I’ve been inspired by several people lately asking questions about what makes reunions work vs what doesn’t. The idea that is strongest for me is for the mother in a closed adoption to get help BEFORE reunion, to anticipate and prepare for the resurfacing emotions. Learning about real adoptee issues ahead of time seems like it would be invaluable. Living in denial doesn’t pay off well at all.
I was in half denial. I never accepted that adoption was best for me. There was no blocking out that it hurt like hell and interfered with everything I thought about myself and everything I did. But I comforted myself with the notion that it was best for my daughter. She was supposed to be getting the good life without me. A part of me didn’t really believe it. But I didn’t know how else to go on, so I played along with that scenario.
Reunion started out with a continual series of missteps. We were both shaken out of our ideas of who and what we were. And we both tried to fake it, to pretend that we were just fine. Part of the BS that returned to me was the belief that I didn’t deserve any help. The conditions of losing her in the first place were that I didn’t deserve help from anyone. So I figured if I was going to reclaim her it would have to be on my own, without asking anyone for anything.
That was dumb. That was a big mistake and I made it.
I made another big mistake.
I tried waiting until things evened out with me and my daughter before getting to know her son, my grandson. So much self doubt that I didn’t want to risk initiating a relationship with him, in case she rejected me.
That was DUMB.
I might have avoided that one if I had enough self respect to ask for what I wanted – to ask for help reintegrating my daughter into my life.
I told myself that he might get hurt by the pain his mother and I fought our way through. And that I should try to keep him out of it. That was a mistake. I thought he should have the opportunity to contact me when he was old enough to do it himself (!?!) That thought should not have been allowed residence in my mind. It certainly wasn’t my own. But I let it hang out in my head.
So just in case anybody is wondering, I’d say those are the two biggest mistakes I made in reunion.
I suggest get help.
Ask for what you want.
Be sure to let little kids know you love and care for them, no matter what goes on in other relationships. Little kids deserve to know all the love they can.