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5 stages of reunion and common triad fears

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*The 5 Stages of Reunion*
From the book "BIRTHRIGHT," by Jean A.S. Strauss

1.) FANTASY:
This begins at a very young age for the adoptee. Fantasies are hard to avoid when there's so little info to go on; some are positive, some negative. Fantasies are not limited to the adoptee; bmoms have them. Conscious awareness of fantasies are limited and may not surface until long after reunion is underway.
Key: Fantasies are forever changed and altered by the realities of stage #2....First Encounters.


2.) FIRST ENCOUNTERS:
Every encounter is different; most are civil; it's a highly charged time of massive amounts of shared information; questions are finally answered; people ride on a euphoric high for days or weeks or months; but after all the questions are answered, then what? Who are we to each other? Where do we go from here? How do I incorporate you into my life? The third phase of the reunion begins with these questions.


3.) THE MORNING AFTER:
First encounters can be super intimate, but when everything settles down, bfamily members can find themselves feeling as if they've just slept with a total stranger. In the roller coaster ride analogy, this is the *big drop down* and is unexpected. Bfamily members are blood relations, but socially and experientially strangers to each other. Differences are discovered and magnified (backgrounds, memories, values, religions, beliefs, etc.). This stage can have varying lengths depending on the individuals involved. It's a time of examining expectations and struggling with defining the new relationships being formed. Feelings are confusing, complicated and surprising. These emotions can escalate and become overwhelming and paralyzing. When this happens, people often put up walls and back away. This begins stage four: Limbo.

4.) LIMBO:

It's one side who pulls away, leaving the other side to "tread on eggs" wondering what's happening; adoptee or bmom can step back, but it's rare for both to want distance; many, many issues are at the forefront. Key: When a person chooses limbo, what is really going on? Processing. Person needs time to sort out new emotions, work through the past, decide what he/she wants to have happen, set boundaries and define the relationship. Making demands on the person choosing limbo for a greater, closer relationship may only serve to widen the gap between adoptee and bmom.


5.) RECONCILIATION:
Final stage without a definitive starting point; can start years after the first encounter; this is a solitary experience. Bmom and adoptee confront issues, deal with losses, and move on. Decisions are made about how the new person will be assimilated; choice may be made to have an ongoing relationship or continue on alone. Problems arise when the two sides choose different paths. This phase is continual and includes setting goals.
>From the 1994 NY Triad Conference


Possible Adoptee Fears

1. That they will find their birth mother deceased.
2. That they will be rejected.
3. That their adoptive parents will be devastated and not understand why they are searching and that he/she will not be able to share with them or will be rejected by them.
4. That they are a secret and their birth mother will not acknowledge their existence to herself or her family.
5. That they will not meet the expectations of their birth mother.
6. That the birth family will be needy (it doesn't expound on whether they mean emotionally needy or monetarily needy)
7. That the birth mother will not be truthful.
8. That the birth mother will not understand his/her life problems.
9. That the timing or method of contact will not be right.
10. That they will hurt their adoptive or birth family by saying the wrong thing.
11. That they will find out negative things about their birth and surrender.
12. That they will have to give up their fantasies.

Possible Birth Parent Fears

1. That their child has not been told he/she is adopted.
2. That the child is not alive.
3. That they will be rejected by their child, lack of understanding.
4. That they will be rejected by the adoptive parents.
5. Indifference.
6. That the birth father will be given more credit than due him or recieves more attention than     the birth mother.
7. That they will find a sickly child.
8. That they will find an unfavorable situation.
9. That the separation pain and anxiety will never go away.
10. That the adoptive parents' needs will come before the birth parents' needs.
11. That an "older" placement child's reaction to being surrendered will be negative memories of time together and then separation.
12. That they will be hurt their child by coming back into his/her life.
13. That something "bad" will happen to her present children.
14. That there will be punishment.
15. That they will hurt the adoptee or adoptive parents by saying the wrong thing.
16. That they will not live up to their child's expectations.
17. That their child will not understand the reasons for their surrender.
18. That the search will be unsuccessful.

Possible Adoptive Parents Fears

1. That they will lose their child to the birth parents.
2. That the birth family will be younger and more attractive to their child.
3. That they or their children will be rejected.
4. That the birth parent is deceased.
5. That the birth parent has a problematic lifestyle.
6. That the birth parent will have trouble accepting the adoptees problems.
7. That the adoptee will "act out" towards the birth parent.
8. That the reunion will be harmful for everyone.
9. That they will be blamed for the adoptees problems.
10. That they won't live up to the birth parents expectations.
11. That the birth parents will have health problems or be "needy".
12. That there will be a lack of honesty.
13. That they will hurt the birth parents by saying the wrong thing.
14. That there will be no commitment to ongoing relationships.
15. That the timing of the reunion will not be good.
16. That the search will be negative.
17. That the adoptee will feel guilty and/or responsible for the birth parents problems.
18. That the adoptee will not share the reunion with them.
19. That the birth parent will take a minor child.

http://www.amazon.com/Birthright-Reunion-Adoptees-Birthparents-Adoptive/dp/0140512950


Owner Adoption Reunion Group http://www.cafemom.com/group/14715
Co-Owner Infant Adoption Group http://www.cafemom.com/group/39118

by on Jun. 30, 2009 at 10:37 AM
Replies (31-40):
2jeffsmom
by Member on Feb. 24, 2013 at 8:04 PM

goneforever,

I hope you can have the reunion of dreams come true. I know it is possible. I hope your 1st mom feels the way I do about my son. I just ran to him and hugged him. My feeling of love for him never stopped and only gets stronger. It's an unconditional love.

Are you looking for her?

baparrot2
by New Member on May. 14, 2013 at 6:44 AM
1 mom liked this

Been in limbo for 3 years now. No contact. defriended and blocked on FB. I just couldnt do it anymore. Shae was more angry than I thought. Her anger+my severe PTSD brought on by the reunion made it impossible for me to even want to know her anymore. I have retreated into where I put myself several years after the adoption. Where I finally could carry on my life somewhat normally. When I left the fantasy rescue stage and put it all behind me.

I kinda feel upset that everyone always thinks about what the adoptee goes through their whole life but honestly, I dont think it could possibly compare to what a birthmother has to go through to even get to the point where she can function at a semi normal level in society. Then the reunion hits and it is still all about comforting the adoptee and the birth mother having to be hushed into silence all alone just like it was years ago. I think there is only so many times in your life that you can go to those depths of despair before it can actually permanently harm you. i.e. suicide.

In the three years I havent spoken to her, I have felt better.

But then again, she didnt make the reunion any easier. Reading rants about what a horrible mother I was because I didnt mother her like I now do my 17 year old. I couldnt even put a pic up of my daughter without having to hear about it from her. I tried to deal with her anger but to no avail.

Its sad that this is the way it turned out for me, considering in my fantasy rescue stage I couldnt wait to be reunited with her.

It took too many years to get to a point to where I could function. Reunited with her threatened my sanity and even my ability to be a good mother to my child I had ten years after coerced adoption.


vampporcupine
by Member on May. 14, 2013 at 12:30 PM
1 mom liked this

I definitely understand. To be punished forever for the crime of unwed pregnancy is beyond cruel and to be punished by the child you so desperately wanted but were not allowed to keep is horrific. I recently shut my fb account down. I guess in some way I still have hope that my daughter will treat me with at least the same amount of common decency as she would a stranger or coworker. 

I'm sorry you are hurting. 

Quoting baparrot2:

Been in limbo for 3 years now. No contact. defriended and blocked on FB. I just couldnt do it anymore. Shae was more angry than I thought. Her anger+my severe PTSD brought on by the reunion made it impossible for me to even want to know her anymore. I have retreated into where I put myself several years after the adoption. Where I finally could carry on my life somewhat normally. When I left the fantasy rescue stage and put it all behind me.

I kinda feel upset that everyone always thinks about what the adoptee goes through their whole life but honestly, I dont think it could possibly compare to what a birthmother has to go through to even get to the point where she can function at a semi normal level in society. Then the reunion hits and it is still all about comforting the adoptee and the birth mother having to be hushed into silence all alone just like it was years ago. I think there is only so many times in your life that you can go to those depths of despair before it can actually permanently harm you. i.e. suicide.

In the three years I havent spoken to her, I have felt better.

But then again, she didnt make the reunion any easier. Reading rants about what a horrible mother I was because I didnt mother her like I now do my 17 year old. I couldnt even put a pic up of my daughter without having to hear about it from her. I tried to deal with her anger but to no avail.

Its sad that this is the way it turned out for me, considering in my fantasy rescue stage I couldnt wait to be reunited with her.

It took too many years to get to a point to where I could function. Reunited with her threatened my sanity and even my ability to be a good mother to my child I had ten years after coerced adoption.



baparrot2
by New Member on May. 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM

THank you for replying. Is this pretty common? This needs to be talked about way more. Instead of the same "You'll be giving this child everything you cant be selflessly giving it up" ughhhhh

Quoting vampporcupine:

I definitely understand. To be punished forever for the crime of unwed pregnancy is beyond cruel and to be punished by the child you so desperately wanted but were not allowed to keep is horrific. I recently shut my fb account down. I guess in some way I still have hope that my daughter will treat me with at least the same amount of common decency as she would a stranger or coworker. 

I'm sorry you are hurting. 

Quoting baparrot2:

Been in limbo for 3 years now. No contact. defriended and blocked on FB. I just couldnt do it anymore. Shae was more angry than I thought. Her anger+my severe PTSD brought on by the reunion made it impossible for me to even want to know her anymore. I have retreated into where I put myself several years after the adoption. Where I finally could carry on my life somewhat normally. When I left the fantasy rescue stage and put it all behind me.

I kinda feel upset that everyone always thinks about what the adoptee goes through their whole life but honestly, I dont think it could possibly compare to what a birthmother has to go through to even get to the point where she can function at a semi normal level in society. Then the reunion hits and it is still all about comforting the adoptee and the birth mother having to be hushed into silence all alone just like it was years ago. I think there is only so many times in your life that you can go to those depths of despair before it can actually permanently harm you. i.e. suicide.

In the three years I havent spoken to her, I have felt better.

But then again, she didnt make the reunion any easier. Reading rants about what a horrible mother I was because I didnt mother her like I now do my 17 year old. I couldnt even put a pic up of my daughter without having to hear about it from her. I tried to deal with her anger but to no avail.

Its sad that this is the way it turned out for me, considering in my fantasy rescue stage I couldnt wait to be reunited with her.

It took too many years to get to a point to where I could function. Reunited with her threatened my sanity and even my ability to be a good mother to my child I had ten years after coerced adoption.




onethentwins
by Group Owner on May. 14, 2013 at 3:24 PM


It's not uncommon. Adoptees can be very angry and can lash out at their birth parents instead of the adoption industry and society who are really to blame. 

I've been practically crucified for talking about the damage that can occur to adoptees when they are relinquished by the woman that should be willing to die for them. No one wants to hear it, not that fact stops me from voicing my message. All they want to hear is "if you're single, or young, or poor give your baby to a more worthy, wealthy, couple, who will give your baby the life that it deserves, and that you can't give it; Well not without relying on our taxes. Then, you have no right to an open adoption because you'll probably go crazy and kidnap your baby back. And adult baby has no right to his original birth certificate like not adopted adults, because you'll probably not want to know him and if you were raped you'll be traumatized again. And, in any case why would your child want to know you when you didn't want him in the first place when he has a loving family. If he wants to know you then he's ungrateful."

Sigh. 

Please tell your story because it needs to be heard. Just we aware you'll need your big girl panties on for the backlash you'll get. I'll have your back. 

Quoting baparrot2:

THank you for replying. Is this pretty common? This needs to be talked about way more. Instead of the same "You'll be giving this child everything you cant be selflessly giving it up" ughhhhh

Quoting vampporcupine:

I definitely understand. To be punished forever for the crime of unwed pregnancy is beyond cruel and to be punished by the child you so desperately wanted but were not allowed to keep is horrific. I recently shut my fb account down. I guess in some way I still have hope that my daughter will treat me with at least the same amount of common decency as she would a stranger or coworker. 

I'm sorry you are hurting. 

Quoting baparrot2:

Been in limbo for 3 years now. No contact. defriended and blocked on FB. I just couldnt do it anymore. Shae was more angry than I thought. Her anger+my severe PTSD brought on by the reunion made it impossible for me to even want to know her anymore. I have retreated into where I put myself several years after the adoption. Where I finally could carry on my life somewhat normally. When I left the fantasy rescue stage and put it all behind me.

I kinda feel upset that everyone always thinks about what the adoptee goes through their whole life but honestly, I dont think it could possibly compare to what a birthmother has to go through to even get to the point where she can function at a semi normal level in society. Then the reunion hits and it is still all about comforting the adoptee and the birth mother having to be hushed into silence all alone just like it was years ago. I think there is only so many times in your life that you can go to those depths of despair before it can actually permanently harm you. i.e. suicide.

In the three years I havent spoken to her, I have felt better.

But then again, she didnt make the reunion any easier. Reading rants about what a horrible mother I was because I didnt mother her like I now do my 17 year old. I couldnt even put a pic up of my daughter without having to hear about it from her. I tried to deal with her anger but to no avail.

Its sad that this is the way it turned out for me, considering in my fantasy rescue stage I couldnt wait to be reunited with her.

It took too many years to get to a point to where I could function. Reunited with her threatened my sanity and even my ability to be a good mother to my child I had ten years after coerced adoption.






baparrot2
by New Member on May. 14, 2013 at 3:40 PM
1 mom liked this

Thanks for replying.

I have been mulling this thought around in my head for about 2 years now. It's not "acceptable" for me to be upset. Society shuns that. I am supposed to be this tearful loving mother and start right back up again where we left off. But the truth of the matter....the real truth? I Dont know this 24 year old that I just met. (she's now 27). THe "first encounter" stage is just so true for me! We found each other.....and bam she was in my livingroom and for the next few hours I was reliving those days again. DIdnt hurt at all while I was doing it. That took a while. Coupled with the fact, that in my particular case, it became clear that she was a high price porn girl. THat was hard. But I could deal. I'm liberal. But what I couldnt handle was her persistently rubbing it in my face. I knew what she was doing. She was testing me. She wanted to see if I would reject her again. I didnt. I tried not to make that part of our relationship. But the more I didnt bite, the harder she tried. Psychologically, I dont need a professional to tell me what was really happenning. She needed me to be the bad guy, so she did it till I broke.

But that is neither here nor there really. The incredible depression I went through......oh about five months into the reunion was just too much. Something about rehashing and reliving what happened to me back in 85' took its toll and I was diagnosed with PTSD within the year.

I want to tell the story. It is incredible. The adoptive parents had custody of her taken away when she was 11 and then she lived in foster cares until 17 when she ran away. Because everything is so closed, I never got a definitive on exactly what happened. But my best guesstimation is that daddy was molesting her. THis being somewhat backed up by a case worker I got on the phone who was looking at her records while with me on the phone. You know, how people know they cant tell you something but they help you guess it?

Anywhoo, You asked me to join this group personally about a year ago and I still wasnt ready. I just felt better about it today but am wary it will take me back again.

I have the biggest panties on Cafemom! I belong to th stepparenting groups! LOL!

Which when I hear these women just throwing out into the wind that the most viable option for a teen pregnancy is adoption, it is so hard to keep my cool. Sometimes I dont.

THanks for listening!

whew that felt good. Wont even go back and look for typos. LOL!

Quoting onethentwins:


It's not uncommon. Adoptees can be very angry and can lash out at their birth parents instead of the adoption industry and society who are really to blame. 

I've been practically crucified for talking about the damage that can occur to adoptees when they are relinquished by the woman that should be willing to die for them. No one wants to hear it, not that fact stops me from voicing my message. All they want to hear is "if you're single, or young, or poor give your baby to a more worthy, wealthy, couple, who will give your baby the life that it deserves, and that you can't give it; Well not without relying on our taxes. Then, you have no right to an open adoption because you'll probably go crazy and kidnap your baby back. And adult baby has no right to his original birth certificate like not adopted adults, because you'll probably not want to know him and if you were raped you'll be traumatized again. And, in any case why would your child want to know you when you didn't want him in the first place when he has a loving family. If he wants to know you then he's ungrateful."

Sigh. 

Please tell your story because it needs to be heard. Just we aware you'll need your big girl panties on for the backlash you'll get. I'll have your back. 

Quoting baparrot2:

THank you for replying. Is this pretty common? This needs to be talked about way more. Instead of the same "You'll be giving this child everything you cant be selflessly giving it up" ughhhhh

Quoting vampporcupine:

I definitely understand. To be punished forever for the crime of unwed pregnancy is beyond cruel and to be punished by the child you so desperately wanted but were not allowed to keep is horrific. I recently shut my fb account down. I guess in some way I still have hope that my daughter will treat me with at least the same amount of common decency as she would a stranger or coworker. 

I'm sorry you are hurting. 

Quoting baparrot2:

Been in limbo for 3 years now. No contact. defriended and blocked on FB. I just couldnt do it anymore. Shae was more angry than I thought. Her anger+my severe PTSD brought on by the reunion made it impossible for me to even want to know her anymore. I have retreated into where I put myself several years after the adoption. Where I finally could carry on my life somewhat normally. When I left the fantasy rescue stage and put it all behind me.

I kinda feel upset that everyone always thinks about what the adoptee goes through their whole life but honestly, I dont think it could possibly compare to what a birthmother has to go through to even get to the point where she can function at a semi normal level in society. Then the reunion hits and it is still all about comforting the adoptee and the birth mother having to be hushed into silence all alone just like it was years ago. I think there is only so many times in your life that you can go to those depths of despair before it can actually permanently harm you. i.e. suicide.

In the three years I havent spoken to her, I have felt better.

But then again, she didnt make the reunion any easier. Reading rants about what a horrible mother I was because I didnt mother her like I now do my 17 year old. I couldnt even put a pic up of my daughter without having to hear about it from her. I tried to deal with her anger but to no avail.

Its sad that this is the way it turned out for me, considering in my fantasy rescue stage I couldnt wait to be reunited with her.

It took too many years to get to a point to where I could function. Reunited with her threatened my sanity and even my ability to be a good mother to my child I had ten years after coerced adoption.







ashley9603
by New Member on Jun. 12, 2013 at 1:57 PM

I found my bio family.My bio mom died of cancer in 2002.I have no feelings.I have been reunited with my aunt and brother.I have no emotions at all and I dont understand it.Its almost as if its not real to me,or its a bad dream.I talk with them by phone.My aunt is very emotional.My brother whom was put up for adoption as well,is like me and is very un emotional.Will I cry later?What is going on?

onethentwins
by Group Owner on Jun. 12, 2013 at 2:05 PM



Quoting ashley9603:

I found my bio family.My bio mom died of cancer in 2002.I have no feelings.I have been reunited with my aunt and brother.I have no emotions at all and I dont understand it.Its almost as if its not real to me,or its a bad dream.I talk with them by phone.My aunt is very emotional.My brother whom was put up for adoption as well,is like me and is very un emotional.Will I cry later?What is going on?


IDK, what's the nature of your reunion? Have you met face to face?

ashley9603
by New Member on Jun. 12, 2013 at 2:07 PM

We have not met face to face yet.We have spoken on the phone,we have seen pictures of each other(facebook).We are planning to meet soon though.They live in California and I live in Ohio.


Quoting onethentwins:



Quoting ashley9603:

I found my bio family.My bio mom died of cancer in 2002.I have no feelings.I have been reunited with my aunt and brother.I have no emotions at all and I dont understand it.Its almost as if its not real to me,or its a bad dream.I talk with them by phone.My aunt is very emotional.My brother whom was put up for adoption as well,is like me and is very un emotional.Will I cry later?What is going on?


IDK, what's the nature of your reunion? Have you met face to face?



onethentwins
by Group Owner on Jun. 12, 2013 at 2:25 PM


That could be part of your lack of emotion.  When I was emailing with my son, I was fine. It's wasn't until I held in my arms what I'd given away 18 years before did the grief hit me. I guess you'll know whether meeting them face to face changes your feelings when it happens. 

Quoting ashley9603:

We have not met face to face yet.We have spoken on the phone,we have seen pictures of each other(facebook).We are planning to meet soon though.They live in California and I live in Ohio.


Quoting onethentwins:



Quoting ashley9603:

I found my bio family.My bio mom died of cancer in 2002.I have no feelings.I have been reunited with my aunt and brother.I have no emotions at all and I dont understand it.Its almost as if its not real to me,or its a bad dream.I talk with them by phone.My aunt is very emotional.My brother whom was put up for adoption as well,is like me and is very un emotional.Will I cry later?What is going on?


IDK, what's the nature of your reunion? Have you met face to face?





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