An Adoption Reunion Roadmap

family tree reunionPrepare for the Emotions of an Adoption Reunion

If you are an adoptee or a birthparent planning on an adoption search and hopeful to have a family reunion, there is no such thing as too much planning.  The time to start preparing for an adoption reunion is actually way before you start your actual adoption search. I have seen searches that take 30 years and I have seen searches that take 30 hours, so you can’t think that you can let the search pace be your timeline. Get ready.

An adoption search and the subsequent reunion with family can be both time consuming and sometimes even obsessive inducing. It’s often very hard to go from some sort of life removed from adoption to a life where adoption “stuff” is constantly on our minds. Plus every situation is different. There is no one right way or one wrong way, a check list of sorts, we all just wing it somehow.

Read Stories of Adoption Reunions

You will want to be reading all the adoption reunion stories that you can so you can gain insight and knowledge from other people’s experiences. As much as everyone has a different take on the whole thing, there are many common themes in adoption reunions. Make sure you read adoption stories from the adoptee point of view and read adoption reunion stories told form the birthmother or birthfather’s point of view. Read the good happy family reunion stories and read the tales of adoption reunions gone bad.

I cannot stress this enough; READ

Read The Girls Who Went Away
and  read The Baby Thief to understand the history of adoption in the USA. You can find more Books about Adoption Reunions here.

You MUST be prepare for the realm of possibilities that you might find and you need to know how to prepare yourself for the emotional up and down that happens! Read adoptee blogs and read blogs and stories from the birthparents point of view too. I always say that my heart hurts the most for anyone who finds success at the end of their adoption search and has ONLY their emotions to guide them.  Emotions are just not enough. The term “emotional roller-coaster” is used by almost every person in a search and reunion and with good reason.. it can make you feel crazy and if you are not prepared you might begin to think you really are! ”

Find Adoption Reunion Support

Start gathering together the people who “understand” and will support you . An adoption search both emotionally exhausting and wonderful when it starts a reunion with family, but that’s only the beginning of a new journey.  It’s a good time now to find and adoption group for support.. want to find adoption people? Friend me on Facebook..seriously, most of my network there is adoption related. The bonus of sharing an adoption reunion with others in adoption is that we know you are not crazy as we all lived it too. There are tons of groups and pages on Facebook relating to all kinds of adoption needs; support for search and reunions, support for birthmothers, support for change, the major adoption groups; here is a list of many of the adoption support groups on Facebook.

You can also check out these various groups booth off line or one.

Adoption Search and Reunion Support

Not all these groups are for everyone, so take a peak and find one that feels good. It’s also not a bad idea to see if you can find a local group that physically meets once in a while. Finding your family is like any long term relationship; it is hard, but worth it. You do need to invest time and effort for an adoption reunion to succeed.

Adoption Reunion Rules and Advice

I have tried over the years to share both stories from my own reunion experience and also to talk about other issues that adoptees and birthmothers face. I am as flawed as the next person and I don’t think any of us are experts, but I try to share what I have learned and my thoughts.  You’ll find some relevant post regarding adoption reunions below and others that should be read on the side bar.

If you have a specific question about a reunion, you can ask me directly and I can offer my insight or, especially if the Adoptee perspective is needed, I am happy to post adoption questions and enter needed topics for conversation.

Please feel free to get in touch with any adoption reunion questions.

More Reading about Adoption Reunion Issues, Stories, Information and Advice

 



A 1966 Era “In Family ” Adoptee Looks Back on Childhood and Reunion and Says…

in family adoption 1966 adoptee

I am an adoptee given up by my birth mother in 1966. I was adopted within the family, so grew up with my biological grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins around me. I was raised being told that my mother was my “Aunt Annie”. My adoptive parents (aunt and uncle, whom I called mom and dad) were terribly insecure and once the secret was out that I knew “Aunt Annie” was no aunt to me at all, my adoptive parents became extremely controlling about my access to and communication with my birth mother. read more…

New Dayton Ohio Area Adoption Support Group!

dayton ohio adoption support

First meeting of Dayton Ohio Adoption support group will be on June 19th, 2014 at Vandalia Rec Center.in Dayton, OH. Open to birth parents, adult adoptees, siblings, adoptive parents, and significant others In conjunction with Adoption Network Cleveland. read more…

Supporting iReunion

A Better Adoption Search and Reunion Registry

If you have ever searched, then you know that the numbers of “online adoption reunion registries” is daunting. There is no lack of places to look through or to register with, but many are outdated, cumbersome and really NOT searchable. There comes a time when one must say “it’s time to build a better mousetrap”. Enter iReunion. iReunion is a new adoption search and reunion that is an App based program designed to search FOR YOU! Once you register and if no internal match be found, the software will search web-based sources for a potential match. It will actually network with over half a million other registries beyond the internal listings. It searches 24/7 on your behalf and gives you back any potential matches. read more…

Reclaiming Our Motherhood After Adoption Relinquishment

We all worry. We all fear so much that we will lose what precious little we have managed to obtain, that we are frozen solid in fear. Adoptees, birthmother, fathers, siblings.. all dancing to a song that we don’t known the melody to but desperately tying to sing along hoping we don’t step on another’s toes. read more…

Day 16 of Adoption Activism; NAAM2013 – Virtual Reg Day for the ISRR

16. Day 16 of Adoption Activism; NAAM2013

In the spirit of the International Soundex Reunion Registry’s Reg Day, please post of share the links today to the ISRR. ISRR is a non-profit mutual consent registry dedicated to reuniting adult family members separated by adoption. read more…

RIARG: RI Adoptees Resource Group Monthly Meetings

RIARG  RI Adoptee Support

WHO: RIARG: RI Adoptees Resource Group
WHEN: 3rd Thursday of every month
WHERE: 5 New London Avenue Cranston, RI
BONUS: John Greene runs this Adoptee Support Group!! read more…

Finding Happiness in Spite of Adoption Reunion Issues

Adoption reunion control your own happiness

There is that classic saying, “you can’t change another person’s actions or feelings, but you can change how it affects you.” I think that is really important to remember in an adoption reunion. No matter how much we might want another person to think and feel and usually more importantly act, we cannot make that happen. No matter what you do, what hoops you jump through, the emotional gymnastics you attempt, you cannot change which you cannot control. If life was controlled by forces of sheer will alone, this world would be a much different, though I don’t know if necessarily better, place. read more…

What Does Work in the Adoption Reunion?

It will be Ok in the end, if it is not ok, it is not the end.

Truthfully? I have no idea. What works for one reunion might not work for another. The measure of what makes an adoption reunion successful really does depend on the parties involved and how they measure that success. Are they both satisfied with the measure of contact? Are they both getting what they need out of the relationship? Are the interactions relatively “healthy” aka not destructive to the other party? Again, so many variables, so many different personalities, so many different experiences, differences in timing, in support; how is one supposed to make heads or tails? read more…

Ways to Ruin an Adoption Reunion II

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I have seen too many conversations both in real life and online between both adoptees and birthmothers wonder what they did wrong in an reunion. It often feels like some kind of sick cosmic joke; adoptees longing for relationships with mothers who rejected them and birthmothers longing for relationships with adoptees that have done the same. It’s like everyone is miss matched and it would be so simple to just “adopt” the rejected half to our wholes, but then, we’d still be missing the ones that we all really want: the people were are blood related to. read more…

Ways to Ruin an Adoption Reunion I

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It often seems like a birthmother does not come out directly and say NO during a reunion. Of course, there are too many that do, but then there are a whole slew that just seem to fail miserably in the process of an active reunion. Meaning, on the outside, birthmother and adoptee have some contact, but due to her own damage, or expectation, or limitations, or personal boundaries and fears, over years and sometimes decades, the adoptee finds that the whole relationship feels unsatisfying. I completely understand that what one part might find “acceptable” in a reunion, the other party might really be left wanting way more. Let this go on for too long and what was an initial “yes” can turn into a ” I can’t take this anymore”. read more…

What is a Successful Adoption Reunion?

Adoptees searching for reunions

In the UK  Debbie Eades and Jonathan Sledge reunite in ITV's adoption documentary Long Lost Family
Let’s face it ; we all love a good adoption reunion story. The media loves a reunion story. Most people off the street love a reunion story. In AdoptionLand, we especially enjoy hearing that another family separated by adoption has managed to beat the industry rules and find their way home. We marvel at the similarities and “near misses”. We get teary eyed seeing the cries of joy and the airport hugs. Yet, what happens after that first contact, that first find, that first phone call, that first hug is really where the determination of “success” comes into play.
So what does an adoption reunion look like when it works? read more…

Numbers in Adoption Reunions; How Many People Get Told NO?

Adoption Reunion Rejection

I have had a few people tell me that I should stop saying it because by perpetuating that reunion rejection by a birthmother is rare, then it sets up adoptees for disappointment when they are rejected. I can understand that. Yet, as I tried to explain, the factual research that I have available DOES really indicate that less than 1% of relinquishing mothers opt for no contact when given the choice.Of course, we do face the fact that any adoption research is never 100% accurate due to the fact that there is no one agency that oversees or even counts the numbers of adoptions and would enable the entire population of people affect by adoption to be counted.Yet, I would say that about half the adoptees I know struggle with have an nonexistent or unsatisfactory relationship with their found mothers. Why such a difference? read more…

The Locator; Troy Dunn is NO Friend to Adoption

I declare war on Troy Dunn the Locator Idiot

I Declare WAR on Troy Dunn. Ok, not that he really cares, but I shall NEVER say a somewhat good thing about Troy Dunn, his adoption search services, or “The Locator” shows again. In fact, if I ever hear anyone else in the world say a decent thing about Troy Dunn the Locator, I will denounce Troy the Locator loudly and quite vocally for all to hear. read more…

Spouse of A Birthmother Asks: How Do I Tell My Children?

Long Term Affects of Adoption Relinquishment on Marriage & Relationships

And like many of us affected by adoption, for a spouse of a birthmothers, it helps just to know that one is not alone, which is then altered with the desire to help others also feel that validation and acknowledgment. I do infrequently run into other spouses that wish there was more public support. Perhaps one day we will have something really good for you all. Of course, we’ll have to make it ourselves. The adoption industry probably never will, as then they will have to admit that adoption has long term affects on behalf of relinquishment. read more…