Beginning an adoption reunion search can be the start to an emotionally difficult, yet rewarding journey. The first step is the biggest step you'll take. Deciding to begin your search and reunion journey commonly requires dedication, perseverance, and emotional and mental fortitude. Some of those who search find who they're looking for right away while others can search for years without success. Unfortunately, there isn't a way to know which category you'll fall into before you begin the process. However, even if success isn't met right away, the journey holds a lot of other benefits and advantages, including a better understanding of yourself and your life experiences.
Once you've decided to start your search, you will then have to decide how you're going to move forward. For starters, it's possible that the agency used to facilitate the adoption offers post-adoption services that include a registry or third party intermediary who will attempt to locate and contact the member of the triad you are searching for.
You can also search online directories that aren't related to a specific agency. Many of these online directories are free, including the Adoption.com Reunion Registry. Because of the modernity and popularity of social networking sites, that's a great place to start, too. Of course, these methods will only work if you already have identifying information about that person. You could also use the expertise of professional searchers, who do cost money, or search angels, who are free to work with. There are so many different ways to start and continue your reunion search, but you don't have to choose only one method. Why not try them all?
Often, services available through agencies or professional searchers do cost money, as mentioned above, so it's important to research the services you are investigating before taking that first step. Becoming active in online adoption communities will allow you to speak to others who may have used the services you are considering or it may lead you in a whole different direction altogether. However, it might be best to start with the free resources before moving on to the paid ones.
Once you've started your search, you'll want to begin the preparation for a possible reunion. It's important to keep your expectations of the relationship low and take things one step at a time. This is because you don't want to get your hopes up, have the reunion fail in some way, and become devastated. Keeping expectations low or expectations open and pliable means that you can get back up and keep trying until you're happy with the results. It's easy to get caught up in the moment and leap forward while emotions are high. However, taking time to ease into the relationship and build a strong foundation is important in the very first stages.
Try to keep communication light and easy until you've gotten to know the person a little better. Once you've gotten to know your adopted child or birth parent, you can then start to address the emotional topics, which will inevitably come up.
The reunion journey is an exciting one, even with all the bumps and hurdles along the way. Remember that every journey will be different, so try not to compare your reunion journey with others. Focus on your goal and your progression, and you'll soon be able to reconnect and reunite!
Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.