I am an adult adoptee who was adopted at 6 weeks old and reunited with my biological mother when I was 30 years old. The events that unfolded after that are remarkable and unlike any other adoption reunion story you've ever heard before. It is a story that will make you believe that everything happens for a reason.

I had known I was adopted since I was in the 4th grade. I loved the mystery behind it and there was a perfectly good explanation for why I felt so different than my family. I knew that one day I would find the woman who gave birth to me. I made an initial search when I graduated high school but hit a brick wall with closed adoption records. When I was 25 years old, I re-attacked with letters to the state representatives and senators explaining why they should open their adoption records. The campaign to open records did work and I received my original birth certificate.

Interestingly enough, it would be another 5 years before I would take action. Maybe I just wasn't ready until then. When I was 30 years old, I hired a private investigator to look for her and four weeks later, I received the call that they had found her. It took yet another three days for me to work up the courage to call her. About a week later, I was face to face with my first mother. I had never seen her face before but when I looked in her eyes, I saw my own. All my questions were at long last answered! She began to tell me about my long lost family and mentioned that my aunt had inherited a horrible kidney disease, Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKC) from my grandfather who had passed from PKD when my mother was only 16 years old. She told me that my aunt would one day need a kidney transplant to survive. The astounding thing is, when she told me that, a voice in my head just stated that I would be the one to give her a kidney. It wasn't a thought of consideration like maybe one day I could think about being a donor; it was a statement in my head saying, that donor will be me. I didn't say anything out loud at that moment and life went on in a beautiful reunion with my first family with little mention of the kidney disease.  

It was 4 short years later when my aunt finally was going to be put on the critical needs list for a kidney. My biological mother told me about it during a random phone call and I told her that I was going to get tested. She begged me not to do it, that she was going to get tested and there were others in the family that was going to be tested. She said she wouldn't allow me to even think about it. I said ok at the time but I went and got tested anyway. I waited for the results and about a week later, I received the news that I was a match for my aunt! It was the most exciting call that I made to her and my first mother that I was a match. Although my mother was very hesitant about me being a donor, she knew she couldn't stop me and she became very grateful that I was willing because of all the family and friends who was willing to get tested, I was the only match. I, the baby that was placed for adoption 34 years previously, was the only match to my aunt.  

I went in for more in-depth physical and medical tests to ensure I was the perfect match and it all came back in clear favor of me being a kidney donor to my ailing aunt. I was ecstatic! The surgery was set and in April of 2010, 5 short years after being reunited, I donated my healthy kidney to my aunt and saved her life. It was a life defining moment for all of them but for me, it was just the right thing to do and I was happy to do it. I had just met her; I didn't want to lose her so soon.  

As an adoptee, we yearn to know where we came from regardless of how much we love our adoptive family. I always knew I would search. It was a long journey to the actual meeting but timing is everything. I believe my journey took its shape for a reason. The timing had to be right for me to come back into the lives of this family and that gift of acceptance was worth the gift of life to my aunt. I'd do it again tomorrow if only I had another spare to give.

Liz Williams Story

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