“I’ve had a wonderful life. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank you for everything you’ve given me.”(Kate Snyderman to birthmother Cheryl)

Airing this November as we celebrate Adoption Awareness Month was a heartwarming story from NBC’s own Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman. The Today Show regular took viewers into her private life and shared her story of unexpected joy through adoption.

Dr. Snyder explains that she was a career driven surgeon who received a phone call out of the blue asking if she’d be interested in adopting a soon to be born baby in a neighboring state. Dr. Snyderman reflects on that moment and explained “My decision prompted an impulsive and immediate ‘yes’! The baby girl, who she named Kate, grew up always knowing she was adopted and brought incredible joy to someone who had never even thought about being a mother.

When Kate turned 25 she decided to seek out information about her biological mother by searching on the internet and numerous websites and registries. After about a year of searching, a breakthrough came. An email popped up with the words “I think you may be my sister.” That communication led to Kate finding her birth mother Sheryl and the long awaited connection began. Kate was ecstatic, but also a muddle of nerves. “When I eventually hit ‘send’ on my first email to my birth mother I was so flustered I went out and mowed the lawn to work off nervous energy” she admits. A meeting ensued, and Kate finally got to tell Cheryl something she’d waited 27 years to say; “I’ve had a wonderful life. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank you for everything you’ve given me.” Then it was Dr. Nancy Snyderman’s turn to speak to Cheryl from her heart. “I thanked her 27 times for giving me the opportunity to raise her daughter.” She wanted Kate and the entire world to know “Cheryl was one of the “strongest and bravest” women she has ever encountered. For the complete stories of both, see links below.

Kate Snyderman’s Journey to find my birth mother

Dr. Nancy Snyderman’s the day my life changed forever

Photos courtesy of Nancy Snyderman