Can We Make It Better?
This is for all the searchers - be they birth parents, adoptees or even adoptive parents:
Before you start your search - get counseling, join support groups and read if that helps.
Once contact is made - no matter who makes it - the ground rules need to be set. People work better together with structure and things fall apart without it.
has begun - CONTINUE counseling, support groups and reading.
Do not ever assume anything - and this does not apply to one party over another. Communicate, communicate and communicate. Be ready to be able to say "you know what, I need a little time to absorb" and then be ready to hear "ok, I need a little time to absorb."
Never say something you do not mean - this is something I read a lot on these boards - adoptees saying "I love my birth mom"...sorry guys, I will probably get flamed for this, but you love the idea of your birth mom - you do not know her enough to love her. It is also very painful to birth mom to hear "I love you" in the beginning and then "I hate you, you abandoned me" later on. It creates havoc and hurts feelings unnecessarily.
Birth mom's remember - these are not the babies we gave to homes to love - these are grown people that do not need a mother - in most cases - and they will resent you if they think you want to mother them.
I recently began a reunion that is going badly - we broke all of the rules above and both of us are hurting over it. She and I both searched - I contacted. She and I both said I love you - she really might love me, but right now, that is not true, she is still trying to pretend I am not her birth mom....It is painful and unnecessary....and in the end, may even end our reunion.
Does anyone have anything to add? I want all to note - these things apply to everyone - not just birth moms or adoptees. This journey is a duet, not a solo.
© Adoption Week e-Magazine