What Adoption Reunion Looks Like 3 Years Later

Imagine you are raised in a loving home. In elementary school, you find out that your parents are not your biological family. But, as a third grader, you don’t fully understand what that means. You spend the rest of elementary school, then adolescence, and eventually high school, having a mini identity crisis. No one you live with looks like you, and there are major personality discrepancies between you and your extended and immediate families. Nothing is inherently bad or wrong, it’s just that occasionally something feels a little weird and a little bit off. But you keep on keeping on, and live life the best you can. Around the age of 23, and two children later, you decide it is time for search and reunion

For me, the beginning of my reunion was typing my birth mom’s name into Facebook. She was the first person to pop up. No one in my biological family was trying to hide from me. And with my adoption taking place in the late 90’s, my adoptive parents had everyone’s names and information. I feel fortunate and blessed that I did not have to take part in the painstaking search process that a lot of adoptees face. I cannot even imagine the expense, physically, emotionally, and financially that adoption reunion searches take on some adoptees. Even though I had all of my birth family’s information, I held onto it for years before doing anything with it. And then one day I sent a Facebook message that would forever change my life. 

Thankfully, it has been good so far. I know that not all adoption reunions are positive, and if that has been your experience, I deeply grieve for you. However, mine is one of positivity and joy, and I hope it can encourage young adoptees to be brave and search

The stories on the popular podcast, Who Am I Really? Hosted by Damon Davis, Adoptee, Adoptive father, and author, encouraged me in my search and reunion. I was even fortunate enough to get in touch with Damon and be interviewed for his show. My reunion story is told in detail, by me, in episode 222 They Built A Relationship Before I Was Born. I have also enjoyed writing bits and pieces of my adoption story for Adoption.com for the last two years. One of my favorite articles I have written, and one that gives more insight to my reunion is 5 Things I Get Asked About Adoption As An Adoptee.

In March of 2024, I celebrated three years of reunion with my maternal biological side. In the last three years, my reunion and the relationships I have built have only grown stronger. It wasn’t a slow process to get where we are now; for some people, the speedy nature of my situation wouldn’t have worked. Thankfully, for us, it did. 

After that first initial message was sent, I met my birth mom about a week later. A month after that, she came to my house and met my children. I had the opportunity to meet my younger half brothers. About two months after that, I was able to travel to my maternal grandparents’ house and meet them, and a year after that I met my Aunts, Uncles, and first cousins. Somewhere in that first year, my birth mother and brothers met my adoptive parents and my four younger siblings that I have through adoption. We have had regular contact and visits in these three years and it has been a blessing.

So how do I maintain my happy reunion story? At first, it was difficult. Even through the difficulties, I never regretted my choice to reach out and reconnect. The difficulties I faced never had anything to do with anyone in my birth or adoptive families being difficult themselves. At first, it was quite overwhelming to have two moms. 

My husband and I settled about a mile down the road from my adoptive parents, and in the other direction, a mile down the road from my in-laws. It is a lot of family closeness for someone who is an introvert like myself. Regardless, I enjoy being close to family, especially in this season of life where I am raising small children. When reaching out to my birth mom, I had no idea it would turn into what it has. I didn’t know if the meeting would be a one-time event, or if I would be adding an entire branch to my already very large extended family. It turned out to be the latter, and sometimes time management between my ever-growing family branches can be a challenge. However, this time management was hard before I added my biological family to the mix, so it wasn’t anything that I haven’t been able to manage. 

My reunion has gone so swimmingly that my birth mother has even stayed at my home to keep my children while my husband and I go on vacation. My children are very bonded to her and call her “toy grandma” as she is always lavishing them with fun new toys. My maternal grandparents send my children, their only great-grandchildren, birthday and Christmas gifts every year. I exchange Christmas cards with several members of my birth family, and we share similar religious views and convictions. 

Nature does matter as an adoptee, and that has become very evident in my experience with adoption. I love being able to see myself in my birth family, something I never got to experience growing up. This genetic mirroring is something that non-adoptees often take for granted. I am happy that not only can I see myself in more ways than one, but my children have the opportunity to see themselves and never grow up with the wonder of “who do I look like, sound like, act like?” as I did.
I write all of this in hopes that it can encourage adoptive parents to be supportive of their adoptees as they pursue reunion. If my mom and dad hadn’t encouraged and supported me in my reunion, it would have made the situation extremely difficult for me. It was my right to know where I came from. They agreed and supported me and have continued to support me, all the way. Your support can make all the difference to your child, and it will only strengthen the relationship between you. I hope birth mothers find comfort in knowing that most likely their birth children are longing to know them and want to develop a new relationship with them.

And for adoptees, I hope you can be encouraged to not be fearful in search. Even if you face a second rejection, you can be at peace knowing you tried to connect. I hope you can also be encouraged and find hope in my story, that maybe yours will be every bit as wonderful and good as mine! Who Am I Really? Focuses on adoptee reunion stories and can be very encouraging to adoptees thinking about beginning a search. Adoption.com is also filled with stories of reunion in adoption. I hope you feel encouraged in your adoption today, no matter what part of the triad you are. Adoption can really be a great thing, but only if it is done correctly, and with the best interest of the adopted child put at the forefront.

What Adoption Reunion Looks Like 3 Years Later