It’s hard to know what goes through the minds of family members who meet each other for the first time as adults.
For Heidi, maybe it’s relief at finally getting the answer to whether her daughter got the good life her mother wanted for her.
For Gina, maybe it’s a feeling of closure at finally coming face-to-face with the woman who gave birth to her.
But this was not going to be an easy adoption reunion.
The two women had been separated for nearly 40 years and they knew practically nothing about each other.
Lisa Joyner, the host of Long Lost Family on TLC, supported Heidi’s search for her adopted daughter. On the show, Joyner helps adopted children or their birth parents work through an extensive online search for their lost loved family.
Once they’ve gotten leads, they’d start making phone calls and interviewing the leads they have.
In this case, Joyner also made sure that both parties felt comfortable meeting each other.
She started the search with only a date of birth and county where Gina was born. But she also knew that the family already had an eight-year-old son. This helped her narrow her search even more and one name came up.
The name was Gina Murdock and she lived about an hour away from her birth city.
Lisa called Gina to verify and asked if they could meet in person to talk. Gina was hesitant and asked for a few days to think about it.
And it’s quite a normal reaction. Gina had known almost nothing about her birth mother. And now, more than 35 years later, she receives a call about her birth mother for the first time out of the blue.
“Not everyone wants an adoption reunion. Sometimes birth parents or adult adoptees simply have no strong desire to reconnect after the adoption. Other times, they don’t feel emotionally ready for such a step. Some people harbor negative feelings about the closed adoption and haven’t been able to resolve those feelings,” American Adoption Blog shared.
Thankfully for Heidi and Lisa, Gina called Lisa back a few days later to agree to meet her mother in person.
Lisa pays her a visit to her home and finds out about the good life she grew up with and even meets Gina’s young children.
During the visit, Gina admits she is nervous about the potential reunion. But, in the end, she’s more excited about learning more about her birth mother.
“It’s part of my life, part of who I am and my foundation. I’m just excited, like solving a mystery,” Gina admitted to Lisa.
She also showed a few reminders Heidi had left for Gina when she gave her daughter up. Heidi left a little stuffed bear and a letter Heidi wrote the day after Gina was born.
“I got a sense, while reading this, that she didn’t want to give me up for adoption,” Gina shared.
Lisa shared information about Heidi and Gina’s birth father to Gina. And it just made Gina even more excited to finally meet Heidi.
Finally, it’s the day of their reunion and they’re meeting at a neutral location.
“The first physical meeting can be very emotional. It is a good idea to have the reunion in a private place such as a private home, or in a park, or somewhere where emotions can be freely expressed without embarrassment as reunions can be very emotional for both parties,” Origins Canada advised.
In their case, they met inside a private home. But it’s not the parent’s home to remove any discovery that might trigger unwanted emotions. And it’s not the adopted child’s home which could be too revealing as well.
“It’s a dream come true,” Heidi told Long Lost Family. “I can’t believe this is real.”
Heidi is finally meeting her long-lost daughter for the first time in almost 40 years. Plus she’ll get to meet her grandchildren for the very first time.
Will they get along? How will they react when they see each other? Will it be a beautiful reunion?
Be sure to scroll down below to see the emotional moment.
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.