I got to meet my oldest child in person today. I gave her up for adoption, planned before she was born. The adoption was open. I chose the adoptive parents from several couples the attorney had information on. I met with them and their son whom they had adopted from Mexico. He was about four years old at the time. Based on how happy and well-cared for he was, I agreed to let them adopt my child after she was born. One thing that makes this very unusual is that both of them are in wheelchairs. He suffers from MS or a similar degenerative muscular condition. She suffers from Crohn's and possibly something else. (It has been 17 years and I wasn't going to ask for details.)
From the time she was little, she has known she was adopted - as has her brother. They took a picture of me and had me write a letter for her. Over the years I have received photos and small letters or cards from her mom to keep me updated and answered occasional questions. However, all contact was through her mom. A few days ago I sent an email asking for recent pics and asking about a couple things. Both she and my daughter responded - with my daughter asking to meet me today for lunch if that was at all possible. What a frenzied, exciting, wonderful day this was. First, I met her and her mom for lunch. We ate at a place near where her brother worked, so we went over to say hi. Then I took her with me to her younger half-sister's promotion and we wound up going to dinner with all my kids, a friend, and my ex and his family and friends.
Eating dinner and watching my two girls together was almost spooky. So much more of our personality seems to be inherited than I ever thought possible. They look related (even though they have different fathers). One has wavy hair, but straightens it, so both have straight hair about the same length. All my kids have the deep brown eyes from the Hispanic side (the adopted daughter is likely half-Honduran based on looks and the other two are Half-Nicaraguan). They have a lot of interests and likes and dislikes in common. They also share certain mannerisms, like the way they run their hands through their hair (which, now that I think about it, I do a lot of too). They both talk a mile a minute, just as I do. Their both artistic, though she prefers writing like me instead of drawing which her sister prefers. That makes my heart feel so full. She has always been a part of the family because she is related (I have never kept her a secret from anyone). But now she is more in a way - someone solid, touchable, real. Kinda like meeting someone you build a friendship with online - you may know them, but it is still different.
In dropping her back off, I got to introduce her half-siblings to her parents. Her mom was about as shocked by how much alike they seemed. All in all, it was an incredibly exciting day. Not emotional, exactly - at least not that she or I showed outwardly besides huge smiles and lots of laughs. We are both ebullient about our enjoyment of things, but very reserved about other emotions.
Not to say everything is smooth. She has had quite a few resentments. She resents that I gave her up for adoption, then got married and had two kids by three years later. Especially since I don't have a good, easy answer - I didn't drink or do drugs, but I was smart enough when I was pregnant with her to know I would not be able to parent her the way I wanted her to be. She resents that I chose disabled parents - for the limited mobility which made traveling difficult and rare, for the times they had to call a neighbor to help because they couldn't, for the responsibility of caring for them as their conditions worsen. I can understand these resentments, but I can't tell if they are as in the past as she tried to imply. A clearly current resentment is that I let her mom be in control of everything, like how old she was before she could meet me and that her mom came along. I think I understand how her mom has felt - there is such a fear that the physical bond will be emotional one. Especially when she has had some pretty serious behavior and discipline problems (makes me realize how lucky I am with the two I'm raising). I don't know if her mom feels more reassured now or just resigned - I certainly have no intention of trying to take her daughter from her in any way.
An almost 17-year-old lady who is bigtime into computers and plays a lot of WoW (not that I know how to spell these, but she's a Tauran druid in the horde - hope I got that right). WoW is something my son has been begging me to get for him these last couple weeks. Having GW accounts already for both of us, WoW seems like overkill, but I may just have to give in. I need to get a better list of pros and cons than all his friends play vs. the monthly charge.