Drowning in Adoption

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Over the last 10+ years I’ve been predominantly consumed with adoption in more ways than I can count. Writing about adoption related topics, having adoption related conversations, making adoption related friends, creating adoptee-centric resources and spaces, reading adoption related books, recovery from relinquishment & adoption trauma, attending adoption related conferences, crying adoption related tears, grieving adoption related loss, learning to live with an adoption related broken heart, spending most of my spare time drowning in adoption related THINGS.

Covid-19 has changed my life enormously, but before it came along I was spread thin, embarking on a social, emotional, and mental breaking point. Covid-19 was what actually allowed me to take some steps back and re-evaluate my life. With this step, I’ve been able to rethink some things and make some changes in my life in all areas. 

Every time an adoptee gives something outside of themselves to the adoption community, they are giving a piece of themselves. For some of us, it takes everything in us to give that piece, let alone dish out a million full sized pieces for 10+ years. It’s not enough that we’re born adopted, and we live adopted, and we’re cleaning up the aftermath, more like a bloodbath of a life changing CHOICE others made for us by us being adopted. This leaves so many of us broken, shattered, and repair can and will take an entire lifetime. But we continue to be givers of self, which is a very selfless thing to do. 

This is one of the many reasons I have absolutely ZERO TIME for adoptees who throw other adoptees under the bus for ANY REASON! ZERO! These adoptees are literally scum of the earth to me, and they will never have a space in my world. For so many adoptees to experience HELL ON EARTH, and finally find their voices only for other adoptees to cyber bully them, or cyber mob them is the most disgusting thing I have yet to experience in “Adoptionland” over the last few years. As if adoptees haven’t gone through enough? 

But somehow, so many of us make the choice to continue to be givers of ourselves, of our wisdom, of our story, of our heart and experiences in attempts to help others. For me, the return on this has done more for me in my recovery journey because it’s helped me by helping others. The wake-up call for me has been Covid-19 setting in, and this has allowed me the space to actually evaluate what’s working for me in my life, and what’s not. 

Once again, I’m making changes and setting more boundaries. 

Adopted for Life! It’s like a rubber stamp on my forehead. I can run, but I definitely can’t img_7873hide. I’m adopted for life. This very reality is actually a piece of who I am, but it’s not all of it. It’s taken a front seat for 45 years. It’s been draining, yet enlightening all at the same time. It’s made me strong, it’s empowered me.

I’ve been writing for a long while now about my long time love of nature, and being outdoors mixed in with all the healing wilderness wellness has brought me. Let’s be honest, adoption is heavy, and it always takes something away when we pour ourselves into the adoption community. It might look like writing, reading, relationships, online interactions, offline relationships, returning emails, answering inboxes, etc.  This has caused me to reevaluate all the commitments I’ve made in the adoption community and outside of this in my personal and professional life. 

The hardest and most draining and exhausting part for me has been networking with individuals who make commitments, but they don’t keep their commitments. It creates an automatic discord, and it’s awkwardly uncomfortable. It definitely takes away from my health and happiness having to encounter these individuals. Because of this, I’m learning to eliminate them because I have no time for half steppers. Communication is key, and I’ve found its a real problem for some people but I get the message, or lack of loud and clear. 

Integrity is everything, even in the middle of a pandemic. Someone can post 100 x a day on social media, but not have enough respect to respond to their commitments? The excuses people use are endless.  I have enough kindness and courtesy to communicate with others when things have changed for me, and if I’m no longer able to keep my commitment and trust me, a lot has changed for me. I do the right thing, the professional thing and I let them know. I communicate to them things have changed for me. It’s common courtesy and respect. I owe this to people, especially when I’ve made commitments. 

It’s deep in my heart to not want to let other people down, like I have always been let down yet I constantly find myself being let down by others. I’m pretty sick of it and it’s caused me to withdraw, retreat and reevaluate my life once again. “Sometimey” people are no longer on my friends list. Sometimes they show up, are dependable and keep their word, and sometimes they don’t. Pfft… I’m done. I’m allergic to flaky, I’m no longer engaging.

These type of interactions, on top of being adopted and all that comes with it, makes me feel like I’m drowning in adoption and it causes me a great deal of unnecessary stress and anxiety. It’s really exhausting, and disappointing. I can no longer take a front seat to these interactions whether it be in my personal or professional life. Because of this, more changes have been made and will continue to be made. My presence in the adoption community isn’t going to be like it always has. I’m setting boundaries, especially with the sometimey community. If I say I’m going to do something I do it. As stated already, integrity is everything. 

The flip side is, I have a small group of adoptees and non adopted friends who I know I can always count on, who I’ve built relationships with that keep their word, that have always shown up. They know who they are. I’ve had more phone conversations in the last 2 months with others, who are making an effort to communicate and keep in touch, and it’s been WONDERFUL to hear so many of the voices of those I know I can depend on, who reciprocate a relationship and friendship. The numbers are far and few between, but smaller is better. 

img_7896I’ve already made many changes regarding social media, elimination of people, places and things that no longer feed my spirit. I’m on a roll. For the rest of my days, I’m no longer chasing people down, I’m not blowing anyone’s inbox up, I’m not responding to texts or emails like I always have. I’m treating people how they treat me, and I’m saving my energy for myself, my kids, my close friends (adopted or not) and for those who are kind enough to reciprocate a relationship and keep their commitments. 

Those are the people I want in my life. No more drowning in adoption for me. I’m moving on, removing myself from toxic spaces, and I’m centering my life on the things that fill me up. Adoption has stole so much, and I refuse to allow it to steal anymore. 

No more energy being wasted on people, places or things that are draining in anyway. That doesn’t mean I still don’t have something to give to the adoption community. It just means that I’m not making any more commitments or dealing with the sometimeys. I’ve been drowning in adoption for a long time. Those days are over. I’m the only one that can make changes in my life and I’m determined to live my best life moving forward. 

What does that look like for me? Talking on the phone to my close friends, spending time with my kids, investing in my emotional, mental and physical health. It’s as many nature adventures as possible, chasing waterfalls which is my spiritual altar call. Surrounding myself with those who have no agenda, who understand the true meaning of friendship, and integrity. Investing in relationships with people I trust who understand that there isn’t just one way, but we’re all trying to find our ways and even when it doesn’t look the same, we all reserve space for others who look, act and believe nothing like us. Those are the people I want to have over for dinner. 

That’s where you will find me.

Living my best life.

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8 thoughts on “Drowning in Adoption

    1. Yes, yes and another YES to freedom!!! 🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳 Ty for your encouragement and support my friend! It’s a rare treat, and your friendship means a lot!!! 💛💛💛💛😀😀😀🌴☀️🌴☀️

  1. Pamela- so totally understand all you are saying. I decided two years ago to step away from running an adoptee only group. They couldn’t even agree there. So much stress and its not like Im built for that for free in my spare time!!? Right?! Id rather have less but better. I love to read your posts but please take time to rest and not feel obligated. Anytime you want to email me you can bc I feel a kindred spirit with you and our similar journeys.

    1. Hi Jenn,

      Thank you so much for this! So glad you stepped away from running the adoptee only group. I tried to run one about 5-6 years ago, and I didn’t last 1 month. It was a HORRIBLE and taxing experience. I passed it over to others, who were better suited for the job. So taxing on all fronts. I’m so glad you could throw in the towel on that and do what’s best for you! I would LOVE to keep in touch! I don’t have your email? If you don’t mind, please shoot me an email and I will for sure have it? pamelakaranova@gmail.com 🙂 ❤

  2. Sounds to me like you are truly beginning to float and swim and downright frolic in your hard-earned, self-made, waterfall-filled world! Good for you Pamela Karanova, for DOING YOUR HEALING WORK! Self care is actually the opposite of selfish because our world DESPERATELY NEEDS people like you, who are all lit up and living their true north purpose!! Thank you for sharing and inspiring others!! I think we enjoy similar dinner parties! Blessings to you on your path. ✌🏻💚🙏🏻

    1. Good morning to you!

      Your message has defiantly been a breath of fresh air to me! TY TY TY! It’s truly not been easy getting to this point, but I’m so thankful I have arrived and I’m being much more consciously aware of what I commit too and what I don’t. I never want to be that FLAKE.

      It’s been challenging to navigate between self care and REST, and keeping commitments and backing out of some by communicating that I can no longer keep them. Sometimes ‘resting” makes me feel lazy, and terrible. But self care looks FUN and EXCITING and that’s my waterfall altar calls, nature adventures, etc. But I’m working hard on looking at resting a different way. Like “Doing NOTHING” and embracing that as a moment, hour, season of rest. I’m wired to always be doing something, lol It’s been hard to change this, but I’m seriously on my way to freedom, and I’ve accepted that things are not going to be the same as they have last month, 6 months ago, or even last year. Things change so fast, and I’m so thankful for each and every change, and the awakening process to get FREED from so many responsibilities that are draining to my spirit. I’m thankful I’m creating space to have some of my life back. It’s refreshing! TY FOR YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT AND SUPPORT! It means more than you know!!! Kindred Spirits! ❤ 😀 XOXOXOXOXO

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