I’ve been in reunion for 23 years. Like any other relationship – it’s not always easy and needs to be worked at and on. The relationships may involve disagreements and misunderstandings but that’s okay because in a family, we may be hurt, but we should get over it, we should forgive, we should let go, and most importantly, we should not reject one another.
When it comes to being adopted – I find that words really do matter. At Thanksgiving, a sibling wrote a post on Facebook that said “So thankful. After 10 days, my entire family will be together in the next hour.” There was no ill meaning or conscious jab behind the post – that’s not who she is. But let me tell you I felt as I had just been hit by a bus! My kids and I were not there so how could the word “entire” be used?
Why are we so sensitive to “words”? Is it the pain over our past? Is it that we harbor the anger and bitterness over our loss as infants? Research shows that almost every adult adoptee in therapy reported a very early felt sense that something was “wrong”, or “missing”, or “off” even when they could not articulate those feelings. Once you are in reunion – you think those answers to what was “wrong, missing or off” are answered – unfortunately it only takes a few words or word and in this case a post on Facebook to throw all those questions right back in your face.
Adoptees must attempt and try to make sense of a complex, deep matrix of circumstances, emotions and thoughts. It's not easy, not only because it's not easy, but also because most people don't realize that…. It is not easy!
"Adoption loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful"
- Rev. Keith C. Griffith