8 [S1 E8] Diane

An interview with Diane Wheaton, a fellow adoptee who is in reunion with her biological mother. We talk about letting go of the idealized picture of reunion and some hard truths about the seemingly permanent place of unsettledness and ambivalence Diane has come to.

Show Notes

Topics We Discussed

  • Born in 1956 in California, relinquished and placed in foster care until 2.5 months

  • Grew up with one adopted younger brother

  • Bio-parents were engaged (possibly married)

  • Searching for birthmother - Salvation Army Hospitals opened records and assisted search and reunion

  • Her first phone call with her birthmother

  • Discovering her birthmother has other relinquished children

  • Meeting her siblings and first cousins

  • The honeymoon stage and then letting go of the fantasy of reunion

  • What reunion looks like now; more friendly and surface-level relationships

  • The difficulty of building relationships in reunion when you don't have shared childhoods/experiences

  • Movie "Antwone Fisher" (2002)

  • Birthmother still keeping her a secret from some extended family

  • Feeling ambivalent about the state of being adopted vs being an adoptee, the intermingling of joy and grief, coming to terms that the unsettled feelings may be permanent

  • Choosing to do a DNA search for biological father

  • Advice to us about slowing down in reunion; reflecting on your emotions during reunion

  • Feeling grounded and rooted once she met her birth family

  • Therapy and reading as healing tools

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