On March 16, 2012, I boarded a plane in Charleston, WV that was bound for Pensacola, FL where I was to meet my natural mom for the first time. We had been separated at my birth – a birth that was to be celebrated for the 37th year a short four days later. I had been talking with my natural mom since February 19 (the day after she celebrated her birthday), so the meeting was a pivotal moment in a relationship that had already begun to shape. I had barely slept the night before because I was so excited to meet her. I already knew I liked her (and, in fact, that I loved her too), but I was pumped to actually see her. We had discussed getting on Skype with each other prior to our first meeting, but I wanted the moment when I first looked into her eyes to be in person. After what seemed like an excruciatingly long morning (two flights – one delayed, which meant I was several hours late getting to Pensacola), I pulled my bag from the overhead bin, got off the plane, and walked straight into an embrace with my natural mom – who was so excited I could feel her rapid heartbeat during our hug. I can picture everything about that moment in my mind right now – what she was wearing (jeans, t-shirt and tennis shoes – cool points for the laid back wardrobe), the first time I saw her smile, and the loving eyes of a mom (MY mom) who had wanted to see her “baby” for almost 37 years. It was a pivotal moment – and a perfect one too – that was followed by more pivotal moments over the weekend as I met my grandmother, brothers, sister-in-law, niece, and an aunt and uncle.
Yesterday (Thursday, January 17, 2013), I had another pivotal moment in my adoption journey as I met my natural dad for the first time. As I stood in the foyer of a Ruby Tuesday yesterday morning waiting for him to arrive, I grew nervous. It was a feeling unfamiliar to me in this reunion process because I had really only felt excitement about meeting my natural mom, but I realized it was because we had talked on the phone almost every day for a month prior to our face-to-face meeting and my natural dad and I had communicated exclusively through email and Facebook messages. In fact, I had only heard him speak two times – Wednesday night and Thursday morning when we made plans to meet each other. The majority of my nervousness went away in the first moment we shared as he walked into the foyer, smiled, and asked if it would be okay to hug me (cool points for asking in that moment). We proceeded to a booth, ordered some drinks (sweet tea for me, coffee for him with cream only I believe), and chatted for the first time. I was immediately struck by the fact that I have his eyes (deep brown) and hair (especially if I let mine grow long), and a smile that is a unique combination of his and my natural mom’s. We shared about two hours together yesterday and agreed to share more in the future. We may even try our hand at Skype so we can see each other when we talk – turns out, the reason we didn’t talk on the phone before was because neither of us like to talk on the phone – go figure! My take-away is that he is a cool dude – from his musicianship all the way down to his jeans, t-shirt, and flannel shirt wardrobe.
And now that I’ve met my natural parents, I can confirm I am a unique combination of both of them – from looks to personality to thought patterns – but that’s a blog for another day.