It’s natural to wonder where you came from and if you have similarities to your birth mother. Since I was a teenager, I wondered what my birth mother looked like – if I had her eyes or other physical characteristics. Never in a million years did I ever think I would be in my birth mothers shoes – 21 years old and placing my baby for adoption. Once I placed my daughter, I had an even stronger desire to search for my own birth mother.

It was a lot of closed doors because it was a closed adoption. But, I was able to do the impossible. I found her through my biological grandparents. Our relationship is complicated on many levels, but I would rather have that relationship than not have one at all.

She had her family and I had mine, yet we both wanted to be a part of each other’s lives somehow. In the five years of knowing her, I have learned so much about navigating the relationship between us. Communication is key, as it is in all relationships, but especially one between a birth parent and adoptee. You have to try to be truthful, yet not hurt feelings or step on toes and so much more. Honesty is the best policy.

I would never change our meeting or her becoming apart of my life, but it is tough having my own family now and trying to build a relationship with her as well. I feel that opening a closed adoption, when an adoptee reunites with a birth parent, requires both parties to be very open and understanding. The truth is, it might not work out the way you were hoping. It seemed that for my birth mother, when I found her, there were a lot of feelings and emotions stirred up and brought to the surface that she’d not thought of in some time. It is an adjustment for both parties.

In the back of my mind, I knew my birth mother would probably have another family and other children. You always wonder if she told them that she placed a baby for adoption when she was younger or if she just figured it would be impossible that I’d ever locate her. You need to be prepared for anything and be able to accept it.

I have so much closure now after reuniting with my birth mother. That puzzle piece in my life finally fits. Honestly, that is another reason why I choose open adoption for my daughter. I wanted her to be able to know me and ask me anything she wanted to as she grew older, even the tough questions. Every situation is unique and my path might not be right for everyone, but in my situation it couldn’t have worked out any better.

Jori Reid 2

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