The Reality of Reunions: Jacque and Twins

Searching for Twins
Dr. Phil talks reunited guests and talks about expectations of reuninons.
When Jacque was 18 years old, she placed her twins for adoption. "I had two toddlers at home, I had no job, I was on welfare collecting food stamps. I couldn't take care of the two kids I had, let alone two more," she explains. "I did not give them up because I didn't love them. I gave them up because I did love them. I wanted more for them than I could give."


Dr. Phil asks, "What do you think you lost and what do you think you want to get back by trying to find these twins?"


Although Jacque feels a loss, she says she doesn't regret her decision. Tearfully, she explains, "I lost out on their entire life ... not being the one to tuck them in at night, I don't even know what their voices sound like."

In preparing Jacque for meeting the twins someday, Dr. Phil asks, "If you find them, what are your fears?"


Jacque says, "My biggest fear is that they don't want to meet me ... I am afraid that they feel

that I gave them up because I didn't love them."


"Are you afraid they will be angry?"


"Yes."


"They are going to resent you for the decision you made and the things you did?"


"Yes."


"What if you meet them and you find out that they say, 'How could you do that?' What does that do to your life if that is the reception you get?"


"I would have to accept that. I would have to just let it go I guess. I don't know, I don't know."


Dr. Phil also asks her to consider the effect that a reunion would have on the adoptive parents, the real heroes. Dr. Phil says, "They are the ones that have stepped up and filled the void and done such a wonderful and giving thing for these children," and Jacque agrees.

 

Dr. Phil addresses Jacque's question of whether she has a right to expect a relationship with the twins. He explains, "It depends on what that relationship is that you expect. You said, 'I would love to spend every Christmas with them, every Thanksgiving with them.' The truth is that they have a family ... and so do you, and you can't turn the clock back ... You are two adults that are strangers, genetic ties, but strangers and you are coming together. A reunion is an event, but a relationship is a process, and that has to unfold."


Jacque realizes that some of her expectations are unrealistic, and Dr. Phil makes it clear, "That is what gets people hurt, if they have unrealistic expectancies and then when those expectancies are dashed, they are upset because it's not what they expected."


Dr. Phil asks Jacque what she would say to the twins if they were watching the show. She tearfully replies, "I would tell them how much I love them. There hasn't been one day that's gone by that I haven't thought about them and worried that they weren't OK. I just want to see them again."

 

Dr. Phil then explains that the show has done some sleuthing around and found the twins, Peter and Courtney, and they have sent Jacque a video message.


Jacque watches the video and is then shocked when the twins come out on stage to meet her.


Dr. Phil asks the twins how they feel. Courtney replies, "It is overwhelming, but I am happy. I have always wanted to meet you and see where I came from, so I am happy that I am meeting you."


An emotional Peter responds, "This is one of the best moments of my life right now."

 

Both twins share their concerns about hurting their adoptive mom. Courtney explains, "I just don't want her to feel upset or like anything is going to change or anything like that." Peter says, "I don't want her to have a fear that we are trying to replace her or something like that. It is not like that at all. It is a big piece of our life."


Dr. Phil introduces Courtney and Peter's adoptive parents. "The real heroes in this are the adoptive parents, John and Linda, who have done such an amazing job with these amazing young people," he says. "How do you feel about this coming to fruition and them getting to meet?"


Linda replies, "It's absolutely wonderful to see them together. It helps me to kind of see the rest of them. And to see them seeing their mother." She adds, "I have never been nervous about the children meeting Jacque. It is something that we have talked about doing at the time that they felt they were ready and it is something that we have totally supported ... but I was nervous coming on TV and doing it." John says, "I feel it is fantastic. I have wanted them to have this day for a long time."

 

Dr. Phil explains to Jacque, "You are the birth mother, but this is a different role. I think it will help you to know there has been a lot of research done on these reunions, and when adoptive parents are supportive of the process ... it actually strengthens the bond ... and then you begin to have a role in their lives that is different than mom and dad because you are adults coming together."


Dr. Phil then asks Jacque what she wants from the relationship. She explains, "I would like to keep in touch, and I would like to thank John and Linda from the bottom of my heart for everything, and for being here today especially."

 

"I really hope people come away from this with the understanding that relationships are a process," Dr. Phil explains. "You have to really work to build a relationship. You have to be patient, and you have to start out with the goal of finding something that is comfortable for everybody. Don't put any pressure on yourself, and you will come to this at a different pace along the way ... Be patient enough to have the time to let it unfold naturally into something that is comfortable so it is lasting. You don't want to do anything that would cause this coming together to separate again."