Guest Blog: What I've Learned in Twenty-three Years of Reunion
I last saw my daughter’s face in 1972. Though they told me I could never search for her, I knew I would. I told her I would find her as I gazed into her beautiful sleeping face. Through my tears, I told her I loved her and that I was sorry I couldn’t keep her.
I began my search in 1997 by contacting the agency who took custody of my baby. The caseworker cheerfully gave me absolutely no information. I asked for a copy of my file and was sent copies of the relinquishment paper I signed and the letters I had sent to them over the years to update my address. It took many months, and help from other searching mothers, to piece together the puzzle of where my daughter was located. On September 5, 1998, I called my daughter and heard her voice for the very first time.
“Take it slow” I was advised, “and let the adoptee choose the pace.” So I encouraged her to get an email address and we began an email correspondence. We did not speak on the phone again for several months after that first call. Slowly she shared with me about her life, both current and of her childhood. Finally, I asked if she’d like to come to my city to meet and she said yes, so I quickly bought a ticket before she could change her mind. Our slow introduction helped me to learn patience.
After that first visit, I saw her twice more again that first year. For the next few years, though she lived 800 miles from me, we were lucky enough to see each other a couple of times a year. I could not get enough of looking at her sweet face! Eventually our visits spaced out to once a year, but we continued to email regularly with phone calls in between. So through the years I learned contentment in our relationship.