Kari's Story of Reconnection and Redemption

On June 16, 1988 I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl. As a senior in high school, I knew that I was not ready to be a mother and my boyfriend and I made the hard decision to place her up for adoption. I visited with her once before she was placed and took some pictures, one of which I kept framed in my nightstand praying that she would know how much she was loved and hopeful that she would one day find me.

When she turned 18 in 2006, I felt like I held my breath that entire year knowing that she could search for me if she wanted. She did not. With every year that passed, I lost a little more hope, and by the time she was 25 I had resigned myself to the fact that she either didn’t know she was adopted, or that she had a great childhood and didn’t desire to know anything about her past. On December 11th of last year, I was sitting at my desk at work when an email came through from 23andme.com alerting me to new DNA relatives. When I clicked to open it, this is what I read: "Hey there! We came up as a 50% match on here and I was just wondering if you gave up a baby for adoption 29 years ago bc I was looking for my birth mother so I can get some information on my family history before starting my own family! Thank you!"

I felt as if the entire world had stopped spinning. I had waited for this day for almost 30 years and here was an email from the daughter I had all but given up ever reconnecting with.

I walked out of my office and paced around the parking lot for almost an hour trying not to let myself get too excited but dying to know everything about her. I emailed her back and we began a dialogue of finding out about each other. She was engaged to be married and wanted to know if there was anything in her medical history that she should know about (thankfully there is not) and I was thrilled to discover that she did have a happy childhood and a loving family and was a successful nurse in Washington DC. We progressed from email, to text, to talking, and in March of this year, I went up to Maryland for a weekend and it was more than I could ever have hoped for. She and I are a lot alike and I was even able to spend time with her adoptive mother who was very supportive of Megan’s search for me. By the end of my visit, I knew that I wanted my own two children (a daughter, Emily, who is 21 and a son, Parker, who was 18) to know about her, as she was their half-sister and I knew they would love her as much as I did. I discussed with my husband wanting to tell the kids together when they were with us (not away at college) so I waited for the “perfect” opportunity, which unfortunately never came. On May 27th, our son tragically died in a driving accident at a graduation party. We had to experience the police coming to our door at 11 pm to tell us the news, and I had to make the heart-wrenching call to Megan the next morning to let her know that Parker had drowned and that if she wanted to come for his funeral, we wanted her there. The night before his viewing, I had to tell my daughter about Megan and that she would be flying in the next morning to be with us for the weekend.

I’m sure Emily was still in shock from having lost Parker, but the first thing she said was “I always wanted a sister.”

Even under the most heart-breaking of circumstances, Megan was able to provide a huge ray of light in the midst of our grief. She was able to meet my mother, my sister, my husband and Emily, as well as friends and family who have been in our lives for years. They all welcomed her with tears and open arms and they all recognized what an incredible blessing her having found me when she did was for Emily. Emily had made a comment to one of my friends earlier in the week that she “didn’t know how to be an only child” and in Megan finding me when she did, Emily was the first to remark that she wasn’t an only child. God’s timing could not have been more perfect. Last month, we were able to fly to Maryland to attend Megan’s wedding – and Emily was a bridesmaid. They have bonded so quickly and Megan shared that the night of Parker’s viewing, when she sat outside with Emily to comfort her, she never knew she could love someone so deeply so quickly. Seeing how happy and fulfilled she is, I know without a doubt that I made the best decision for her, and for me. Had I not given her up, I never would have had Emily or Parker and today, I cannot imagine my life without any of the 3 in it. While I will forever regret not telling Parker about his sister – she’s a daredevil just like him – I know that he is fully aware of her in Heaven and that he is thankful that Emily has someone to turn to. I’ve walked through adoption with some dear friends who were not able to have children for medical reasons and I was able to write a letter to their birth mother who was also a high school senior in a small private school.

Because of my journey, I was able to tell her that I have walked in her shoes and that her decision was brave and selfless and I know that her daughter is loved more than she could ever hope. If I had not put Megan up for adoption, I would never have had an incredible son who touched hundreds of people and left an unforgettable mark on this world. 

Have you been impacted by adoption like Kari? 
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