It is a story as old as time; I saw a need, I even suggested others meet that need, but eventually I realized if it was going to come to fruition, I had to make it happen. This book is my answer to that need. It is a labor of love for me, love for my clients and love for all of those in the adoption triad.
As a therapist, it is an honor to bare witness to someone’s story; sometimes I am the only witness they will allow, and I know my role is sacred. It is from this privilege that this book was formed. I have sat with adoptees struggling to explain to others, particularly their parents, the need for information regarding their biological family. I have often wished for a book that they could hand to their parents that would explain how innate this drive really is. The desire for information has nothing to do with parenting or personality. I have explained this to adoptive parents, yet wished they had a resource to help them feel less alone in their emotional journey through their child’s search. I have listened to birth parents who do not know how to process a child searching for them, some fearing judgement. It is from these experiences that this book with born.
As an editor, it is my honor to present to you a variety of stories on the topic of search, reunion, and open adoption, calling on all members of the adoption triad and those involved with both domestic and international adoptions. I present these stories to you, birth and adoptive parents, as comfort; I want you to know, understand, and find peace in the fact that it’s not about you. Those words, “it’s not about you” can be read as snotty or comforting. There are times I wanted to take a birth or adoptive parent by the shoulders, look them in the eyes, and make it clear that it’s not about you, and you need to quit making it about you because it does not help you or your (adult) child. There are just as many times that I wanted to assure some that it’s not about you and this drive to search does not mean that you made good choices or bad choices, that your (adult) child sees you as a good parent or a bad parent; you are not evaluated at all, rather this drive is inherent, expected, and natural for all human beings whether adopted or not. The title of this book can be both inflammatory and comforting. I believe different people need to read it different ways. I hope you understand it in the way that is most helpful to you.
The voices in this book include people I admire, people I have worked with, people I call friends, and some I am just getting to know. I hope this book opens the door for you to understand the depth of what adoptee search, reunion, and open adoption is about even if it is not about you.