Pamela Karanova, an adult adoptee living in Lexington, Kentucky, born in Waterloo, Iowa in 1974. Although Pamela’s roots are scattered all over the state of Iowa, she considers Kentucky to be her home.
As a young girl, Pamela learned she was adopted, and she was told her biological mother loved her “so much” she gifted her to another woman to care for her. Becoming a mother was this other woman’s dream come true, so there was no room left for Pamela’s sadness regarding this news. Pamela always dreamed about her biological mother, pondering who she was, and she searched her entire life trying to find her.
Pamela’s adoptive parents divorced when she was a year old, and her childhood was filled with highs and lows as most are. The high points, she was able to run free in nature escaping the devastating realities of her childhood. Her love for nature is a true love, she’s not found in many other places. The low points caused her to focus on finding her first family, making it a priority from a very early age. After a childhood filled with unforgettable abuse, her high hopes in finding her biological family came to a unanticipated turn. She finally found her biological parents, but there was one catch.
They didn’t want to be found.
Pamela learned the truth of her existence, discovering she was a product of an affair when her biological mother slept with a married man. She was born into a world of shame, secrecy and lies as her biological mother kept her pregnancy a secret. She made the choice to surrender her for adoption, without Pamela’s biological father’s consent. For the next 44 years Pamela has been impacted by this decision in measurable ways.
The circle of life and persistence in discovering her roots, has brought Pamela back around to discovering her truth. Pamela believes it’s a natural yearning to want to know who you are and where your roots originate from. She feels learning this truth, as traumatic and devastating as it’s been, has been the only way towards healing & freedom.
Pamela believes when adoptees don’t have their truth, healing is unachievable.
Over the last 10 years, Pamela has dedicated much of her life to not only work towards healing regarding her own adoptee journey, but also pouring into the adoptee community. She’s created resources for adult adoptees, and built relationships with adoptees all over the world. In an attempt to be true to her own authenticity by sharing her story from a candid viewpoint, Pamela has learned to share her lived experiences in a way that reaches other adoptees who have sometimes felt hopeless. She also reaches adoptees around the world who’ve found life to be unattainable.
Through Pamela’s website she shares her journey of enlightenment on what it’s like to be an adult adoptee. While inspiring and encouraging her fellow adoptees by bringing awareness on the complexities of what it feels like to be adopted. She believes that we can embrace life, find our passions and happiness in the process of a very difficult situation. She believes freedom is rooted in finding our truth and purpose in life, as we navigate our painful experiences together. Pamela feels adoptees need to be validated and heard, and she encourages those who aren’t adopted to listen more and talk less.
Pamela is writing a memoir titled “Finding Purpose in the Pain, One Adoptee’s Journey from Heartbreak to Hope & Healing” which she hopes to be completed by Fall 2019. In this memoir she hopes to share pieces of her journey, how she overcame the obstacles that held her captive for 27 years, and how she’s come to an internal place of acceptance and happiness. Her hope is to reach other adoptees who might feel isolated and alone, who might be inspired by her story.
Jeremiah 6:14 says “It is impossible to heal a wound by denying it’s there.” Pamela believes in order to heal it; we must feel it. For Adoptees to have a safe place to share feelings with those who understand, she decided to create Connect Groups specifically for Adoptees.
Pamela is the President of a National Nonprofit called Adoptees Connect. Adoptees Connect is focused on putting adoptee voices first, creating irreplaceable adoptee-centric spaces where adoptee voices meet. The original connect group was planted in Lexington, KY in January 2018. In just one short year, 36 connect groups have been planted in different locations around the USA and abroad. Pamela’s vision for Adoptees Connect didn’t stop in her community. She had a desire for all adoptees to have an adoptee community to fall back on, so these groups are growing and expanding globally. They are designed to take online relationships offline, and to get to know the person behind the profile. In April 2019 Pamela won of the “Angel In Adoption” award on behalf of the Indiana Adoptee Network Conference for her role in the adoption community.
Every Story Has a Struggle, The Key Is Finding Purpose in the Pain
Pamela has a host of topics she’s sharing with her readers; it’s not all adoption talk here. Mindfulness in nature has been her number one source of healing and she’s on a journey of self-discovery by exploring all the wonderful ways nature can heal. She’s excited to share her adventures into the wilderness, which she describes as her very own into the wilderness rehab adventures. She hopes to inspire others to get out into nature because there is healing there. You can follow some of her adventures here. After a heartbreaking experience of leaving her church of four years, spending a lifetime of running in the circles of religion, she feels that nature is her church. She shares Mother Earth is her Mother after her experiences with her mothers here on earth have failed her. She feels waterfalls are her place of worship because they allow her to connect to nature in a more profound way than anything else on earth. Waterfall altar calls are her spiritual act of worship. She’s dedicated in sharing what’s worked for her based on her experiences in attaining happiness and healing in a natural ways. Pamela feels the wilderness is a way to reconnect with her happiest childhood memories, and she finds it to be a playground of sorts. Mindfulness is a lifestyle, and she’s choosing to live it. Pamela is currently a member of the Sierra Club and she’s volunteering for her local Kentucky Sierra Club chapter to help give back to her community. In the coming months she will start volunteering for Inspiring Connections Outdoors via the Sierra Club which is a community outreach program that provides opportunities for urban youth and adults to explore, enjoy, and protect the natural world. She’s also a member of the Arbor Day Foundation and a plant enthusiast as one of her favorite hobbies to date.
By sharing her journey and experiences, Pamela is hopeful her fellow adoptees will be enlightened and encouraged. Pamela believes relinquishment is rooted in complex- PTSD, abandonment, rejection, grief, loss & trauma, but we CAN experience beauty in life. She believes adoption only compacts this trauma.
Pamela believes adoptees have the most valuable expertise in the adoption platform. She’s focused on finding everyday purpose, by using a lifetime of painful experiences as a launching pad in walking her calling out. Although Pamela has been disenchanted with adoption, over time, through the healing process she’s been able to finding happiness within herself, that’s otherwise been nonexistent.
Pamela says, “I’m thankful for my truth. I believe truth is the only answer to healing.”