I looked for an appropriate picture or phrase to put on this page and then thought better of it. Although we share a common ground in the adoption triad our experiences are out own and I certainly don’t want to share positive platitudes with you and or assume yours situation is a negative one. So I’m just going to write to you because I can.
For those that know me know that I was with a non-profit organization reuniting birth families for the larger part of my life. It was part of who I am as I lived and breathed it. Helping others find their answers and prepare for what they may find brought me a great sense of being and from I’ve been told it brought many comfort to know I’ve travelled a parallel path and came out the other side stronger. Not unscathed but stronger for having the answers I so longed for.
As of late step #1 to more me time was a tough step one but necessary. After 35 years of being involved with Parent Finders in various capacities, I have withdrawn my seat as chair from the London chapter. I will still be an adoption liaison for those times that they are truly in need and I will be here for those of you ever needing direction or contact information to help you on your search. I had to look at the reality of my crazy life and this was the one thing I had to let go. Because I am so busy otherwise, it was difficult for me and give the clients they attention deserved. Adoption is such a delicate issue and it takes incredible strength to make that first call or contact with someone like myself to ask for an assist in your search for family and it’s just not right to those of you in the triad to reach out and not receive my undivided attention. My understanding is there may be someone in London (or surrounding area) that may take over chairing the London group but in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact the Parent Finders main chapter in Ottawa and they undoubtedly will do their very best to provide you with information and answers to any questions you may have. This link will take you to their website where you can also find a plethora of really helpful links and reading material. Again please don’t hesitate to contact me though if you feel the need for direction as I know this is an overwhelming process and unchartered ground for most people.
I also want to give a big shout out of thanks to Jim with whom I worked closely with for many many years and who was an integral part of my search and reunion. Not only did he teach me everything I know about search and reunion but without him I would not have had the courage or strength to proceed and overcome my personal search and reunion challenges and road blocks along the way. Also a huge debt of gratitude to the gal (who shall remain unnamed) that worked at CAS (Children’s Aid Society) of London and was there to support me throughout my journey and countless others of the adoption triad for many years. Without Jim and her my reunion would not have been possible.
There are a great many resources out there for adoptees, birth parents and families to utilize. I know how overwhelming and emotional it will be to not only begin your search but to continue on with it and give yourself permission to do so. I encourage each and every one of you to find support while you go through your process. If you have a support group in your area that is definitely the way to go; however if you don’t than I encourage you to have someone there that has been through it in one facet or another. Someone that you can talk to about it and that will truly get it. And in stating the obvious, unless you and that person are in the triad it can never be understood. Parent Finders is a fantastic organization and has support groups in many different Canadian cities. Going to these groups not only can you share your stories but you will hear others stories and perspectives. You need to have an open mind especially if you are an adoptee as you are more than likely to have birth parents in your group. And instead of thinking “how could you” maybe you should hear then speak about “why did they”. It is difficult not to judge but to be kind and mindful that they too carry their burdens and regrets. As birth parents try to understand that the comments and questions comes as it does from you….a place of hurt, fear and lack of understanding and knowledge. One of my biggest challenges throughout the years was to REALLY listen to the struggles the birth parents had and not judge them the way I judged my own. Learn from one another and form bonds of strength as I assure you these are the same people you will lean on in times of trial, share your greatest or saddest experiences with. I am happy to try to help point you in the right direction. Follow your own path and be ok with that. Be ok with your choice of searching or not and try not to judge yourself or others in the choices you have made.
In closing if there is anything I can do to help you locate a search and reunion support person/group in your area please just say so. Depending on your location the laws and support availability will differ but I’ll do my best to get you on your way. I am also just a coffee shop or Skype call away if you just need to talk. You can find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CharsJargon/?fref=ts, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CharsJargon and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/charsjargon/
If you are searching I wish you all the best in your search and reunion. Please remember there are many variables of outcomes and educate yourself on how to deal with those perspective outcomes so that you may have the knowledge to deal accordingly. If you so choose I welcome you sharing your experiences here on our blog for others to also perhaps find solace in.
Please continue to follow along on our blog as I hope you will find some familiarity, comfort and guidance along the way.