A Whirlwind But Coming Out On Top

What does “On Top” mean?

Well for me it means I’ve decided in my mind I’m working on moving forward from this previous season of my life.

My whirlwind has been more like a tornado.

It’s been a difficult season, but life is difficult right? What I’m finding out that yes, life is difficult but having things happen in life that are difficult are HARD for many people but this adoptee “thing” is also hard. So for me being in recovery and dealing with this adoptee “thing” and the “life in general” thing it’s extremely difficult and the last few months it’s been extra heavy.

I found myself slipping into a depression after I came back from Iowa from meeting biological family for the first time on my birth fathers side. My amazing cousin was so welcoming and it’s honestly the first time anyone on my birth fathers side welcomed me. I was overwhelmed with emotions not so much during the 2 trips to Iowa, but after I returned and settled back from the trip.

It’s strange to me that my entire life I have dreamed of being welcomed by them, someone, anyone and when that dream happens I’m overwhelmed with emotions I didn’t expect… The journey has been pain for me all the way back to being a 5 year old child learning of my “adoption status”. Confusion and mental torment took over and essentially, it’s never left.

So finally I’m embraced by my cousin, her father and his wife, (my aunt and uncle). On the flip side my birth father still refuses to acknowledge me and has disregarded I’m his daughter. Mixed emotions about this. I’m so thankful for my new found cousin, but reality is I still have to process what was lost.

This is easier said than done.

I know my fellow adoptees get it.

I’ve shared in a previous blog post Being Born a Burden my experience on my trip so I won’t share all the dynamics.

Basically a few months ago, when I returned from these trips depression began to set in. No motivation, and other life issues just took me down. I didn’t drink, thank God but at times I felt like I wanted too. Not for the alcohol, just to not feel all the pain I was feeling. The surrealness of seeing my grandmothers house she lived in when I was a child was an overwhelming emotional experience for me. Something felt like I had never been there physically but my spirit had been there. It was almost like an out of body experience, hard to describe.

Finding out I have a sister out there, and my new Ancestry DNA sample and test didn’t bring any good hits on making a connection. This was another major disappointment for me that mixed with my emotions of finding I have a sister to begin with who knows nothing about me, and I have no information on her.

I called my birth father to see if he would tell me any information on this long lost sister. He said he didn’t know her name, her mothers name and he didn’t remember my mothers name! He said “She doesn’t bother me like you do!” and the conversation quickly fizzled. More disappointment and hurt of losing more from adoption.

Why the world things adoption doesn’t impact adoptees for a lifetime is beyond me.

It’s heartbreaking. 

NAAM17 Has been triggering! I literally had multiple adoptees lash out at me on social media!!! This is tragic! Hard to grasp and understand!

So emotions have been swirling, I’ve been taking sleeping pills to just sleep things off and obviously that’s not going to work for very long. Sleeping pills slowly turned into a cocktail of pills, anti depressant, muscle relaxer, and an anxiety medication all non-narcotic because my doctor knows I’m in recovery and I have a very addictive personality. Yet I slowly started to take more pills and more of these same pills just to be able to go to sleep and not feel things. I’ve been stuck in this depressive cycle for a few months now. I thankfully learned this was an unhealthy pattern I was experiencing and I needed to do something about it. Emotionally eating has taken hold. Seasonal Depression has set in, and holidays are EXTREMELY hard for many adoptees, including me.

There is no help for adoptees, not yet anyway.

Soon Adoptees Connect – Lexington, KY will connect and a support system will be built in my area.

I woke up a few days ago and decided if I was being honest with myself, and those close to me I needed to talk to my doctor about this issue I was having and tell her I wanted to discontinue all medications. I did just that.

Now, I’m weaning myself off a anti-depressant and stopped the other medications with no desire to take anymore.

Now I will be feeling again.


This is daunting for a person who internalizes everything and a very deep thinker. All I can do is take one day at a time. I decided to share THIS because I know some people have missed me, missed my Facebook posts but I tend to isolate when I’m going through things but I’m always with God. He’s my sidekick working things out behind the scenes. I don’t want to burden people with my pain, sorrow or tormenting thoughts.

In recovery we learn we are only as sick as our secrets. My secrets are in this blog and this is why I write. I have to release these things somewhere, especially when there are very few adoptees in my local area I can talk too. I do have fellow adoptees far away and they have been lifesaving! But again, I don’t want to seem like a Debbie Downer, yet this is what my life feels like much of the time.

To be quiet honest, I’m tired of the struggle. I believe I could handle life issues better, if all the adoptee “STUFF” wasn’t also overflowing on my plate. This is why I always will say adoptees are STRONG, yet much of the time we don’t feel like it.

Today, I’m excited to stop taking these medications and hopefully have my life back a little bit. Adoption triggers so many emotions for adoptees, and when multiple things hit all at once it can be paralyzing.

This is all for now, but I wanted to share where I’ve been and what’s been going on. I know many of you can relate. Have you experienced anything like this before?


Pamela K.


3 thoughts on “A Whirlwind But Coming Out On Top

  1. Ms.Pamela,
    I am an adoptee. I am in my mid-40’s and found out I was adopted when I was 11 years old. My parents told me that my birth parents died in a car crash in the Philippines. I was told I was chosen because I was only half Filipino and that it would be easier for someone “half-White” to assimilate in the States, to which my American Father and Filipino Mother moved to when I was two years old.

    My parents gave me no more information and the fact that my birth parents had died left me with the thought that all questions would just have to be thrown in my internal well of no answers….. echoing for years inside me and despairing that I would never have any questions answered……. Until 6 months ago when an Aunt visiting from Asia. who had too much to drink at a Christmas family gathering, let slip the name of the orphanage from which I was adopted……. searching for anything,,,,,, I was not able to get anything about the place until…..Yesterday…….. I found that there was no information because the orphanage had closed in 2010 because it had flooded in a typhoon and was moved 30 miles away and renamed. With shaking hands……I dialed the newfound number of the facility and was connected with the Executive Director (who happened to be a nun) and learned that in the 70’s (the time I was born), the orphanage was more akin to a “refuge” for single pregnant women. They were welcomed into the home/facility where they were given care until they gave birth with the purpose to decide whether to keep their baby or give it up for adoption – but always as a way to discourage abortions as well as provide a refuge to stigmatized single pregnant women in a very staunchly Catholic and judgmental society. As well, I was told, whatever the decision, the mother was allowed to stay an extra month to be with the baby (whether that was a good decision or not, I am still processing, but it gives me comfort that I was not left on the street)……..BUT MOST OF ALL….. there were no records of a baby who was adopted form their care with parents who died in a car crash………..! MY PARENTS LIED TO ME.

    Ms. Pamela, in the meanwhile processing this information for the past 24 hours, I decided, for the first time in my life to actually write something, rather than internalize it…… and wrote it on a Google Search field. I wrote, ” I am adopted and lost.” I was shocked to see so many “hits” and I clicked on your site and just read your blog entry that you posted yesterday. I have never met anyone who was adopted. I never met anyone who felt the same way I feel. I have tears in my eyes as I feel you pain and am sorry for it. I do not know you, but want to get on a plane and give you the biggest hug. I can’t say the feelings will go away, but you have given me a gift – a gift just knowing that what you feel, although terrible, is the human soul in you reacting to people and situations that we are powerless to have alter. I thought, selfishly, that I am the only person feeling this way……. and wanting to curl up and sleep…..and hope the darkness of night will make things feel less real (when I feel depressed, I just wake and function at night when the world seems to be noticed less and problems can be imagined to be asleep as well).

    Ms. Pamela, I have these pent-up emotions of anger, abandonment, loss, and grief that are 40 years old and you have helped me find a way to express it through this comment section. I thank you with the most humblest of appreciation. I know it does not go away easily, but you are a gift. I am weeping as I write this as I am so very shocked as to my reaction of finding your site and seeing your blog – so shocked to think that there was a site such as yours for people like me – like us. I am weeping as I don’t feel like such the lone voice in the cold storm – maybe still burdened with unanswered questions – but with maybe a bit of relied that there are others in the storm as well……..

    Ms. Pamela, I am sorry you are hurting – and yes, one day at a time, Ma’am. If I am feeling this way about you, I know there are others feeling the same way. Keep on writing as you have a friend for life. I have decided, by writing this, that I will request from that nun that she request for a contact from my birth mother – if she were to agree. Whether it happens or not, at least I know I am doing everything I can to answer my questions…… and seek. I am sorry that your birth Father is the way he is – and if that is the case of my birth Mother – then at least you helped me get prepared.

    My journey starts now, time will tell what lies on my new path, but thank you for the inspiration.

    GOD BLESS YOU, Pamela.


    1. Hi Tim,

      Your message has brought on a whirlwind of emotions for me just like finding my blog as for you!

      I’m so glad you reached out and decided to SHARE HERE and you released things that have been kept inside for far too long. Sharing is healing, and in order to heal it we have to feel it. Crying and the emotions that come along with this thing are normal for what is not normal and that’s adoption.

      So very sorry for the pain you have and are experiencing, and the LIES you were told. That’s one thing that (pardon my expression) honestly makes me want to poke someones eyes out is LYING. As adoptees, many of us are lied too about who we are, where we come from, and it runs so deep in our core it impacts every area of our lives. I’ve done so much research to try to understand why I am the way I am in a more profound way and adoption without a doubt impacts all areas of our lives, from our self love, relationships, children, work, and the list could go on.

      Thank you for your kind words, these types of messages are what I keep writing for and you and the rest of my fellow adoptees are my passion, my heart and the reason I’m inspired to keep going and keep writing and keep sharing.

      One by one as we connect by sharing stories, feelings and these areas of our lives that no one else understands, we’re healing.
      I’m so glad you are going to pursue getting your answers you have always deserved! Don’t give up until you find your truth and all of it. You deserve it and you should have never had to go a day without it. I know it can seem like a lonely journey, but there is an army of adoptees out here who speak the same language as you who are here to support you. You are not alone! Contact me on Facebook or Email if you would like to keep in touch. FB Pamela Karanova Email pamelakaranova@gmail.com

      Many blessings and I would really love an update on what you find! 😀 Have a blessed day!

  2. Hi, Pam
    Tim said it like a lot of us feel. I cried when I read his comments. Finding this site and you has been a blessing.
    When you had not posted a blog in awhile I was concerned something was wrong. Adoptees relate to each other. People empathize with us but they don’t understand the pain, depression. I am thankful it comes and goes. The holiday season has been rough so far. I went through my second divorce this year. My faith in God is about the only thing keeping me going sometime. I was blessed to see another adoptee over Thanksgiving whom I have not talked to in over 20 years. MY adoptive mom thinks that because adoptive kids are raised in loving homes they should be normal and well adjusted. We all know that is not the case. My adoptive friend like me looks fairly normal and well adjusted on the outside. Once we talked we have a lot of the pain and depression issues. Substance abuse is also an issue for both of us as well as rocky relationships.
    I was blessed through DNA to find my bio parents. It was tough to deal with and still is that no one was looking for me. My bio mom and I initially were getting along via e mail, she lives in another state. I asked her to watch the “Paul Sunderland” video on “Adoption and Addiction” . She has not emailed me since that. At least we are still friends on FB. The amount of information bio mom provided to New York state about non identifying info was almost all a lie. So I guess I am glad to know the truth I think but its ugly.
    Pam, God is using you to reach adoptees that for most are lives have felt alone and defective. Though there is no cure for how we feel it is a relief to know we are not alone.
    I am always interested in the science behind our mental health problems. I heard about a book on a radio program by Erica Komisar called “Being There”. I have yet to read it. She looks at the science of how adoptive babies need their birth mothers central nervous system 9 months after birth to learn how to regulate stress and be adjusted to a normal life.
    I rambling on here.
    Tim thank you for your story. It’s painful I know, your not alone.
    Pam, Your doing good work here and on FB. If adoptees and lashing out at you that really sucks. Please know there are a lot of us who appreciate you and are thankful you have created a place to come and share are stories and ease are pain, even for a little while.

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