Reclaiming. Recovering. Recreating. Retreating. Repeating.

img_4867Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on refreshing my online presence by recreating an accurate representation of myself via my website and social media. I feel this is something that’s important because as we grow, and move forward in life, our online presence needs to replicate our offline presence.

Originally, I intended to migrate my “Adoptee in Recovery” Facebook page over to “Pamela Karanova” by simply changing the name of the page. Sadly, Facebook doesn’t believe in simplicity. I’m left with no choice but to start over and create a new page, for the new chapter in my life.

I’m not going to lie; I’ve struggled with this because letting go of “Adoptee in Recovery” is letting go of a piece of me. I like to see a timeline of where I used to be, and how far I’ve come. I like that to be visible to others as well. It’s a part of my story, and a huge piece of who I am and who I’ve become today. My hope was to keep the same page on Facebook and let the new refreshing version of me take over, while still having the capabilities to look back to see how far I’ve come.

One of the wonderful pieces of recreating and rewriting my online presence to mimic my life today, is that I was able to save all my old articles all the way back to the first one which was dated March 31, 2012 – “A Letter to My Birth Mother” on my website.  Although I’m being forced to start my Facebook “like” page over, my old articles will always be present with my newly refreshed website which is now www.pamelakaranova.com

Adoptee in Recovery was a name I picked because it was fitting for me at that time in my life. It protected me, against having to reveal the true me.  Today, I’m still an Adoptee in Recovery, but my progress and healing is moving far beyond what I can represent behind a pseudo name.

Moving forward, I’ll be migrating much of my online adoptee advocacy to my new Pamela Karanova, “Like” page on Facebook. (link below) Some of my focus on my refreshed page will reflect 5 words.

 

Reclaiming

Recovering

Recreating

Retreating

Repeating

Over the last 10 years, I’ve experienced so many wonderful moments that have caused me to see things from a different light regarding my adoptee journey. Coming out of the fog from being adopted in a closed adoption, after 27 years of alcohol abuse was one of the hardest, scariest moments of my life. It felt like I was jumping off a cliff, with no one to catch me. I was terrified. The process of enlightenment and acceptance hasn’t been an easy thing to do. While it’s taken me a long time to get to this point, I’ve discovered countless tools along the way of things that have worked for me. They might not work for everyone, but my hope is to share them with others in the adoption community, specifically the adoptees. My pain will not go in vein, and I hope to help others while I share my story.

This personal platform of mine will be different than what I’m used to. My other platforms have been “ADOPTEE ONLY” to protect the sacred space for the voices always disregarded in the adoption constellation, that of the adult adoptees. Opening my life to anyone who wants to listen and learn, specifically non-adoptees is going to be a new position for me.  I’m a little nervous, but the fact is if anyone has the willingness to learn, I have the willingness to share my experiences with them so they can understand better.

Ester 4:14 says “Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created for.”

We all have gifts in life, and I feel all the heartache and pain I’ve experienced will be used for good. I hope the same for my fellow adoptees! For me, the key has been finding purpose in the pain. The new refreshed version of my life will be focused on my awakening process in finding purpose in the pain, and my journey from experiencing heartbreak to finding hope & healing.  One of the first steps to freedom and healing is authenticity and being true to myself. I will not live another day being repressed behind a pseudo name, hiding my real true feelings to protect others and myself. It takes bravery to step into this role, when so many years of my life, my thoughts have been controlled.

I know not everyone will be on this journey with me, and that’s okay. My journey isn’t for everyone. I write to reach other adoptees. I share my journey to reach other adoptees. My hope is, that if anyone is reading, listening and learning it might change someone’s life for the better. If I close this door, what purpose would I have? Life is all about finding purpose in the pain.

I want to say thank you for all my followers who have been on this journey with me all these years. I think over the years my growth has truly been because of all of you. I’ve learned from you; I’ve laughed with you and I’ve cried with you! Thank you for your continued love and support! The best is yet to come!

To follow my new page please click here. 10 days from today, Adoptee in Recovery will no longer be available online so be sure to like my new page to keep in touch.

Sending Renewed Love & Light,

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Reclaiming. Recovering. Recreating. Retreating. Repeating. 

Adoptee in Recovery AKA Pamela Karanova

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Spring is in the air, and life is to be lived! I hope whatever it is you are doing, you are enjoying life in the process!

One thing I’ve learned over the last few years, is that we have to take time for ourselves. Whatever that looks like to us. It’s so easy to get consumed in the rat race of running around busy with “LIFE”. Next thing you know, we’re 90+ years old and we’ve missed it all! I’m not missing anymore!

I’m sharing this article today, because I’m migrating from “Adoptee in Recovery” to Pamela Karanova in my online settings. Adoptee in Recovery was born August 13, 2012 when I began my adoptee in recovery journey.

Adoptee in Recovery has taken me some amazing places, and she’s been at the forefront of much of what I’ve shared online regarding my adoptee journey, and all that has come with it. The thing is, now I’m moving past that place and I’m networking into some professional avenues where I’m wanting to represent myself as my legal name, Pamela Karanova.

I’m not sure who is reading this might remember I started writing my memoir about 5 years ago. I had high hopes I would get it finished, and had much of what I wanted to share lined out. Truth is, I had a devastating tragedy happen, and it rocked my world so bad that it paralyzed me. I could barely function in day to day life, let alone continue writing a memoir.

Part of what I was going to share that was the best part of my entire adoption journey, but it turned out to be a falsified lie which caused me to become extremely angry, and hurt and I threw my entire idea of writing my memoir in the trash.

It’s been at least 4 years since I’ve perused this.

In the meantime, I’ve been praying to get to a place where I felt like I could share my story again. I have fellow adoptee friends all over the world, who I would love to be able to encourage and lift up, and share what’s worked for me but there isn’t enough time in the day for me to be able to talk to everyone like I wish I could. It breaks my heart, because I have so much to share with you all. I didn’t make it through this complete nightmare of adoption, to keep it all to myself and not find purpose in the pain.

I also have a blueprint to share with the adoption community as a whole. I want adoptive parents, and adoption agencies, and birth parents to understand the pain and trauma in adoption. The addiction in adoption, the grief and loss and lack of resources for the adoptee community, and their role in that being possible.

I have a wealth of information, and resources, and experiences due to my experience I would like to share with adoptees everywhere, so I have decided I’m going to pick my memoir back up and start writing again.

It’s no doubt my life now is completely different than it was when I started writing my memoir some years ago. Moving forward, I’m working at removing “Adoptee in Recovery” and focusing more on Pamela Karanova. If you see these changes, it’s because I’m working on creating a more professional presence moving forward.

I’m not sure what I will do about my http://www.adopteeinrecovery.com handle (website), but I will not remove it, because it’s a huge part of where I’ve come from, and I want all adoptees to be able to see they aren’t alone so I’m not starting my webpage over, but I might retrieve http://www.pamelakaranova.com and merge the 2 pages.

As most of you know, my life is now consumed with my calling and passion -www.adopteesconnect.com I have a to-do list a mile long, so while I’m away from this blog, I will be writing my memoir, working on Adoptees Connect, and doing my best to enjoy my life in the process. I have 3 amazing kids, a wonderful full time career, and some amazing people in my life who I want to spend my time with.

I wanted to keep you all in the loop, and I appreciate you following my journey this far!

I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it’s been to read other adoptee memoirs! They have truly brought me out of the fog, and helped me feel so less isolated and alone. I have a huge collection, and I have a great value to each and every one. My hope is, I can write my own story, how I made it through it, and what helped me get to where I am today. The value in advice we give, comes as the most valuable when we have lived experiences to back it up. I have a lifetime of lived experiences, and I can’t wait to share them with you.

The title of my memoir is, “Finding Purpose in the Pain, One Adoptee’s Journey from Heartbreak to Hope & Healing” – Pamela Karanova

Follow along, and I thank you for supporting me all these years!

XOXO

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Leaving the Church, Quitting the Search

img_1536Finding time to write in my own blog has been nonexistent lately. WHY? Because I’m putting everyone and everything in my life ahead of myself. Writing has always been EXTREMELY therapeutic for me for so many reasons. You can see my blog goes all the way back to 2012 and I’ve been consistent until the last year or so.

I’ve decided for my own piece of mind, sanity, recovery, and self-care I need to keep writing in my blog! Writing is part of my recovery from life! Sometimes I might need to put it ahead of other things going on in my life. I really have allowed myself the grace and space to be okay with that. Hopefully everyone else will too.

This is something I’ve wanted to write about for a few years now. My family and I left the church a few years ago, and I have yet to share my experiences like I want too because anytime I mention anything about THE CHURCH, I have people come out of the wood works trying to silence me. This has only given me the opportunity to take a few steps back and gear myself up for sharing my truth as I see it here in my blog. I have so many thoughts and feelings and emotions about it that my mind is literally all over the place a lot of the time.

I’m so thankful for the very few close friends I have who don’t judge me, they don’t try to silence me, they just listen and hear me out. They have literally been my saving graces during this season of my life.  Thank you to each of you! You know who you are.

In this article I really want to touch base on the fact that I realize there are many wonderful and positive things that came from our previous church experience. You would expect this, because a church is supposed to the hospital for the hurting. I also want to share some things that have been very positive and exciting after leaving.  The church we belonged too was a place to belong, become, believe and build. Our family finally felt like we found our way home. We spent 4 years of attending, serving, leading, mentoring, dedicated wholeheartedly to this church. We put it above everything in our lives. Sometimes we would be at the church 4-5 times a week. WE WERE DEDICATED.

Being an adult adoptee, I’ve always felt like I was somewhere in the middle between 2 families. Abandoned and rejected by my biological parents, accepted by my adoptive parents, but I never was exactly what they had wished for when they adopted a child. I always felt like many adoptees feel. Like an outsider looking in, somewhere between lost and found trying to find my way in this world, feeling alone most of the time.

When we walked through the doors of this church, this changed. We were filled with this euphoric feeling being around a building of people who all seemed happy, fun, positive and wonderful to be around. Of course, there will always be those who you don’t jive with, which is to be expected. We started attending in February 2012 and after a few months of attending our lives were centered around church activities and commitments in serving in different ministries. At one period I was serving in 4 areas at one time.

August 13, 2012 was the day I had the last drink of alcohol. I’ve been living in sobriety ever since. I started Celebrate Recovery which is a Christ Centered recovery ministry which was one of the ministries at this church. Everything fell into place, so it seemed.

I found a new love for worshiping and from this moment forward, I became a worshiper at heart. My kids did as well. I had twins that were starting high school, and my oldest daughter was starting college. I loved hearing the word, and our pastor was on point! My kids became full time students in the youth ministry, and they were even serving in many areas themselves. We built relationships with countless amounts of people, served our hearts away, spent hundreds of hours dedicating our time to church activities, and for 4 years THIS WAS OUR LIFE.

When we walked out the doors as a family, it was around the time Donald Trump was elected. I know this was the same story-line for many people at many churches across the nation. My kids and I held on tight with one another and I knew that God was escorting us out the doors, not for one reason but for many.

Once again, I was back in the place where I was 4 years earlier. This “church family” I once clung so tight too, was no longer existent. Just like my biological family, and my adoptive families. I was on my own with my kids, and I knew it. I unfriended all the “church acquaintances” from my social media because I didn’t need the painful reminders of what we once had. I decided I no longer wanted relationships in my life that were conditional and dependent on if we went to the same spiritual place of worship.  This was okay with me because I prayed and asked God, if he intended for any of those people to TRULY be a part of my life, that he circle them back around organically and then I would know they were more than seasonal friends.

For the last 2.5 years my children and I have been in religious recovery from many aspects of our church experience. Religious trauma syndrome is a real thing! Spiritual Abuse is REAL!  Spiritual Bypassing is DAMAGING and happens in a lot of religious settings. It’s been an eye awakening experience to leave the church, and not only come out of the fog about adoption, but the church and religion as well. It’s left me with so many feelings and emotions I need to share. Just like adoption I’ve learned about 99% of the time if I share my feelings about church in a public setting, social media, etc. the norm is for others to want to silence me. They really don’t truly want to listen to what I have to say. This has left me extremely discouraged and aggravated on many levels.  Like any wound, if it’s not tended to it will manifest in many other ways in one’s life. For me, ANGER has permeated in many ways because of the lack of resources available for those who leave the church HURT. My anger has subsided, and I’ve prayed for grace so I’m able to share my views from a more compassionate space. It’s been 2.5 years of leaving, and it’s taken this long where I feel like I can write about it. Just like the lack of resources for adult adoptees to be able to process pain, the church hurt has only compacted due to no resources to help someone navigate what life looks like outside the church. Anger is a natural response to an experience like this. I know I’m not the first nor the last person to leave the church hurt. You might be asking, “What is the big fuss about?”.

I’m going to spend the next few months sharing my views on what my big fuss is all about. My experience is valid, and so are the experiences of my children. My views about Christianity, Church & Religion are also very valid. I’m going to spend some time interviewing them, asking them some questions as well as sharing some insight of my own. My overall goal is to heal through writing since it’s almost impossible I find the space in this world to share my feelings without others interrupting me. This is truly one of my favorite parts about writing. You can read, or not read what I have written, but no one will interrupt me.

I will add I’m no spiritual guru who claims to know the bible from front to back. I know some scriptures, I have read some of the bible and I’ve learned a lot from it. But I’m no longer speaking Christianese and I’m no longer interested in silencing people with the word of God. I’m not trying to control situations by manipulating people because I’m right and they are wrong based on what the bible says. Sadly, while I was in the church, I learned this to be a piece of the way of life. Even if they never intended for it to be this way, It was what we were taught. Here in this blog, I will be as transparent as possible, speaking from my heart as to what has impacted me in positive and negative ways, based on my experiences. I’m never going to say I’m right and they are wrong. All experiences are valid.

For privacy reasons, I won’t put the name of the church I attended, nor the names of those who we’re involved in the reasons we walked away. They already know who they are, and those close to me know who they are. My goal is not to cause them any harm, but to share my truth as I see it and to hopefully reach someone out there who’s left their church and religion and they find themselves in a dark place, confused and alone. That was once me.

I’m VERY disgruntled about how damaging the church and even Christianity has become, and at the end of the day I want to share WHY I FEEL THIS WAY. If you come across my blog, and you can’t relate to what I’m sharing here please understand that’s totally okay. I’m not sharing my views to try to convince others how to feel or what to believe. That’s the last thing I want to do. But what I am doing is digging deep down in my spirit and sharing legitimate situations, and things that do not sit well with my spirit. I don’t feel that keeping quiet about these things is helping anyone, especially myself. It’s only hurting me, and just like my adoption journey, I have a story to tell. Freedom and healing begins to happen the moment we feel heard and validated.

I know for certain there are people out there who will be able to relate to what I’m going to share. There are people who have left the church who feel isolated and alone. There are others who are trying to figure out what’s next after leaving the church. I’m sharing and writing for those people, the ones on the outside of the church.

As I begin to share about this very personal part of my life, and my family’s life, I ask you remain neutral and try to understand that church doesn’t work for everyone. It doesn’t mean those on the outside of the church are less than, or “bad”. With my experience I’ve learned to have an entirely new perspective of those who don’t attend church, which is opposite of how I felt when I was inside the church. Sadly, I’m ashamed of some of my thinking and thought process during the time I was in the church. Those are other things I want to share here.

Please also take note, because of our church experience and leaving it’s opened our lives up to some amazing and wonderful things. I also want to be transparent on where this has taken us, because at the end of the day an awakening process has happened. We no longer see things like we used to see them when we were inside the church. We’ve learned to love more, accept people more, and find God and our happiness outside the 4 walls of the church. I can promise you, IT IS POSSIBLE! It doesn’t make me bad, or my family bad. It doesn’t mean we’ve backslidden. We aren’t less than because we are no longer washed up in religion.

Stay tuned for more articles and I take you on the journey as to why we left the church in November 2016 and why we’re stopping the search. The firsIMG_1553t article will be about the vulnerability of the people who walk through the doors of the church, people like me.  I want to share how the overwhelming “LOVE” we experienced by walking through the doors grabbed a hold of us and reeled us in. Only to find out this “LOVE” wasn’t real love after all. It was built on a false reality, based on the CONDITIONS that we attend this church. I want to share how this has impacted our family.

If you feel a strong urgency to let me know “Not all churches are the same” or “You need the community” I would like to ask you to reconsider. That’s not what I want to hear at this present time. It will not help me at all. I ask you open your heart to understand the possibilities that maybe others can find God MORE outside the church. Maybe it’s possible that church doesn’t work for everyone. I would love to have a chance to share what’s changed for me, and what’s helped me greatly since leaving the church!

If you subscribe to my blog, you will receive these articles as I share them. If you don’t, feel free to do so now. If you can relate to any of what I’ve shared so far, please feel free to leave me a message!

Thank you!

Much Love,

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