Mother Finds 'Peace' With Lost Daughter in Egypt

Hugs and gifts exchanged in reunion 12 years in the making.

ByABC News via logo
June 2, 2009, 9:22 PM

June 3, 2009 — -- Janet Greer had 15 minutes to prepare for a reunion she's been fighting for for more than a decade.

Twelve years ago, Greer's Egyptian ex-boyfriend Magdy Elgohary took their 3-year-old daughter, Sarah, to Egypt, and Greer has been battling since that day to get her daughter back. This week she traveled to Cairo in hopes of seeing Sarah.

Wednesday, she received a call from the U.S. Embassy that changed her life -- the battle was finally over, and she would be able to see her daughter.

Nervous and excited, Greer made her way to the Cairo home of Elgohary's brother, where she and her daughter, now 15 years old, finally met with a hug. For two hours, the two were allowed to catch up on nearly a lifetime of a lost relationship.

"Every time I would speak Arabic, she would start laughing at me, which is a good thing," Greer said. "Every time she smiles, she looked just like me. Exactly like me. I couldn't get over it."

When the meeting was over, Greer exchanged phone numbers with her daughter and received a piece of chocolate she treasures like "gold."

"I feel at peace in my heart," Greer told "Good Morning America" after the emotional reunion. "I feel even if I go back to America tomorrow and she is not with me, I still feel like the connection is there now. I know I will see her again."

The trip to Egypt didn't start out so promising.

After she arrived, Greer was told an Egyptian judge would grant her a visit with her daughter, and she rode through the streets of Cairo with only one thing on her mind: telling Sarah that she loved and missed her.

But then she was told that the visitation was denied -- the latest of more than a decade's worth of disappointments.

"I thought today was going to finally be the day that I could see my girl after 12 years, and now they're saying no and I don't understand it. I don't understand any of this," she said after hearing the news.

But her high-level pleas to government officials in Egypt paid off when an interior minister interceded and Elgohary's family agreed to the meeting.