I believe all adoptees are searching for lost relatives, even if subconsciously.
With the growth of social media it is commonplace to find a lost relative. Facebook was my means of finding my birth brother, Jon.
Connections may occur, creating an emotional high, But often there are landmines for which no one is prepared.
Here are five landmines for adoptees searching for lost loved ones:
- Euphoric reactions.Adoption experts say that the need for adoptees to have connection is like a starving man looking for food. Many of us of been looking for a birth relative for a lifetime, And once that connection is made, euphoria sets in.This is a time to harness emotions.This surely is a blood relative, but we have no history or relationship yet.
- Impulsive decisions. Yes it has taken a lifetime. Be patient.
- Headed for your birth relatives home.But don’t rush into it! It is wise to take things slowly, get to know the person through photos, phone calls, and Skype.
- Unrealistic expectations.Most of us adoptees are famous for having fantasies about birth relatives.We need to leave behind the fantasy that our birth mother is a queen living in a castle. Or, that the birth father is a night coming to the rescue on a white horse.
- Overconfidence.We may consider ourselves emotionally healthy.Yet meeting members for the first time usually sends us back to the time of separation…the original separation.
- Intensity and lack of self-care.Because we have looked for a lifetime, we are on a mission to get that hole in our heart filled with this missing person.We would do anything for this person…to the extent of not taking good care of ourselves.
And some good questions we need to ask ourselves is
- Do I really want to share my personal details with the whole world on Facebook?
- Am I aware that people can present themselves anyway they decide on social media and that it is possible to be deceived?
Am I approaching this search like I would literal search? Is there an intermediary involved so birthmothers are shocked? Have letters of intent been sent to family that we want nothing just to meet them?Wait for replies even though you are anxious to hear back.