I remember the day as though it were yesterday. I was so nervous. Pacing the kitchen floor, trying to find a way to occupy myself as I waited. “I am about to meet my birth mom,” I thought to myself. This was a day I had played out in my mind for 15 years. Even though I had spent some time with her as an infant and toddler, I had no actual memory of her. Yet, in a matter of minutes, she would be here, in my kitchen, face-to-face.
I had spent the past 18 years feeling safe from, yet wildly curious about her – the “great unknown” (a.k.a. Robin) in my life and now that was all coming to an end — for better or for worse.
My adoptive mom and I had the visit all planned out. Mom would pick up Robin from the airport on her own, while I waited at home. They’d have some time to catch up before coming back to the house. I’d thought about everything – what I would wear, where I would stand and who would be there with me. But despite even all the planning, my anxiety level remained high.
As I heard the back door open, I took one last deep breath and walked in the kitchen, eager to offer a cheery, “hello!” The second I saw Robin, I was flooded with a rush of thoughts and emotions. She was so beautiful to me. As I said hello for the first time, I felt myself staring, trying to take her in. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be in the presence of someone who looked like me. I instantly recognized our similarities. I had her eyes, her mouth, her body shape. The familiarity was so comforting.
I will never forget hugging Robin for the first time. In that moment, despite all my worrying about how our visit would go and what the future would hold for us, I was absolutely certain that I had made the right decision in meeting her.
“I will never forget hugging Robin for the first time.”
Our first visit together is mostly a blur now. It all was a lot to take in for both us, but my friends and family were very supportive and helped us both enjoy the week-long visit. I mostly remember how much I thoroughly enjoyed just being in Robin’s presence and the opportunity to give her a glimpse into my life, even if just a few days.
Our conversations over that week didn’t center around anything too heavy. We didn’t talk about her unplanned pregnancy, her adoption decision, or how that decision impacted either of us. We mostly just spent the time getting to know each other. I learned about her childhood and her two sons. She showed me photos from her family then and now. I showed her around my life – my high school, my church, the lake where my rowing team practiced and the nearby restaurant where my family has always celebrated special occasions. She met my best friend, Nora and my best guy friend, Michael (who is now my husband!). I soaked it all in. Every conversation and each silent observation offered me information I had always craved. One by one, the missing puzzle pieces of my life began to appear and fit together.
“One by one, the missing puzzle pieces of my life began to appear and fit together.”