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Reunited

Posted by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 10:05 AM
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My birthdaughter will be 19 next month.  Her parents and I had agreed to a semi open adoption. They were going to send me pics and updates at Christmas and her birthday. When she was about 4, they decided to stop communication with me. 

Last year when she turned 18 I hoped she would look for me, and she did! Last week she found me on Facebook. 

She has been living in France since she was 4, so she is basically French.  And she said she's been looking for me for about a year, but last month her mom gave her the letter I left for her when she was born, and that gave her more information to find me.

So it's been a very emotional week to say the least. We have only communicated through email, and on her end she's not been very communicative. She was finishing exams last week and is on vacation this week, so I'm taking that into account.  Also, she's young!  When she doesn't respond to my messages, I think to myself that she and I look at email and the internet in total different ways, she probably has a bunch of messages to respond to from friends and for me, it's sort of replaced letter writing. 

Anyway, here's my question.  Has anyone else out there reconnected with their birthchild?  I feel so lost in how to handle this, like I'm on eggshells and don't want to scare her away. I've been waiting all her life for her to find me, and she hasn't been all her life looking for me.   My world feels all turned upside down, I am so happy that she found me, yet I feel freaked out.  How do I BE with her. She's still so young, we're not on the same level to be friends....but I don't want to treat her like I'm the mom.  I just would love some wisdom from other women in my shoes. 

by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 10:05 AM
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Replies (1-10):
summerleigh
by Member on Feb. 13, 2009 at 10:32 AM

I don't have any advice for you, but I'm sure you will get some great advice and book recommendations from the ladies that have been there. I just want to say congratulations and I hope things go well!

onecrzymom
by Member on Feb. 13, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Hi! My I placed in 89, mine was totally private through an agency in Ft Worth Tx. I vowed when my son was 18 I would look for him, had NO info so I knew it would be hard. Only only had info about his A parents, like they were upper 30s when they adopted him, he was an only child, the mom is a nurse, etc. I hired a searcher and found him within a day, with some help from a list of names I had (LONG STORY) but even then I didnt know if any of them were him. Long of a short, I talked to the Dad first to verify it was my son, and was so freaked out, sad, happy, all that stuff. I asked the Mom to call me, but she wouldnt, so my son did about 4 days later. He said he wanted to meet me his whole life and in the 3rd grade he would sit and try and think up a way to find me, LOL! He knew he said he would not be able to, not knowing how, or my name etc. He came to stay with me for a weekend that yr and it was VERY awkward, to say the least. I loved it it was SO awesome to finally meet him, and vice versa, he was elated. His mom had made a baby book from the time they adopted him till now, and it was so nice to see pics, but VERY hard to see at the same time.

When he left it was sad. He cried all the way to the airport, and I knew he was sincere. He has no siblings and always wanted a sister, which he has 2 now...my oldest is VERY close to him as she is older and more on his level age wise. It was MUCH better the second time he came, (June 08) because it was much more relaxed, we talked alot in between,  mostly text since that is what kids do now. I will say there were times I would get very angry when he didnt answer his phone and was very hurt when he didnt return calls, etc. it took sometime for me to realize I needed to let him initiate the whole thing, calling, all that. I do text him occasionally, once a week, but I dont pressure him. He calls me Mammy..and does not like me to call him birthson, or him called their half brother. I feel like he wants it to be what it is, hes my son, they are his brothers and sisters, etc. He has 2 lives, that is what he says. I dont approve of the way he was raised. I think he had free roam and was allowed to do things I WOULDNT have let him do. Its very awkward at first, and will be for you. Boys are diff though, they are not like girls. I think it will be maybe better for you , than it was for me, because mine is a boy. If you go to my page, he is the top pic I have on my BIG family pics on the left side.

I can tell you that it will be very important for her to find things about you, that match up to her, facial features, hair, eyes, hands. If she seems to be staring, she is. Kent did that also and still does....its very sweet I think. After all, you are her Mom (or as my birthson calls me "his Real Mom") and they want to find out where they got thier hair, eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, lines on hands, fingernails all that. He just like was sooo all about that when he was here! PM me if you want to talk more, its hard to say in one page so let me know if you want to talk more! I have yahoo Instant Messenger also, Im jazzyme67 on that.

 





 

ChrissyH
by Bronze Member on Feb. 13, 2009 at 12:10 PM

I am so happy for you, this is just the beginning of a new chapter for you.

My son just turned 18 last month and we have been "chatting" on myspace for 5 weeks now, I found him and found out he had been looking for me too. He lives on the west coast and I'm in Fl...3000 miles apart so I do understand the distance. It's hard, I would have been with him on his bday if I lived closer...but he and his amom are flying out next Friday for 4 days. I can not wait...

I have kept our chats "safe", just about school, his activities, he sends me messages daily and I am so surprised he will respond to my messages with in minutes...sometimes a little longer if he is in school, but I don't bug him there...lol 

It still seems unreal that we will be meeting next week :) I'm just full of emotions, happy, sad, scared, but I guess that is to be expected.

Contact me if you want to chat, I do understand and will try to help.

cdinanno
by Member on Feb. 13, 2009 at 2:32 PM

First off, I want to congratulate you and your child for finding one another.  I know the exciting feeling since I had 2 girls that I relinquished to adoption: one in 1964 & one in 1965.  This is such an exciting time for you both.  I know the feelings of elation that you are experiencing.  I'm thrilled for you!

My experiences are going to be completely different from yours since you found your child while she is very young.  I had to wait 43 years before I saw my younger daughter.  My 1st child and I reunited when she was 21 yrs. old.  I've had 2 completely different reunions with them.  The oldest daughter and I are no longer talking because she became jealous that I found my younger one.  Still, finding my younger daughter has been the high lite of my life.

My best advice to you is to let your child be the one that makes the moves forward between the two of you.  It appears this is the way things are going now, and I'm glad for that.  Always be there to answer her attempts to connect as soon as possible.  

I wrote 3 journals about my reunions, and I would love for you to read them.  Just click on my avatar, and look at my journals for these titles: 

The happiest of reunions

Thank you Lord for giving me back my daughter

Please respect your natural mother.

I would love to hear how things progress for you, and pray that your every wish comes true. 

Blessings to you both!  Cindy

onecrzymom
by Member on Feb. 13, 2009 at 2:45 PM

I totally agree with the part I highlighted in red that you said. That was my first mistake is making all the moves, or pushing to hard. Its a mistake almost everyone makes in this situation becuase our first instinct is to be overbearing, we have missed all this time etc. anyway, I agree with you Cindy...

Quoting cdinanno:

First off, I want to congratulate you and your child for finding one another.  I know the exciting feeling since I had 2 girls that I relinquished to adoption: one in 1964 & one in 1965.  This is such an exciting time for you both.  I know the feelings of elation that you are experiencing.  I'm thrilled for you!

My experiences are going to be completely different from yours since you found your child while she is very young.  I had to wait 43 years before I saw my younger daughter.  My 1st child and I reunited when she was 21 yrs. old.  I've had 2 completely different reunions with them.  The oldest daughter and I are no longer talking because she became jealous that I found my younger one.  Still, finding my younger daughter has been the high lite of my life.

My best advice to you is to let your child be the one that makes the moves forward between the two of you.  It appears this is the way things are going now, and I'm glad for that.  Always be there to answer her attempts to connect as soon as possible.  

I wrote 3 journals about my reunions, and I would love for you to read them.  Just click on my avatar, and look at my journals for these titles: 

The happiest of reunions

Thank you Lord for giving me back my daughter

Please respect your natural mother.

I would love to hear how things progress for you, and pray that your every wish comes true. 

Blessings to you both!  Cindy


 





 

snowwillow
by Member on Feb. 13, 2009 at 2:58 PM

I gave her up in 1972. I reunited in 2001. It was a closed adoption, that's just the way it was back then. In 2001 things happened in my life and I sought counseling it was at this time that my sister suggested I search. My daughter was almost 30. We found a search angel and a couple of weeks and 40.00 dollars and I had a name.

Now what, so I wrote the "I'm looking for someone born on Jan 1972 in B California , and so on. I gave her my phone number and email and it's weid but when the phone rang, I knew it was her and she sounds like me. We met a few months later with her and her amom, her amom was mad that we had looked and found them. OH WELL..

My daughter said she already had a mom and a dad and her kids already grandparents but she wanted us in her life, so I have never been pushy, if i don't hear for a week or 2, I email or call. We have developed a friendship. My son is her full blooded brother, with him I have the mother son bond. They email and if she comes to visit (she lives 100 miles away) he always comes over. He was raised as an only child, she the 5th child and only girl from an adoptive/step parent family.

Reunions are very fragile so just stand back and let her set the pace, never give up the communication though. She is probably just as scared as you are. Answer her questions but don't go over board with the explainations. Don't say I loved you so much I gave you up, trust me no one wants to hear that. Just be truthful without all the gory details. You are the adult and she will always be your child.  

I know you want everything now, but that's not how it works. ou take what you can get and be happy. Don't read anything in to her motives, she isn't trying to hurt you but she is probably wondering if you are going to stick around. Always appreciate what you have because a lot of birthmoms would love to be in your shoes.

Sorry this is so long..... I tend to ramble

ceejay1
by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 3:51 PM

VICTORIA,  Congrats on your reunion.  I hear it is definately full of ups and downs, 2 people on different platforms, ina different country, with an 18 yr old...WOW!  Whats wrong with being friends, you obviously can't be MOM, not when she is 18 and reunion is so new.  There is no rule book to foolow, is there?  Seems like a crap shoot, blindfoled to me.  Try giving her time, as much as she needs...18 is very young and very very intense..just being 18!  Go slow, and just let her know her pace, her time, and you will be there...  Blessings...C.J.

CEEJAY1

smileywoman
by New Member on Feb. 14, 2009 at 7:36 AM

I have been in reunion with my daughter via letters through the agency. My advise is to take it slow. We are at the letter writing stage for the last 5 months. and I've made it clear that the pace and path of oru journey is in her hands.

Your birth daughter will go through phases one of which will be pulling back at times. I recommend you drop her a line from time to time to keep in touch.


I know it's not easy. PM me to talk if you wish.


Anne28
by on Feb. 14, 2009 at 10:02 AM

Interesting that your daughter has been in France! Wow....ask her questions and at this age, they love to talk about themselves.  I would ask away, she will begin to open up more.  Take things slow, let her control the reunion process.  And it is a process.  It won't happen overnite, it will take a long time.  I would throw out an email to her at least once a week and just say thinking about you and hope your doing well.  Keep it simple and let the trust grow.

I have been in reunion with my son for 2 years, we've met twice.  He turned 25 yrs. old a month ago.  It's not easy.  I struggle with my feelings every day but I know he is alive and doing well. He is so handsome.  He is smart and he is very self centered!  However, that is typical.  He has had the advantage of wealth in many forms.  Many experiences and I am happy for him and that he is happy with his life.  It just saddens me that his aparents never told him I loved him, hugged him for me or talked about his adoption with him.  It is bothersome to know that it wasn't a major part of his life when in fact, it is his life.  That to me, is major and though he has many opportunities, he hasn't had to deal with it.  When he came here, we talked about it but it's no big deal to him.  That to me is sad.  I think it holds him back from being affectionate and close to anyone. I hope as he grows, he will realize this was one thing his aparents didn't respect or honor.  I don't know what people are thinking.  As if he doesn't deserve to know that I loved him too? 

So, good luck, keep us posted and things will slowly progress, but it takes time and patience and lot's of understanding. There are some fine books out there to educate yourself about how this effects your daugther and you.

Anne

VictoriasZEN
by New Member on Feb. 14, 2009 at 11:41 AM

From my limited experience, I get the feeling that at some point in aparents lives, they begin to want to forget about the way their achild came into their life. I guess they love the kids so much, they want to pretend that they really are 100% theirs. The fact is, they're not.  I don't expect to ever be my bdaughters mother, but I am in a way more than just a friend, sort of mother.

When she was 4, they cut me off from communication, it really devasted me. The adoption agency wasn't very supportive or helpful, saying that even though it was a verbal agreement, it was not "law".  A few years later I was working with the same agency, different location and a counselor there told me that it's extremely common for aparents to cut off relations with the birthmom.  I was furious....they should have told me that that was a possibility....not let me believe that I would always "know" about my bdaughter.  I ended up having a meeting with the original agencies director and telling all my grievances. I don't know if they made any changes, but I hope for other bmoms they did.

I appreciate everyone's comments!

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