I became a part of an adoption reunion support group about a year and a half ago or so. Our group is open to basically anyone who is touched by adoption and has reunited or is looking into possibly reuniting. We have quite a few people who were adopted in the group. When I first started listening to their stories and seeing them grapple with the prospect of searching for or meeting their birth parents, or grapple with the results of having met, it was the first cold, hard slap in the face to awaken me to the impact of my decision to relinquish: ‘They’re afraid of their own mothers…My God…oh Lord…oh Jesus…, WHAT have I DONE??’
I thought I had thought it all the way through when I was in the process of deciding to relinquish, but I didn’t have enough insight to think far enough. How could severing an infant’s only biological link to this world not have far-reaching and profound consequences? What conflicts of divided loyalties did I create for him?
I got to know my son’s adoptive parents somewhat when I was carrying him. I would meet with them once a month at my counselor’s office. I had him at home in my apartment with a midwife and kept him with me for 5 days and nursed him before placing him into his adoptive mother’s arms. So when I was out and about this past May, and my baby’s adoptive father happened by, I recognized him instantly. My son was 20 and in college by this point, and I’d spent at least 2 years fretting over whether he might possibly want to meet me or not. The dad’s immediate reaction when he recognized me was to apologize for not letting me know sooner that during his Christmas break 5 months before, he’d shown his parents my facebook page and told them that I’d gotten married (even though I’d written to tell them that myself, but the man had for forgotten…but anyway…). He said it was nothing personal against them but that he wanted to meet me. They immediately communicated to him that they are completely supportive of him in this.
So 7 months later I am still waiting, having no idea if it’s appropriate to be the one to reach out to him or if I should let him find me in his own time, in his own way. Giving up my parental rights has caused me to second-guess myself in matters concerning him absolutely all the time. Sometimes I just want to throw caution to the wind and reach out to him on facebook as I have no idea how to have direct contact with him otherwise. I don’t know if he’s afraid, and, if so, I don’t know what it is he might be afraid of. I don’t know if he’s just busy being a 20-year-old, in college, discovering life outside the nest. Perhaps it’s a little of all of the above – or none of the above?
My compulsion, consistently, through the years has been to find some way of telling him that my decision had nothing to do with not wanting him. I want him to know that he was wanted, he was loved, and still is. If I can get that across to him, if I can just convey that, I feel I can handle whatever does or does not happen beyond that.