The Phone Rings…
This morning you got that phone call…the one you have thought about for years as older birth parents, sometimes with hopeful anticipation, and sometimes with dread.
Maybe you are absolutely thrilled and excited that the child you placed for adoption, now an adult, has found you.
Maybe you are not so thrilled. Maybe you are terrified.
How Do You Handle This New Development as Older Birth Parents?
You may not understand why this had to happen now. You may be worried that your family will learn about your secrets, if you have not told them you placed a child for adoption a long time ago. You may worry about changes in your family dynamics and how your “old child” will get along with your “new children”. You worry about them judging or resenting you. You may not want to dredge up the details about the birth father.
You may be angry because you may feel you were given guarantees a long time ago that your “secret” would never be disclosed. This is no longer possible in many cases. Many states in the US, for example, may still have closed or sealed records and birth certificates, but these laws are changing, little by little. Adoptees are no longer tolerating being treated like second-class citizens without the right to access and learn things that are very personal, and are about themselves. This doesn’t mean that every adopted person has a burning desire for this information, or is an activist, but many want to know.
As older birth parents, it is important to understand that even a healthy, well-adjusted adopted person, who was raised in a good adoptive family, and who loves them, is likely to have some (maybe a lot) natural interest and curiosity about his or her background.
How might you feel if you could not learn anything about your parents, your grandparents, your true ethnicity, or about your medical history? How would you feel if you love the family you were raised in, but always felt a bit different, had different talents, skills and interests, and you really want to know where those came from? Wouldn’t you want to know where you got your gorgeous green eyes, or God forbid, if there is a history of an illness you ought to know about?
Maybe the story about the circumstances of this child’s coming into the world wasn’t a fairy tale. Maybe it is painful for you to think about now, even though you are much older than when you made the decision to have your child adopted. Still, it is not just your own story. It belongs to that child too.
It is true that you can’t control how the people in your life will respond. However, mental health professionals know that secrets in families can be highly toxic and damaging. Revealing the truth may cause changes, but the changes are usually for the better in the long run.
I can help older birth parents figure out how to cope with all of this. I can help support you through all of it and figure it out. I can’t predict how it will turn out, but I know you don’t have to be afraid and you don’t have to go through it by yourself.
Why not contact me now? Coaching may be just what you need to adjust to the new developments in your life as older birth parents, and to thrive.