For Carrie Leach it has been a long journey riddled with obstacles, yet she never gave up hope
After 22 years apart, a mother and daughter separated through adoption were recently reunited with the help of Facebook.
For Carrie Leach it has been a long journey riddled with obstacles, yet she never gave up hope she would one day find her birth mother.
"I would say so many times I wanted to give up, but I didn't, and, if it's something that you really want and you really try hard for and you really follow God's path in your life, he's going to reward you with that in the end," Carrie explained.
A new mom on the verge of getting married in June, Carrie says she realized there was only one thing missing in her life.
"I wanted her to be there for my wedding day," she recalled.
Unfortunately the adoption agency Carrie's birth records were located in closed down years ago.
"I actually ended up calling the hospital that I was born at to see if they could tell me anything. ... I called the courthouse to see if they could tell me anything in Lima," Carrie continued.
However with one dead end after another, Carrie found herself exhausted of all options except for social media.
Just a couple weeks ago, through the encouragement of coworkers, Carrie posted a picture of herself holding a neon sign with a hand written note listing what little information she knew about her birth parents.
"Like not even 24 hours later my sister is emailing me asking me questions, it's just amazing," exclaimed Carrie.
After exchanging several Facebook messages in addition to talking on the phone, Carrie finally came face to face with her birth mother Kelly Gallant last week.
"Twenty-two years ago I would have never imagined that there was an Internet or a Facebook or some type of social media to reconnect us," said Kelly, who admits the adoption has haunted her for years. "It's only by God's grace we're together."
"Although it was the hardest thing that I ever had to come to terms with. ... I knew it would be the best thing for her," she said. "It was never a thought of myself. ... I've always put her happiness first."
Kelly says she in fact tried to reverse the adoption not even a week after giving Carrie up but was told it was too late. For years she held out hope Carrie would reach out when she came of age.
"I sent cards to the adoption agency, and they were going to make a time capsule with all the letters and the cards and gifts that we had sent ... and when she was old enough she was going to be able to retrieve those items from us," Kelly explained. "Well then the adoption agency closed and they sent the items back to me."
Neither mother nor daughter knew the other was actively searching until Carrie posted her picture and message on Facebook.
"It's amazing how much social media can affect things but it's amazing how many people actually care," said Carrie, who is grateful to all the people who shared her message online.
"It's not clicking yet totally that this is actually my mom, and we're actually sitting right beside each other -- something we wanted forever," she said.