ST. LOUIS - In the spring of 2002, my daughter Kary's life changed forever.
"I was turning 40 and I thought I can't be 40 and not be a mom. And I can't wait too much longer."
Kary's decision to adopt as a single woman was just the beginning. A year and a half of planning and delays, and a trip halfway around the world would follow.
"What's meant to be will happen, and I'm sure the baby I'm getting is my baby, so it's good it took extra time, because that means it's a perfect match."
Then one stormy night in Gaungzhou, China, video camera in hand surrounded by 25 crying babies and weary families, I witnessed my daughter become a mother.
"It was exciting and scary. It was very dramatic, it was not casual. It was very dramatic."
Her 10-month-old baby Jia was finally in her arms.
"She was a happy, happy healthy baby. We were really lucky."
But like many of life's greatest gifts the years go by much too quickly and at age four independent-minded Jia decided to be called by her middle name --- Caroline.
"One of Caroline's favorite things was to go down to the TV station and watch the news behind the desk -- even on Halloween."
Years later, mother and daughter are still remembered by viewers of our original story.
"She's 15 now. A great student, a happy kid, [a] healthy kid. She's very interested in life and things, and she's really bright."
A sophomore in high school, Caroline enjoys a balance of friends and academics.
"I really like science and I just signed up for classes next year, and I'm taking AP Bio. That's going to be challenging, but I'm excited for it. And then I really like ceramics which I'm in right now which is really fun."
The perfect description for life with her mom.
"So when I'm looking for fun, she always comes with me. And so far, she's always come with me, and she loves it.
We're really close because it's just us at home and our three pets, so we're really close."
Adoption just the way our family came to be.
"I don't think about it that often, 'cause that's just how I grew up.
"We kind of have this phrase between the two of us -- every family's different -- because we have some families that have two dads, we have some families that have grandparents, some families that only have a dad or a mom. It's just everybody's different."
Then and now, Kary's decision never wavered.
"From the very beginning, I thought it just made sense made sense."
"I really encourage it because I think if I wasn't adopted, I have no idea where I would be or what opportunities I would have had. I really encourage it, because I think that if I wasn't adopted, I have no idea where I would be or what opportunities I would have had. I would not being [sic] to MICDS and I wouldn't live in Clayton. Like, I would be somewhere in China, and I have no idea where.'
"Everything always said yes to me. Because it just flowed and she was right baby."
The right child -- to make our family complete.
© 2017 KSDK-TV