After I placed my daughter for adoption, I didn’t see her for two and a half years. Her family and I live on opposite coasts, so visits are a big thing and planned far in advance. When I first asked for a visit, they very politely told me they would feel better waiting until Sarah was older and would get something out of the visit as well. I accepted that for a few weeks but then wrote them a well-thought-out letter about how the visit was something I desperately needed to mend my soul. I had to see with my own eyes that she was okay before I could begin to heal.

Once they realized how crucial it was to me, they quickly reconsidered, and we started to plan our first visit. We began to FaceTime more frequently with the hopes Sarah would recognize me when the day came. I grew more and more nervous as the visit approached. What if she didn’t remember me or like me?

When the day finally arrived, I flew into New York City and was met by a bouncing, blubbering Karen. After freaking out at the airport from the sheer excitement of being reunited, we drove off on our mission of the trip: getting matching tattoos of Sarah’s footprint from the birth certificate. Karen went first and (sorry, Karen) almost shot off the table in pain. She arched like a cat, and I very ironically gave her some lessons in Lamaze, which we now both agree is just about worthless. Then I hopped up and proceeded to watch music videos and flirt with the cute tattoo artist while Karen called me a brat for having such a high pain tolerance.

After stopping to grab Rob, we went to pick up the princess at her daycare/school. They introduced me to her teachers and let me peek in her classroom. I glanced around at about 15 toddlers and immediately spotted her. She had just woken up and looked grumpy as could be. And she just STARED at me, this crazy woman who is crying outside the door. It was very obvious she knew me.

By the time we got inside their home, we were old friends. She grabbed me by the hand to show me her room. Sarah asked me to read her a story, and after I sat down, she plopped down in my lap. That was the most amazing feeling in the world, to know that she loved me still. The book she asked me to read was a book especially about her and included pictures of me with her, which she talked about. She talked about her parents getting on a big airplane to come get her, and she asked if I knew she was in my belly! Like I could ever forget!

The best part of the visit was that they were very relaxed about letting me play alone with her. That one-on-one time with her is something I never expected, and it let me just be silly in a way I wouldn’t have felt comfortable otherwise.  I’m incredible blessed to have placed with a family that seems to blend perfectly with mine, and I can’t wait for our next visit!