10 Recommendations for Birth Mothers
For a Successful and “Responsible” Reunion
By Sarah Burns 18 years in Reunion
1. At the very start, seek professional help or a support group: you can find professional help through individual therapy or find help in support groups. (You WILL need it and it WILL help!)
2. Remember that you and your son/daughter are both reclaiming lost parts of yourselves as you develop a NEW relationship, growing out of an OLD one.
3. Try to understand that the reason your son or daughter may want to reunite with you is to meet his/her own needs, but not necessarily to hear about your pain. You can share that elsewhere.
4. Reclaim your parental role in small but significant ways by stating your hoped-for desires, goals, and preferences. Don’t be afraid, to be honest, and sincere and to be who you are.
5. Do not approach the relationship as a beggar or supplicant (e.g., “with hat in hand’) and never make emotional, financial, or other demands of your child.
6. Know that you can’t do the work for each other. Give the relationship the time, the nurturing, and the respect it needs to be developed or restored. Know that even if you are rejected, you’ll still have established rapport, and your son/daughter will know you care, that you’re there to stay, and you’ll be there for them, no matter what!
7. Don’t pressure your son/daughter to assume that role, or to accept you as their mother or their children’s grandmother – if they are not comfortable with you taking on that role! “Give time time” as things might change and improve and decisions made now might change later.
8. Exercise choice in other areas of your life when you feel you lack control in this one; it will help you practice being more patient, accepting, and empathetic.
9. Let your child know you are sorry you gave them up. Then go on to be the person you are: a competent, caring, attractive woman worthy of respect.
10. Channel your anger and frustration into action to make changes for other women who are considering adoption or who have surrendered a child, so that you can move from being a victim to becoming a brave and proud warrior.