Nightly News   |  November 06, 2013

‘Proud’ to be adopted: Dr. Nancy’s daughter shares her story

As a young cancer surgeon, NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman hadn’t planned to adopt a child -- but life presented an opportunity, and everything changed. Here, Dr. Snyderman and her daughter, Kate, share their emotional journey to find Kate’s birth mother.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight a personal family story from one of our own family members. 27 years ago, dr. nancy snyderman adopted a baby girl who is now a graduate student . as you're about to hear she recently took nancy along for what turned out to be an extraordinary reunion with the woman whose decision changed their lives.

>> oh, god, i can't believe it.

>> reporter: it was a moment she waited for her whole life. my daughter kate hugged her birth mother cheryl for the first time.

>> you're a lot different than you were 27 years ago.

>> reporter: 27 years ago i was a young surgeon in little rock , arkansas. i had a career in front of me. one saturday night i got a phone call from a young doctor saying would you adopt this baby. my answer was yes. that phone call changed my life. suddenly i was a moth tr to a 7-pound baby girl .

>> i can't ever remember not knowing i was adopted.

>> reporter: kate made no secret of the fact one day she wanted to meet her biologic mom.

>> a couple months after i posted the listing i got an e-mail. it said, i think i'm your sister, your mother loves you and she would love to meet you someday.

>> reporter: that day came this summer when they met in little rock .

>> i always wondered if you were proud of me.

>> i have always been proud of you. being a single teenage mom i couldn't give you a life the that you would amount to anything. i know you will amount to a lot of stuff right now.

>> i have had a wonderful life . there isn't a day that goes by that i don't thank you for everything you have given me. so if you would like, i would be honored to introduce you to my mom.

>> i would love to.

>> reporter: with that, it was my turn.

>> thank you. i mean it. i really mean it. thank you.

>> she's perfect.

>> she's pretty amazing.

>> reporter: i was stunned to see a woman who looks exactly like my daughter. i look at the two of you. your cheeks are similar. your eyes are similar. your smiles are similar. for kate , the puzzle pieces were beginning to fall into place. there was so much more that i wanted to share starting with a precious polaroid that's been tucked away for 27 years. when you look at that picture of you holding kate , hours after you gave birth, do you remember that moment?

>> yep. i doment -- i do. i remember the day you came and got her, too th.. i didn't know you were coming to get her that day. that was the biggest heartbreak.

>> i didn't know that you didn't know. you had a yellow cat named sam. later that day i took kate to the house where our life together started. you said there was no shame in being adopted. you were proud of it.

>> i was.

>> good job. this has been your journey. i'm proud of