Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 28 - Reunion

Reunion. Are you reunited? Do you hope to be? Are you thinking of reunion but not quite ready? Are you just not interested in reuniting? What are your thoughts on reunion, the experiences you've already had in reunion, and your hopes for reunion in the future.

In 1999, a social worker for Ontario’s Children’s Aide department, opened a file, read a name, picked up the phone, called Iris and told her that her daughter wanted to be reunited with her.  I had originally applied for them to do this 10 years before hand.  Under staffing and an overwhelming response from adoptees when they first opened up the registry made for a very long wait to have them to spend 15 minutes reading a file and being able to reunite me with my birth mother.

Initially Iris wanted no contact with me at all.  Other than my birth father, no one knew of my existence.  That`s a pretty big secret to keep for 30 years.  Especially when I found out that my older sister still lived at home with Iris.  That fact was what complicated my reunion with Iris more than anything.  Iris eventually came around and decided to have contact with me via letters. But I could not, never ever, send anything to her house, in case Madelaine found it.  At first this was okay, because Iris was still working full time, even though she was in her 70s. Once Iris retired though, it became much more difficult to contact her, to the point that I no longer have any contact.

Reunion for me was not what I had hoped for.  Knowing that my very existence is a secret that must be kept at all cost has been difficult to accept.  I have since found out more information about why it may not be safe for Iris to tell Madelaine about me, and that makes it easier to understand, but it doesn`t make it hurt any less.
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