Over the years, there were many times when Carrie Leach had almost given up hope of ever finding her birth mother.
But the 22-year-old new mom had an important milestone approaching in her life that she knew she wanted her birth mother to be there for: "I wanted her to be there for my wedding day," Leach told Ohio NBC affiliate WKYC.
It didn't seem possible. The adoption agency Leach's birth records were located in had been closed for years, forcing Leach to dig deeper. "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," Leach said.
Then, a few weeks ago, Leach posted a picture of herself on Facebook holding a sign with the information she had about her birth parents.
"Not even 24 hours later, my sister is emailing me asking me questions," Leach said. After exchanging a few messages and a phone call, Leach and her birth mother Kelly Gallant were reunited 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," Gallant said.
Gallant also said that her decision to give Leach up for adoption haunted her for years: "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."
Leach says the full impact of last week's events still hasn't hit her: "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."