By Ray Sanchez and Linh Tran, CNN
Updated 9:26 PM ET, Thu July 5, 2018
Watch a mother and child reunite after 55 days 02:12
(CNN)Angelica Gonzalez-Garcia waited 55 days for this moment.
She wept as she embraced her 8-year-old daughter Thursday afternoon at Boston's Logan Airport, more than 2,500 miles from the Arizona detention center where Gonzalez-Garcia said an immigration agent wished her a "Happy Mother's Day" before the girl was taken from her without explanation."Forgive me for leaving you all alone," Gonzalez-Garcia cried. "Forgive me, my daughter. Forgive me."The long-awaited reunion came on the same day Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar raised the number of minors in the agency's care who were possibly children from separated families. He said there may be just under 3,000 children, with about 100 children under the age of 5."You know that I love you, right?" said Gonzalez-Garcia, on her knees, sobbing and holding the girl."You know that I missed you. You are the gift that God gave me. I'll never leave you alone again. Never. Forgive me my darling for leaving you alone. Forgive me. I didn't want to."The embrace lasted minutes, with Gonzalez-Garcia and her daughter both on their knees -- the way she said the two knelt in prayer every morning since their separation. Later, the girl played with a talking doll that was given to her."I was very nervous," Gonzalez-Garcia told CNN in an exclusive interview. "I was waiting for the moment she walked through that door. ... She is all I have. She is my whole life. It's been so long."Gonzalez-Garcia, 31, ran her fingers through the girl's hair. Lawyers and supporters stood around them. Some dabbed tears."There was a time I thought I would never see her again," she said."But I got on my knees every day and prayed. She says she also prayed every day that we would be together again. ... The wait was like an eternity. I'm the happiest woman in the world right now."The reunion was made possible by lawyers from two firms and the ACLU of Massachusetts. Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Massachusetts, helped speed up the reunification process."The frustrating thing for everyone involved in this ... is there are no answers," Clark told CNN."There's never been a plan to get these families back together. ... There is no policy. It is a matter of chance, and we are so full of joy to see this reunion, but there are thousand of families out there. Some who don't know where their children are. And these are the actions of the US government."
CNN Polo Sandoval, Sophia Lipp, Clare Foran and Sonia Moghe contributed to this report.