I have had that question directed at me many times over the last 18 years by adoptees in closed adoptions with whom I was working.

Yes, they may very well have had a loving family and a nearly perfect childhood, and they may adore their parents, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have lots of unanswered questions.

Such adoptees look around and see their friends next to blood relatives, with similar physical features and similar mannerisms. They see family pictures of others and marvel over how much some family members look alike. They watch as others they know smile in a certain way or tap their foot just like another family member.

For adoptees in closed adoptions, there is none of this synchronicity. No matter how well they are loved, they don’t have another human being (until they have children of their own) that they can look at and see common features.

This may not sound like it’s very important to people outside of the adoption triad, but to many adoptees, it’s very important. They long to see someone that looks like them…that has their eyes or their hair or their long skinny feet. They yearn for the synchronicity that all their friends take for granted.

After having facilitated many reunions over the years, I’ve found that one of the first things the adoptees say to me afterward is something along the lines of, “She has hands and fingers exactly like mine!”.

The saddest part about this yearning of many adoptees in closed adoptions is how many of their parents don’t recognize the importance of supporting them if they chose to search, and being there for them. Many adoptive parents are threatened by an adult adoptee wanting to find birth family. While I understand that this is fueled by fear of losing the adoptee, these parents need to put the best interests of their child first.

Support your son or daughter as they search. Share with them whatever they find. Celebrate with them if they end up in a happy reunion. Comfort them if they don’t. Be there for THEM 100%. They need that, and they deserve it.

The extra bit of good news here is that you’ll find that if you support your son or daughter in this way, it will draw the two of you closer, and will enhance your relationship. That way, everyone wins!

Not quite at that winning place yet? If you’re an adoptee searching for your birthfamily, or an adoptive parent feeling threatened by your searching child, EFT can make a difference. Find out more by clicking on the “What the Heck is EFT?” link above.