Reunion with My Biological Daughter
© by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved.
Giving My Daughter Up for Adoption
In an earlier hub, I revealed that I gave my daughter up for adoption when she was born. This was not a choice I made quickly, but I already had a baby in diapers, and I was only 18 years old when my only daughter was born. I had no idea how I was going to raise two children alone.
The family I chose to give my daughter to were dedicated, God-fearing Christians who I had a great deal of respect for. They had one son, who was theirs biologically. He was 12 years old, at the time.
I was blessed to be invited to my daughter's first birthday party. I was able to see her a few times, with the last time being in October 1996, at which time, she was 2 1/2 years old. After that, the adoptive family asked me to wait until she was 18 to have further contact with her. They wanted space to raise her properly, without outside influence. As difficult as this was for me, I respected their wishes. I did not totally go away and stayed in verbal contact with the adoptive mother. I would call her a couple times a year, enough to stay connected, but not enough to put it in my daughter's mind.
Watching Her Grow Up from a Distance
After my daughter was born, life was never the same. Giving her up for adoption was the most difficult thing I had ever experienced, but I knew it was the best choice for her, and for me.
The adoptive mother was wonderful and sent me pictures of her over the years. Each time I received the pictures, I would look at them over and over and cry my heart out. Every year, her birthday was equally painful.
There was never a day, since her birth, that I did not think about my daughter and wonder how she was doing.
Another fact about the adoptive family was that they lived in my hometown, the same one where my mother and stepfather still lived. I have been in this town hundreds of times since the adoption, but surprisingly, I never got a "sneak peek" of her. There were no accidental run-ins or meetings, which was a surprise, because this town was very small.
As she became older, there were times I would call her adoptive mother to chat with her, but my daughter would answer the phone instead. I would hear my daughter's voice and want to tell her who I was, but I couldn't. I respected the adoptive parents' wishes and was sure to give a false name to throw her off track. I was amazed at how much she sounded like me. I knew how much she looked like me because of the pictures I had received over the years.
Advantages of Facebook
A few years before my reunion with my biological daughter, I found her profile on Facebook. Even though I did not send her a friend request, I was able to see what she was posting, as well as her pictures. This was so much better than getting pictures in the mail. Even though we were not friends on Facebook, yet, I felt like I was getting to know her, even though we still had a few years to wait until our reunion.
I was amazed with how she turned out. She loves the Lord and is a dedicated Christian. She sings in her church's choir and loves the same contemporary worship music that I enjoy. She went on mission trips a few times, with Romania being one of them. I was able to stay up to date with all her information. All I can say is thank goodness for Facebook!
Day of the Reunion with My Biological Daughter
My daughter's birthday is in the middle of January. On January 1, 2012, I sent my daughter a friend request on Facebook, and she accepted it right away. Our reunion day was scheduled for her 18th birthday, but I had final exams for college that day and had to regretfully decline the invitation and ask for a rescheduled time.
In February, we finally set a date for the reunion. We had it planned to meet at Applebee's for lunch: the adoptive mother, my daughter, and me.
On the day of the reunion, I walked into Applebee's and looked around. I did not see her. So, I stopped to ask the hostess about their location when I saw a woman walking towards me. It was the adoptive mother. Our daughter stayed at the table and waited for us. The adoptive mother hugged me tight and asked how I was doing. Her next words were, "Come on, let's go meet our daughter."
Because I had been talking to my daughter for a couple months, I was not as nervous, nor did I feel overly emotional. Meeting her just felt right. As we approached the table, I looked at my daughter. She was standing there, staring at me, with tears streaming down her face. Well, so much for my not crying. I started bawling, and we hugged and just held each other. She said, "I am so happy to finally meet you after all these years, Mom." She decided from our first conversation, that she wanted to call me Mom, which I was 100% grateful for. There were a few patrons in the restaurant that witnessed our reunion and were wiping tears from their eyes.
We ate our lunch and stayed at Applebee's for a couple hours, just so we could talk and catch up with each other. After we left, the adoptive mother left and went home, leaving my daughter and I to do anything we wanted for the rest of the day. We spent the rest of the day hanging out at a friend's. We picked up two of my other children so she could spend time with them, too.
Life After the Reunion
Life with my daughter has been interesting. We do not see each other as often as we would like, because we are both extremely busy. She graduated from high school and vocational education as a cosmetologist. She passed all her tests and recently received her license from the state of Michigan.
Talking to her and spending time with her is amazing, though. She is my "mini-me." She looks the most like me out of all four of my children. She is so much like me.
But, I do have to say one thing. When I gave her up, there was a huge hole in my heart that never went away. I spent a great deal of time with my stepdaughter, which did help fill some of the void but not all of it. I knew, someday, she and I would be together again. It was just a matter of time. The gaping hole in my heart is finally gone.
For anyone who is adopted or has given up a child for adoption, I advise that you find your missing child or birth parents.. Adoptions leave many questions that will remain unanswered until you meet again. As difficult as this adoption was, I wouldn't change it for the world. Everything turned out perfectly, and I love my daughter very much and am so proud of her.
Hugs and love to others who are adopted or have given a child up for adoption.