I began my search for my birthmother fifteen years before finding her. I remember wondering what it would be like to meet her:  Would it feel natural? Would I look like her? Would she become a second mother to me?

In my exhaustive search, I had found my biological (also adopted) brother and developed a strong bond with him. I’d also become very close to his adoptive parents. Though I treasured those relationships, I was still missing the main reason that I’d begun the search in the first place.

After many dead ends, my search finally began to move along. One day in May I found her name. She even had a picture; I couldn’t hold back an excited scream. She looked just like me, but older. I quickly wrote her a note: You look so happy. Do you know anyone named Caren? That’s all! Take care. Thank you for all you did. With love. One day later, I received this reply: You know of me, but you do not know me. This was the invitation I’d been hoping for.

We spent Mother’s Day weekend together and could barely take our eyes off of each other. My friends and family can’t believe how different I am since that weekend; I don’t look over my shoulder anymore, wondering if the person walking behind me is her. I’m not consumed by questions.

And though I don’t feel like many other adoptees who feel like they’ve gained another mother since meeting their birth mother, I do feel that I have gained a true friend. I suppose when it comes down to it, that’s what a mother is, anyway. The truest kind of friend.