My Oldest Daughter Is Only 9 Years Younger Than Me

In 1995 I was a typical 9 year old girl. I was obsessed with the Spice Girls and Cheerleading. I lived on a small hobby farm in Western Maryland with my family and I was about to become a mother.


I just did not know it yet. A state away my oldest daughter was being born, I  would not find her for another 19 years.

The number of things that had to happen and fall into line for us to find our oldest daughter, Kaitlyn is unfathomable. If one tiny thing had gone differently in my life, Tyler’s life, or Kaitlyn’s life we would never have found each other.

Flash forward 19 years; Tyler and I had finalized Caleb’s adoption and we were waiting to finalize the adoptions of Damien, Perry, Alizé, and Oliver. It was during this time that I realized I needed a hand with the kids. We had some false starts and people who did not work out as I looked for a Nanny. It was a nightmare, I had gotten to the point I was giving up on finding someone.

Then I got a late night e-mail and my heart soared. From the moment I read Kaitlyn’s message I felt something stirring in my heart. I assumed it was because I was relieved to find someone to lend a hand.


The day for her interview came and as I watched her walk towards the front door I thought, this girl is adorable and perfect. She came in and we chatted for quite a while. I knew she was exactly what we needed.

Shortly after hiring her we had a death in the family and I called to ask Kaitlyn to accompany me on the trip from Pennsylvania to Michigan with all five kids. During this trip everything changed. Kaitlyn went from someone I barely knew and had hired to someone I felt deeply connected to, we just got each other. Kaitlyn told me her life story and I learned why she was without what anyone could call a true family and had been for the majority of her life. Kaitlyn also got the kids in a deep and personal way.

As the days and weeks went on we realized Kaitlyn completed our family in a way we could not have planned for or imagined. There was a hole in our hearts and home until she walked through the door.


We got to watch and help her as she finished her college degree and at her college graduation there were no prouder parents watching than us. It had been years that we had called and considered Kaitlyn our daughter and we would not have missed this milestone for the world. During this trip we talked about making it official, Kaitlyn asked if after all these years we would legally and formally adopt her to make what was true for us all true for the world as well. We said yes instantly, we would have adopted her the first month if we could have.

Adult adoption is a great deal easier than adopting a minor, with the other kids we had multiple hearings and endless paperwork. Kaitlyn’s adoption will take a handful of paperwork and some mailing of documents and then it is FINALLY official. Kaitlyn is officially our daughter forever. The thing that is the exact same as all our other adoptions, with the other kids as soon as we met I felt something shift and click into place deep inside me, and I felt the exact same way the day I met Kaitlyn.

Family is Forever


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