When I Found Out I Was Adopted

My life changed in a major way when I found out I was adopted. I will never forget watching a TV program with my adoptive mom and seeing a woman who gave birth to a baby. Being curious as kids are, I made a comment to my adoptive mom, “Mommy, did I come out of your belly like that?”. I remember her response was something like this…

“No you didn’t come out of my belly. You came out of another woman’s belly. She loved you so much she wanted you to have a better life so she gave you to me to raise.”

This was a moment I will never forget. I never understood how you love something but you give it away. I think back now and try to think of what my adoptive mom COULD have said that wouldn’t have had such a negative impact on me. As a 5 year old child I couldn’t comprehend this. I whole heartedly believe she did the right thing by telling me but the WAY she said it was something that had a negative impact on me my entire life.

I’m an adoptee who can say “I always knew I was adopted” because she did tell me. I believe back in the 70’s adoptive parents weren’t anywhere near equipped in how to tell your child their adopted, like they are now or how to handle “what to do” being adoptive parents. I’m not saying she meant to hurt me, but the way she told me would forever taint my view of love. When you love something you keep it, you don’t give it away. “She gave you to me to raise.”… I felt disposable, unlovable, and like a piece of property. This was the first moment in my life I began to search for my birth mother. I began to ask questions. Who was she? Where was she? How do I find her? I never EVER stopped asking about my birth mother.

As a 40 year old woman I look back over my journey, and I’ve tried to think of a way my adoptive mom could have told me that I was adopted that didn’t confuse me on such a deep level. I feel like giving something or someone away and associating it out of “Love” is far too confusing for a child to understand. It was total abandonment to me. This still has a deep rooted impact on me today. I feel like everyone in my life is going to abandon me.

I wish she would have said, “You have a biological mommy who couldn’t take care of you, so she found someone who could. That someone was me.” But see that type of answer would have come with more questions behind it. “Why couldn’t she take care of me?” is what I would have asked. And then the TRUTH would have come out. But I know from experience in living it, adoption secrets and lies are a big part of the adoption experience and a huge part of my pain. Everyone was “protecting” me from my own history. The fight to find my history all alone has caused me more heartache and pain than anyone could imagine.

I wish I was never told my birth mother loved me. She didn’t love me. The adoption industry as a whole seems to always want to speak for birth mothers. Once I acknowledged this TRUTH it was easier of me to let go of the pain and move forward and heal.

“You can’t heal a wound by denying it’s there” (Jeremiah 6:14)


That’s not love. The shenanigans of her “Loving me so much she gave me away” could have saved me a whole lot of heartache if the truth was told. I’m not saying they could have told me she didn’t love me. Of course everyone would like to think she did. It is definitely a more pleasant thought. But her actions after I found her and she rejected me after meeting one time showed me otherwise. The entire story of how I was conceived was my TRUTH and after learning that, I was able to gain a better understanding of WHY she chose to give me up for adoption. I needed my truth to move forward with my life and to be able to accept it for what it is.


Let me add, I will always be thankful my adoptive mother was honest about telling me. If she didn’t tell me it would nothing short of holding someones identity hostage, and if it were me I could never live with myself or do that to someone. For the adoptive parents who make the choice not to tell their adoptive kids their adopted, I feel you are making a huge mistake. Everyone deserves to know where they come from. Adding the trauma of being lied too your whole life is beyond devastating on the adoptee. Being adopted is hard enough on it’s own.

For the adoptive parents who may be reading; How did you tell your adopted child they were adopted? Where did you get your advice from? If you haven’t told them, what are you waiting for?

For the adoptees here, how were you told you were adopted? How did it make you feel?

-Adoptee In Recovery


5 thoughts on “When I Found Out I Was Adopted

  1. Thank you for this post! I have always known I was adopted. And like you I had been told numerous times (by others) that “she gave me up because she loved me so much!” Which was a cop out. My parents never fed me this line and they feel the same way I do about it. It’s insensitive and damaging.
    I agree with you when you say it’s about needing truth. Regardless of if I was conceived out of rape, or if she was poor, I still will always want to know. And that’s a very good question, why does everyone always comes to the defense of birth mothers, with little regard for the adoptee’s feelings?

    1. Mgmcrae3,

      You are more than welcome! It does wonders to be able to FINALLY have a place to release my true feelings! Hallelujah! I seriously get happy about it daily. So many years of never being able to share my feelings, and feeling like I was just crazy for feeling the way I do. I’m thankful for other adoptees chiming in because us feeling alone is a thing of the past! Our voices shall be heard!

      The truth shall set us free, and we all deserve to know our roots, and to know where we come from. I have a really hard time accepting that PEOPLE & the adoption industry made so many decisions that TOOK so much of my life. I’ve accepted so much of my adoptee journey, even the pain. I know this pain and loss is here to stay. It’s developing healthy strategies on how to deal with it and process it is the key to being able to move forward with my life. Accepting this lifetime of pain was a BIG ONE for me. Healing is a process! Thankful for this place to process!

      I’m uncertain why everyone always wants to speak for the birth mother. I had to figure out the hard way that the crap they were feeding me was another LIE. LIE LIE. Not all birth mothers loved their babies, some of them were selfish and didn’t want to deal with the problem they created. They didn’t want to face the child who was a constant reminder of their bad choices. Finding out my truth about my life I was able to accept it and begin to move forward and let go of the pain. Without my truth, there will be no healing! No one can speak for birth mothers as a whole, because that would like speaking for adoptees as a whole. We all have different experiences, and we each deserve the right to our own [HIS]Story & [HER]Story without everyone speaking up for others when they really have no idea what they are talking about.

      So glad you are here!!! Thanks for reading! <3:)

  2. I found out when I was 6 or 7. We had just moved into a new neighborhood a few houses down from my older cousins. I remember like it was yesterday a bunch of the neighborhood kids were playing football in a few of the backyards, my older cousin and I were on separate teams. Something in the game happened in the game that made him angry (he was 9 or 10) and he threw the ball at me and I said I was going to tell my mom/dad… and in front of 5-10 neighbor kids I had just begun to know he says “go ahead they’re not you’re real parents anyway, your real mom and dad didn’t want you and neither do we so why don’t you go home”

    I stood there frozen, confused and alone with no allies or friends to be there for me. I remember looking around at all the other kids laughing and whispering while my eyes slowly flooded with tears until they rolled down my cheek. I know that at that moment I took off running as fast as I could to my house to my parents because surely he was just being mean. I honestly don’t recall anything that happened after I started running until I was hugging my mom in our basement and trying to get the words out while sobbing uncontrollably.

    She gave me the same “your parents loved you so much and knew they couldn’t give you the life that you deserved that they let you come home with us” I was a little kid I didn’t care about material possessions I just wanted my mom and dad and I couldn’t understand why they didn’t want me or that something was wrong with me.

    That was the day that part of me broke and an unfillable hole in my heart was created. It didn’t matter what anyone said I felt empty alone, unwanted and unloveable. It was like I was walking around with a deformity like everyone knew I was different. I am yet to really feel a sense of belonging or comfort, I just feel a huge emptiness. I’ve gotten good at faking a smile and pushing my feelings to the back of my mind and heart but sometimes everything just overflows and it hits me all at once and just like that im transformed back into that six-year-old giel standing there frozen with tears swelling in my eyes.

    1. Angee,

      I can totally relate to the feelings you are speaking about. Aloneness, emptiness, etc. I got so tired of “faking it” for those around, so once I started sharing my feelings. healing started happening. I encourage you to start a blog and share your feelings! This has been a very healing place for me. No one can interrupt me, or tell me how to feel.

      I feel the same way about material possessions… All I ever wanted was my birth family. My heart was broken most of my life, but recently that all changed. I still hurt, and have times of trouble but just by reaching out to other adoptees, and asking God to help heal my broken heart, and my feelings of sadness, things have started to get better.

      I’m praying for you and I’m so glad you reached out to me online! YAY. You aren’t alone anymore! Never forget it! ❤
      Pamela K.

  3. My new book called “Separated Lives” is a true story about the adoption of a baby boy and years later a friend taking him on a fascinating but uncertain journey to search for his birth parents. It is available from Dorrance Publishing (in Pittsburgh, PA) http://www.DorranceBookstore.com, Barnes & Noble barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com.
    Author: Lynn Assimacopoulos

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