We adopted my daughter, Karina, when she was 4 years old from Orange County Adoptions in August of 1998. Her older brother, Benjamin, had been adopted out to a different family a couple of years earlier. Shortly after we got Karina, I wrote a letter to Benjamin's adopted family through the case-worker, telling them all about us, where we lived, who we are and how Karina and Benjamin, being full siblings, would want to know each other. I never got a response to my letter. That was in 1997.
Karina has always known that she had a brother and longed to find him. When she turned 18 a year ago, she started filing papers with Orange County adoptions to locate him. She ran into one brick wall after another and was basically told she was out of luck. Her birthday wish last year was to find her brother.
Two weeks ago, Karina called me on the way to work in shock. She told me that her brother had just found her through Facebook. His name was now Couper and his parents had just given him the letter I wrote 16 years earlier. Up until that moment he didn't even know he had a full sister even though he knew he was adopted.
Couper and I began messaging each other and I told him that the following week was Karina's 19th birthday and would he like come down from San Luis Obispo and surprise her for her birthday? He immediately agreed and made arrangements to come on the train. Karina knew nothing of these arrangements and Couper pretended that he had to work when she invited him in order to keep it a surprise.
We met in front of PF Chang's for Karina's birthday dinner this past Friday, August 9th and that was when she saw her brother for the first time in over 17 years. I put the footage of their reunion into a music video (link below) along with photos I had of Karina growing up and the few that Couper had sent me through email before he arrived. My daughter has a very mild form of reactive nonattachment disorder, is very non-emotional and rarely ever cries. The moment she recognized her brother she threw herself into his arms, wept and clung to him. It was an incredibly poignant moment that we were able to capture on film. Couper spent the rest of the weekend at our home, met all of Karina's friends, participated in all her birthday plans and even stayed an extra day so he could be present at our extended family birthday party. He is a wonderful young man and new addition to our family. I made this video of them as a gift to both of them and they got to see it along with all of her friends and our family. Just about everyone who has watched it has wept and to my surprise, Karina the most of all.
This was truly a happily ever after fairy-tale ending for my daughter who has had a piece of her missing heart filled in. I would be remiss if I did not pause and give thanks and praise to the Lord for arranging this happy meeting by moving on the hearts of Couper's parents to tell him about his sister. Thank you Lord!
Grab your Kleenex before watching the video below: