Reading an article this morning about vulnerability, in a magazine (Science of Mind) that serves as the source of some of my own spiritual inspiration, I went looking on the internet and found two articles related to adoptee reunions (that is an adoptee making the effort to find their family of origin). Though not an adoptee myself (both of my own parents were), I have made that journey myself. The article starts with this quote from Brene Brown on vulnerability – being “a state of emotional exposure that comes with a certain degree of uncertainty. It involves a person’s willingness to accept the emotional risk that comes from being open and willing to love and be loved.”
When one embarks on a roots journey, we cannot be certain what we will uncover. Even though we may feel uncertainty and fear, we are seeking a fuller expression of who we are and who those we came from are. It is taking a chance that it could all end in rejection. Rejection is something that many adoptees struggle with anyway because the reality is, for reasons that are unknown at the beginning of this journey, we were rejected to some degree and for reasons we don’t know the reality of. Even so, we must face our difficult emotions by being honest with our self about what we expect and even putting some boundaries around what we are willing to experience when we make contact.
In my own research today, I found articles from two very different perspectives. One is LINK>10 Things To Know About Adoption Search & Reunion from the adoption agency known as Gladney (named for it’s founder) Center for Adoption, a licensed adoption agency, at their website is called Adoption.org. What I found humorous about this is not any of the information there but that there were only 9 things listed and not 10. What they do get correct is that society is now in a transition out of an era in which closed adoptions and sealed adoption records were the norm. That transition is as it should be and all for the better.
I trust the other one more – LINK>What Does Work in the Adoption Reunion? by Claudia Corrigan DArcy at Adoption Birth Mothers.com. She is honest enough to admit – 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. Her article lists 14 Relationship Tools (you will need) to Bring to An Adoption Reunion (and there are actually 14 listed !!). She suggests meeting in the middle as each party is coming from different ends of any adoption. She suggests that you try to understand where they (your birth relatives) are coming from, it can help understand their actions, motivations, and their intent – even if it gets jumbled up in the emotional overload.
If you are only at the beginning phases of your own roots journey, it is probably worth your time to read both and consider what they offer. My own effort ended up surprisingly successful. Do I have all I could have wished for, from the genetic relatives I have discovered ? Honestly no. There is a chasm of time that can’t be fully bridged. My grandparents, who would have known most accurately, are all dead. Neither I nor the relatives I have connected with can make up for decades of life lived without knowing the other one existed. Am I glad to no longer be totally in the dark (as I was for over 60 years) about my family’s origins ? Absolutely. What I have now – a sense of my cultural and genetic foundations – is worth everything it ever could have possibly been worth – in my own heart of hearts.
LOL, I see there is a typo in the header but it is easy enough to fill in the intended “n”.