Tampa International Airport, Fl. - It was May of 1996 when Cathy Waters reluctantly gave up her five-year-old son and two-year-old daughter for adoption in Michigan. She was a single mom just out of an abusive marriage.
"It was hard to provide for their everyday needs and I wante them to have better and to have both a mother and a father. And to have a better life," said Waters.
Adopted parents sent pictures of the kids over the years, but there's so much Cathy missed.
"I've cried many, many tears day after day wondering what are they doing today. What does their voice sound like? How tall are they? What's their favorite color?" said Waters.
And now Waters, her husband Cary, and their 10-year-old son Thomas are waiting at Tampa International Airport because her wish has finally come true.
"That someday he would want to come and meet me and would want to come live with me and that we would be reunited," said Waters. "A day I thought would never happen but we're 40 minutes away from that reunion."
It would be the longest 40 minutes of her life, excited and scared all at the same time.
"I am so nervous," Waters said.
And at 9:10 p.m., the nerves went away for good. Twelve years of waiting and hoping, finally over.
"Oh my God. You don't look any different,” said Waters.
17-year-old Jeff Vrosh will spend his senior year of school with his mom in Brooksville.
"Well, not a lot of people get to see their birth mom and I thought it would be a good opportunity, so I'm proud that she gave me the chance and I'm honored to be able to take it," said Vrosh.
A dream come true for both mother and son.
Waters says the timing of her son's arrival could not be better, since there was recently a death in her family, and her father is gravely ill in hospice care.
Dave Balut, Tampa Bay's 10 News