For years, off and on, I yearned to meet my birth mother. When I finally embarked on my climbing search, that yearning materialized into something more than prayers on her behalf.

A mother myself to grown children, I suddenly had the desire to see my birth mother’s face. I didn’t know why the desire became so insistent and gnawing, but it did. I wondered why I had so easily accepted that, perhaps, I was never meant to meet her—that my contact would never go beyond thoughts and prayers. However, I realized that I was meant to search as my desire to meet her became stronger and more consistent. I was meant to try, like hikers climbing a mountain they’ve never seen the peak of.

One day in particular, in the middle of my climbing and seeking, I found myself alone at home. I remember lying across my bed and releasing a flood of tears. A myriad of emotions which all seemed to conflict with each other overwhelmed me. I yearned to meet my birth mother. Yet, I was ashamed that I wanted to meet her so badly. And I felt gratitude for the life I’d been given, but also anger for feeling like I should be far more grateful.

I began to pray.

I just asked,

“Please, please let me meet my mother.”

I realized that this was the very first time I’d ever said those words out loud, and I thought of the quote, “You have not because you ask not.”

Well, I was asking now.

I won’t glibly say that if readers go pray, and cry while doing so, an immediate answer will come in the form of a call from a birth parent. My answers certainly didn’t; that prayer was the beginning of a long, laborious journey that often felt like climbing a mountain in the dark.

Each step of my climb felt like a stumble, and I spent more time feeling lost than like I was on any solid ground. But, I propelled myself forwardthe thought of finally seeing the face of the woman who brought me into the world propelled me forward. My yearning finally had a focus—a purpose. So I climbed.

And, at last, I reached the peak.