At 22 years old, Estelitta Murg, who goes by the name Leah, had three daughters, one who had just been born, and she was going through a painful divorce. She feared that she wouldn’t be able to give each daughter the attention they deserved, so she made an extremely difficult decision. She put her newborn daughter up for adoption.
Leah chose a closed adoption for her daughter, where typically neither the birth mother nor the adoptive parents have any information about each other. While this can be good thing to protect the children, it can also be a bad thing when the children grow up and begin to ask questions.
The closed adoption was finalized 20 years ago.
Natalie Rodgers is 20 years old and lives in Florida. Rodgers knew she was adopted and started asking her adoptive parents about her biological family. Her parents revealed the name she was given at birth, Dakota Love, so she took that and what little other information she had and went on a search for her birth mother.
In January Rodgers found Leah on Facebook and sent her a message. She told Leah a friend sent her a link from the “adoption thing” and “literally everything matches.” The two women began communicating back and forth online and decided to meet. Rodgers also contacted her biological brother, Zian, and he suggested that Rodgers plan a surprise visit to Leah for her birthday instead of the original plan for Mother’s Day.
When it was time for Leah’s birthday dinner she had no idea why everyone was making such a big fuss. After all she was only turning 42.
Leah’s sister, Hope, helped plan the surprise and had the camera rolling when Rodgers and her adoptive mother walked into the restaurant where Leah was celebrating her birthday with family. As soon as Rodgers came into the room, Leah immediately recognized her daughter. Twenty years may have passed, but you couldn’t tell! The way they embraced showed that a mother’s love never lessens for her child.
“It was like all of her children were there; she feels whole again,” Hope told Inside Edition. “It’s surreal; it’s not something you can prepare yourself for. It was such an emotional moment.”