He found her last Friday, working the cash register at the front of the store. For several months, Flaig and his mother, Christine Tallady, had known each other casually as co-workers.
It was a tough decision for Tallady, unmarried at the time, to give him up when he was born on Oct. 5, 1985, but "I wasn't ready to be a mother," she said. Flaig had always known he was adopted. It was never hidden from him by his adoptive parents and they supported him when he began to search for his birth parents.
When Flaig turned 18 he asked DA Blodgett for Children, the agency that arranged his adoption, for his background information. A couple of months later it came and it included his birth mother's name. He searched the Internet for her address and when it came up empty he gave up the search. But around the time of his 22nd birthday he again took out the paperwork from DA Blodgett and realized he had been spelling his mother's surname wrong as "Talladay." He typed "Tallady" into a search engine and came up with an address less than a mile from the Lowe's store.
He mentioned the coincidence to his boss, and she said, "You mean Chris Tallady, who works here?"
"I was like, there's no possible way," he said. "It's just such a bizarre situation."
He had been working at Lowe's for two years. She was hired in April as head cashier.
Full story available via The Grand Rapids Press.
Video available via WoodTV.com.