Are you reuniting with the baby you put up for adoption? It’s a brave step, and can be very emotionally charged. We know, we’ve been there. So, how do you prepare?
What Do You Want From the First Meeting?
Ask yourself what you want from this first meeting. Reflect on your own thoughts and needs, and those of the child you put up for adoption. Remember that you made an adoption plan for your baby, you did not give him or her up. Reuniting with the baby you put up for adoption can be an incredibly rewarding and cathartic experience. It’s important to prepare yourself for the emotional realities, good and bad.
It is OK to fantasize about an emotional, beautiful reunion, or to hope for a lighter, more playful one, but it’s important to realize that no one can predict the way your reunion will play out.
The best thing to do is to keep an open mind and to prepare for the unexpected. Allowing for ample time and open space is a good idea, without boxing the two of you in to any time-based commitments.
The adoptee you are meeting with has no experience at being your child. He or she might be shy and withdrawn, or, they could be full of affection and emotion, ranging from relief, to love, to anxiety or anger.
Even the adoptee won’t know for sure until the moment of the reunion what feelings will emerge. Remember to be open and sensitive, holding off on expectations.
How ever the reunion itself unfolds, also remember that it may not be any indication of how the relationship will progress after that first meeting. Try not to have expectations or to make predictions. Remember, too, that this is just the first step. There may be many more opportunities to get together.
What Are Your Goals for the Relationship?
Reuniting with the baby you put up for adoption will take some planning. You need to prepare yourself emotionally. Not everyone considers in detail how the relationship should be moving forward.
Even when you do plan, those plans may change entirely. You may not feel as maternal as you expected to, or conversely, you might have a surge of emotion and a need to connect and stay in contact that takes you by surprise.
Consider whether you are ready to introduce the adoptee to other family members (are they on board?) and how that integration with others might work.
How busy is your life? If you do decide to have regular contact, do you have time and space for that? Is there anyone else that will be jealous or uncomfortable?
Are you a phone person? Text? Email? Lunch or coffee?
Remember, there may be a honeymoon period, a phase of time when you both want constant contact. Don’t panic if this is more than you feel you can sustain in the long-term, or if the adoptee’s life becomes too busy to sustain that same level of connectedness. Just be honest and open about what you want moving forward.
What Does the Adoptee Want?
Without pouncing on the adoptee, or making demands, try to find out what he or she is comfortable with and has time for. Are there other children or grandchildren involved? Will adoptive parents or grandparents be jealous or hurt? Do the children know their parent was adopted? Is a spouse on board?
If these issues have not been addressed before the reunion, they will need to be at some point. Again, remain open minded and let time take its course. It’s possible that there will be some problems. But if you take it slow and remember not to overwhelm yourself or the adoptee, any initial problems may dissipate completely.
Enjoy the process
Try not to obsess. Give yourself and the adoptee time to reflect and adjust. Need someone to talk to? I’ve been there and I can help.