Preparing To Seach
Reunion The Adoption Paradox
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Preparing To Seach

(Shared with permission from Dr. Joe Soll, Psychotherapist, Author and founder of the Adoption Counseling Center in New York, NY)

If one wants to learn how to fly a plane, one takes flying lessons.  Ground school first, then flying with an instructor, then when one has enough knowledge to handle anything that happens, one can solo.

If one just hops in a plane, without doing the work, one is likely to crash and burn. One might do well, but the odds are against it. 

Preparation for reunion is like taking flying lessons.  Ground school involves reading adoption-related literature. Going to groups, counseling, chat rooms, and talking to other adoptees and moms is your flight time.

If you just jump in without the prep, you might do ok, but the odds are you will sabotage your reunion.

Reunions cannot and do not fix our pain.  Reunions always bring up the pain of our losses which is normal and necessary.  The better the reunion, the deeper the pain. The pain of our losses, the pain of what we missed.  

One must walk through this pain to heal. The rewards of doing this prep work are beyond compare.

From those who have prepared, I have never ever heard, “I wish I had not done this.”  From those who have not prepared, I often hear, “I wish I had gotten ready before I searched.”  From those who prepared, what I usually hear is, “Thank God I was ready!”  I pray you prepare!.

“The adult adoptee must walk through the fear which he/she experiences in a search. If he/she does not walk through it, he/she never overcomes it

Those who do not make contact themselves are never released from this fear.” – Jean Paton. The first adoptee to search, start a group, and write a book about it. The mother of the Adoption Search movement.

You know you are ready to search when:

You have read and understood “The Girls Who Went Away” by Ann Fessler.

You have talked to other moms and adoptees.

You have read and understood “Primal Wound” by Nancy Newton Verrier.

It’s not necessary, but it would help if you:

  • Have read, and understood “Adoption Healing… a path to recovery (for Adoptees)” and done all the exercises.
  • Have read, and understood “Adoption Healing… a path to recovery (for Adoptees)” and done all the exercises.
  • Have read, and understood “Adoption Healing… a path to recovery (for Moms)” and done all the exercises.
  • Have read, and understood “Adoption Healing… Supplement and done all the exercises.
  • Have read, and understood “Adoption Healing… Articles, etc.”  and done all the exercises.
  • Participate often in our nightly chat.

You are journaling and channeling your anger daily.
You are talking to your Inner Child daily.

You have done the lovability affirmations, and your inner child has told you that she/he is and always was lovable.

Your inner child has told you about her/his rage at mommy for not being kept.
You have convinced your inner child that Mommy had no choice, that it was not her fault and that it’s not fair to be angry at her.

You and your inner child know you cannot get rejected when you make contact.

You are in the process of grieving the loss of your mom and the relationship you might have had with her as much as possible.

You understand that you have an obligation to continue a relationship with your mom if she wishes to do so. 

You have read and understood the Reunion Guidelines
You have read and understood the Language of Adoption

You have written down all the possibilities that you may find and know that no matter what you find, you will be ok.

You have let yourself experience the feelings that would  exist for each  possibility above

You have read about genetic attraction and know to be on guard for those feelings so as to not get into a bad situation.

You know that reunions do not fix anything.

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