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When it comes to pictures, I don’t know that there is one that can ever hold as much meaning as this one does. This is me. My first ever picture! But one that I had no idea existed until I was 30.

I remember growing up seeing hospital pictures from all of my cousins and cousins’ babies especially several that were on display at our granny’s house but I had never seen one of myself. I would always look at them and wonder if my picture was even taken at the hospital. In the first conversation I ever had with my birth mom, I learned that there had indeed been a hospital picture. And while she didn’t have money to buy the pictures, they did give her a proof of it. Best of all She still had it and had carried this picture in her wallet for THIRTY YEARS!

I don’t know if she could have ever possibly known how much this picture would mean to me but even more so the fact that now I knew she had never forgotten me and I was always with her. Because one of the things I wondered most all my life was if my parents were thinking about me.

Seeing this first picture of myself was also confirmation that I was “real.” I know how odd that sounds to non-adoptees, but it’s true. There’s this odd feeling when the first chapter of your story is missing. When you don’t know where you came from or why you ended up where you are. All the little things that everyone else takes for granted like what time you were born or if you had a name or who was there or having a hospital picture and bracelet. It truly was as if one day the stork flew over and dropped me off. Seeing this picture of me was dreamlike yet also made me feel real and was just the beginning of learning about who I was.

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