‘She thought the best thing was to give me up for adoption’ : Radio host’s Mother’s Day message

It was the story of Saroo Brierley that tugged on our heart strings earlier this year when a book the Tasmanian wrote about the search for his birth mother was made into an Academy Award winning movie, Lion

When Saroo was five, he fell asleep on a train and ended up 1,000 miles from home.

The film follows his journey from Indian street-child to adopted Australian and the incredible resilience and determination he showed to track his birth mother down after 25 years.

Saroo was adopted by John and Sue Brierley in 1987 the same year Canberra Hit 104.7‘s breakfast announcer Ryan Jon was born, but  he never got to meet his biological mother.

So on the eve of Mother’s Day, this Sunday May 14th, Ryan recorded a heartfelt video message to his birth mother which has not only gone viral, but manages to hit that same spot in your in gut as Lion did but without the Hollywood bells and whistles.

“I’ve never met my biological mum and every year Mother’s Day gets me thinking. My birth mum sacrificed so much for me and I’d love her to know just how thankful I am and I hope I’m doing her proud.”

Watch the message posted on Facebook and then read on to find out more about Ryan’s journey and the conversation his video has sparked.

The video message is approaching two million views and has thrown adoption into the spotlight.

“I started with my story (on-air), but all week we’ve been hearing incredible adoption stories,” begins Ryan.

“One lady missed her train and whilst waiting for the next one, another lady said she looked familiar and started asking questions. Turns out it was her biological aunty. At age 49, she spoke to her biological mother for the first time that afternoon.”

What prompted you to record the video?

“I’ve thought about this my whole life. It felt like no one understood why I thought the way I did. It turns out thousands of people are in exactly the same boat.”

Are you shocked at the number of views your video has had?

“Yeah. I thought those who knew me would find it interesting but others wouldn’t care. So many people know someone with a similar story. It’s a lot more common than we think.”

What do you know about your birth mother?

“She loved sport. I think she be pumped to know I played volleyball for Australia.  When she had me we lived in a share house and was single. She believed babies should have two parents a big family home so gave me to people who could provide that.”

So what does your adopted mum Mandy think of the video?

“She is proud of me. I interviewed her on the show this week and she says me talking about my birth mother doesn’t effect our relationship. She’s my mum. She didn’t give birth to me but she’ll always be my mum and I love her.”

Do you expect or hope to find your birth mum with this video?

“Not sure. I don’t need to meet her. I’d love just her to know how much I appreciate what she did for me.”

And are you humbled by the messages of support?

“Yeah it’s been unbelievable. I’ve had 1,000s of inboxes. I’ll reply to them eventually.

“But the ones from birth mothers simply saying “Thank You” … they hit me hard every time.”


At the time of writing, Ryan’s facebook video had been viewed 1.9 million times. Below is a pic of Ryan with his adoptive mum.

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