Wednesday, October 17, 2012


In the process of writing about my adoption/reunion experience, I've been reading a lot more about adoption and reunion.

I've joined, and have been following, the Lost Daughter's blog, which I LOVE. It has successfully created what I had originally hoped to create in this blog but never got off the ground- a forum for adult adoptees to discuss their shared experiences.

One of the themes that seems to come up time and again, is anxiety. It reminded me of how unwieldy anxiety was in the early years of reunion, and it made me wonder where anxiety sits in a reunion that has been going on as long as ours has (in 2013, it will be 24 years since we met).

I don't feel anxiety that I will lose Kate, or that there's much that can damage our relationship at this point. Maybe part of that for me is that Kate was the "pursuer" in our relationship. Maybe not at first...after all,  we each individually threw our hats in the ring when we both called the adoption agency the same day on my eighteenth birthday and said we were interested in finding each other. But, after we met, when I understood that she wanted to have some kind of a relationship ... well that was something I had never considered and that threw off my sense of balance. What would having a relationship with my birthmother mean? And what would it mean to my parents? If I had a relationship with my birthmother, or with my birthfamily for that matter (yes, the birthdad always gets off easy ; ), would my parents think that I didn't think their parenting was enough, that "our" relationship, "our" family, wasn't enough?

For me, where the anxiety sits, and where it has always been, is in the worry that my relationship with Kate will upset my parents. I should know by now that they are okay with it. They've told me as much, like when my mom said that she was glad that I had Kate in my life so that even when she and my dad were gone, I would still have family in my life. And they've shown me as much, like when we all had dinner at Kate's house on Christmas day. But, they are old-fashioned, Irish-Catholic, and talking openly about how we feel about things is not exactly a family trait. 

Now, almost 24 years later, I feel like there's no question that Kate and I have a solid relationship. We see each other every couple months, talk every few weeks on the phone, and email/text regularly. I might not have words for what I would call our relationship (not quite mother/daughter but more than "friends with baggage") but I am secure in what it is, whatever it is. 

And, at the same time, I don't feel like my relationship with Kate has any effect on the total devotion I feel towards my parents. Although, when I screw up, and I do that plenty -  I might not remember to call and sometimes I forget important birthdays or don't follow through on what I said I was going to do - I worry that maybe they might question the way I feel towards them. So, although I should know better, and not worry about things, and trust my parents know how I feel, I don't. Maybe I should tell them.

So, for me, where the anxiety sits is not IN my relationship with Kate, but BY having a good relationship with Kate. And, for that, I should count my blessings.

to view my birthmother's blog on the same topic, go to:


  1. Cathy, I just checked out your blog (I'm also a member of LD) as well as your b-mom's blog. I love this idea! It is so interesting to hear two different sides, in tandem in real time. It's very cool. I'm excited to learn more about your book Kathleen-Cathleen - do you plan to self-publish it, or are you goint the traditional route? -- Laura

  2. Laura,
    Thanks for visiting the blogs. I've read your writing on LD - really interesting. You're in Serbia, is that right?

    We're doing the traditional route for publishing at the moment, but so far we haven't had much luck. If we don't get much progress in a year or so, we'll look at the self-publishing route.