I’ve always wondered what nationality I am. Do I look like anybody? Do I have any siblings? This is what adoptees think about when they see their friends being told, “You look just like your mom” or “You have your dad’s personality.” Life growing up as an adopted child leaves you wondering—especially if you were adopted more than 40 years ago when records were sealed “forever.”

Thanks to Adoption.com, “forever” came to a close in 2013 when my birth mother, Trudy, found me registered on the site. From that point on, wonder turned into a welcoming and fabulous new family. Moreover, the number of coincidences surrounding our lives are simply amazing. Trudy and I were both raised in Pittsburgh but we ended up living in many of the same areas near the nation’s capital. We worked in the same building in Washington, D.C., and never knew it, for five years! She is a retired federal employee. I’m a federal employee. We even have the same minivan. Trudy’s youngest sister is friends with my niece on Facebook. What are the chances of that? And, of course, we even look alike!

She shared with me the story of her unplanned pregnancy and how the 1960s social culture looked down on single mothers. I learned about family health history. And, she told me how my new sister was instrumental in encouraging her to find me. We still have much to learn about each other and a lot of catching up to do but, I’m certain our paths were always leading toward each other . . . Adoption.com just paved the way.

My advice to others on this path would be: expect to be surprised! No amount of speculation can prepare you for what you will experience—whether positive or negative.

It’s important to be comfortable and confident in your own life and well-being in order to accept whatever comes your way.  If you’re looking for a “mom you never had” or some other kind of fulfillment, you might not be ready.

Did you enjoy this story? Read more by downloading our FREE ebook, “Reunited: 19 Stories of Search and Reunion.”