I was reunited with my birth parents in February of 2013 when I was 18. It was one of the most awaited days of my life. I grew up knowing that I was adopted and looked forward to the day when I could meet my biological parents. All I wanted to do was to figure out whose toes I had, where my eyes came from, and why I have so many darn freckles!

I was so excited and could barely contain my excitement when my birth mom knocked on my door. We had both waited 18 years for this day and emotions were running high. After spending the weekend with just her, she brought her family to meet me a few weeks later.

Two months later, my bio dad surprised me at a softball game and then I also had the opportunity to spend time with him for the next few days.

One thing that was important to me is that I got to spend one-on-one time with both of them before meeting their families. I would have been so overwhelmed otherwise! Taking it slow is very important so no one gets burned out too soon.

My mom did such a selfless thing by letting me meet my biological parents, and I will forever be grateful to her. But moms, remember that just because you are meeting the bio parents doesn’t mean we are trying to replace you. You raised us; you are our mom. We’re just curious! Please don’t feel jealous when we spend time with them. We are learning with you as well.

A piece of advice to anyone who is meeting their birth parents: Don’t go in with any expectations of what they will be like. Have an open mind and accept who they are. I think if you have any expectations you can be hurt more easily. Also, set boundaries early on in the relationship. If you start right off the bat by seeing them every weekend, that will be expected forever; think about and communicate what you and your parents are comfortable with beforehand.

Did you like this story? Read more great reunion stories and get great advice from people who have been there, done that by downloading our FREE e-book, Reunited: 19 Stories of Search and Reunion.”