While very complex and layered, the reality of my reunion with my Birth Mother is that I’ve been separated, not once, but twice. And no matter how impossible it is to maintain any sort of healthy relationship with her,
I still want her. I still need her.
That’s the problem with infant separation trauma. Our brains get stuck in that moment of separation.

I was expressing to my husband last week that my brain was stuck in that moment of infancy until I reunified with her at 17. At 17 my brain sensed her presence and picked up where it left off. How interesting that our 17 year relationship mirrored the developmental stages of a child. Then when we hit 17 years, I left (set boundaries). Just like a teenager would when they naturally push away from any parent to gain autonomy… I walked out into the world on my own having been parented not once, but twice. I bear the scars of being parented twice, and the scars of being twice rejected for simply existing and being me. I’m 37 and I am in an odd place where I’m doing the work of separation that show have occurred much earlier from both sets of parents.

This is why it’s SO important for Adoptive Parents, and Birth Parents in open adoptions and reunion, to understand that they need to be in this for the long haul. To understand how important it is for each of you to address your own traumas with adoption educated professionals and doing your own self-care work.

For an adoptee, our journey is life-long. We go through so many things out of sync with typical development. We grieve all over the page. Many of us never come out of the fog because no one tells us we are allowed to. Many of us find ourselves not only experiencing mid life crisis, but also having to re-parent ourselves from infancy.
For adoptees, separation is ongoing, not a one time event.

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