A reunion story: A birth mom and daughter find each other through The Cradle

A birth mom and daughter find each other through The Cradle Adoption Agency in Illinois. A reunion story

An adoption reunion story

Video Transcript

Slide: an adoption reunion story Birth mom: Her birthday was coming up and I thought it was finally the right age where I wouldn’t be jumping in the middle of her being in school and I figured she’d be more settled at this age and so I had contacted Nina and I called her and then went through the motions from there. All Nina needed was a form, a copy of my license, a small fee, and my letter, so it was really painless. Daughter: When she had sent her letter to Nina, Nina then had my email, so she emailed asked if I was still who I was. And so she told me she had the letter and sent it along. Birth mom: When I had received her letter...it was the best letter imaginable, she is such a phenomenal writer, I was so intimidated. So excited yet intimidated. I was like “Oh, I don’t want to write back and sound like I’m stupid.” So I sat in bed on my work laptop for two hours writing this letter and rewriting it and rereading it. Daughter: You spend a quarter of a century wondering and then you finally get all these answers. I kept telling my boyfriend, “I just want her to tell me she wants to meet me already.” And he’s like, “She’s not going to tell you!” [laughs] Birth mom: I didn’t want to push her! That was the thing was I wanted it to be based on her terms. Every letter I’d be like, “Oh, not this time. Maybe the next.” When we did the pictures that was entertaining too. She was like, well who goes first. Maybe we should simultaneously hit send at the same time so this way we get to see them at the same time. Slide: meeting in person Birth mom: Extremely anxious. It was so exciting yet so nerve-wracking, all at the same time. Very, very nervous. But then I was so comfortable the minute she walked up. It was so much nervousness for nothing. It was just so comfortable once we finally met. It was just the anticipation of it all. Daughter: It was so much easier that I had made it out to be. Slide: an evolving relationship with Carrie’s other daughters Birth mom: There’s Megan, who’s 20, and Alex, who is 5, and they just absolutely adore her. Megan is just thrilled to death to have a big sister and I think your relationship has been amazing. Daughter: Yeah, we’re really lucky. I never had a sister. So we like have coffee and go to the mall. It’s like nobody missed a beat.

A birth mom chose adoption for her daughter. Reunited years later

Video Transcript

I became pregnant when I was 17 and I was keeping the baby, that was my decision, I was determined, this was what I was going to do, until I came to the realization it wasn’t the smartest thing to do. It wasn’t what was good for her at the time. It wasn’t the happiest home life either, which I though, this is by no means a place where I wanted to bring a baby to be brought up in. I just couldn’t at the end of the day envision it as being a good thing. Whenever I would try and envision bringing her home, everything I would envision...just not happy times. Not that I wouldn’t be happy with her, because I would, but not for her. It just wasn’t a healthy situation at the time to bring her into and I just came into the realization that as much as I wanted her, it wasn’t what was best for her. The three things that were very important for me was that I wanted a middle class family and I wanted her to have another sibling because I didn’t want her to be an only child. That was important to me and the other thing that was very important to me was I wanted her to know she was adopted. I didn’t want it to be the big hidden secret where someday she’d get slammed up against the head with this realization that everything had been not what it seemed. And they were great about giving me a wide range of families to choose from and I went with her parents because they were both teachers, I figured that would be a wonderful, wonderful thing and give her a jump start to a really really good future. Slide: Meeting her daughter for the first time When I held her, I just knew I was doing the right thing. That’s all I could say, I just knew, I was like “oh my god, she’s so beautiful, she’s so precious, she’s so wonderful,” I cannot risk ruining this for her. So it was, I’m not going to say easy to let her go, but in a sense, I just knew. I just knew I was doing the right thing. Slide: 25 Years Later...A Reunion So then I contacted The Cradle and said, “okay, I really want, I think now’s a good time to try and make contact.” And Nina was wonderful. I just sent more of a generic letter, because I didn’t know, you know, and I said in my letter, if you don’t want to have contact, I understand. It’s completely up to you. And lo and behold, a few weeks later, I got, I received the best letter I had ever received in my life. Her letter was incredible. It’s not easy, it’s an unsettling feeling, but when you weigh the balance of taking the risk to give them a better life, that’s what definitely outweighs the fact of second-guessing yourself.