrupted.

A grayscale photo of a pregnant woman holding her baby bump | Source: Pexels

A grayscale photo of a pregnant woman holding her baby bump | Source: Pexels

“You are already a disgrace to the family, especially after you got pregnant so young and gave birth to this useless child. She will grow up just like her father and she will ruin your future. I’ve had enough of this mess. I won’t tolerate any more of this crap. At least not under my roof. Tomorrow you will give her up and I will send you to college far away. Do you understand?”

Tears welled up in my eyes. I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe.

A woman gets emotional while watching TV | Source: Midjourney

A woman gets emotional while watching TV | Source: Midjourney

It was like my body had turned to stone. I wanted to stop the tape, to take a moment to process what I was seeing and hearing, but I was paralyzed.

Adrian squeezed my shoulder, his voice soft. “Mia, you okay?”

I shook my head, tears streaming down my face. “That was me, Adrian. That little girl was me. And Penelope…she’s my mom.”

He hugged me tightly, grounding me. “We’ll figure this out together, okay? There must be a good explanation.”

A man comforting his crying girlfriend | Source: Midjourney

A man comforting his crying girlfriend | Source: Midjourney

I nodded, taking a shaky breath. “I never thought I wanted to know about my biological parents. I thought I was fine not knowing. But now…seeing this, hearing this…it changes everything.”

Adrian stroked my hair. “We’ll take it one step at a time. Maybe we can find out more about Penelope and what happened. You deserve to know your story.”

I wiped my tears, feeling a mix of pain and curiosity. “Yeah, I think I do. I just never expected it to start like this.”

A close-up of a rug on a carpeted floor | Source: Pexels

A close-up of a rug on a carpeted floor | Source: Pexels

We turned our attention back to the TV. The camera, now pointed downward, showed only the floor and the edge of a rug. The argument between Penelope and her father continued, their voices sharp and filled with emotion.

“Dad, please,” Penelope pleaded, her voice cracking. “I love Mia. She’s my daughter. I can’t just give her up.”

“You don’t have a choice, Penelope,” he responded coldly. “You’ve already ruined your life once. I won’t let you do it again. Tomorrow, she goes. End of discussion.”

Students walking toward their college campus | Source: Pexels

Students walking toward their college campus | Source: Pexels

“But Dad, she’s just a baby,” Penelope sobbed. “She needs me. I can be a good mother. Just give me a chance.”

Her father’s voice was unwavering. “No, Penelope. You will not waste your future because of one mistake. I’ve arranged everything. She will be adopted by a good family, and you will go to college. This is for your own good.”

The camera shook slightly, and I could hear Penelope’s sobs growing louder. It was heartbreaking. I felt a deep, painful connection to her, to the anguish she must have felt. She was so young, just trying to keep her baby, but the decision was ripped from her hands.

A distressed woman leaning against a sofa covering her face with her hands | Source: Unsplash

A distressed woman leaning against a sofa covering her face with her hands | Source: Unsplash

The video ended abruptly, leaving me in a state of shock. I sat there, staring at the blank screen, my mind racing. All my life, I had wondered about my past, but I never imagined it would come to me like this. Adrian held me as I cried, his presence a comforting anchor.

“We need to find her,” I said, my voice shaky but determined. “We need to find Penelope.”

Adrian nodded. “We will, Mia. We’ll find her.”

A woman talking on the phone and writing something in her notebook | Source: Pexels

A woman talking on the phone and writing something in her notebook | Source: Pexels

Over the next few days, Adrian and I dove into the search. We started with the little information I had: my birth name, the city I was born in, and the adoption agency. It wasn’t much, but it was a start. I contacted the adoption agency, explaining my situation.

They were hesitant at first, citing privacy concerns, but I was persistent. I needed to know. Eventually, they agreed to send me the non-identifying information they had on my birth mother. It wasn’t much, just a name and a few details, but it was enough to confirm what I already knew. Penelope was my mother.

A couple talking while using a laptop and an iPad | Source: Pexels

A couple talking while using a laptop and an iPad | Source: Pexels

With Adrian’s help, I scoured social media, old public records, and anything that might lead me to her. It was exhausting and often frustrating work, but Adrian kept me going. He was my rock, always there with a kind word or a hug when I needed it.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, we found her. She was living in a small town a few hours away. My heart raced as I stared at her profile picture on Facebook. She looked older, of course, but there was no mistaking it. This was the woman from the tape. This was Penelope.

A smiling senior woman with short hair | Source: Midjourney

A smiling senior woman with short hair | Source: Midjourney

I hesitated, my finger hovering over the message button. What would I say? How would she react? Adrian sensed my anxiety and took my hand.

“Relax, Mia. You can do it,” he reminded me. “And I’m here with you, every step of the way.”

I took a deep breath and typed out a message. I kept it simple, introducing myself and explaining who I was. I didn’t know if she would respond, but I had to try.

A close-up shot of a woman using her smartphone | Source: Pexels

A close-up shot of a woman using her smartphone | Source: Pexels

Days passed with no reply. I started to lose hope, but Adrian kept me going. “Give it time,” he said. “This is a lot for her to process too.”

Then, one evening, my phone buzzed. It was a message from Penelope. My hands trembled as I opened it.

“Dear Mia,” it read, “I can’t believe it’s really you. I’ve thought about you every day since I gave you up. I would love to meet you and explain everything. Please, let’s talk.”

A middle-aged woman texting on her smartphone | Source: Midjourney

A middle-aged woman texting on her smartphone | Source: Midjourney

Tears filled my eyes as I read her words. Adrian hugged me, sharing my relief and excitement. We arranged to meet the following weekend. The day finally arrived, and Adrian and I drove to the small town where Penelope lived.

My nerves were all over the place, but Adrian kept me calm. We pulled up to a cozy little house, and there she was, standing on the porch. She looked just like I remembered from the tape, older but still the same.

A middle-aged woman standing on the front porch of her house | Source: Midjourney

A middle-aged woman standing on the front porch of her house | Source: Midjourney

“Mia?” she called out tentatively as we approached.

“Mom?” I replied, my voice shaky.

She ran to me, tears streaming down her face, and pulled me into a tight embrace. “I’m so sorry,” she whispered. “I’m so sorry for everything.”

I hugged her back, crying too. “It’s okay, Mom. I’m here now.”

A middle-aged woman sharing an emotional hug with her daughter | Source: Midjourney

A middle-aged woman sharing an emotional hug with her daughter | Source: Midjourney

We spent the day talking, sharing stories, and filling in the gaps. Penelope explained how her father had forced her to give me up, how she had tried to find me over the years but always hit dead ends. It was a lot to take in, but it felt good to finally understand.

By the end of the day, I felt a sense of closure. I had found my past, and with it, a new future with Penelope in my life. Adrian was right there with me, supportive as ever.

A couple laughing while chatting with a middle-aged woman | Source: Midjourney

A couple laughing while chatting with a middle-aged woman | Source: Midjourney

So that’s my story. It started with a used VHS player and ended with finding my biological mother. Life is strange and unpredictable, but I’m grateful for where it’s led me. Thanks for reading and letting me share this part of my journey with you all.

Found this story heart-touching? Here’s another one: On the eve of Mother’s Day, I was in my room, scrolling through my phone. It was late, and I was getting ready to sleep. Suddenly, my phone buzzed. It was a message from Dad. Curious, I opened it and it was an audio message.

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided “as is,” and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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