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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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What words can I use to persuade my 26 year old to face his

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What words can I use to persuade my 26 year old to face his grief about his loss of his birth mother ? I feel it would greatly help him move on and live his life fully ? We located her five years ago , at his request , when we located her , he then said he didn't need to meet her . But he said , if you want to meet her Mom , go ahead , it's ok . ?? What does that me ?

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

Everyone processes grief in different ways. Some people cry and cannot stop, others get very quiet and grieve on their own and still others may become angry or upset. It sounds like your son may have a variety of mixed feelings because of the situation he is in.

When you located his birth mother and he did not want to meet her, he may have been very afraid that she would reject him. Many children who are adopted develop fantasies about their birth parents to comfort themselves as to why their birth parents gave them up. But when faced with meeting their parents, the threat of facing reality and the fact that their birth parents may not have wanted them or even dislike them is suddenly a possibility. So your son may have wanted to avoid knowing what the reality of his situation was and he avoided meeting her. But he offered to let you meet his birth mother as a way to "screen" what she was like. That way, he could find out if it was safe for him to approach her.

Right now, your son has suffered the loss of his birth mother and the chance that he would ever get to know her. It could be possible that he also fears he lost a birth mother that might have loved him. Because he has so many unanswered questions, his loss may seem overwhelming to him. And that may be why he is acting as he is.

To encourage your son to grieve, it helps to be there for him. It sounds like you already are very supportive and he may appreciate that. Try to not impose your way of grieving on him although it is tempting to do. He needs to find his own way. But by just being there for him, he knows he can turn to you. Also, acknowledge that you may not know what he is going through, but that if he wants to talk to you, you are there for him. Offer the books you bought for him, but let him read them when he feels ready.

Consider offering him a chance to talk to a counselor as well. He may need to express his grief to someone who is neutral in the situation. Someone who is experienced in adoption and grief may be helpful, but any counselor will know how to help him. To find a counselor, talk to his doctor about a referral. Or you can search on line at

I hope this has helped you,

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
TY , so would you say he wants me to make the initial contact with his birth mother ? That is what I thought when he made that comment . It's like him to trust me to do these things .
Your thoughts were right on spot with our situation here ! TY . It gave validation to my gut feelings . Very helpful . Bernadette
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Oh ! Sorry , that response was for KATE ! ;-)
You're welcome!
Yes, I think your son wanted you to be the one to make contact with his birth mother so he could get an idea what she was like from you first before he considered meeting her. It takes the fear out of being rejected if he has an idea of what she is like first. And it's very understandable that he feels that way. Who wants to feel rejected by their birth mother twice?
I hope your son is feeling better soon. My heart goes out to him. It's wonderful he has a caring mother like you to lean on.
My best to you and your family,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Kate , last question for now ,What is the proper and most careful way to contact Adams birth mother ? By a phone call , a letter in the mail , or other way ? I want to safe guard each ones heart in this situation . Everyone's future is at stake here . I've never met her but I've always loved her because of having Adam as our son . He has a younger brother , joe , who we conceived 12months after Adam was born . Go figure , we were married and trying for 14 years before Adams birth . I can't imagine one boy growing up without the other ! The brothers are very close and have always been :-) We are celebrating our 41st anniversary this year. It went so quickly ! So I know I can handle this , I just need a suggestion on the proper course to go about it .
I love your advise , your right on tract with our hearts here . I would highly recommend you and this site to my friends . Regards ***** *****
Thank you Bernadette! I appreciate your kind words :)
It is probably best to try to contact his mother via letter. Email can be put into junk mail by accident so you won't ever be sure if she just didn't get the email or she ignored it. And calling her might throw her off guard and cause your first interaction to go badly. You want to introduce yourself so she has time to adjust to the idea by herself and decide how she wants to respond. If you send a letter, that pretty much guarantees she will get it and it gives her time to respond however she wants to. Include your name and all your contact information so she has options on how to reach you if she chooses to.
I am so glad to hear that Adam has a brother he is so close to. I have heard that many couples conceive after adopting. I think it happens more often than not. Adam could not have had better family to care for him and love him.