Yesterday was filled with inspiration and reflection as I attended an event presented by Adoption Mosaic about the journey of reunion among adoptees and birth families.
Adoption Mosaic is a beautiful organization providing support, education and resources to all members of the "adoption constellation." The adoption constellation is a term that Adoption Mosaic uses to acknowledge "adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents, extended family and friends, adoption professionals, and other members of our community."
The first time I heard about Adoption Mosaic was at an AKAP dinner in January. I was intrigued by their involvement in providing for the adoption community and definitely wanted to know more! I received a flyer for the Adoption Reunion Panel event and knew attending was a must! I shared this opportunity with my parents and they were on board to attend!
I could not have prepared in any way for the experience that I had while listening to the stories of other adoptees and their journey of reunion. Throughout the day, we were honored to hear from adoptees that are in the beginning stages of reunion and also adoptees that have been reunited with their birth families for 11+ years.
I brought a journal with me to take notes but could hardly break my attention to jot anything down on paper. I realized that for the first time in my journey, I wasn't telling my story but listening to others. It was beyond therapeutic to hear my thoughts and feelings that I haven't been able express come from the mouths of adoptees who have or are still experiencing reunion. Being the gabber that I am, it has amazed me how speechless I have been throughout this process. I have been asked hundreds of times, "how are you doing... feeling, about all of this?" I haven't been able to really grasp my emotions and thoughts on finding my birth mom until yesterday when for a glimpse of time, I felt.
Several thoughts have stayed with me after leaving the event yesterday. The word that stuck with me most was disconnection. This word encompasses so much of what I have been feeling since I received the call from the social worker that contact had been made with my birth mother. Although I had been seeking my birth mother, I have felt like a wave of water has pulled me into the ocean and I am treading as much as I know how but can barely stay afloat. Finding my birth mother was exactly the result I had desired but the lack of emotion and emptiness is not what I expected. I can easily relate to many of the panelists as they expressed a "fantasy" of their birth mom and family as they had imagined, thought and dreamed about. Having fantasized about how this whole experience would unfold and the magic of finally feeling complete and whole has not occurred as I thought it would. A part of me feels that the time will come when I meet my birth mom.
I could easily relate to bits and pieces of each panelist as their stories were all so very different. It still amazes me how adoptees... foreign, domestic, open or closed adoptions share so much in common without even saying a word. I especially get that feeling when I attend AKAP events and as I am sitting a table full of Koreans, I know none of us truly feel Asian. We order Korean dishes and for most of us, that is the extent of the knowledge we have for our culture.
Until I began my search, I didn't realize how adoptees need other adoptees. It is not only therapeutic but a sense of belonging that cannot be found anywhere else, even with family.
The other thought that I took away from the panel was time. When hearing from the morning panel of adoptees and their reunions that are still fresh and new, I sensed anxiety, fear and even pain. When hearing from the afternoon panel of adoptees that had been reunited with their birth families for 11+ years, I could feel a peace from them that they had learned to be. They had established relationships, roles and lives within their adoptive family and birth family. Seeing the contrast between these two groups gave me hope that "this too shall pass" and that it takes time to be.
I feel so blessed and grateful for my parents and that they were excited to attend this event. I know that they are more than willing to do whatever it takes for me to be happy. They want to be a part of this experience and that means more to me than I can express. I am blessed.