Friday, October 31, 2014

BMB Reform Blog: The Reunion Roller Coaster

For those of you who don't know me, I reunited with my newly teen-aged daughter this past year.  It was both amazing and traumatic, happy and sad.  It opened my eyes to a lot of those what ifs, and boy did it give me some answers I didn't want, and wasn't prepared to hear.  Don't get me wrong, reuniting with my beautiful girl was priceless and I am so happy we're forming the open bond now that we should have had from birth.  But one of the things they don't put in those brochures are the
emotional pitfalls a lot of us will encounter.  And, for some of us, those reunions don't turn out happy. Sometimes our kids don't want to know us.  Or sometimes, sadly, we find them too late.  I remember hearing people tell me "It's alright, you will see her again" and I wonder how many of us were also told that, and how many of us had that promise broken either by people themselves or by unfortunate circumstances.

Another thing I would like to point out, something I'm very vocal about, is the term "better life" and how I think it's grossly unfair to use this in terms of adoption.  And, no, I am not saying that our children don't have good lives.  But the point is, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.  One thing I became acutely aware of during my reunion was that my daughter has a different life, not a better one.  When agencies or adoption pro's tell expectant mothers this, it's almost like saying 'you would give them an awful life.'   And if there's one thing I know, it's that unless you are a true, honest to God psychic, you have no way of knowing the validity of that statement.  And often, as was in my case, we come to realize we could have been amazing parents to our children.  Or that the parents who raised our children, often don't live up to those 'better standards'  No, I am not saying all AP's are bad, not in the slightest.  I'm simply saying we don't know and to put that thought in our head that they are better, we are worse when you're pregnant is coercive.  And it slaps you in the face upon reunion if you realize that that better life is just plain...different.

Another thing they don't tell you is the roller coaster of emotions you might feel upon reunion.  Boy, I was not prepared for those.  All of a sudden your precious baby is now a full blown adult (or in my case young lady).  They can now vocalize their thoughts, their emotions.  Which is a wonderful thing, but sometimes not always what we are ready or wanting to hear.  I don't want to get too personal in this blog, but I will say that not everything I saw and heard was wonderful.  Things I wanted for her, experiences I didn't want her to have - she has had.  And that was a big dose of reality that sent me spiraling for a bit.  The anger I felt at the system, at myself, at God was overwhelming.  Almost as bad as the initial months after relinquishment.

I want to end this by saying I am over the moon that I have my daughter back in my life.  And she is as well.  At the end of the day, I know that whatever obstacles arise we can work through them together.  The amount of love she has for me both surprised and overwhelmed me.  For that, I am blessed.

If you or anyone you know would like to be interviewed for this section, or if you have an important reform topic you would like discussed, please feel free to email me!  I look forward to hearing from you!


  1. Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope to meet my son someday and think I feel ready but as you have said, it's hard to be ready if you don't really know what to expect.

  2. Your point about the difference between a "better" life and a "different" life is so, so important. No birth parent should ever be made to feel that she somehow doesn't deserve the opportunity to parent her child if she feels that's the right choice for her. The decision to place should be based not on someone else's idea of what makes a good parent but on the birth parent's sense of what makes sense for her and her baby at that time. Thank you for bringing this up; it does not get talked about often enough.
    ~Jessica at Adoptions Together (

  3. I appreciate this blog post. Reunion certainly can be a wild ride. A different life isn't always better, as you say. I reunited in person with my son a couple of years ago. It has been wonderful and hard and painful and joyful all rolled up together. If any ohio birth mom is reading here, please consider checking out or Ohio Birthparent Group on FB as they have been a huge help in my reunion process.