Many adoptees or birth parents search for family members-hoping for and wanting reconnection. Searching for someone takes ample effort. It can be an emotional rollercoaster. It can be even more emotional once you find out that reconnection isn't possible. There is a variety of reasons why reconnection would not be possible. Perhaps the person for whom you're searching has passed on or refuses to establish contact with you. Or perhaps you no longer have the time or money to continue your search. Whichever the exact situation, it can be devastating, confusing, and hurtful. So where do you go from there? The next few steps after you discover that reconnection isn't possible can be some of the hardest steps of the process.
Consider joining and participating in a local or online support group. A support group is a great place to share your feelings, emotions, and search and reunion experiences. They can be a sounding board for you. The members of the support group will be there to help you and give you personal advice from their own experiences. They can help you move forward. They can help you heal. Participating in a support group also gives you the opportunity to help other members. Someone new will join and be in the same position you are now. It is then your turn to help them. You'll be amazed at the peace you can find by helping others in difficult situations. If you feel you need more one-on-one attention, start seeing a counselor or therapist. He or she can give you the support and attention you need to start your healing process, and to help you better understanding your reconnection experiences. Your counselor can guide you towards situational acceptance and self-acceptance. This is important to full emotional healing.
If the person for whom you're searching has passed away, you can gather all the information about that person. Create a scrapbook or journal. Remember his or her memory. Learn about that person. While your search hasn't ended in a two-sided relationship, at least you can learn more about the person. This can help you feel closer to that person-whether that person is a birth parent, a birth child, or a sibling.
Start keeping a journal or a personal log of your reconnection efforts. Write information you've found. Write about how you're feeling-your emotional changes throughout that sometimes difficult process. If you do decide to seek out help from a support group or a professional counselor or therapist, your journal can be a great resource to measure your healing and progress. And it may help you years down the road when you're ready to revisit your reconnection journey.
Even through reconnection may not be possible, moving forward is possible. You can find hope again in life. Once you discover that reconnection isn't possible, it can be a heavy blow to your spirit and your motivation. Do what you need to do to recover and move forward. Take some time for yourself. Relax. Rejuvenate. And gain a fresh perspective. It may not be the outcome you had hoped for, but consider it a learning experience. This experience can strengthen you. Find hope and joy again. Let yourself heal.
For those who are either currently searching for birth family or for those that are considering beginning a search there are a number of options. Over the next couple of months I will periodically focus on a specific search option...[more]
Today a person asked me what it was like to find my birth mother. I had a good experience so I described what it was like and it wasn’t a very exciting or emotional story. The person seemed a little disappointed it was just a rather dull story about how we exchanged letters and then eventually met in person. For me it wasn’t like a light bulb was suddenly switched on and my life was magically changed. There was no sun breaking through the clouds, no music playing and no fireworks exploding in the sky...[more]
Before beginning your search, learn about common myths about the reconnection process. That way, you'll have realistic expectations, and you can move forward from there.
Robyn writes, "How do I begin? I want to be available for my son to find me if he wants to. Which sites do you recommend I sign up on? " If you have feedback for Robyn, feel free to use the contact form below and we'll forward them to her.
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