Emotional events and unexpected twists were the norm for this soap opera writer.
In the UK, there are few television shows better known than EastEnders, a soap opera that’s been running for more than 25 years. Emotional events and unexpected twists are the norm. But according to a story reported by KOS media, one former EastEnders writer had a soap opera experience in real life.
Julie Wassmer was 16 and pregnant. Embarrassed and afraid, she didn’t even tell her parents about it until her water broke and she was rushed to the hospital. She named her daughter Sarah Louise, but 10 days later, decided to give her baby up for adoption. As she was leaving the hospital, another mother in her ward asked where her baby was. Julie broke into tears. All she had left was a hospital bracelet.
When Julie was 37 years old, she got her life together and began writing screenplays and plays. A friend recommended a literary agent she knew to help Julie get her work produced.
The night before her appointment with the literary agent, Julie had a strong feeling something extraordinary was going to happen. Whatever it was, Julie was nervous, and excited.
Julie arrived at the office and was greeted warmly by the agent. They sat down in the agent’s office and talked about Julie’s work. A young secretary came in and served the two coffee. The agent told Julie she’d have a letter written up and send it with one of Julie’s scripts to potential producers. Afterwards, Julie went home a bit disappointed. She was happy to have an agent, but the monumental thing she had felt coming hadn’t occurred.
The next day, the phone rang. It was the agent. “There’s something I feel I have to tell you,” she said. Was the agent having second thoughts about representing her?
That morning, the agent said, she’d had been dictating the letter pitching Julie’s script. The secretary typed as the agent spoke. But when the agent got to Julie’s name, the secretary froze. She turned white, as if she’d seen a ghost.
“She told me she’d been adopted as a child,” the agent said. Recently, the secretary had unearthed her birth certificate. The name of her birth mother? Julie Wassmer.
A few days later, Julie met the woman who’d served coffee to her that morning at the agent’s office. She wasn’t even the agent’s regular secretary, just filling in for a sick co-worker. The young woman was 20 years old. Her adoptive parents had named her Sara. She had chosen the middle name Louise on her own—not knowing it was the one her birth mother had given her.
“I had always been convinced that one day my daughter and I would meet,” Julie wrote in More Than Just Coincidence, an ebook about her experience, free on the BBC website. “It was just a matter of when, and maybe up to now the time simply hadn’t been right.”
People couldn’t believe the reunion wasn’t staged, Julie says. It all seems so unbelievable—like a soap opera. But as Guideposts readers know, these moments do happen. We call them Mysterious Ways.
Photo courtesy kentnews.co.uk