Every situation is different. A reunion can be a very emotional journey. It’s not a path that should be taken lightly or chosen because everyone else is doing it. My reunion story has had a happy ending, but not all of them do. Whether or not to pursue a reunion is a completely personal decision.

I grew up feeling fulfilled with my adoptive family. I never thought anything was missing from my life. I was curious about where I came from and that was the extent of things. After I started having children, I decided I really wanted to know more. I decided to take a DNA test when I was 34. The results were good, and with the help of a search angel, I found my biological family quickly. Through our reunion, I gained a birth mom, two full sisters, and a half sister I wouldn’t want to live without.

The price I paid for waiting so long to search was that I never got to meet my birth father. He died three days before I found the rest of the family. For years, I put off searching because I didn’t know if my curiosity was enough reason to intrude on their lives. I should have placed more value on our reunion. I guess I thought at best we would communicate with each other a few times a year. I had no idea they would become such a huge part of my life.

I have been a part of the adoption community for years, and I have heard a fair share of bad reunion stories. It happens. People are human. The adoptees that I’ve heard from whose reunions didn’t have a happy ending have all said the same thing. In the end they have no regrets. They have all said that having answers to their lifelong questions was worth gaining less than they’d hoped for.

My advice is if you think you want to make contact, then you should go for it before it’s too late. Take a deep breath, dive in, and be prepared for whatever comes your way. Often times life will surprise you.

Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and mother of two currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees’ rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life. You can read her blog at //ashleysfoster.blogspot.com/.