Seventeen years ago today, we received "the call" that changed our lives forever. On May 9, 2001 we learned of the three-month old baby girl who would become our first precious daughter. We knew so little about parenting, even less about adoption, but understood that we had received an indescribable gift. Hers was a closed adoption per agency policy. At the time it seemed like a good idea. Yet blessings are meant to be shared, and as our daughter's first birthday approached we sensed God leading us to write a letter of thanksgiving and hope to her birth parents. As the years went by we continued, sending a letter and photos annually to the agency with our request that they be forwarded. We had no way of knowing, however, if this would be done.
As most adopted children do, our daughter wondered about her origins. Why did her first parents make an adoption plan? Did they think of her, remember her? Were there any siblings out in the world? The questions came and went, sometimes pensive and other times urgent, by turns neutral or impassioned. Often they crescendoed in response to her sister's open adoption and the difference in their realities.
The desire grew stronger in her to know her story. On our return to the States in 2012, we petitioned the adoption agency for information. We were not given much more than two first names, new to us. With them and some other clues, Facebook become our friend and ally in searching for answers to give our dear daughter. Finally we found them - or at least thought we had. But there was no certainty nor sensitive way to make a connection and by then we were thousands of miles away on another continent. So we waited.
In 2017, we returned to the States and rented a post office box for the sole purpose of pursuing our leads. Letters mailed went unanswered, as did messages sent to the likeliest person on Facebook. Weeks turned to months and 2017 became 2018. We prepared to depart the U.S. once again. Ahead of our leaving, today we received a special visitor. Her sister's birth mother came overnight and our time together was sweet. In the midst of it, an almost overlooked message arrived on my phone.
"I think I am who you are looking for." May 9, 2018 - seventeen years to the day of "the call" that changed our lives. Today our daughter received a message that brought us full circle, answering doubts and restoring confidence to her heart. "I have always thought about and wondered about you. I have always loved you." Her sister's birth mother was here to see it happen. My heart is full of wonder at God's patient working in all of us. Years ago I could never have believed my reaction would be gladness and gratitude, rather than insecurity and self-preservation. Yet blessings are meant to be shared, and today God's blessings overflowed.