I had no idea that when I decided to celebrate National Adoption Month that it would be this detailed, this intimate, or this deep. It just unfolded out of my keyboard, organically. My wish is that you felt touched and connected with it.
I will not delay any further, because I imagine you are excited to watch the video of when we actually met.
First, let me set the scene.
The date: January 19, 2011
The place: San Diego airport international terminal
We originally started emailing back and forth on November 1, 2010. A few weeks later, we planned our reunion.
I had been advised by my adoption search support group to meet in a neutral place where it would just be all about us (none of our family or friends). This advice was GOLDEN. I’m so glad we did it that way!
Since she lived on Vancouver Island and I in Austin, TX, we decided on San Diego. Good weather, and a similar commute time-wise.
I arrived a few hours earlier than she did…and can I say, what an excruciating wait that was???!!??? It was incredibly difficult to bear each minute as it passed, knowing THIS WAS THE MOMENT.
Arguably the biggest moment of my life. (other than having my children)
I had a not-so-great digital camera with me (my Blackberry Pearl was not up to the important challenge of capturing this moment…). I asked one of the information desk ladies to video the moment for us. We even “practiced” so she would be sure to get it.
The. Waiting. Oh. My. God.
Finally, I got the text that she had landed and soon would be descending the stairs.
I don’t think my heart could’ve pounded any harder…
I will end your struggle and finally share THE VIDEO. Get out the hankies, not even kidding!
Enjoy the moment.
It’s impossible to watch that and not cry, right? (even with how blurry it is!) And I just now cried as I attached it here:)
I have an interesting observation to share: she and I had completely different sensations in that embrace.
Mine was all about excitement and wonder at getting to meet her for the first time.
Hers was totally different. The word that comes to mind is a deep and complete RELIEF. And closure, too, on a long period of time that she only could guess about how I turned out.
It was the beginning of a new chapter for us!!!
Below is our very first picture together, and well, we have often joked (thanks to my stupid Blackberry), it was rather a “hot mess” but it’s THE MOMENT and that’s all that matters!
Adoption is such a beautiful gift. I love that it is part of my story.
Two final thoughts: I was “gifted” to the Learys to raise me in their family, the place I was destined to grow up. And I was also gifted the rare opportunity to be reunited with my birth mother (AND to have an amazing relationship with her and meet all kinds of new family and friends)!!
PS The Learys have always been 100% supportive of my search.
Thanks for coming along on this story’s journey.
Thanks for supporting this month’s Nonprofit Shoutout to Carrying Hope! Our series has come to a close for this year. Feel free to browse the YouTube channel!
All month long on my FB page and Instagram, we have been highlighting the Texas-based nonprofit Carrying Hope. What an amazing organization that supports kids in the foster program! With your mouse you can support them: like/follow them on Facebook!