Although I believe in God and believe that He has His hand in all things (some of which we cannot understand), the words in this picture spoke to me. As I am going through the adoption reunion process (3+ years in now!), I have had so many people say “don’t let that bother you,” “you have a family that loves you,” “I don’t understand why that is important to you,” etc. They completely reject my feelings and the range of emotions associated with my reunion process. Reunion is a lifelong process that doesn’t just turn off. I may struggle with an issue one day and a week, month or year later the same issue is triggered again. That is just the cyclical nature of the process that most who are not touched by adoption do not or cannot understand. Just as all humans move through developmental processes, adoptees move through a process specific to their adoption and will spend their lifetime writing their adoption story. Having an adopted family does not replace the fact that one also has a biological family. Moving on and getting over it isn’t a realistic expectation or judgment to place on adoptees. Everyone’s journey is unique and some reunions are easier than others. Validate the adoptee’s feelings, support him/her by meeting them where they are in the writing of their story that day, and realize that sometimes the best way to be there for someone is to just listen and be present.
Wow it has been a long time since I have written. This year has had a lot of ups and downs so far, not only in my professional life but in the reunion journey with my bio mom.
After doing everything in my power to have a “family Christmas” with her and my siblings, I was deflated and exhausted with the relationship. We were able to spend a few hours together for Christmas and it went very well in my opinion, but the issues that were tabled for the holiday literally resurfaced as soon as I walked out of her house. I don’t know the whole story and don’t want to know, but she raged on everyone in the family once the door closed. Inevitably, we were back to constantly dealing with problems and issues as soon as came back home. Id love a drama free relationship with her and I can’t understand why she seems to not want the same thing! Everything I say seems to trigger issues surrounding my adoption and her feelings of insecurity.
So January came, I asked her to tell me she unconditionally loves and supports me (the story of the way I was treated or not treated by my bio family at Christmas is pretty deep, hence the question). Her response was like a stab and a slap…. “I guess that is up to you”…. wow really!?! Up to me if you unconditionally love and support me!? I am the child!! Adopted or not, children want and need to hear that their parents unconditionally love and support them. That response was a text message that I never replied too and we went over 6 months without talking. She didnt reach out to me and I didnt reach out to her. I received an Easter card from the family, and I texted her “happy birthday” and “happy mother’s day” but that was the extent of our commication.
A few weeks ago I took a vacation to go back home with no intention of seeing her since we haven’t talked. She knew I was in town and we even passed each other in our cars going opposite directions (she was leaving her house because she knew I was coming over to see my siblings). I was back in my hometown for a week and heard nothing from her. The evening I got back from vacation, she texted me, confronting me as to why I didn’t want to see her. Hmmm… couldn’t that question go both ways? We texted for a while, and she said she would like to start fresh. Leave all the drama and feeling crap behind us!! I was elated to read that message! Of course I agreed to it!! However, since then she still continues to rarely initiate contact with me and both of us seem to be holding back in the repair of this relationship.
So I say all of this because I have learned that what I really want is for her to fight for me. I want her to say I am so important to her that she would do anything to have a relationship with me! I want her to treat me the same as she does my siblings. I guess I want her to want me… (my adoption issue!!! Rejection and abandonment!) I have shared with her that I want her to fight for me to show me how I much I mean to her. That she won’t just let me walk away and that she will do anything in her power for us to have a drama-free relationship. Her response was “I want you to fight for me.” (Her adoption issue!) Wait who is the child and who is the parent? I am tired… tired of being the bigger person for the sake of avoiding arguments, tired of fighting for the relationship. Its clear when I stopped fighting she backed away for 6 months… I am no longer willing to compromise myself in the relationship. But how are you supposed to have a relationship with your bio mom when she has so many unresolved issues surrounding your adoption?? I know this is a common problem for adoptees in reunion. If only there was an easy solution. My bio mom admits that she has a lot of unresolved issues within herself about my adoption, yet will do nothing to work through them and they spew toxic slime all over our relationship. I want her in my life and want a relationship with her, but under one condition…. health. I only want a healthy relationship. Not saying it will never have problems, but for the past 2 years this relationship has been mostly problems… again I say, I am tired…
Anyhow, research suggests most reunions between adoptees and their birth moms do not make it past 2 years. In 3 weeks, we will have reunited 3 years ago… its been hard but there have been a lot of good moments also. She has given me information no one else could. I just hope that some day we can have a drama-free relationship and more of a mother-daughter relationship.
We all experience times when life hands us more than we think we can take. During those times, dig deep to find your inner strength. You will be amazed at what you can get through!