“Like mother, like daughter” – it’s a phrase you often hear. A young girl will say or do something and a knowing smile will appear on her father’s face as he says, “like mother, like daughter.” I heard that statement a lot when I was young, but rarely (if ever) about me, which made sense because as I looked at myself and my mom I saw very little in common. We didn’t really look alike, had a different temperament, and shared few common interests. I loved my mom dearly, but I just didn’t see many similarities. Because I found out I was adopted very young, I had an idea why this was true, but I often wondered if I would ever find the mother I was like.
On February 19, 2012, I did.
I had written the email that represented our first contact the day before (on my natural mom’s birthday), but she had done her daily email check in the morning prior to the time I wrote so she didn’t see it until Sunday morning. I sat in worship that day nervously refreshing my email on my iPhone until I saw her name appear (sorry, Grandma Audrey, I know that’s not really appropriate, but I’m sure you can understand why I did it AND why I don’t take my phone into worship when I visit with you). I was flooded with thoughts when she replied and I never imagined we would talk later that day, but when she asked in an email if we could, I found myself typing “yes” before I even thought about it.
I dialed her number at exactly 8 p.m. as we had arranged. When she answered, I introduced myself (something brilliant like, “Hi, I’m Becky”) and she started to cry. In the first moment I heard her speak, I felt this strange calm wash over me and the only thought I could muster was “THAT’S my mom.” It was as if I had heard that voice before and I wonder now if I still recognized it from all the time she spoke to me while she was pregnant.
Over the next couple of hours, we talked and I discovered we both feel very strongly (though she often expresses those feelings and I keep mine buried), process information similarly (meaning the actual process we use), are organized and efficient, share a good sense of humor, have a strong sense of responsibility, and put our skills to work in similar fields (she’s a medical records auditor who performs regular training with physicians and I’m an executive trainer who performs legal work for my clients).
As the days have turned to weeks and months (and the months almost a year since our reunion), I have found even more things we share in common. At 37, I can finally say, “like mother, like daughter” and apply it to me.