Meeting my Daughter for the First Time in Fourteen Years – Part I

I felt as though I was having labor pains, but I was not giving birth. The pressure rose up from deep within my belly and felt as though a very large bubble was trying to move up a very small straw. They would begin as fear, pain or sadness and would then manifest from an emotion to a memory that had been covered up, tucked away, buried.

I gave my daughter up for adoption 14 and a half years ago and this past Mother’s Day I received an email from her – we are going to meet for the first time, in two weeks.

To say I am overjoyed, overwhelmed and completely ecstatic, in awe, humbled, grateful, blessed, happy and excited would be a bit of an understatement. Apparently, she is pretty thrilled as well. Her dad emailed me and said that she blasted it out to all of her facebook friends. She told me she posted this picture of me on her page:

Apparently her friends think I am “the coolest.”

Everyone keeps telling me, “Don’t worry, Jessica. She is going to love you.” Why am I so scared? Why is there a throbbing pain in my lower ribs right now where one of those big pressure bubbles got stuck? Why do I go into a cathartic state when I allow myself to ride the rollarcoster of time back to feeling the movement of her inside me, my hands on my belly. Months and months, possibly years of memories stuck way down deep in the recesses of my mind, because, well, the adoption agency counselors told me I need to treat it like she was dead, so I could move on with my life. Wrapping my brain around that, at that time was one of the most unnatural things I have ever done, besides leaving the hospital without my daughter.

I made a commitment to be responsible for my choice. Never to blame anyone or anything else. I chose to have unprotected sex with someone whom I had no intention of creating a life with; I chose adoption. I am pro-choice, you know. That is what that means. Even at 19 years of age, I consciously made all of those choices and I knew that no one was unfolding my life before me, but me.

I am pretty sure I drank a lot of alcohol for a long period of time. I got in trouble and had to wear one of those ankle bracelets and not leave my house for three months. I lied to everyone I loved, because I did not know what end was up. I quit college — even after they let me come back on my scholarship. I lived in Haiti for a little while. I found Jesus. I got kicked out of my church. I chose yoga over zoloft and never looked back.

I buried several painful years of my life, including being pregnant and spending a week in the hospital with my daughter because I had to have a C-Section way down deep inside. These memories are now resurfacing like a geyser of grief and shame. Is she going to ask me about this? What will I say? I have kept myself pretty busy over the last 14 years. I have never had less than three jobs at one time. And, I have never let my life get truly quiet enough to open the door, this door now bursting at the seams, to my own heart.

I gave my daughter up for adoption 14 and a half years ago, and this past Mother’s Day I received an email from her — we are going to meet for the first time, in two weeks.

I will share more here, as this journey unfolds.

photo by: gabi_menashe


  1. Wow what a beautiful thing to read this morning. What a blessing for you and your daughter. You gave her precious life and nothing could be more beautiful even though you obviously suffered a lot for all you did. I believe that someone should choose whatever is best for them whatever choice they make and you chose the path that was the right one for you. Back in 1948 and I believe abortions were not available then my mother at age 18 got pregnant while dating a sailor who was stationed in Philadelphia. So they got married hardly knowing each other and lived with my grandparents. Not going to say it was an easy childhood for me but it made me who I am today and I am so glad I am here. I have 2 beautiful daughters (both bloggets and in the yoga community by the way) and two beautiful grandsons. So I am so excited that your daughter found you. It will all be great.

    I love your story do much I am going to share it

    1. Thank you so much, Barbara. Have you ever read the book, The Girls Who Went Away by Ann Fessler? It recounts the stories of women who gave their children up for adoption before Roe vs Wade. It is very moving and powerful.

      All that we have been through makes us who we are – so that is why I have to accept every choice I have ever made, because I am proud of who I am today. Thank you for sharing my story.

    1. Thank you, Maggie. Life is beautiful, right? Each and every moment of it. Thank you so much. LOVE RIGHT BACK TO YOU.

  2. Jess. I am so honored and proud to be able to read this. Thank you for sharing this story! If you are as honest with your daughter as I know you are with yourself…then, all that can come from this is love and peace. Please let us all know how it transpires… until then. All my love and energy goes out to you as you experience all the emotions that this might bring you. MUWA!

    1. Molly! I love you so much! Your family has been such a support to me over the years. I honor our bond and connection and appreciate all of your words and your support.

      And, just on a side note – I am so proud of the amazing woman I have had the delight to watch you become over the years. Love you.

    1. Love to you, Kym. Thank you so much. Carl and I are holding one another through each moment of this journey. xo

  3. This was so brave and beautiful. It feels so special to read it and be able to go with you a little bit on this journey. Thank you. Can't wait to read more about all the love that's raining down on you.

    1. Diane – my new and beautiful friend. Thank you so much for your thoughts. Looking forward to sharing more with you soon. "Love raining down on me…" Now that is a beautiful thought. xo

  4. Jess, this is absolutely beautiful. You are absolutely beautiful. I am sobbing. I am so proud of you. I am so happy for you. She will love you. Wow. I love you girl, and am so happy to call you my friend. xoxo, Heather

    1. Heather! I love you! I am so honored to be walking this path with you on many different planes – now maybe a little bit of motherhood! You are a radiant light in this world and I am grateful for your energy and support. xo

  5. Jess, you are the very embodiment and realization of all that motherhood can be. It is hopeful, forgiving, fierce, tender, frightening, surprising, funny, open and protective at the same time, and joyous. I wish you peace–and a new lifetime of getting to know this young woman who undoubtedly has pieces of you blooming inside of her. ILove, love, love.

    1. Terri, Thank you so much for these super comforting words and thoughts. I am so so so ready for this journey – wharever it may hold. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Darrin. What a journey – and I am so thankful for each and every part of it. The highs, the lows, the good and the bad. It is all just so beautiful if you choose to see it that way. I know you can appreciate this.

  6. I dont know you at all but just read your story. I am adopted and am 31. I met my birth mom 10 years ago and just met my father about 2 months ago. It has been the most amazing experience. Be honest with your daughter. She needs to know the real story of her beginning. She will thank you. I have no resentment towards my birth parents. They made the decision that was best for them at the time and I am just thankful they chose adoption and not abortion. Good luck on your journey!

    1. Amy, thank you for sharing. I cannot tell you how many emails and messages I have received today not only from adopted children and adults, but also from birth mothers. One woman I have known for 10 years and did not even know she was a birth mom. I am so happy that you have reconnected with your birth parents. Thank you.

  7. Jessica,
    You are and have been an amazing person. This will be amazing for both of you!

  8. Jess..I love you and your daughter is going to love you and respect you for what she will realize was a hard decision but at the time..the right decision…
    This is the beginning of the 2 of you getting to know each other….I am crying happy tears thinking about it!
    You are amazing sista!

  9. This sooo resonated with me, having given up a child for adoption and then been reunited with him. Your descriptive writing captures what many of us 'first mothers' have felt. I wish you nothing but joy and love as you re-start your journey with your child after 14 years.
    I've started an adoption forum for birth moms and those who are adopted and I'd welcome you to join and post . Its

  10. Jessica Leigh,
    I love you and am so proud of you! I always knew that this day would come and I am very excited for both you and Lee Ann. You are such a strong and empowering woman and this experience is going to be truly AWESOME!! I can't wait to hear more.
    ~Jamie Lynn