In some reunions, there is an instant and immediate connection. The other party may seem somewhat familiar. There may seem to be many common interests between the two parties, and often many similarities in personalities. The more like minded the two parties are, the greater the probability that they may feel an instant connection.
Sometimes the two parties seem nothing alike. The person that they meet at reunion seems like a stranger, an alien. Nearly every belief that they have may be in opposition to the other party’s beliefs.
In either case, connecting on a deep level and building a lasting and fulfilling relationship takes some work. Here are a few suggestions to help connect with your birth parent or adult child:
1. Try to be patient and rein in your need to proceed at warp speed. Birth parents particularly may be aware of time passing and want to make up for lost time quickly. Making up for lost time is an impossibility. That time is gone, cannot be replaced, nor can you really make up for it. Therefore, accept that you need to slowly start beginning to build a new, but different relationship.
2. Pay attention to whatever clues, your birth parent or child may signal to you. If they sound annoyed when you call, maybe you are calling too often. Maybe you just called at the wrong time. However, notice and take note of their reactions to calls or emails.
3. When all else fails, ask for feedback. In the beginning stages of reunion, most of us are too afraid to rock the boat to bring up significant issues. However, you may need some honest discussions to insure that your relationship is proceeding on track.
4. Try to deal with your own issues without trying to draw the other party into the situation. Even if your issues are adoption related, the other party cannot fix them, and may resent being the implication that they can or should.
5. Spend time together doing simple things and making memories. Although you cannot make up for the past, you can create new memories to help build your relationship. Shared memories create bonds and can help you reconnect with each other.
Photo by Jan Baker 2007