Ashley Comer always wanted to meet the woman who gave her up for adoption as a baby.
After years of wondering, the 22-year-old photographer, who is based in Massachusetts, took action to find her birth mother last winter.
While attending Savannah College of Art and Design, Comer reached out to the agency that facilitated her adoption more than two decades ago.
The only things she knew about her mom was that her first name was Sheila and she had green eyes and red hair, according to Feature Shoot.
The agency was able to locate Sheila, who was living in Florida (just four hours from where her birth daughter was studying in Georgia), and told her that Comer wanted to meet.
After the two connected, they set up a time to meet in person, and Comer decided to capture the experience through photography. The project, titled Meeting Sheila, documents their newfound relationship over a series of four weekends.
Comer, who said meeting her mom at her house in Florida was both “thrilling” and “nerve-wrecking,” also told Feature Shoot that she found comfort in the fact that Sheila understood her love for photography.
“It was a great excuse to get to see her,” she said.
During the first meeting, the mother and daughter drove around the area, took in the scenery and bonded over s’mores.
They also talked about Sheila’s decision to give Comer up for adoption.
Sheila told her that she remembers a nurse telling her, “I cannot believe you’re giving her up,” to which she responded, “I gave her life to give her life.”
Comer returned to Massachusetts after graduating from college, and said she and Sheila plan to keep in touch.
“Without truly knowing one another, we come together – not as strangers, but as long lost friends and family,” Comer said at the end of a video she posted on her website.