Reunions in the Adoption World

During the holidays many family have reunions and that is a wonderful thing. The word “reunion” has a different meaning in the adoption world. It means that a birth mother searches for her child or a child searches for her birth mother or family. Reunions are the very definition of Pandora’s box. If you hear enough stories, you will understand this.

I have a good friend who had a surprise reunion with a sister she did not know she had. Her mother had kept her secret all of her life about a child she had given up for adoption. This turned out to be a happy story because my friend always wanted a sister, she had four brothers.

Another friend of mine decided to search for her family while she was teaching English in Korea because she was Korean and adopted. Not expecting much, she found an entire family, mom and dad, brothers, aunts and uncles and grandparents. She remains close to them and goes as often as she can to see them.

Her birth family had been watching one of TV shows that show reunions between Korean adoptees and their families. And her younger brother kept telling his mom he wanted a sister, not knowing he had one.

There’s another reunion I want to talk about that has been turned into a famous documentary, “Daughter from Danang.” This is a story of a young woman who was sent overseas just as the Vietnam War was ending. The movie begins with a very happy reunion with a very large family and then her birth family, assuming she’s wealthy because she’s from the United States begins an endless campaign for her to support them financially in some way. She is by no means wealthy and your heart breaks as so many truths begin to show themselves.

This is a personal decision for every adoptee, But it is one that needs to be thought through very carefully with keeping in mind the complexity of adoption and everyone involved.

Photo Credit: Gahsoon

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