A woman who spent 30 years searching for her birth mother is left devastated when she finds out she died decades ago.
Ann Jordan, 53, from Hampshire, was adopted aged 7 and began looking for her birth mother Jean after her adoptive parents died within months of each other when she was just 22.
After getting engaged two years ago, Ann vowed not to marry until she had found her birth mother and redoubled her efforts to track her down.
Appearing on tomorrow night’s episode of ITV’s Long Lost Family, Ann is heartbroken when she is told by the team that her birth mother had died aged 31.
Ann Jordan, 53, from Hampshire, (left) started searching for her mother 31 years ago. She was devastated to learn she had died, but was overjoyed when she was united with her sister Flo Banfield, 51, (right) who she asked to walk her down the aisle
Ann Jordan’s birth mother Jean pictured with her younger sister Flo Banfield. Jean died when Flo was just 7 years old
However she is given fresh hope when she learns she has a half-sister, Florence Banfield, 51, who lives in Northern Ireland. Both women are teary when they meet for the first time.
‘When I got the news [about my mum] I was really devastated,’ Ann tells Florence. ‘But then to be told I had a sister and I could not believe it.’
Ann even decides to ask Florence to walk her down the aisle in place of her parents.
Speaking on the show, Ann tells how she was adopted by Barbara and Ronald Jordan, of Surrey, at the age of 7.
‘I never gave it a second thought to be honest with you,’ she says. ‘I just felt loved and wanted.’
But she was left feeling ‘cheated’ when her parents both died within six months of one another when she was 22.
Ann was left devastated when her adoptive parents died within six months of one another when she was just 22 (pictured above Barbara and Ronald Jordan)
Her mother died from a sudden heart attack and, six months on, she found her father dead in bed.
Ann said: ‘It was a really difficult time, I did go off the rails. They were my rock, my stability really.’
Armed with her mother’s name and birth date, Ann tried to find her mother with the help of private investigators and the Salvation Army.
She also phoned most of the people in the phone book with her mother’s name, but nobody knew her.
She was determined to find her mother before her wedding.
‘Everyone has their mums at their wedding don’t they?,’ she says. ‘And I wouldn’t.
‘I can imagine my wedding, but I want to look behind me and see my mum in the front of the church looking proud.’
Producers on Long Lost Family were able to use the few details Ann provided to hunt down her mother – but tragically, they discovered she had died at the age of 31.
Just a year after giving Ann up for adoption, Jean had married and given birth to a daughter called Florence, who lived in Northern Ireland.
And Flo reveals she had had a ‘very lonely’ childhood, saying: ‘My mum died when I was a child so I presumed it was just me so I was just shocked.
‘She died of cancer when I was seven and a half. It changes you when you don’t have a mum. It’s not the same.’
Ann said she was determined to find her birth mother after losing her adoptive parents when she was 22 (pictured with her adoptive mother Barbara Jordan)
She explained: ‘It makes you grow up instantly. And you have to look after yourself. I did feel very lonely. The world stopped.’
Florence reveals she had no idea Ann existed, saying: ‘If I ever knew I would have wanted to find her. You wouldn’t just leave her out all that time. You’d have brought her back to the family.’
Florence is stunned when she is shown a photo of Ann by Nicky Chapman. ‘Oh my goodness,’ she says. ‘She reminds me of me.’
Emotionally, she continues: ‘I just wish I could have met her years ago. We could have looked out for each other.’
Both women said they could see features of their mother in one another (pictured above, Jean Gorley)
Ann is devastated to learn of her mother’s death but is thrilled about the news of her sister and travels to London to meet her.
And as the women meet, they fall into an embrace with Ann bursting into tears.
Flo says: ‘I wish I had known you years ago, it would have been amazing.’
Ann responds:: ‘It would have been because it sounds like you had things quite tough. You were so young when she died, it must be so hard.’
Holding hands, the women look through a photo album of pictures of their mother.
And both women tear up as Ann asked her sister to walk her down the aisle, with Flo telling her she’d be ‘thrilled’ to.
Long Lost Family airs on Monday at 9pm on ITV