This is one woman’s adoption story. It begins the day her birth mother found her.

The letter from my birth mother arrived six days before my 22nd birthday. A month earlier, I had packed all my worldly possessions into a sun-blistered Mazda and moved to Sydney to live with my boyfriend of four years. But we’d broken up three weeks later, and I found myself alone, hating the corporate law firm where I temped as a paralegal, but dreading even more the return to the filthy eight-bedroom frat house I’d wound up in after the split. One of my revolving cast of roommates casually tossed it to me: a giant white envelope postmarked from Beijing.

“What is it?” he asked, clicking on the TV before I responded. Learn more.