When I was 10 days old, I was adopted to a specially picked family. I don’t remember ever not knowing that I was adopted. I also don’t remember a time when I wasn’t imagining what it would be like to meet my birth parents. I would often picture various scenarios of our meeting, falling asleep to the thought of hugging my birth mother and telling her all about my life.

One day, when I was 21 years old, my adoptive mother told me that she still had the home study that was completed at the time of my adoption. I asked to see it and, to my amazement, my birth mother’s name had been carelessly (or carefully) left on one of the many pages of documents. I began feverishly searching the internet for any information I could find on her name. One day after searching and finding not much of anything, I typed the name into one last search engine before going to bed. I couldn’t believe it; I had found a name and brief description, including the age of the woman and her hometown. The hometown was where my home study had been conducted. I took a deep breath and typed her full name (including her maiden name, which I had only just acquired) into Facebook. I found her.

I sent my adoptive mother a copy of the woman’s profile picture; my adoptive mother had met her once. When she said that the woman in the photo looked familiar, I decided to move forward. I took a chance and sent a message saying, “I know this may sound odd, but I am looking for a woman my parents met about 22 years ago, and I wondered if you might be her.” I clicked “send” and waited anxiously for a response. That was on a Sunday. The next Wednesday I got a response that started with, “Oh my goodness, yes, this is in fact me, your birth mother, I can’t believe you found me!” This sparked a series of messages back and forth throughout the day. Many times over, we both questioned whether this could really be happening.

We began talking about where we lived and were shocked to find that we lived only five minutes away from one another. Both of us had moved around a fair amount throughout our lives, but at this time in our lives, we happened to be living not more than five minutes away. Not only did we live within moments of each other, but we had held a job at the same golf course, potentially within months of one another. My birth mother also worked at a bar and grill that I used to go to in high school.  We had been grocery shopping in the same stores and driving the same roads for years, each wondering where the other could possibly be.

After some identifying details were discussed to ease my mind, I decided I wanted to meet this woman. I proposed that we meet, but remained cautious in case she did not want to.

But she did, and we met—that same night. I remember sitting in the parking lot of our local Tim Horton’s, expecting myself to be nervous but exploding with excitement. A white car pulled in and drove by me slowly. The woman looked at me; I knew it was her. She was beautiful. I got out of my car.  We didn’t speak– we just walked toward each other and shared the most amazing hug. In the middle of the parking lot, the whole world disappeared, I was hugging my birth mother, and she was crying. I was too shocked to cry. We reluctantly let go of each other, still barely spoke–just stared at each other–and went in to have a coffee.

We argued over who would pay (apparently we both do that) and then proceeded to order the same coffee. What are the chances? We sat down, lost for words, just staring at each other, smiling, crying, in awe of what was happening. Somehow in all the excitement of the day, I had the presence of mind to get a photo album together to show her my life until this point. I shared with her my life from the time that she gave birth to me to the time we were sitting face-to-face again.

We have since built an amazing relationship. I see her or talk to her every day; we’re so alike, despite the years we spent apart. Through our conversations, we found that not only was it amazing to have found one another after 22 years, but on the same day that I’d sent my initial message to her, my birth father had contacted her as well. Soon after meeting my birth mother, I was able to meet my birth father. I’ve since built a strong relationship with him.

When I think back to the little girl who spent her time daydreaming about meeting her birth parents, I smile. I wonder if part of me knew of the joy that I would experience in that first hug, those first few awkward words, and the years after of closeness and love.

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