Meeting birthfamily--effect on behavior?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Zoobiechick, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. Zoobiechick

    Zoobiechick New Member

    I was pretty sure difficult child has recently been searching online for her birthmother, so I decided to do a search last week to see what she would find. Shockingly, I found that BM passed away just last month (difficult child hadn't found any info because she only checked Facebook). When husband and I broke the news we thought she would go off the rails, because she fantasized about meeting BM and having someone in her life who could understand her. Instead, she didn't even shed a tear. She said she feels like she should cry, but she doesn't even know the person. I'm thinking it will come to her in stages and at different times and hopefully there will be some kind of grieving process sometime.

    My question is, we offered for her to meet BM's parents and her two half-siblings to soften the blow (which, as I said, didn't seem like much of a blow). I'm pretty sure the birthfam is willing, but will call the social worker tomorrow to go between us, and see if they would like to meet next week. Technically the adoption is closed until she turns 18, but we feel like clearing out all the "mysteries" of her background might help her form a stronger identity and maybe, just maybe, help with some of her behavior issues. I felt like I needed to call the social worker when I found out to let the birthfamily know we know of the news, so I did that last week.

    My question is, have any of you experienced your adopted teen meeting birthfamily for the first time? I realize everyone is different, but I'm just curious about how things have gone.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    It can be rough on both families - the social workers should be with you every step of the way until things are comfortable. My Dad (adopted) asks about my bio-family but never wants to meet them, and vice versa. I was in my early 20s when I started meeting my birthparents and family.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    All of my children are adopted. Only Kanga has ever expressed a strong tug to see her birthmom. She has some vague memories of a woman that she thinks is her. (Kanga was 2 when she was removed from the birthhome and almost 5 when birthmom stopped visiting.). I told her that we will help her search when she is 25. Thankfully, she seems content with that as birthmom has a facebook page with the message "Looking for my sweet girl Kanga, please call me at 555-555-5555" so it'd be a 2 second search to find her.

    In our cases, the birthparents were violent or drug users or severely mentally ill or a combination of all 3. I'm very concerned about any potential meetings.

    I've read several articles about how the internet has changed how adoption searches are being done -- and not for the better. While it is easier to 'find' each other, meetings are often done on the spur of the moment and without counseling in place to help all members of the triad with the impact.

    I'm glad that you are helping her with this.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My Jumper didn't exactly meet her birthfamily because her birthmother (somebody I love dearly) had married her first child's father and they have three kids. He doesn't want her to be in touch with Jumper. "But for a few months, Jumper, me and B. corresponded secretly on the computer and all that needed to be said was said. It had a VERY positive effect on Jumper, but ME We love each other a lot and daughter could see our strong attachment and has never once spoken of her birthmother since. Now birthfather...

    He is in prison on drug charges. Not the first time. His family is nice, BUt they don't want to see Jumper unless she wants to also see her birthfather. She has no interest in that right now so our correspondence stopped, BUt not before she got pictures of them and a nice birthday card. I asked her about them and her only comment was, "They're FAT" which surprised me. I don't even know if she kept their pictures, but I suppose she'll grow up and meet them one day. My daughter is anti-drug, anti-smoking, anti-alcohol, anti-breaking the law and has not wanted to meet him or his side of the family since. I have brought it up, but she says she's not ready.

    Jumper was twelve when this happened and it seemed to take the mystery out of her past. She believes everyone loved her and that her birthmother did what she did because she felt it was for the best. The adoption has not hindered her at all since. If you can get in touch AND you are pretty sure it will be positive, I think the best way to start is with e-mails. I do not recommend just setting up a meeting. If Jumper met ANYONE it was going to be in the room with an adoption specialist who has reunited people for years. Both sides should have counseling before they meet and develop a trust with the therapist. I don't think just setting up a meeting is a good idea at all.j

    You have to make the call, but it was all good here and for now it is on hold. The day I get to see B. again, we are going to hug and cry...she is like a sister to me. I love her so much. I think one day Jumper would be t hrilled to see how we bonded and still feel bonded through the years.
  5. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Hi....don't know if you are already part of an adoption forum but I found so much help and support at forum! Maybe you can also gain some insight talking to those wonderful people...what I like about that forum is that it's open to bio-families, adoptees, a/ you get insight from so many sides.

    Huggs with this big step!
  6. Zoobiechick

    Zoobiechick New Member

    Thanks for the input. I've been on quite a few times, but never actively involved in any forums. My gut feeling from the moment I learned of BMs death is that my daughter would benefit from meeting the people who referred to themselves in letters back when we corresponded (the first 5 years) as her "silent" family. And goodness knows, I have let go of any fantasy I had that we would be all she needed. Most of what I've read about these situations is that openness is healthy for all involved, but I know there are exceptions. Good advice--we will proceed with caution, work with the social worker who worked with her BM, and see what happens.