Depending on which side of the adoption triad one finds him or herself searching as, the outcome of an adoption search may seem more like an initial meeting or a reunion. Either way, the means usually justify the end as the search process asks one to reflect on his or her reason for searching. often sustaining the very curiosity that attracts many to the idea of reunion.
A successful adoption search will reunite an adoptee and his or her birth relative. And after all of the hard work, time, financial input and emotional obstacles have been overcome in the search process, what may come post-reunion is the rest of the up-hill journey to establishing a relationship with one's pre-adoptive or pre-placement past. Sometimes, reuniting with one's birth mother may not go as planned. It is, after all, impossible to regain the years apart from one another. Adoptees and birth parents who search are encouraged to join support groups to provide an outlet for discussing any difficult situations that arise.
Reunited adoptees and birth relatives may be able to expect to enter into one of many stages of reunion. There are various collections of stages, one of which is a list of adapted stages from the Kubler-Ross stages of grief. The first stage is "Shock and Denial," during which the two parties feel positive about meeting one another and spend a considerable amount of time connecting. As with anything in sudden excess, the parties may soon become apprehensive about the relationship and want to spend time apart from one another to normalize their perception of the relationship. This may be followed by a denial of their initial euphoric reaction. From here, the parties may experience anger and guilt toward the other. Following this, the two parties may feel they just need a "time out" and that this can allow their sense of normalcy to return. Because this is a passive approach to intense emotions, adoptees and birth relatives may become depressed, which must then be overcome with acceptance. How long this post-meeting process takes varies by person, but in the end a deeper understanding of self will most likely manifest in the parties' perceptions toward the relationship and they may reunite again to clarify and define the relationship.
Category: Search And Reunion
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February 19, 2014, 5:52 pm
Like you, I am a step father adoptee who was raised by my adoptive father and biological mother. My biological father married my biological mother, I was born, and they divorced a few years later. After a brief period of child support and visitation, he disappeared. When my mother remarried, I...How a failed reunion feels
March 4, 2014, 3:57 pm
I saw this quote. I highly doubt that it has anything to do with adoption reunions, but it definitely could apply to some of the failed ones. "It would be too easy to say that I feel invisible. Instead, I feel painfully visible, and entirely ignored." --David...
Hurray for Ohio!
February 23, 2014, 6:46 am
[QUOTE=1956CheverlyAdoptee]Bernie, I know that a year may sound like forever but the good news is that Ohio adoption reunion laws were just changed>>> The reason for the wait till March 2015 is that birth parents will be given the opportunity to file for you NOT to have their names . If they do...Spouse feels overshadowed by reunion
February 24, 2014, 11:19 am
Hello, this is a first post for me. I am an adult adoptee (44 yrs) and have reconnected (email and phone conversation over the past 5 months-it's been pretty great!) with my birth mother. The reunion is progressing very well and there have been a couple things that have tripped my wife and I up...
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