Meeting my birth mother at the age of 24 came with so many lessons here’s the advice I would give at 28 years old. Get a cup of Tea and sit down let me share some treasures with you:
Have conversations with God: I wish someone would have told me I could have a conversation with God about adoption and meeting my birth mother. God understands everything and he wants to be a part of every area of your life. I know some of you may be saying I haven’t talked to God in a long time don’t worry now is a great time. You don’t know what to say don’t worry just talk to him like you talk to a friend. And for those of you who don’t know Jesus, he wants to meet you. Cast all your cares upon him; for he cares for you. Peter 5:7
Get Excited: So many people will tell you not to get your hopes up. Ummmm I disagree. Meeting a birth parent is very excited Just knowing your parents are alive and you’re going to meet them is excited. There are so many adoptees who will never meet their parents. It’s an honor to be able to meet them regardless of how things work out.
Relationships take Time: My mother is my mother but when I knocked on the door and my mother opened I was met by a stranger. I had the impression when I met my mother we would just become this mother-daughter take over the world team, that didn’t happen at all. I was a ball of emotions and I didn’t know how to deal with how I felt at times about my mother. Some moments I loved my mother some moments I hated the fact she wasn’t in my life and there were moments I couldn’t feel anything as a way to protect myself. I’m happy to say my mother and I are pursuing a mother-daughter relationship so eventually, we can take over the world. Just kidding.
Acknowledge your emotions: Super important my friend. Allow yourself to feel. Oh boy, when I met my mother my emotions were stuck on numb to protect myself. Writing is a great way of getting everything out. Journaling was a big thing for me when I couldn’t speak the words I wanted to get out. Keeping emotions inside with no place to go creates insanity; because it becomes a war within that no one is aware of your fighting.
Guard your heart: Just keeping it real. You have to guard your heart. Every Adoptee dream is to open the door to a loving birth parent or parents. That may not be the case sometime we may find people that never wanted to be found. Or sometimes we will meet a parent who hasn’t healed from their wounds and is unhealthy. Only God can help us with the hurt that may come with such a hard moment. But when we guard our hearts the pain doesn’t remain for forever eventually it becomes a testimony of the strength God gives you. It’s important to hand over your hurt to God because its hard to function with dysfunction in your heart. I haven’t met my birth father yet but someday when I do, I may really need to re-read this post.
You Don’t have to play hero: Sometimes we may open the door to our birth parents in the middle of a life crisis. Yes, we have to honor our parents and in the near future, I will write a post about honoring your birth parents. Say you met your parents and their homeless this does not mean that you have to take your life saving and figure out the solution to their crisis. You can pray for them but doesn’t mean you need to get involved unless the Lord tells you. This is not to dishonor them but I don’t want people thinking they have to help because it’s their birth parents. I want to clarify why I’m saying this because it can seem a little harsh. I feel like adopted kids always feel the need to fix things or do things to be loved. Let this be a relationship where you are loved just because. Don’t try to buy a relationship or try to help us to be important allow God to do his thing. He is a relationship builder.
Love them for who they are: I use to fantasy about what my mother would be like. I made her like those perfect cookie cutter mom you see on tv where the girl is best friends with her mom and they wear matching outfits. Yassss This is a big problem because when I met my mother I was extremely disappointed because she wasn’t what I wanted her to be. I pointed out every flaw she had and never got to know who she was. Get rid of all those false realities and get to know your parents for who they are. You will be amazed by them if you drop all the above and beyond standards. My mother is better than the false person I wanted her to be. She is transparent, loving, fun and everything in between.
Build a support Team: You need a support team. People who love you and will embrace you. Adoption is such a sensitive topic. When I met my birth mother I talked about it a lot and sometimes my friends didn’t really understand why I wanted to bring it up or talk about it. But if you didn’t have your mother your entire life and you just met her you would be in awe too. I didn’t know this back then but Facebook has great private group communities for adoptees.
No Microwave Identity Kit: I always struggled with Identity I had this big idea when I met my mother I would know who I was. I would know what I like what I didn’t like. I would gain this sense of belonging I longed for years and years. Meeting my mother answered many questions but my mother didn’t create my identity. My identity was found in Christ. The more I get to know God I get to know myself. One of my favorite verse is when the Lord shares about how we were created way before we were placed in our mother’s womb. God knew who and what we were going to be because he is our creator. Our mothers are the carrier of us. Parents don’t give identity they help mold it. That’s why when I met my mother I already had an identity just like you.
Hear their story: So many of us have heard stories of our birth parent as horrible parents. My advice is to forget what you heard and get to know them for yourself. When I opened the door I wasn’t met by the monster people made my mother be I was met by a loving woman who due to life circumstances wasn’t able to provide for me but has always searched and longed to met her daughter some day. PS God is the judge, not us.
Keep everyone: As an adoptee, some people have taken on mother/ father figure roles in our lives they haven’t replaced our birth families but they have stood in the gap. This is something I didn’t know and really want to share with other. Just because you meet your birth parents doesn’t mean you have to drop every single parent figure or important person in your life. If anything your should introduce them or mention them so your parents know you have active people who are invested in your life. If you call your mother figure “MOM” keep calling her that titles don’t change because your birth parents have entered your life. You are to show honor where it is due. It’s okay. Don’t forget anyone who has been in your life doing the good and bad. If you birth parents can’t understand this help them to understand and don’t back down.