Reunion Expectations Part 2

March 22nd, 2007

There are some who may find that they are preoccupied with their natural parent or son/daughter that they need to be sure not to shut out those people who have been supportive and encouraged them and are part of their lives. It is common for triad members in reunion to want to touch, spend time together, talk and share. This is part of the bonding process which is what was cut off at the time of relinquishment and is often referred to as genetic attraction. We have talked about genetic sexual attraction where these strong emotions that triad members experience may stimulate sexual feelings between brothers and sisters who have not grown up together. This can also happen between the adoptee… [more]

Reunion Expectations Part 1

March 21st, 2007

Triad members are often amazed at the similarities that they share between them or the opposite can happen where they are very different with little common ground. The adoptee may physically resemble the natural parent. This can be something that is very important to the adoptee. Often times this is the first family connection that they meet that has a physical resemblance. All involved in reunion bring with them their own personal fantasies about the other person and expectations. The reunion can go better than expected or leave much to be desired. Either way, what is important is that the reality replaces the fantasy so that the fantasy doesn’t create obstacles. The expectations for the triad members in reunion may… [more]

Birth Parents’ Rights at Reunion – Part 2

March 12th, 2007

Part 1 ended up focusing more on what birth parents at reunion are not entitled to receive, rather than what they are. However, I think it is important to know both. As for a relationship after being found, that is something that you cannot legislate. Although I encourage at least one meeting between the parties, you cannot force a relationship. If an adoptee or birth parent who is found refuses to form a relationship, you cannot force them to connect with each other. It is helpful to realize that a relationship is a privilege, and not a foregone conclusion to which you are entitled. There are a few rights that birth parents are entitled to receive at reunion: 1… [more]

Reunion – The Thrill Ride of a Lifetime

March 8th, 2007
Categories: Expectations, Reunion

Often reunion is described as a roller coaster ride. For many of us who have experienced reunion, it does seem to be an accurate description, particularly in the initial stages. There may be high excitement, then a deep plunge downward that may be hard to handle. Like a roller coaster ride, reunion can be exciting, scary and yes, have very definite highs and lows. If you tend to be someone who is used to a sedate and calm life, you will need to hold on tight and expect life to be different for awhile. There's no way around it for most people in reunion. That first phone call or contact may be one of the most exciting events of your lifetime. The first face-to-face… [more]

Is This Normal? Reunion Wierdness

February 15th, 2007
Categories: Expectations, Reunion

Reunion is such an unusual experience that many people who are reuniting often wonder if their feelings are normal or not. I can't tell you how many times I have heard a birth parent or adoptee begin to tell you what is happening in their reunion, then pause and ask if their experiences are "normal." As far as I can tell, there is not too much normal about reunion. Yet, in some ways the relationship itself may seem very natural and easy. Closed adoptions did not plan for reunions to ever occur. The whole premise of a closed adoption is to sever all ties between a child and its birth family forever. No provisions were made for a reunion to take place. Therefore, there… [more]

Reunion Expectations – Part 1

January 19th, 2007

Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect. Margaret Mitchell Expectations are often a stumbling block in reunions. I will go even further; I believe that unrealistic expectations have the potential to stop a reunion dead in its tracks. If one party in a reunion feels constantly pressured for more, they may feel compelled to retreat. The retreat may be a temporary measure, or it could be an end to the relationship depending on a number of factors. It is difficult to predict, so many other aspects of the relationship could be… [more]

Reunions – The Best Part – You Tell ME!

November 30th, 2006
Categories: Expectations, Reunion

What one aspect of reunion makes the experience most rewarding for birth family members? Sometimes adoptees speak of having their curiosity satisfied. There is no more wondering about where their brown eyes came from, or their musical talent (or lack of it.) Answers to many questions that they have thought about for years are often provided at reunion. Filling in the pieces of their lives is often satisfying and helps them feel more grounded. Even those who do not develop successful relationships after a reunion are still generally content with their decision to search. Some birth moms that I know long for contact with children who are not interested. However, even knowing that their children are alive and well offers some sense of resolution… [more]

Letting Go of the Fantasy at Reunion – Part 1

June 13th, 2006

Recently, I learned about an interesting phenomenon that some adoptees experience at reunion. While I had vaguely heard mention of this occurrence, I did not realize how significant an issue it can be for some adopteees. It involves mourning the loss of the fantasy birth mother that they may have imagined most of their lives. At reunion, when they meet their birth mothers, rarely is the women that they encounter exactly what they expected. Apparently, this discovery causes some adoptees to mourn their loss. The loss is not one based on losing a person, but instead a fantasy. It is akin to letting go of a dream. It is unlikely that a birth mother comes from royalty or a prominent political family… [more]

“You’re Not My Mother” – Birth Parent Expectations

April 13th, 2006
Categories: Expectations, Reunion

. In Nancy Verrier’s second book, "Coming Home to Self," she tells adoptees that your birth mother is not just a friend, but your mother. She chides adoptees not to pretend otherwise because it is unfair to do so. However, I believe that despite what the reality is – that all adopted people have two mothers – not all adoptees feel that way. Much of our society does not allow for a person to have more than one mother. One of the most painful proclamations from adoptees in early reunion often seems to be variations on, “You are not my REAL mother. I know who my REAL mother is.” I can’t tell you how many birth parents I have spoken to… [more]