It was a heartwarming reunion in a village in Lulelamulla, Dodangoda. With the help of experts, Ria Sloan found her birth mother, Sumithra, and the rest of her family. She had always feared she had not been wanted, but the day proved quite the opposite indeed.

Ria Sloan, 27, grew up in Scotland always having known that she was adopted from Sri Lanka at 3 weeks old. She had a photo of her biological mother, her birth certificate, and adoption paperwork that said her mother wanted no contact. As a child, she was pretty content with her family and didn’t think much about her adoption, but as an adult, she allowed her mind to wander about the land she came from and the family that hadn’t wanted her. She feared the worst case scenario with her family, but she desperately wanted to find the truth.

Many adoptions had taken place from Sri Lanka during the time that Sloan was placed, and it was difficult to know if all the documents were legal or if the information listed was accurate. Sloan said, “It’s only recently I’ve felt like I’m a bit stuck in between these two countries, and what seems like two very different identities. It’s like feeling you don’t properly belong anywhere. It doesn’t necessary really upset me, but it’s there. I always wonder what my life would be like in Sri Lanka.”

So she packed a bag and left for Sri Lanka with her girlfriend, Cat. They enlisted the help of some local experts to find her birth family. When they arrived at her birth mothers home, she was met with sincere hugs and excitement. She met four aunts and uncles, eight cousins, a half-sister, a niece, and a grandfather. It was so much more than she could have asked for. The family had all known of her and wondered what had happened to her over the years.

She learned her birth mother had been abandoned by her boyfriend and had no way to take care of a baby. She felt she had no choice other than adoption. She cried for several months afterward. Knowing the truth, Sloan feels differently about everything. She says, “Although Scotland and Sri Lanka are thousands of miles apart, I don’t feel stuck in between. I feel very firmly rooted in both places.”

Your first step in your search and reunion journey is to register in’s Reunion Registry.