You’ve found your biological family, and now it’s time for that all important process of building a relationship with them.
It can seem very daunting and overwhelming when you get in contact with your birth family, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s important to keep in mind that they are probably also feeling as nervous as you are!
Below are some things to consider when you are building up a relationship with someone from your birth family.
Take things at your own pace and keep communication open
It’s normal to feel nervous or anxious about reaching out to your birth family members, especially if you haven’t had contact with them before, or it’s been a long period of time. Remember that there is no rush, and you can take things slow if you need.
The key here is to keep communication open so that both parties understand where each other stands. As you get to know each other better, you can plan in-person visits and build a stronger connection.
Be honest and open in your conversations
When communicating with your birth family, it’s important to be honest about your reasons for searching for them and how you are feeling. It may also be important to share your past with your adoptive family with them as well to keep them involved.
This allows you to openly share your story and let them know what you hope to gain from this new relationship. Not only does this help establish trust early on, but it also allows you to create a stronger bond with your family.
Respect each others boundaries
Some family members might want more frequent conversation than others, so make sure you establish the direction of communication early on. Each family member may have different feelings about the reunion, and it’s important to respect their wishes.
If they’re not yet ready for a close relationship, give them space and time. Make sure you’re not pushing them, as this could cause you to push them away entirely. Just as they respect your boundaries, it’s also important to respect any which they set. This could be in terms of the frequency they communicate with you, how much they are willing to open up at first, and also the type of communication they want to use going forward.
Find common interests and hobbies
Just like building any relationship, the best way to build up a connection with your birth family, is to try to find common interests and hobbies. This could be anything from a shared love of music, tv show, sport, or hobby. Establishing common interests early on can help break the ice and also allow conversation to flow more effortlessly.
This will also give you a base topic to come back to if you are feeling nervous or as if you’re not sure what to talk about next. It’s a great starting point which can lead to more open and honest conversations as you build up trust and confidence.
Seek support if you need to
It’s important to remember that building a new relationship with your birth family can be an emotional and challenging process, and can often be very overwhelming. If you need to take a step back and seek support, then that is perfectly okay to do. Make sure that you communicate this to your birth family as they may be concerned if you suddenly stop replying to their messages.
The Adoption Specialist is here to help you every step of the way, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any support.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your birth family
Relationships take time to develop, and it’s important to set realistic expectations between you and your family. It may not always be easy, which is why open communication is the best practice when building relationships. Be open to this new adventure between you and also be patient as you both navigate the reunion and build a relationship.
Want to read more about searching for and finding your biological family?
Follow the links below for some more information and guidance: