Why Do Adoptees Search? An Adoptee Collaboration

I feel adoptees have the most powerful voice in the adoption constellation and we hold the keys to understanding and healing not only for ourselves, but the world around us. The key is that non-adoptees have the willingness to listen and learn. I would like to compile an article about why adoptees make the choice to search with an emphasis on it not wavering how much we loved or didn’t love our adoptive families.

Over and over I hear adoptive family members or non-adoptees discourage adoptees from searching because we should “Just be happy with the family we got” and “We have no idea what we are getting ourselves into” by searching. I would love input from my fellow adoptees to include in this article.

Here are the questions over 20 adoptees chimed in on. 

1.) What made you decide to search and did this decision have anything to do with how much you loved or didn’t love your adoptive families?

2.) No matter what you found, do you regret searching?

3.) What advice can you share to your fellow adoptees that are searching or considering searching?

4.) What can you share with the non-adoptees and adoptive family members who might be discouraging adoptees from search?

Here are their voices

Adoptee Voice 1

  • Search is not about replacing your family, but about finding out who/where you came from and how you got to be who you are. While I always wanted to know more about my birth family, when I was pregnant with my first child the “want to know” became a “need to know”. While my birth family was not everything I hoped to find, I am so glad that I search. Not only was I able to have a 35 year relationship with my birth mother, but having all the facts of my adoption actually improved my relationship with my adoptive family. I was finally able to integrate my two family legacies.

Adoptee Voice 2

  • From the time I was little I knew I wanted to search when I got old enough. I waited until I was 28 to begin searching because I was busy w/ college, getting married, & having a family. It took over 20 years to find my bio. Family, & by that time my mother & both sisters had passed away. I have a half-brother still living & have had some contact w/ him, but he’s incarcerated in a federal prison, which complicates matters. I did get to meet my stepfather & my only living aunt, as well as talk to one of my uncles on the phone. We were planning to meet a few months later, but he died unexpectedly. I don’t regret searching. I only regret that I wasn’t able to find them until it was too late to meet my mother & sisters. My adoptive family was very supportive of me, but for adoptees whose adoptive families discourage them, I’d tell them that it isn’t about them. It’s about needing to know who you are, who you look like, where you get your quirks, etc. The best advice I can give those who are considering searching is to find a search angel. Don’t waste money on a private investigator when a search angel can do the same thing for free, & usually a lot faster.

Adoptee Voice 3

  • My need to search was about me as I needed to know who I was and where I came from. My parents knew this, and they totally supported my decision. 2. I have no regrets that I searched, because I found myself. 3. My biggest pieces of advice would be to have low expectations and a good support system. You’ll be disappointed if you expect too much, and it falls through, and you might run the other person off like I did with my brother. I wanted the relationship with him to undo the past, and there’s no way that was going to happen. I’d also say to do your own work before you even think of searching as reunion is filled with so many unknowns, and it’s good to have a therapist to process all that stuff with. Reunion is a roller-coaster, and you never know what’s going to happen, so it’s vital to have people that support you. 4. I’d respectfully say until you’ve walked in my shoes, you have no right to judge what I’m doing. This isn’t about replacing adoptive parents but about finding your identity. If people don’t understand that, then that’s their problem. Don’t let them stop you.

Adoptee Voice 4

  • I first felt the desire to search when I was in my early 20s, just a few years after I found out I was adopted. The decision to search was about finding my own history and filling in the holes in my life story and had nothing to do with my feelings for my wonderful adoptive family or their love for me. It always strikes me as strange that anyone would question why an adoptee searches when genealogy is such a popular hobby in this country. Isn’t a search for your birth parents really just the ultimate genealogy research? (Further complicated by closed records, of course!) 2. I will never regret searching. I ended up being found instead of finding and my birth mom and I are five months into a storybook reunion. But even if the outcome had been different, searching was something I needed to do for myself, to know my truth and my story. And now that I have it, I find it’s as priceless as I always imagined it would be. 3. To everyone searching, I would say, post your information everywhere, and, more importantly: never, never give up! You might be just one step away from finding what you’re looking for. 4. Non-adoptees or adoptive families who discourage an adoptee from searching are speaking from their own place of insecurity and fear. While adoptees who search need to be aware that things don’t always work out the way they might hope, they also need to remember that non-adoptees don’t have the same experience of life as they do and cannot understand. As Gertrude Stein said, “Let me listen to me and not to them.”

Adoptee Voice 5

  • 1). As a twice-adopted person, by two separate families, I grew up with ideas of searching for my biological mother. She was the woman I often dreamed about; the woman without a face. My decision to embark on my search occurred as a 20-year-old young man. I did not have the experience of growing up in good families as an adoptee. In both, the abuse of me took precedence, although, in the second family, it was intermingled with positive responses. So, by ultimately looking for my adoptive mother, it served as an attempt to create the loving family for which I never had as a child.2). While I ultimately found both biological parents, exactly 20 years apart, there were problems. Yet, I absolutely do not regret searching for doing so filled in the blanks for which I had wondered about for decades. In the end, my biological mother abandoned me for a second time, as an adult, and I would only meet my biological father as he was dying of stage 4 cancer.3). Advice? Be prepared for the unexpected. It doesn’t always work out and yet, it may just work out. It can be the best time in your life, and the worst. It all depends upon the reception by the other side.4). A potential search is not about about wanting to abandon the family of your adoption. It is only about finding those missing puzzle pieces that can create the entire picture of a life still unfulfilled. Most people know their families, their parents, siblings and grandparents. Knowing of your origins is, in my opinion, one of the basic needs of being human. The adoptive family may feel threatened and yet, they should understand this is not about wanting to replace them by returning to the family of origin, but more, a gift they can offer by lending support, and clues, to their son or daughter’s early history. It is selflessness on the part of the adoptive family.

Adoptee Voice 6

  • I was found because I was too terrified of rejection to search myself. Thankfully my birth mom searched for me. From there, with her help, we found my birth father. I truly believe that it’s imperative to make the journey for the sake of self and descendants. The only advice I can give is to keep your eyes wide open, don’t expect good or bad outcomes as every situation is unique, and be brave. When you have a better grasp of who you are by way of your genetic links then you will understand fully why it’s so important.

Adoptee Voice 7

  • I’ll start with the last question first because that situation annoys me. It’s not anyone’s place to get in someone else’s business about why they are doing something. We don’t owe anyone an explanation. We don’t have to defend ourselves to the clueless or earn their blessing. Most people who question our search already have their minds made up anyway. I would just say I’m sorry you don’t understand. You could always bring up the general interest in genealogy as evidence of how many people are interested in their roots, but it’s not necessary. Also, there’s my own example – my sister told me my mother finally had peace for the first time in her life now that she knew what happened to me and that I was ok. So searching can actually be a kindness to our families, not just self-serving. And I would say to my fellow adoptees who are searching not to get discouraged or give up. I didn’t find my family until I was in my mid-50s.

Adoptee Voice 8

  • I was just getting out of an abusive relationship and I needed a distraction so I wouldn’t go back to him. Plus I was always curious about where I came from.
    No regrets.
    3. Don’t give up. But check your expectations at the door.
    4. In end, whatever you decide to do, it’s your story.

Adoptee Voice 9

  • My dad died and I just thought that life is short and better to search sooner than later. Also I didn’t want to hurt my dad’s feelings in any way. Zero to do with how much I loved my family!
    I don’t regret it even when some biological family rejected me.
    Just do it-it’s better to know the truth.
    It has nothing to do with you. You can’t fully understand the feelings of an adoptee unless you are one.

Adoptee Voice 10

  • I decided to search because I wanted answers, pure and simple. I didn’t need anything, didn’t expect anything beyond gaining knowledge. I gained so much more but I actually went into it prepared for the worst. My adoptive family had nothing to do with it except for the fact that my experience with them – and particularly with my a-mother – was so bad that it put me off searching for years. I just did not want a repeat experience. I had a real negative association with the word “mother.”  I do not regret searching. My search had a wonderful outcome but, even if that had not been the case, I had been so plagued with questions for so long it was just nice to have that settled and over and done with. Not that finding didn’t bring up a new set of questions but at least I learned the basic facts of my personal history.

Adoptee Voice 11

  • The first time I was aware that I wanted to search for my birth mom was when an adoptee friend told me she thought my b mom loved me and didn’t want to give me up. I remember feeling excited at the thought of finding my mommy that loved me. I was terrified to search because I knew it would mean being shut out of my adoptive mom’s life. She would stop talking to me if I did anything she didn’t like and that was absolute hell. When my adoptive mom handed over my non identifying information when I was in my early 30’s (I have NO idea why she chose to give this to me) I think I felt that was her permission to search. The journey to finding my b mom was a long one. I had lots of help from people who volunteered to find records on my behalf and that made the process so much easier and bore fruit much sooner!! I could write a book filled with the joys and pain of meeting my b mom. Without support from my husband I don’t think I could have done it, but I am NOT sorry I searched. My advice to fellow adoptees is making sure you have supportive people surrounding you when you search. Please DO NOT wait until your adoptive parents pass away to start this journey….you deserve to find YOU and that doesn’t just happen by being adopted into a new family. Finding out where I came from gave me such a sense of belonging. Did it heal all my wounds? No, only some. But I didn’t spend emotional energy wondering anymore.

For the adoptive families I would say find support for your own fears about this. I believe our fears keep us in a place of denying what is needed for healing. If you truly love your adopted child be the ADULT they need you to be. Remember no matter how much you wish they were your own, they are not. They belong to you AND another family. Consider this an opportunity to bring healing to your child’s life at the expense of it being painful and scary to you. I do not believe we can have an authentic relationship without looking at truth. Take their hand, and remind them you are not going anywhere!

Adoptee Voice 12

  • ) What made you decide to search and did this decision have anything to do with how much you loved or didn’t love your adoptive families? I chose to find my natural family because it is my right to seek answers and know my heritage. I want the opportunity to bond with siblings, grandparents, cousins, and other family. I find it infinitely frustrating that adoptees are pressured into disregarding their own feelings about their first family because of the feelings of adoptive family and non-adoptees. Why do our feelings matter less? The love we feel for our adoptive family has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it.2.) No matter what you found, do you regret searching? Not at all. I kept searching for 20 years until I found every single living relative.3.) What advice can you share to your fellow adoptees that are searching or considering searching? Don’t let anyone tell you that your feelings are less than. Keep an open mind, without expectations. Remember that your natural mother also suffered trauma because of the adoption, so she may have just as much of a hard time with reunion as you.4.) What can you share with the non-adoptees and adoptive family members who might be discouraging adoptees from search? Consider this: to an adoptee, our adoption feels like our entire family died in one day, and we are expected to be grateful for the situation we were forced into. We have the human right to mourn the loss of our first family just as if they had died. We are neither blank slates nor eternal children. We are forced to deal with the stress of living three entangled lives – the person we were born to be but never were the person whose life we assume but never fit into, and the person we create for ourselves as adult adoptees. It’s a very stressful and difficult to navigate life, regardless of how wonderful our adoptive families may be. We need your support! Denying our feelings will only push us away from you.

Adoptee Voice 13

  • I needed to know who I was and where I came from plus I was biracial I did actually find out my race from DNA testing before I searched or whilst I was searching but had not found. I am glad for the prep work or healing I did before searching because I did uncover a lot of trauma and drama. I was also lied to by my adoptive family, social services and members of my natural family so I was misled a lot while searching but I had a great search angel that helped me. The info I received was almost like working through grief bit by bit and also the letters I wrote to natural mom were very hard to write but each time I posted one it got a bit easier, she never actually got any of them. I was sad to find so many traumas in my natural mom’s life stemming from the fact she herself was abandoned at nine years old and went from one abusive relationship to another after my dad left her to marry someone of his own race. My dad took my bro and she kept my sister…. she lost my sister and my half bro 7 years later trying to escape the abusive jerk that she left me for…she got with another abusive jerk after that who told her she could not keep my sister either but they reunited when my sister was 16… My mum tells me that I am lucky and should be grateful she didn’t keep me and I didn’t endure what my sister did , but none of them asked how my life was growing up with and abusive manipulative lying my adoptive family… My reunion is not going that great there is too much pain all around. My mum doesn’t answer my calls or phone when she says she will which triggers me into a three day meltdown mode. My sister is overflowing with love but for all the wrong reasons and I just keep walking my healing path because truly that’s what it’s all about reunion or no reunion we have to heal from the loss and reunion just shoves that loss right in your face so now you are face to face with all the years lost whether it’s with mum or siblings or whatever adoption is based on deception and loss and healing is possible but it takes years of work…reunions do not fix the pain of the loss …

Adoptee Voice 14

  • ) What made you decide to search and did this decision have anything to do with how much you loved or didn’t love your adoptive families? What made me decide? hmm sad occasion of someone showed me the realization that it’s time to do what I needed todo for years that I was ready for it
    2.) No matter what you found, do you regret searching? Not at all. It’s important to do
    3.) What advice can you share to your fellow adoptees that are searching or considering searching? Don’t expect miracles and acceptance from that moment on it’s not up to you alone
    4.) What can you share with the non-adoptees and adoptive family members who might be discouraging adoptees from search? I can only say this: it’s not about you and with all the respect you need to support or walk away

Adoptee Voice 15

  • 1) Curiosity. Who am I? And no, my family was amazing which made it even harder to talk about wanting to search because I felt like I was betraying them or something. 2) I do not regret searching. 3) I was actually found on fb by my birth mother. I had all the information that I thought could be helpful, full birthday and my full name (Irish + Romanian) 4) Helping someone get through something is easier than helping someone get through the unknown. In my opinion you can’t get closure until you know everything.

Adoptee Voice 16

  • I searched because when my oldest had a hidden medical condition. They tested me and I had it also! So I wondered what else might be hiding. #3) Don’t expect a Hollywood happy filled reunion. You were given up for a reason. You may or may not find that “missing piece of the puzzle”. Keep expectations very low and search for the right reasons

Adoptee Voice 17

  • My search began a month before my wedding day. I found out my birth name at the bank. My papers were in a vault along with my Savings Bond. I asked who is Linda Marie? Mom would not give me a straight answer. 2. I did not regret searching for the truth even though I ended up asking mom again for my truth 2 years later and mom’s reluctance to give me information. 3. If your mom has information continue to badger her and keep on asking.

Adoptee Voice 18

  • ) I decided to search because it’s a natural human instinct to want to know who we are and where we come from. It’s impossible to know where your headed if you don’t know where you come from. It was tearing me apart inside to not know. My wanting to search was natural for a not natural situation. My pain of the unknown was SO GREAT I was addicted to alcohol most of my life because I couldn’t handle adoptee grief, loss & trauma and not knowing my answers. With the world celebrating adoption they make no room for our pain so I NEEDED TO KNOW MY ANSWERS. Trust me if I didn’t have the deep desire to know I would have much rather chose that route but that’s not how it works for many of us. My decision had nothing to do with my adoptive family and them loving me or not loving me. Love has NOTHING to do with us wanting to search and everything to do with needing the TRUTH. Without the truth we can’t move forward with acceptance and healing. Give it to God? Let me ask… If I don’t search and have the answers and beginnings of how I came about how do I know what to give to God? Am I going to hand him a question mark? Don’t think so….2.) I faced double rejection from both birth parents. It gets no more painful than that yet I still would rather know than live in the unknown because that was pure inhuman torture in my mind living wondering who my mother was and who my people were. Don’t regret it for a minute.3.) Think about your desire to search and pray about it and ask yourself if your pain outweighs the peace in your life regarding not knowing. If you’re at total peace not knowing great for you. But if you are bothered by it or it torments you then search and really try not to think of everyone else’s feelings. You deserve your answers and you deserve your truth! Everyone else can put on their big boy and girl panties and deal with it. I know it’s hard because when we make the decision to search we are going up against the grain and most people who aren’t adopted can’t comprehend our NEED and how deep it is and why we need answers. It’s important to stop trying to get them to understand. Trust me, the very few non adoptees who WANT TO LEARN will listen. They are worth talking to. Those who try to shut you down are ones you should leave alone. Most non adoptees will never understand us so I choose to stick with those who do understand me, my fellow adoptees. There is an army of us out here so you are never alone. Do what is best for you and don’t wait. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.4.) Please understand this isn’t about you and it had nothing to do with you. You could have been the best most amazing parents in the world but we still need our answers and truth. You can either support us and help us or we will do it around you. It’s much nicer when we have adoptive parents who aren’t manipulative who make it all about them every time we open our mouths. For once please know this isn’t about you. I can’t say it enough. And for you to say “Can’t you be happy with the family you got?” I would like to respond by saying until you are stripped of your basic human rights of wanting to know who you are and where you come from you really should keep your comments to yourself. If you can’t support me please leave me be. And when I find less than what I dreamed please don’t be quick to rub it in my face that I should have listened to you. The trauma of being an adoptee and living in the unknown is horrific in itself so please don’t make it worse on us with your unsupportive comments.

Adoptee Voice 19

  • Keep looking and do not give up.

Adoptee Voice 20

  • My decision to search was my own, and had no bearing on the opinions of others. I knew I was adopted before understanding what adoption was, and my desire to know/search was formed at the same time. The only considerations regarding my AP’s was around informing them about my actions, both in searching and reunion. Again, the decision was completely my own, even forgoing the concern of my then fiancé. This was MINE, something I wanted my entire life, and nothing was going to dissuade me. I waited until I met the age of independence to start, because I had to. There was no specific trigger that set me on the path toward finding; it was ALWAYS something I knew I had to do. I have regrets associated with my search/reunion, but none about searching. Again, the need to know was like breathing. I simply had to do it; there was no consideration or hesitation. As soon as I legally could search, I did. My birth mother received me well enough. In hindsight, she, like so many birth mom’s, was damaged from the experience. Had I been more informed, or more mature, more whatever, I may have been better prepared. Over the course of 20 years, I found & lost her 3 times. I don’t regret this, it is what it is. My only regret was waiting 10 years to find/contact my birth father, because my birth mother requested she make first contact with him. I felt I was being loyal, but in truth I was acting in fear. Fear that I would rock the boat, and damage relations with b-mom. A relation that never existed, and never formed. Even if it had, I was wrong to let someone hold me captive. Advice to those beginning a search… invest in your own search efforts. Searching may seem difficult, but the journey will build strength and knowledge. Both will be needed in reunion. I’m not suggesting the final goal of reunion is bad, but like any relationship, it requires work. Perhaps more work than another relation, as there is commonly much emotional and psychological baggage associated with adoption. The birth mother and the adoptee are damaged. And depending on their own journey, each may be in a different place of readiness for such a relation. And quite often, the adoptee must become the parent. By this I mean they must come to reunion prepared, offering both understanding and the voice of reason. It’s so very complicated; I’m not sure how to address it for the purpose of this project. In short, the adoptee should be an active part of the search. The adoptee should educate themselves on their legal rights to information, and reunion related issues. Understanding why they or the birth parent are acting as they are will help them navigate next steps. Final points related to searching; be honest in communications with birth parents, be honest with yourself, start a journal to help organize search efforts and log events/emotions after reunion, be kind to those who don’t have to help you and gently push those who do. Lastly, take action, do not wait, people die. Time is NOT on the side of us adoptees, so don’t let discomfort or indecision keep you from taking next steps. One of the hardest things is to find a grave at the end of your search.To the discouraging voices, they can all suck it. They don’t know, will never know, and so can’t advise. Some may be heartfelt, and with your best interests in mind, but only YOU can decide. And only another adoptee can truly understand. We had no voice in what happened to us. We don’t owe anyone anything as it relates to being adopted. Do what you need to. If that is to search, than do so unequivocally. Naysayers and alarmists be damned.

Adoptee Voice 21

  • My answers to the 4 questions… #1 – I have known I was adopted since around the age of 10. I always had letters written from my birth mother to my Mom. In those letters there was mention of two boys. I always felt a disconnect with my family even though they were always good to me and I was always more curious about the brothers more than anything. My love for my family always made me feel guilty for wanting to find them, but I was also very afraid of rejection. I have a very uncommon birth name, so actually finding my brothers was the easy part thanks to Facebook, getting the courage to contact them, not so easy. I just decided I was about to turn 50 and I needed to do this and I did not tell my family until after it was done. #2- I do not regret it at all. But only because I was not rejected. #3 – We had about 3 days AND nights worth of texting before we met in person. You just have to be careful of letting a complete stranger in your life. #4- you have no way of knowing how they feel if you aren’t adopted yourself. Let them do what their heart is leading them to do. In my case it literally filled my heart with joy and made me a happier person for my family to be around…not that I was that bad before, lol, but when it works out, it’s a feeling I just can’t describe.

This blog post was compiled for all those in the world who just can’t understand why adoptees put ourselves “out there” to search in the first place, what our thoughts are regarding this search and how difficult it is for many of us.

No adoptee “Story” is the same and we each have a unique story and desire to be heard. So many in society want to speak for us, but you will never ever fully understand adoptees unless you seek our voices and ask us how it feels to be adopted.

Thank you to all my fellow adoptees who chimed in and made this article post possible. You matter and your voices matter. Keep sharing your voices!  If you are reading this and you would like to answer the questions please reply to this article. Your replies will stay with the history of the page.

If you aren’t adopted and you made it this far THANK YOU for your willingness to learn from the experts in the adoption constellation! We appreciate you taking the time to read this post. You have made an attempt to try to understand how adoptees feel. Keep reading and keep sharing the voices that’s almost always ignored, the Adoptees!

Pamela A. Karanova

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I Keep Walking, Learning to Live for Myself, Love Myself, & Honor Myself

img_6311It’s interesting that I’ve been experiencing a new layer of an awakening process recently, even before Covid-19 came about. I’m so thankful for all things NEW, because that means I’m not sitting in the same spot for eternity. Many people are fretting about the isolation and aloneness they are feeling due to the new social distancing guidelines, but for me personally, this is something I’ve felt my entire life. It’s nothing new to me being adopted, and feeling isolated and alone. I’ve adapted to that feeling way back to my early childhood, but I sympathize for all those who are experiencing this for the the first time.

I’ve made the choice to set more boundaries in my life, which have allowed me to have more room for JOY. This hasn’t been an easy thing to do because no one has guided me, or encouraged me to do this. I’ve figured it out on my own.

As an adoptee, I’m used to giving all of my self for others wants and needs, all the way back to my childhood and juvenile years. I didn’t have a typical adoption story, I had a heartbreaking one. Every single side I look at has been nothing but heartbreak and pain. I know so many of my fellow adoptees have the same story, it’s heart-wrenching.

I’ve written before about this BADNESS I’ve always felt, being attached to me from the beginning, as I was conceived in my birth mothers womb. I was conceived out of an affair with a married man, who was also a close friend of the family. So not only did my birth mother feel shame and guilt, she kept her pregnancy a secret, but she rejected the pregnancy, and drank alcohol the entire time.

I felt this as a baby, in utero and if you do the research and study this topic, you will learn that babies feel what the mother feels while we are in the womb. We can sense our biological mothers emotions, feelings and surroundings before we’re ever born.

Scientist Say, say, “They found something interesting: what mattered to the babies was if the environment was consistent before and after birth. That is, the babies who did best were those who either had mothers who were healthy both before and after birth, and those whose mothers were depressed before birth and stayed depressed afterward. What slowed the babies’ development was changing conditions — a mother who went from depressed before birth to healthy after or healthy before birth to depressed after. “We must admit, the strength of this finding surprised us,” Sandman says.

So much to unpack here, but my motive in sharing this is the more we research the entire concept of perinatal bonding, and our pre-birth conditions, the more we understand our selves. This is one of the MANY reasons why adoptees receiving our TRUTH is so critically important. I will say it now, and I’ve said it a million times before, we (adoptees) can’t heal from secrecy, lies or half truths. The conditions of our conception is very important for us to learn, so we can gain a better understanding of WHY.

This is the ONLY way to acceptance & healing

While the topic of our experiences is very important, so is the topic of being born into a world to serve others wants and needs. I can share from my story, I felt like I was “the help” when it came to my experience in my adoptive moms home. I was her caretaker from the very beginning, and lived my entire life catering to her wants, needs and demands. Not just her physical needs, but her emotional and psychological ones as well.

She suffered from severe emotional and mental illness, and her issues impacted my life greatly. One reason was because she was never officially diagnosed, or treated although she was given several pain medications, and mood stabilizing medications and was addicted to them until she died in 2015. She was consistent in over medicating herself, which only added issues to her mental illness.

My life until I was 30 years old was centered and focused around HER. She had it planned out that she wanted to adopt 2 daughters, so she would have someone to take care of her in her old age, because her greatest fear of life was dying in a nursing home all alone. She adopted for us to take care of her, and that’s exactly what happened for 30 years of my life, until I broke free and escaped by moving across the country with my children. She created a very toxic and unhealthy codependent relationship, that was VERY hard for me to break away from, but I did it in 2005.

I’ve done a lot of research on codependency, and as complex as it is, it’s some real live issues that come with it. When I was a child, I had no way out and I had nothing to compare it too. What was a normal relationship with a mom, or a parent, and what did a healthy relationship look like? I have no idea.

Needless to say, when I spent 30 years catering to her wants and needs, it’s taken me the last 15 years to learn what taking care of myself looks like. When every waking moment of my childhood was to serve her, and the entire reasons for my existence was to take care of her, this hasn’t been an easy task to learn. As it turns out, I’ve been a private independent caregiver for a stroke patient for 15 years as my full time career.

It’s interesting how I leave a very toxic care taking and codependent relationship ends, but I once again pick up a career taking care of someone else, because it’s all I know. A big difference in the two situations is one is healthy, and a wonderful relationship as my career, and it’s something I enjoy with my whole heart. The other was something that was forced upon me I had no control over that was very toxic. I know for certain, that care taking responsibilities run deep in my veins, because of my childhood and my role in taking care of my adoptive mom all the way back to pre-verbal days.

Besides by life growing up in my toxic adoptive home, I’ve been a mom for 26 years, taking care of my kids. They have been my #1 motivation to keep going and taking care of them has been priority. Between being a mom, being a caregiver by career, and my history in the toxic adoptive home, how in the actual hell have I even learned how to take care of myself?

It’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to learn to do. I didn’t start taking care of myself and actually enjoying MYSELF in the process until I walked away from the church. Walking away from the church, and religion is a whole different topic, article and discussion. I don’t care to share much here, but I will eventually. However, leaving the church has allowed me the time to serve, but instead of serve 4-5 days in the church, I’ve been serving 4-5 days a week at getting my life back, the one that was stolen from me.

I’ve learned that consistently, things come in our paths that will take our time and energy from us. Time is the most valuable thing any of us have, so the more commitments, the less time we have to use for ourselves. Just what if, we took all the energy we’ve been pouring out into systems, people, places and things outside of ourselves, and turned it back around and put it into ourselves? What would happen then?

I can tell you what will happen, because it’s my life, my story. I’ve spent a LIFETIME walking away, and escaping situations that don’t suite me well. At the end of the road, all I have left is myself, and my children. I say all the time I didn’t sign any adoption paperwork, so I’m not committed to anyone aside from MYSELF. I can no longer give all my time or energy to any family that doesn’t honor and respect the fact that I’m an adult and I can speak for myself. I can no longer pour my life into serving in a church, or slaving for my adoptive mother only to feel empty and depleted in the end. I have no more energy to put into relationships that have gone sour, for whatever reason. I have no time to explain myself, or try to “plead my case.”

I walk. And I keep walking. Those who are meant to stay will stay, and those who aren’t meant to stay will go along their way. Along the way, is the new path that I have chosen for myself. It’s a path that I CHOOSE, and it’s one I am learning to enjoy. The key has been, learning the TRUTH, and then REMOVING THINGS NO LONGER MEANT FOR ME. Doesn’t matter who or what it is, if it’s not healthy for me, it has to go.

This has left my life wide open for a choice. I can either sit around and feel sorry for myself, and live in misery or I can accept the truth, work toward healing for the rest of my life, and in the process get to know myself, which has allowed me the space to learn to love myself. In this, I’ve learned what I love, and what I don’t. I’ve learned what I stand for, and what I don’t. I’ve learned who I want in my life, who I should share my very valuable time with and who I shouldn’t.

I’ve learned out of all the experiences in life, and of all my attempts to fill the void and huge hole adoption has left, after I found my TRUTH, the very thing I was searching for was inside myself the entire time. And let me share, I’ve searched everywhere. Partying, drugs, alcohol, men, sweets, committing to serving and being present in the church FULL TIME. Nothing filled me up, nothing helped permanently.

I know, it’s hard to find ones self when we don’t have our truth, and if I’m completely honest, It’s impossible to do. This is why THE TRUTH is 110% critical for adoptees. But once I broke away from so many commitments, responsibilities, and systems, I found the time to look myself in the mirror, and find some time for myself. Little by little over the last few years, I’ve uncovered that life everyone talks about being beautiful, is something I can find beautiful too. But this isn’t easy to conclude. It’s hard work.

A few years ago, before Adoptees Connect, Inc. came about, I felt like I had no purpose, and I didn’t even want to be alive because I was in so much pain from my adoption experience. Finding PURPOSE in Adoptees Connect, has been a huge piece of my healing journey. Between finding purpose in the pain, and seeking outside fulfillment within myself, things have dramatically changed for me.

I still have bad days, and extreme days of sadness due to my adoption experience. The difference now is that I sit with it. It’s usually GRIEF that I’m feeling, and I allow myself to feel it and process it, whatever that looks like for me. It’s not even logical to say that I will be totally healed. That’s false, and not part of my reality. As soon as I accepted this, that’s actually when more healing began. Let me explain a little further.

As I continue my steps forward there is no doubt in my mind that I will never completely forget my past. No matter who says that’s possible, it’s not realistic for me to think like that. Adoption impacts so much, I deal with daily triggers, daily reminders of what was lost, sometimes hourly. One of the best things I did for myself is accepting that the pain from relinquishment and my adoption experience is here to stay. Once I accepted this, I learned to embrace my feelings, and I stopped trying to PRAY THEM AWAY or FILL THEM WITH OTHER THINGS. I sat with them, I cried with them and I learned to process them.

No one on this earth can do this for me. No one told me this is what was going to work. I’ve learned it because I’ve literally tried everything under the sun to BE HEALED, and nothing worked for me until I made the choice to STOP TRYING TO BE HEALED and sit with the pain. For me, my pain has looked more like GRIEF than anything. No one on earth is going to tell adoptees this, but grief for us will likely be a grieving process we experience for the rest of our lives. For me, to just expect it to be gone, IN JESUS NAME is something that didn’t work for me. It actually hindered my healing process, and made things worse. It bypassed the trauma I experienced from relinquishment, that was compacted by a traumatic adoption experience.

Fighting like hell for my truth was the first step. Accepting the pain was here to stay, was the beginning of my healing process. Today I can see brighter days ahead, and I can see joy in life like I have never seen before because my pain was just too great. So many adoptees can’t see past the pain, and they are stuck. I understand it and get it because it was me for years, 43 to be exact.

The whole entire concept of taking my energy, confidence, feelings, and time and reality, and turning it over to an outside source, system or person is something I’ve found to be extremely dangerous and counterproductive to my healing.  It’s no wonder I’ve always felt empty, alone, isolated, like a walking dead woman. It’s impossible to look at yourself as a source of strength, when we’re continuously told to look for it in other people, places and things.

I challenge everyone, not just adoptees to seek inside themselves, because your strength is there. Your wisdom is there. Your happiness is there. You have the total power and control to shift your energy from seeking sources outside yourself, to that of seeking strength, wisdom and understanding deep in your own heart.

For adoptees, if you don’t have your truth and all of it, fight like hell to get it. Never give up. You deserve healing, wholeness, and happiness. My story has been heartbreaking all the way around, with double rejection from BOTH my birth parents, and I have no relationship with 95% of my adoptive family for MANY reasons. I’ve had to make the choice to put myself, my recovery and my happiness FIRST. They put their happiness first, when I was conceived out of an affair, handed over to strangers to raise. My adoptive parents only cared about being parents, they didn’t have the capabilities of caring for me, an adoptee, like I needed to be cared for. No one helped me, I was 100% on my own finding my truth. Once I received the truth, that I fought like hell to get ON MY OWN, I realized that I CARRIED ME THROUGH THAT. I HAD THE STRENGTH TO MAKE IT. MY HEART IS THE ONE THAT WAS LEFT BROKEN. I USED SUBSTANCES FOR 27 YEARS TO NUMB MY PAIN. I’M THE ONE WHO DID THE WORK IN RECOVERY. I’M THE ONE PERSON I COULD COUNT ON. I HAD THE FIGHT TO WANT TO HEAL, BE HEARD AND NOT STOP. I WANTED TO BE A BETTER MOTHER TO MY KIDS THAN WHAT I HAD. I LIVE EVERYDAY IN RECOVERY AND MAKE DAILY, SOMETIMES HOURLY DECISIONS THAT TAKE WISDOM SO I STAY IN RECOVERY. NO SOURCE OR SYSTEM OUTSIDE MYSELF DID THAT.

I DID THAT.

I walked and I’m still walking.

For the rest of my days on earth, I will not be confined to anyone or anything. I no loner believe in any belief systems or have any loyalty to any one person or families that have hurt me. I’m finally FREE, living for ME. I continue to set boundaries for myself, and I have many more I will be setting in the coming weeks, months, years. All the labels in the world can walk off into the sunset, because I no longer want to be a part of them either. They don’t define me, they don’t make me a better person, or different than anyone else. Just like adoption. It’s a piece of who I am, but it’s not all of who I am.

As I continue to walk, I’m making the choice to continue to put my happiness first, as this new stage of my life approaches I HAVE A LOT OF MAKING UP TO DO. Chances are you do too!. Adoption has stolen A LOT. I refuse to allow it to steal anymore of my beautiful life. I have a wonderful career, amazing kids, and things in life I want to do. I have hobbies, and I want to be a happy, healthy mom and individual. When the end of my life is near, I hope people remember my life, but I also hope they see I didn’t stay stuck until the end of my days. Adoption will snatch up all our time, memories and freedom as we slave away at trying to bring the truth to light, and help others. I will always have certain commitments to the adoption community, but other commitments are falling to the side, because I’ve missed enough of living life, I don’t want to miss anymore.

Every minute lost is a minute I can’t get back. I ask myself daily, as I look in the mirror, “If you were to die tomorrow, what would you want to do today, if it was your last time on earth?” What makes my heart happy and what makes me tick? Same to you… What creates your happiness, deep within your soul? Don’t let adoption suck your entire life away, weather it be getting unstuck, or serving your life away in the adoption community. Finding a happy balance is KEY.

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Today, I keep walking, learning to live for myself, love myself, & honor myself. I’m focused on seeking solace and serenity inside myself, because others just let me down. I’ve never been happier. No one is going to tell you to seek this route, you will be solo but for many adoptees, that’s nothing new.  I’ve always been alone, but I haven’t always been okay with being alone.

Today, I’m alone, but I’m finally okay with being alone.

 It’s actually the safest space for me, because it’s all I know. I’m my own safe space. 

I have my kids, my career, nature, sunrises, sunsets, trees, flowers, fresh air, books, writing, my animals, health, inner peace, hiking, waterfalls, road trips, exercise, bonfires, hot tea, coffee,  acceptance, sobriety, a small circle of friends, my story, and my continued recovery.

I have all I need.

I’ve let go of the rest. 

I’m a free bird. 

For my fellow adoptees, what have you found that makes you tick?

Where is your safe space?

What JOY have you been able to find in your life, despite your adoptee journey?

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Wishing I Was Aborted & Wanting to Die

I’m glad I was able to get your attention for a few moments…

Over the years, I have written a bit regarding certain times in my life where I wished my birth mother aborted me. I’ve also written other times about wishing I would die or wishing I was dead.

This doesn’t mean I promote abortion.

This doesn’t mean I promote suicide.

This means, this is how I have felt at certain times of my life and I have had enough courage to share my feelings with the world. Sometimes it might be in this blog or in online communities, or in real life.

It’s hard to have value for “life” when every day of my life has felt like I’m in a living nightmare in my mind regarding my adoption journey. How do you live everyday of your life with a broken heart? It’s hard to value LIFE when the woman that should love you the most not only abandons you but rejects you when you find her. It’s hard to value life when you feel like your entire existence on earth was to fill a void in someones life, but they never really cared about me. I was purchased for a price to the next adoptive parents in line. It was never about me. It’s hard to value life when no one on earth has ever given a shit about my feelings about the trauma, grief, loss and all the issues adoption has brought my way.

IT’S A EVERYDAY STRUGGLE FOR SOME OF US!

“Oh you just had a bad adoption experience!”

My views are, If we’re completely honest, every adoption experience is rooted as a bad experience because what any adoptee has to go through to get adopted is grounded in trauma and loss.  The fact we are severed from our roots, history, medical history, ethnicity, birth parents, siblings, etc. is enough reason for us to say it’s a bad experience.

If you can view adoption as “beautiful” you aren’t acknowledging the trauma that comes with it, and that is a problem. I’ll save that for my next blog post.

Trauma is not beautiful, it’s hard and complicating, and painful.

Do all adoptees feel like their adoption constitutes as a “Bad Experience?” Absolutely not. I can’t speak for all adoptees, I can only speak for myself and knowing hundreds of adoptees all over the world, I know MANY of us feel this way.

If I dig a little deeper and share why at times I’ve felt like I wanted to die I can assure you I was at a very dark place regarding my adoption journey. More than likely if I shared something like this online or in my blog it’s because I didn’t have any “safe space” in my real life to share these feelings. It’s because not only did I feel like I wanted to die, but I have always carried the burden for feeling this way on top of feeling how I felt.

As if feeling like I wanted to die wasn’t enough…

The feelings of wanting to die are usually triggered by different seasons of my adoptee experience. It comes in waves, and when feelings associated with abandonment, rejection, trauma, complicated grief & loss come flooding in it can easily take me out. What does take me out mean? I can slide into a depression, and during this time things are dark and grim. There has never been any help for me, (for many of us adoptees) so it can feel like a dark cloud is hanging over my head and there is nowhere to turn.

ALONE.

HELPLESS.

On occasion I’ve shared how I was angry at my birth mother for choosing life. It’s the truth and if you can’t understand it or grasp it consider yourself one of the fortunate ones. You also might be someone who doesn’t have the willingness to TRY to want to learn why I have felt this way or to try to learn why other adoptees might feel this way? Either way, I had to go through the emotions I was feeling. A few years back I worked on some areas of healing as I continue to do. One of the areas I was mad as hell about was wishing my birth mother aborted me.

THE PAIN HAS BEEN THAT GREAT!

Writing about it was one of the biggest healing tools I have yet to discover. Sharing it with others is also another healing tool. It takes it from a deep hidden secret of feeling this way,  to a release by sharing my feelings that are very real with others who can hopefully understand, validate and let me know I’m not alone. In no way sharing these feelings was I ever advocating for abortion and I don’t appreciate anyone saying otherwise.

Situations like this that happen it’s another layer of what adoptees have to go through. Not only do we feel the way we do which is hard enough in itself, but we’re shamed by society for feeling that way. Our words can be easily twisted by someone who has never thought twice about reaching out to us in a caring, humane and concerning way. To top it off, there is usually no help for us, or no safe spaces to share these feelings so a lot of time online is our only source to share. Thank God Adoptees Connect is popping up in many cities and other adoptee support groups as well. Things are changing for the good but it hasn’t always been this way.

There are those who don’t agree with with others say and they can’t just move along. They have to make sure they point out why they don’t feel that way and why it’s horrible we do. “My friend who’s adopted doesn’t feel that way at all!” or “My husband is adopted and he never has felt that way” – Or better yet, and the most damaging of all, a fellow adoptee saying, “I’m so sad and disappointed so many adoptees have no value for life, and talk about wishing they were aborted or dead. I have never felt that way and I have made the choice to make something of my life. I wish they would do the same”

Don’t you think if we could just turn the switch on to be one of the “Happy well-adjusted” adoptees, we would do it? Don’t you think we would rather feel happy all the time than deal with these emotions? I think most adoptees would rather not have these issues, but when we are dealing with so many complexities and layers of trauma it doesn’t happen that way for many of us.

TRAUMA TAKES TIME TO HEAL AND EVERYONE HEALS AT DIFFERENT STAGES

The fact of the matter is, when people share their feelings online or in real life, it’s really best to try to validate their feelings and listen to what they have to say. Just because you don’t feel this way and you never have doesn’t mean you need to point it out to someone and disregard how they are feeling because it doesn’t line up with how you feel.

When people process emotions about wishing they were aborted or having feelings of wanting to die, and you happen to be on the receiving end of hearing them share these words please consider yourself honored. If someone is actually sharing something like this they may have kept deep inside for what can be a very long time. Your response is critical!

Don’t silence them, and try to make them feel guilty for feeling this way. Shaming them and making them feel guilty because you have processed your adoption issues, and they haven’t isn’t going to help, only hurts them.

“It makes me so sad to see so many adoptees talk about wishing they were aborted and wishing they were dead!” – Well HELLO!

It seems to me this world we live in might want to take a wake up pill because if so many adoptees are saying these things IT’S FOR A REASON. Many reasons actually.

For me, I had to face the pain of the TRUTH of adoption, MY ADOPTION and come out of the FOG and acknowledge the realities of how my life played out. Some days the pain has been SO GREAT I would rather DIE than deal with another day of this pain. Does that mean I’m suicidal? NO, for me I wasn’t suicidal although I have been in the past when I was younger. It means that at that moment in my life, dying seems like a better plan than facing the pain of ADOPTION. That’s how great my pain was. I never had a suicide plan as an adult, but that doesn’t mean some adoptees don’t. For me, I have a ton of reason TO LIVE and there are so many areas in life I love, my kids mainly. But there is far more to it than me just saying I wanted to die.

Does that mean other adoptees aren’t suicidal when they say they want to die or they would rather die? I can’t comment on that but because adoptees attempt suicide 4x more than non adoptees.  I think it’s time society as a whole stop ignoring these staggering facts.

BE CAUTIOUS HOW YOU RESPOND TO HURTING ADOPTEES!

We really can’t afford to not listen to Adoptees.

If you are an adoptee and have been fortunate enough to move beyond your depression, and you’re wanting to die, and your issues with being adopted and you have come to a place of peace regarding your adoption journey that’s wonderful. But let me share, those adoptees who aren’t at that place yet don’t need YOU, their fellow adoptee telling them how sad and sorry you are they feel that way and minimize their feelings by sharing how you don’t feel that way at all. This only adds shame to how they already feel.

We don’t need it, especially from our fellow adoptees.

Never look down on someone unless you’re helping them up. – Jesse Jackson

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I have a question for anyone reading, adopted or not.

If you learn of an adoptee or anyone for that matter share feelings in real life or online, about wishing they were aborted or wishing they would die have you reached out to them on a personal level? Have you said to them, “I’m so sorry you are feeling this way. My heart hurts for you. Can you tell me more about why you are feeling this way? How can I help you?” Do you have the willingness to reach out to these people and try to understand where they are coming from? Do you have the willingness to LISTEN without the intent to reply? Do you have the willingness to try to put yourself in this persons shoes, even when you can’t relate to what they are saying because “That wasn’t my experience!”

My reason for writing this blog post is to share I have had times in my life where I have felt anger towards my birth mother because she didn’t abort me, and I have felt like I wanted to die many times but this does not define who I am. It’s all been a part of my healing process. If I didn’t have so many deep-rooted adoptee issues, I honestly would be doing great in life. Just so happens, the pain from adoption has been the very same pain that has been my reason for starting Adoptees Connect and Adoptee Merch.

Are you meeting people where they are?

Pain and all?

Aside from adoption and the trauma it’s caused me I consider myself a survivor and I’m surviving daily. Adoption tried to kill me, but I’m here and alive. I have so many things to be thankful for. Some days I wonder why it’s so hard for me to be thankful for my life, which is something I feel guilty about daily. The best way I can describe it is that I’ve never until recently (out of the fog) ever felt like I was alive to begin with. I felt like the walking dead. I have no birth story. I have no roots grounded in anything. I don’t feel connected to anything other than my kids. I’ve spent my entire life grieving what should have been and what was lost. The same tears I cried in grief are the same tears the world celebrates because adoption is viewed as “beautiful”.

This adds more pain on pain on pain…

What has changed everything for me and given me a reason to live is my kids. They are the reason I’m thankful for my life because I’m thankful for them. They are the reason I get up daily because they are my motivation. They are the reason I’m still alive. It’s not for myself. If they weren’t here I wouldn’t be alive. I would have been dead many years ago. I would have no purpose and that’s MY TRUTH.

Now that I am processing through my pain, and I’m out of the fog, I’m at a place where I’ve learned my passion in life. Healing is happening, but it wouldn’t be happening if I could never share my feelings.

IN ORDER TO HEAL IT WE HAVE TO FEEL IT!

 Even those adoptees who are sharing online they want to die and wish they were aborted!

I have a purpose for my life to do what I’m doing in the adoptee community.

So my question is…

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ARE YOU LISTENING?

Because if you are inserting your opinion without ever asking a person why they feel the way they feel you really are out-of-order.

Do I still wish my birth mother aborted me? Sometimes those thoughts come over my mind, but they come and go like a vapor. Usually its the times when my pain is so great, I see no light and no way out. When I stay busy in life, the less time I have to think about the realities of adoption and the damage it has done in my life. Every day I can move forward towards healing is a new day I have to discover who I am and what I enjoy doing in life. There is more to me and my life than being an adoptee. I love being a mom. I love nature, hiking, chasing waterfalls. I enjoy the simple things in life-like sunrises, sunsets, bonfires, hot tea and coffee. I’m a caregiver by career and absolutely love what I do for a living. I have a small host of close friends and a few family members I am in touch with. Adoptee issues still surface and will always surface, for me it’s learning how to ride the waves.

So please, the next time you are around someone who is sharing their heart, no matter how your experience was or is, no matter who you know that was adopted who had a wonderful experience, know it doesn’t give you the right to tell us how we should feel. Also, please understand that just because you are at a peaceful place of your adoption, not all of us are. Let’s learn to embrace one another exactly as we are, not as you think we should be.

We’re already in a world that glorifies our trauma, we don’t need it from our fellow adoptees. Please, be kind and in that have compassion for others who are nothing like you. Try to understand them and put yourself in their shoes. Listen more.

Don’t forget this article along with all my other articles are available in audio for your convenience, just look up Pamela A. Karanova Podcast on Google PodcastsiTunes , Spotify. and Amazon Music. Interested in treating me with a coffee, to add fuel to my fire? Click here. Many thanks in advance to my supporters!

Empathy goes along way.

Thanks for reading.

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I’m Not Co-Signing For Online Bullying & Harassment

As we wrap up our first month of 2018 a few things have come to my attention. It’s so easy to get sucked into situations where we’re co-signing for online bullying and harassment, I thought a blog post about it might not be a bad idea.

I’ve noticed how one simple “tag” into a conversation or an innocent response to a post can be the door way to open-up an online episode of bullying or harassment. This can spiral out of control and it usually happens quickly.

I have seen from experience the damage this type of activity can do to others, and if I’m being honest when I’ve engaged in this type of activity I don’t feel better when it happens. I only feel worse.

My reason for writing this is because I’ve seen an increased amount of division created by online attacks within the adoptee community and it’s not okay. Witnessing these attacks, and even being pulled into a few I’ve found it to be very divisive among our community. We don’t need division. We need unity to move forward.

I can only speak for myself, but I have a life outside of “Adoptee City”. I love my online community of adoptees, but I have so many other things going on in life. Adoptee City is just a small piece of my life, but it does take up a lot of my time and I pour my heart and soul into the areas I participate in.

What does this mean?

I don’t have time for online drama.

NONE.

If you are an online bully you will be silenced from my personal space. I can’t say you will be silenced online in other peoples spaces, but you will be silenced in mine.

Your either for me or you’re against me. If you are against me that’s okay, but be an adult and either come to me in a private message and talk to me or keep it moving. Whatever you decide to do, I can assure you I’m not losing any sleep either way.

If I get pulled into a situation online, I’m very careful how I navigate things moving forward. Much of the time if it’s a negative dynamic of unproductive communication between one or more people coming off in an attacking way, I don’t take the bait. I make the choice to “opt-out”. I don’t respond to that person directly. If someone lashes out at me in a nasty way, without hesitating I block them.

Let me say I’m not talking about a discussion where we are asked to share our experiences, peaceful or even not so peaceful debating that happens online. I’m talking about attacks that happen among online communities. Most of the time the person perpetrating the attacks is someone who has a history of being an online bully and has problems in various online communities for this behavior. More than likely they are blocked a lot and cause strife in many different areas.

Understand there is a dramatic difference in “Sharing Your Voice” and “Online Bullying & Harrassing”.

When we make the choice to talk about a person, place or business via social media or in an online forum. website, blog, etc. are we asking ourselves what our motive is first?

Is it to speak the truth as we see it? Is it because we have a point to prove and we want to do our best to get our point across? Is it to try to change other’s opinions and we share our truth as a guiding force for this to happen?

There are endless reasons why people share things online but before I share I try to ask myself is, am I trying to help someone or hurt them? Am I presenting my information in a way that others will receive it, or a way that is respectful to those who might read it? Am I coming from a  mean, hostile, controlling or aggressive place?

I’ve failed many MANY times, and I’m the first to admit this and I’m a work in progress as we all are. An example for me is communication online between adoptive parents and birth parents and adoptees. I feel most of the time they run over how adoptees feel with what they think they know, and it only adds pain to our issues. Of course I can’t speak for all of them, which would be wrong of me to do but the majority I have come across online and in person this is my experience. It makes me angry, so I stay away from these types of situations where I don’t necessarily have the grace I need to have a healthy dialog with them.  One day maybe this will change, but its just how it is right now.

When I see discord online, many times I see others jump on in and start in on the bashing of someone else because the bully aka the ring leader has sparked up some drama and there you go. An entire thread on the internet bashing and smashing others, while they aren’t given the time of day to defend themselves in an appropriate healthy dialog. They aren’t even asked who, what, when where and why BEFORE the perpetrator starts to lash out at the projected target. This is straight toxic foolery to be spun by GROWN  ADULTS on the internet. I see kids behave better than this. It’s terribly disturbing.

Sadly, when we see this negative type of interaction going on we sometimes turn the other way, we don’t get involved to save our selves from being drug into the “drama”. I’m so guilty of doing this because I hate drama. I feel like I’ve worked my entire life to move away, change my life, grow up, and be a better person and a productive light to society that the last thing I want to get involved with is “INTERNET DRAMA”. It doesn’t excite me at all, many times I turn the other way and keep it moving.

What has come to my attention lately, is that by me turning the other cheek and walking away I am just as guilty as the person perpetrating the mean, hostile, controlling and aggressive behavior in the online communities. I don’t feel good about just wearing blinders and pretending I don’t see certain things.

What I have done is tread very carefully where I am present in online communities and I’m extremely cautious of who I let inside my personal space because anyone in my personal space has a potential to impact my life in a positive or a negative way.

We all must be careful in this way.

When we are a witness to cyber bullying and/or harassment we have choices we can make regarding how we respond. If it was someone close to us who was being attacked online, a family member or a friend you better believe most of us would jump right in to their defense.

If it’s someone we aren’t close to or we only know through the online world we can make a choice. We could ignore it and act like we don’t see it. We can confront the perpetrator in public or private or comfort the target in public or private. We could also document the behavior and report it as cyber-bullying and/or harassment.

There are many options, but we must realize is that someone is always watching somewhere, and our actions online could very well have some consequences in real life. Screen shots are forever and a lot of time can be used in court. I’ve learned that most people who are cyber bullies and/or cyber harassers are not someone you can even have a healthy dialog with, let alone a conversation where two people can discuss their views in a healthy way. They are so consumed with control, anger and rage they want to be the only one to be heard. There is no communication because their desire is to dominate at all costs, they will always “win” because they use the loudest voice in the online communities. They scare others and use this as a way to control people.

I will say my chances to insert myself into confronting this type of individual online is extremely slim. Why? Because in my lifetime I’ve learned that talking to someone like this is like talking to a wall. There is no point. They don’t have the willingness to listen and learn from others, and they desire to dominate and control. They are always right so what would be the point in confronting them? A lot of times narcissism is a possibility for these types of individuals. It’s all about them, what they want to scream from the roof tops in online platforms, they want to be the loudest and the voice that is never shut down AKA silenced.

I can assure you, most of the time these are the very same people who are blocked and banned from multiple online communities, and by other online people who simply have no time to deal with this type of drama. It’s usually not an isolated incident, but a reoccurring one. That said, for me confronting the person is probably out of the question but if I did feel lead to confront them it would be in a private message letting them know I see them and I’m not okay with their behavior online.

To not turn a blind eye to situations online that I might witness, it’s in my nature to reach out to the target in private and offer a word of encouragement and support. I would also encourage them to ban and block this person who is perpetrating these things onto them. With this kind of personality, most of the time a response will only add fuel to the fire. More than likely the perpetrator has online drama all over the place. Trust me, some people live to complain, and some people are mad at the world no matter what you say to them. Some people are negative from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. I’ve seen it, it’s true! These kind of people will suck the life right out of you!

I’ve learned that sometimes people live in fear or intimidation of those online who are bullying or harassing others therefor they “CO-SIGN” for them instead of blocking/banning them from their online safe space and they shiver at the thought of confronting them. I’m guilty, I’ve been there before but times have changed and I’m not co-signing for inappropriate behavior online anymore.

Confronting someone online who is a bully and/or harasser is something that I wouldn’t recommend. Usually that will unleash the beast that is already showing its true colors. Co-signing for this type of person can be as simple as liking a status they post that is attacking another person, place or business or commenting on something agreeing with them. It can be agreeing with them to keep “Sharing their voice!” without taking into consideration how they are doing it. How are they treating other people online, even the ones they don’t agree with or they have different views with?

Are they attacking a person, a place or a business? Are they being angry, mean, harassing, bullying or acting aggressive?

As the saying goes, “When people show you who they really are, believe them!” – Maya Angelou

 

Remember, it’s not what you say but how you say it. We are all in control of who or what we let inside our safe spaces. If I see someone else’s safe space is being violated I have a moral obligation to do something, and in most cases for me it’s report the bullying harassing behavior and/or blocking that person as well as encouraging the target to block that person.

No one, I mean NO ONE on earth deserves to get bullied in real life or online. It shouldn’t be tolerated online just like it shouldn’t be tolerated in real life.

Again, there is a HUGE difference in trying to teach and educate others about your mission and passion in life, weather it be adoption, nutrition, marriage, or whatever and coming off in an arrogant, rude, disrespectful, in a mean way.

Anger is a natural response to so many things in life. It’s okay to be ANGRY but It’s when we use that anger for good, doing positive things in positive ways is when it’s a healthy type of anger. When we get stuck in the anger, and our anger spills out into other people’s “Safe Spaces” is when it becomes a big problem.

What I’m seeing frequently online is ANGER used in unhealthy ways and sometimes it’s being put on a pedestal for “SHARING ONES VOICE”. It’s not healthy if it’s a mean spirited, aggressive, intimidating way which is impacting others safe spaces in a negative way. This is not okay. This is another way we can co-sign for someone’s unruly behavior and it’s just as bad as if you were the perpetrator.

I can’t speak for anyone other than myself, but I am going to make a pledge to do my best to stay away from these type of online interactions and not put myself in vulnerable positions online where such chaos can and does occur. When it does happen I will reach out to the target, and block and ban the perpetrator.

I’ve noticed many times the perpetrators of this type of negative bullying is coming from someone who represents themselves using a fake name they hide behind, and they automatically think they have more power online because they can freely say what they want without anyone knowing who they truly are.

I would like to encourage anyone using fake names like this to be real, be the true you and stop hiding behind fake names just to be able to use it as a tool to cause strife and division in online communities. Stop faking who you are. If you want to be such a bad ass online, be the real you. What are you hiding from?

I used a “pen name” that I wrote under for about 3 years, but this wasn’t to stir shit online. It was because I didn’t have enough confidence in myself to be true to who I really was and share my real true feelings from my real true self. I didn’t want to hurt those close to me so I hid how I felt. I was hiding from anyone ever knowing how I truly felt. Then one day I woke up and decided I no longer needed to apologize for my feelings and I had ever right to have them. The pen name worked for awhile and as I gained my confidence and as I shared in online communities I got stronger and I was able to heal in ways I didn’t think I could. Then I got rid of the pen name.

There is a difference in using a pen name to share feelings and using a pen name or a fake name to lash out at others online to hide from the consequences of what this type of behavior sparks. The term most people would use these days is “Trolling”. I’m not going to support this type of activity in my online spaces at all.

I like to call it spreading hate and this type of interaction only sucks the life out of others, and somehow this makes the perpetrator feel strong, big and mighty.

I ask myself, is what I’m typing online something I could stay to someone’s face in real life? Or am I just talking smack behind the keyboard? Am I spreading hate? Am I putting someone down?

I feel like we should all be able to have an educated discussion without putting others down, even when our opinions differ than the other. There’s always going to be someone who supports the opposite of what you support and people with visions that counteract with your visions.

It’s part of life and how we navigate these types of situations has a critical role in our message being received by another person. How about none of us are 100% right, and other opinions are valuable. Are we leading our cause in love? Or are we leading our cause in hate? Are we lifting others up or are we tearing them down? If we are spreading hate and tearing others down we are missing the mark and missing it greatly. Every time we come across this way online , every sentence we share that is filled with hate or tearing someone down because we don’t like their idea is a chance we had to express ourselves in a way that others receive what we have to say that is lost forever. If you come off abrasive be prepared to be blocked. People are turned off by this way of communication. Not only online, but real life as well.

I believe wholeheartedly there are ways to educate about our cause in a healthy way that doesn’t come off unethical, self-serving, mean spirited and intimidating to others. We can educate by being kind and considerate while taking into consideration that each person is entitled to their own opinions. Once we can come to this place of understanding is when we will be validated, listened too and our opinions will be valued and even appreciated online and in real life.

There was a time in my life where I was angry and mad at the world. A few years ago online, I came across a fellow adoptee who was selling a service to her fellow adoptees and it appalled me because the service she was selling is something we shouldn’t have to pay for- the information we should have never been denied to begin with. I will admit, I didn’t like her because of her vision and what she was doing in the adoptee arena. I called her out on Twitter, and it created WW3 online. What I realized was, WHO THE HELL AM I TO SAY ANYTHING TO THIS WOMAN about what she is doing in her life? I had to check myself and simmer down because I am no one special and my opinion is just that, an opinion.  I was so convicted that I felt terrible and I ended up apologizing to her and telling her I was sorry for being an asshole online.

What I should have done, was sent her a private message asking her what her vision was, gotten some details to see where her mind is with what she is doing and then and only then in a private safe space express my feelings regarding this topic. I didn’t do that, but I had wished I did.

Thankfully she accepted my apology and we went on our merry way. I learned from this situation that certain times I might feel a certain way about things but it’s not my job to go roaring in like CUJO yelling it to the entire world I disagree with someone. How juvenile and pitiful was that of me anyway? I learned so much from that situation and there are several others that I have learned from along the way.

Thank God for learning experiences!

For anyone reading, I would like to challenge you to ask yourself before posting things online “Am I helping someone or am I trying to hurt them?”  or “Am I co-signing for someone else’s online bullying and harassment or am I eliminating this kind of interaction from my life?”

Sadly, the perpetrator is only alienating themselves from perfect opportunities to teach others about their cause or passion but coming off as a bully and/or a harasser and this is only going to create division, cause strife and create negative interactions online.

I’m controlling my safe space these days and these types of people must go. I refuse to deal with any nonsense in real life and the same goes for the online world. When it’s all said and done we have to realize the words we choose to use online can have consequences and they can get us in trouble.

If you can come at me privately with an attempt to discuss things in a healthy dialog and I will be happy to converse but if you come at me sideways mobbing me in a public setting be prepared for the consequences. Just because you are online behind a keyboard doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences. If you can’t respect me even if you don’t agree with me I ask you to keep it moving.

If I see bullying happening online I have a moral obligation to reach out to the target and make sure they are okay, as well as encourage them to block the perpetrator. Sometimes we aren’t strong to make these decision on our own and someone else’s opinion or suggestion is all we need to put an end to a chaotic situation online. I encourage you to do the same.

If you are reading this and if the shoe fits, I would like to extend empathy to you and your situation. I know why people come off as bullies and have mean characteristics. My hope for you is, that healing can happen in your life, so you can take your anger and use it in positive ways. One day I hope you can say without a doubt you have changed so many lives for the good by spreading good vibes while using your voice and sharing your truth because it is possible. I hope you get to that space sooner than later. You deserve to be happy and healthy and you have purpose!

We all deserve healthy interactions and healthy dialog and we can agree to disagree.

Anything less is something I refuse to be a part of in real life or online.  I’m the boss of my life and I choose who I allow in it, and who I refuse to let enter my safe space.

Thanks for reading.

XOXO

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Considering Adoption? What Adoptees Want You To Know…

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I was inspired a few weeks back to ask a question on my Facebook pages that went something like this:

“For my fellow adoptees: If you could turn back time and share something with your first/birth parents BEFORE they made the choice to surrender you for adoption, What would you say to them and why?”

The responses were overwhelming and came with many heart-aching pleas for our first/birth parents. I then asked if I could share these responses in a blog post all from adult adoptees so we could help raise awareness on how it feels to be adopted.

For the adoptees who poured their hearts out on this thread, THANK YOU! Our hope is this post will reach potential birth/first parents and adoptive parents around the world so they will make a better informed choice regarding adoption. It’s also so we know we aren’t alone.

I LOVE YOU! ❤

Here are the responses of 115 adult doptees.

  • Put every piece of information on paper. Tell me your whole life story. Everything. Tell me the name of my father. I don’t care who he is/was I just want to know. I don’t want to go into the ground without his name but it sure looks like I will. THINK. Think ahead and know this terrible time and crisis you are in will end and I will still remain somewhere in this world. Think. Will this child I birthed want to know a few little details or everything? Everything, no matter how sorted the details.
  • I was just thinking about this during last night’s anxiety attack. I’m not sure what I would say. Would I ask them not to give me up? They were 14 and my bio-mother turned out to be a horrible person. So, probably not. But I would tell them to do things differently. I would ask them to research the Primal Wound and to not disappear and hide all evidence of my existence. I would ask not to have been left at a hospital for 5 days alone with no one to bond with.
  • I promise never to cry, only use one diaper per day, and be the worlds most perfect child if you would PLEASE keep me. Also, I will miss you every single day of my life.
  • I would say: I promise to not be a burden anymore than I already am and I promise to stay out of the way and not ask for much if you would PLEASE JUST KEEP ME! My heart is broken without you!
  • Dear Birth Mother, I realize I was conceived out of a one night stand with a married man BUT you do not get to choose not to tell him and keep me a secret!!! He deserves to know about me regardless of the circumstances! Please don’t lie on the paperwork and please don’t keep me a secret because the truth always comes out in the end! Please don’t rob me of memories with my biological family because you are ashamed of your actions! Please tell the truth and please keep me!!!!
  • They didn’t make the choice. That’s the worst part. I would tell my mom that if she left me with my grandparents, no matter what they told her, it would be the last time she saw me until I was 26.
  • Dear Joy, please get yourself a backbone against your mother. You’re raising my older sister from an affair with no shame, so why not me too? Also, quit screwing married older law enforcement officers and being the best homewrecker in New Orleans.
  • You’ve got this. You can do it. Don’t turn your back on me. I am your daughter. I am your flesh and blood.
  • I know you’re scared, I am also. We got this, and we need each other. I promise it will be worth it. All we need is Us...
  • Please keep me. I’ll be perfect, I promise.
  • I am worth keeping.
  • We can do this, momma. We can stay together; unbroken, whole, as God intended.
  • I’m I worth keeping why didn’t you stay why did I have to wonder about you did you ever think about me.
  • Don’t be so pig headed about the fact that if you couldn’t keep me than my birth father couldn’t keep me either.
  • Use birth control. Is that too far back in time? My father never knew about me. My mother wouldn’t sign the papers for four months, but her parents refused to help. Not much of a choice. But if I could have anything please give me pictures. Pictures of my mother, my father, my extended family, at various ages. I looked like no one in my adoptive family. I’m 46 years old, and I still hate my face.
  • Dear Mom, Please just have an abortion. At least then I wouldn’t exist to experience a lifetime of pain from adoption. You giving me the gift of life- THIS LIFE has tormented me for 43 years now. Most days the pain is so unbearable I wished I was never born. That’s how bad adoption has hurt me!
  • I get the one child policy in China is hard, but why didn’t you just abort me?
  • Keep me or get an abortion. And, if you can’t, at least tell your parents so they can end this fantasy that you can escape your own responsibilities with some legal magic.
  • I have so much to learn from you and my father. He will travel the world with us by his side as he serves our great country. Because I am much like you in many ways, I may kick and scream, here and there, but, it will be all worth it. You’ll be rewarded in the end.
  • This is not the end of your problems, it’s the beginning of mine.
  • I’d tell my birth mom that I wish El Salvador kept better birth records so I could always remember her name, that I loved her and I understood why she was giving me up for adoption. I also ask God to watch over her & my birth family and to keep them safe.
  • I wish you would never have made me your dirty little secret.
  • The consequences of us being separated will be felt and manifested in all matter of ways lifelong.
  • To my biological dad: in the future there will be dna testing that will prove I am your son, so quit with the denial. To my natural mother: you are strong enough to keep me despite all the social pressure against you, and relinquishing me will be harder on you than you’ve been told by the adoption workers. Also in the future society won’t ostracize unwed mothers the way it did in 1961, and there will be something called open adoption.
  • Let my dad have custody! Or, at the very least, my grandparents! I have had lifelong issues, stemming from adoption.
  • I’ll search to the ends of the earth to find you
  • Why didn’t you both use birth control?
  • Please Mom, don’t make me go!
  • I would tell my mother to not do it. My life was not better and the family I was sold to was not better then my own. I lived a life of depression with so many disorders. I would especially tell her to run from social services and not listen to their lies.
  • I don’t know what i would say ..
  • My father was sent off to India for an arranged marriage just before my mother discovered her pregnancy,  she had no forwarding address so he never knew about me. If I could race back in time,  I’d Storm the Mother & Baby Home & rescue my mother and me.  Anyone foolish enough to stand in my way would be Slayed so there’s one fantasy.  This other fantasy of being able to tell her something … Well, she was distressed. I’d tell her that we WILL survive together.  Maybe we will be steeped into poverty but we’ll survive the 70’s and then economic help will arrive and poxy stigma’s will reduce. I’d describe to her what Coercion & Gas Lighting are. I’d talk about the Farce of Cultural Shame and tell her what becomes of us both post separation.
  • I will find you when you least expect it and you will deny me, your blood, not once, but twice. You will turn all my blood against me.The Lord will be your judge one day. I will live with your selfish decision, as i was given no choice.
  • Please at least leave me with some information about myself. And perhaps a message from you…
  • You are good enough.
  • Let me live with my father. You are breaking our hearts forever.
  • Please send me with a letter. It doesnt have to be long. Just something acknowledging me. And letting me know that I somehow mattered. If I didnt then say nothing. But at least give me a family tree to look at or momentos of my heritage.
  • Please don’t feel you have the right to deny me my identity.
    To further deny me any information as to who my father was.
    I am a human being, who at this stage has no voice .
    And you can keep me a secret but i wont always be a little unwanted baby… i will grow up, i will always be your child .
    Even if you dont want to keep me … be honest with me… be available to me in some capacity.
    Dont let me suffer for your ‘mistakes’
    I didnt ask to be born .
    You are responsible for me … you gave me life …
  • I would like a letter with a brief history of bio family/heritage, medical. Can be non-identifying, but just something to bridge the transition from bio life to adoptive life. Maybe a few pictures of bio sibs/parents as kids, etc.
  • Before leaving me at an orphanage why not leave some type of history report of medical issues to worry about in the future. A family history would be helpful right now.
  • I would ask them why they are bringing a child into the world that they are not going to parent. I would also tell them the decision they are making has life long ramifications for the child and first parents. Relinquishment is trauma for both child and parent.
  • Dear mom, do it… just Run off with Joe. He wanted to marry you and raise me. He tried 3 times to get me. You were not in a formal/ legal foster care. They could not have done a damn thing to you!
  • What would I say: Dear Mammy, I am overjoyed to meet you after knowing you on the inside for all those months. We are one now. I love you so much. I need your loving presence to assure me I am safe. I need your soft voice cooing to me and your arms holding me close and secure. I need your milk made specially for me for sustenance and to build my immune system. If I am sick, your milk will change to help me heal. No other milk can do this for me. I have heard your heartbeat. I know your voice. I have heard the music you listen to. I have heard you talking and I have heard you cry. I have felt your pain and your anxiety for the future. We are bonded. I am part of you and you are part of me. I have your traits and I have inherited your intelligence and wisdom. You will recognise these in me and when I am older, I will know how strongly I am a part of you because of my inherited traits. YOU are all I need. Please don’t cast me aside for strangers to take. Please don’t leave me. I can’t live without you. WHY: Alone, I will only exist – (even in a new family- I will always be alone) – Without you and my true family I will float around rootless and haunted for the rest of my life. I will not learn the tools to live and to cope emotionally, mentally and physically. I will develop crippling developmental issues from the severing of our bond. I will spend my whole life searching for you and searching for people who look like me.I will spend my life feeling like I don’t belong anywhere or to anyone. I will become a great actress on the outside while dying on the inside. I will lie to myself and lie to my ‘new family’ all because of the huge fear of rejection I carry inside me. I will be misunderstood by others who feel I should be grateful to be given a home, any home. I will be told by others about all the “happy adoptees” (adoptees who have not yet faced the truth of what has happened to them as its just too painful and they might disentegrate if they looked) I will apologise continuously just for being alive because I feel so low and so worthless. I will have no self worth or self respect and this will bring its own hell… I will be abused in every way possible. I will develop illnesses caused by anxiety and stress due to the pain of loss of you and my family, the constant yearning for you and of having to act a part for the new family and society, who believe adoption is good and sweet and fluffy- while squashing down my true self. I will loose my true self. I will just act a part. I am not real. I will spend years and years dealing with bureaucracy and lies and walls built to keep me away from you or to keep you away from me. Losing you will condemn me to a life of unimaginable pain on every level.
  • Maybe you could stop the drugs and leave the abusive man instead of giving up your only daughter. Straighten up and raise your kids. If not, then could you my give three brothers the same opportunity?Because the amazing people that raised me loved them and would have taken them too.
  • Dear Mom: you don’t need to stay with your abusive husband who forced you into swapping with his cousin. You can leave him and raise all your kids together. You don’t have to give me away. All you have to do is leave.
  • To my mother, you had no options and was forced so your pain mirrors mine.
    To my father, learn some empathy and get some help before you hurt your future children the way you hurt me.
    You will spend the next 40 years regretting this choice. It will not only affect you and I but my siblings too. The first time was not your choice, the second was. (I was kidnapped at age 1 but she could’ve had me back at 5)
  • Dear Mother,
    If you wouldn’t hand off one of my kept siblings to a stranger then certainly don’t give me away. Please stay away from agencies. Please speak to mothers who have relinquished and are no longer under the spell of the love grenades agencies, APs and PAPs lobb at the adopted and expectant moms daily. Adoption is not beautiful, a selfless act or brave, or some great sacrifice, more like an act of desperation. Please also speak to adoptees who have lived it. Not adoptees you already know, as in real life most of us aim to please and are programmed to spew what you want to hear.
    You need to know there is some shame in knowing that you were in fact bought for a sum by others. There is also the shame in knowing you were a problem to get rid of but then again the answer to some strangers parenting dream.
    You need to know it is painful to be given while others were kept. Growing up you nor my apars never guessed I ever even thought about adoption or being adopted. I smiled, laughed ,played. But I did think about it a LOT. But who can you tell? You can’t tell your Apar for fear of hurting them. You can’t tell your true family for hurting them. So I just carried it and went along with the sick family role play that is adoption. Feelings of hurt, guilt, shame, abandonment, rejection, bitter, worthless, frustration, jealousy, confusion and knowing you had to love me less or you would have parented myself like the others. Being relinquished has also affected my well being, self confidence and self value. As I had children of my own it really begin to sink in as to what being given up really meant about me and too me. I’ve come to accept it for what it is, and know that my siblings have every right to the life they’ve lived with OUR family I just wish that you would have given me that same chance.
    Adoption will be a hard lesson for my kept siblings also older and younger. They will learn the tragic but sometimes necessary truth that sometimes OUR mothers/fathers CAN and DO give us away to strangers. My oldest sister says she was scared and very confused by comments from others saying I was given up out of love, for a better life. So while the kept wondered why they didn’t deserve better, I always wondered why I didn’t measure up to my OWN mothers struggle. They thought I was loved more, I of course knew it was less.
    You were already a Mother why couldn’t you just concentrate on creating a stable home for us all instead of so much time on how to relinquish just myself
    I may have had no choice but to learn to live without OUR Mother but at birth YOU were my universe.
  • Dear Janette,
    Don’t have me. You don’t want kids. You never did. You did cocaine, and drank while pregnant with me.
    Have an abortion and then have your tubes tied. I didn’t deserve this a life like this, so angry and confused.
    I also didn’t deserve to be mislabeled ethnicity wise my entire life because you didn’t ask him what he was and just assumed tan= Mexican.
  • Thank you for giving me life I realize you have your hands full with five other children and putting me up for adoption was hard but my life will be better off just some how stay in touch so I have a past and much needed medical history.
  • To my birth mother you had no choice your mother forced you so don’t worry go on to have a good life I will find you! To my father don’t forget about me.
  • Dear Mom:
    I hope you will never forget about me. I hope you find happiness and peace. I’m sorry for whatever pain my existence has caused or will cause you. I will think of you often and wonder why? Why wasn’t I good enough to keep? I’ll wonder about you every year on my birthday and Christmas and many days in between. I’ll wonder who I look like? Who I act like? Whose fingernail beds do I have? I’ll be ok though. I will love and be loved. I’ll be strong. But, sometimes, I won’t be ok or strong because my soul will love you and miss you forever.
  • Would love to have had a letter just so I knew you really did care. Giving me up for adoption was hard in you but been bloody hard on me. One of the worst things is when you are at the Doctors and they ask if there is a family history of something, I always say the same thing “sorry I’m adopted I don’t know sorry” so being practical medical history for birth family would be great also.
  • Dear Mom… thank you for giving me the chance to have the best family. They gave me a life that I’ve loved! Wondering about you gave me a great imagination and a love to create art. Now that I know you I just wish you knew who my dad was… being “legitimate to no man” is really fucking with my soul but I found you and I’ll find him too.
  • Please give me medical history of family, name my birth father so I can get his family medical history, info on my previous siblings, I would like to know how our family came to America from where, pictures. I understand why you put me and my 6 siblings up for adoption at birth by different fathers.
  • Be ready to be found and hopefully be able to give and receive love. Please Leave a photo and a handwritten letter. Have honest names…. and story… health info…. and keep it updated.  Dont live a lie and keep me a secret.
  • It will take nearly 51 years, but I will find you and my siblings. I will do the family genealogy…..Choctaw, Cherokee Irish and Scot. I won’t have to be afraid because of my Native blood. You had to hide it, but I won’t. I understand that the county will force you to give me up. I know you will keep track of me and how I am doing. I understand why you will lie about who my father is. I will know who my bio father is and I will age to look just like him! I will know you loved him immensely. I will also know how you treated my siblings and that I am the lucky one who gets away.
  • If one day I find the courage to contact you to try to fill in those missing pieces. Please don’t give me hope only then to abandon me again. It hurts even more second time around.
  • Don’t leave me with my grandparents. I know you want to come back for me but they won’t let you. They don’t want you to have me. My grandma will send me to live with an aunt & uncle in another country, who I’ve never met, who shouldn’t be trusted with kids, and the aunt will make sure you don’t see me again until I’m 26. You’ll ask her to give me back to you and she won’t. She’ll adopt me and change my name and lie to me, and I’ll hate her for it. Please take me with you.
  • I wish you hadn’t told everyone I died. Your lie threw my Dad into a tailspin that ultimately ended with his death. There were plenty of people in the family who would have raised me but your selfish lie robbed them of that chance.  There is no excuse for your behavior then or now. Truth always wins even if it is 50 years after the fact!
  • Dear mom, What does YOUR heart tell you to do? You don’t know me or whom I will become. I know you’re not making this decision based on that. What is truly best for us (you and me) and our future? And if you choose adoption, please revisit looking for me. I’m not mad. I trust you made/are making the best decision you could in the moment based on what you know right now as you decide (as a 40yo woman). I’ll be sad and confused for years, and that’s to be expected. Even with loving adoptive parents, I’ll miss you. Again…that’s to be expected. (Thank you for the four page letter by the way. I cherish every word.) I wish I could know you.
  • I know you are being pressured to give me away, and that you don’t have the income to raise a child. But you have such a large family. Surely some of them would change their minds and support your decision to keep your baby if you just stood your ground a little longer. And if you cannot, then at least write now and then, and update family health history so these things will be waiting for me when I become an adult and contact CC.
  • Dear Mom,
    Don’t listen to what anyone is saying around you, listen to your heart. You have the strength to keep me, with so many older siblings everyone can help out to keep me in this family. Because the consequence of not keeping me in this family will destroy me and I don’t believe I will ever fully recover from the pain that adoption has caused.
  • Remember I will grow up and develop the skills to track you down. Try to build up the nerve between my birth and then to respond to my letters and pgone calls. Don’t have others do your dirty work. If I could see my birth mother again I would tell her I understand why she couldn’t take care of me and that I love her. I only wish the State had not taken my mother from me because I have lived a lifetime of grief not being able to see my mother again. What’s sad is that I became and adult and couldn’t find my mother. Then while in college, I learned she died. I was completely crushed. I just received her death certificate last year. If I could do it all over again. I would give anything to see my mom again.
  • Please don’t separate me from my brothers and sisters. It is wrong. Let me grow up with my siblings. Don’t put me with those horrible people who beat me and called me names and made my life hell.
  • Dear Birth Mother, thank you for having me. I know that you are making a really tough decision right now and that you will live with it for the rest of your life. However as your child I want you to know that eventually I will come to understand that you giving me up with be the most selfless act of unconditional love. It will take me a good many years, trials and tribulations to understand it but when I do I will thank you. Good luck in your decision. It will be the right one.
  • You are allowing one of the most drastic mindfucks in the galaxy to happen to me. Now go and at least make something of yourself.
  • Todays my birthday… I just wanna tell them.. I always hated the feeling of rejection.. the feeling that I was not worthy of anything.. Still having that missing part in my life.. I was lucky un so many ways when you gave up on me.. but somehow.. Im thankful.. I was able to let go.. I was able to forgive you.. and Im starting to love myself.. Im trying hard.. and Im hoping that when the day comes that we will meet again.. I can tell you.. I made it.. My adoptive mother died when I was a teen.. and she made me realize life is short.. we need to keep going.. So Im trying.. for me and my family..
  • Dear Patty, Do your best to respect yourself and foster empathy toward all people, especially yourself. Please try to not become ashamed and bitter. Please notice that all people have a story and in that, we are all one. Forgive yourself and everything else will fall in line with more peace and joy.
  • Please send me away with a letter from you and expect me to come looking for you regardless of whether you want me too.
  • Please don’t worry and fill up your womb with fear and pain- that effected me very much! Do what is best with good intentions and prayer- and work through your grief and shame too that would be best for Everyone!
  • For my mom: Mom, react. I need you. Take strength from where you do not have it, and get me out. Do not let our family get lost. I love you mama.
  • I understand you wanted me to have a better life, but being adopted left me with an empty space…each year that passes and your still not looking for me…it bothers me more than you know.
  • Adoption fragmented us both, even if you don’t acknowledge this. being born into loss trauma is something I have never been able to recover from.
  • Mom, thanks for having the courage to see it through, it was 1952 and I can’t imagine what shame YOU felt. and Thank God I had the parents I had, Thank you, and to my dad, Hey I just met marc ( my sibling) and antionette, they’re awesome. I was surrendered on october 20, 1952. To My real mom and dad that raised me, Thank You! – Angie and Pasquale.
  • Keep me … you do have a choice… choose me to save you a lifetime of guilt and heal the mother wound in our family for generations to come after us.
  • Mom, hold me, never leave me. If you do, my life will be racked with pain, doubt, fear. I will not let anyone close to me ever again, because the first real bond I ever had was destroyed. If you leave me I will live a life of never accepting that I have done anything good enough. I will embark on a never ending quest of trying to feel love, and I will fail. Love isn’t real to me. I will never know who I am, everything will be a hall of mirrors. I will feel inexplicable pain and never be able to articulate what is ailing me. I will deny that I have any “hang ups about being adopted.” Until I finally face the truth that you are all I have ever wanted.
  • I want to know WHY you are even considering adoption? You made the choice to either have an affair or sleep with someone else while apart from your husband, but you knew the risks. You gave me a name yet chose to discard me anyway. Personally I feel that you were selfish!
  • I would say that being adopted has irreparable damaged me as a person and every facet of my life. I would tell her to have an abortion if she is going to choose such a selfish path as to deny my father and great grandmother raising me because she doesn’t want to impede her own life.
  • It’s probably for the best that you give me away, after all I am sickly and our family is a total disaster. Even though It will be 11 months before I find a permanent home it will be a good one so you wont have to worry I will be taken care of. I ask only two things from you: Please let my father know that I exist and when my sister is born please protect her from the monsters in our family that will abuse her and make her life a living hell. You gave me a chance at life please allow my sister to have one that is free from pain and suffering as you and the rest of the family protect those who hurt the innocent.
  • Think about the consequences of your actions. They will not only affect you for life….but also your child & your entire family network. No one will be the same again.
  • Please don’t have children. Some women shouldn’t be around children ever. Have an abortion and then don’t get pregnant ever again. You don’t deserve to be a “mother”. In fact, you are NOT. You’re not my mother, you never will. I have your blood in my veins which I hate but you’re nothing to me, giving birth to me doesn’t make you my mother, taking care of me and loving me would have made you a mother, but all you are is a selfish narcissistic woman. Always playing the victim. How much you suffer, sure. Poor you. It’s always about you. I never mattered. So don’t have me. And if you do have me, please don’t keep me for a second, don’t wait, don’t ruin my first couple of years, give me up at birth so I won’t have to spend a day being hurt by you! Just because you had me you don’t have a right over me, you can’t do this to an innocent child. Go away, have a surgery and don’t ruin innocent lives. Nobody deserves a “mother” like you.
  • Couldn’t you have left me a note saying things like medical records nationality why you gave me up. I want closure.
  • What were you feeling during your pregnancy, did you lay in bed at night and wonder about what my life would be like and how you would have to let go?
  • Put the bottle down and look after me I love you so much let me have time with my big sister and mam.
  • Have an abortion. Life is difficult and full of challenges in the best of circumstances without adding the intense pain of loss, lies, and lack of personal history/identity that a adoptees experience. Please don’t set me up for a lifetime of pain and suffering. If you’re concerned by the “sin” of abortion rest assured that abandoning a child is a thousand times worse.
  • Dear Mom, Please keep me. Please don’t make me grow up with strangers who never let me forget that I was not “blood” like their three sons. Please don’t leave me with these people who won’t protect me from their youngest son (14 yrs older than me). Please don’t make me spend my entire life wondering why I wasn’t good enough so I could never live up to my true potential. Please protect me from the humiliation of not being able to make a true family tree in school and having to answer “I don’t know” to basic family history medical questions. Please don’t crush my soul, my hopes, my dreams before I even have a chance. Please know that I need YOU from the day I was born until the day I die. Please spare me the pain, at 45, of learning that I have a full, younger brother who is “the light of your life”. I would’ve loved a baby brother. Please keep me so that I do not spend my life missing you, needing you and waiting for you to come and get me. Please save me from the heartache of finally finding you then having you abandon me again. Please don’t force me to spend my life, 50 yrs now, wondering what it feels like to be accepted and loved. Dear Mom, Please keep me. Love, your daughter.
  • I would thank them for allowing me to have the greatest life imaginable!
  • I get the one child policy in China is hard, but why didn’t you just abort me?
  • Consider asking your Aunties for support. They never knew. They would have helped.
  • I’ll be ok, don’t forget about me.
  • Please have an abortion , it’s more humane then adoption.
  • Please keep me. Please. I will be worth it. I love you. I need only you as my mother. Please don’t leave me.
  • You should simply have killed your evil brother.
  • I understand. Thank you for making that hard choice.
  • To the biomother: I know you’re going so just go. Keep your fucking mouth shut, leave me with pop, and go. Do not suggest he put me up for adoption on your way out the door, just let it hit you where nature split you. To Pop: call your father. Pick up the phone, swallow it and ask. He’ll say yes. No one wants you to give me away, including me.
  • I wouldn’t say anything. Shouldn’t have to…
  • My mum didn’t really have a ‘choice’.
  • Write a birthday card for me every year and give it to me when we reunite. I want to know I mattered.
  • We may have it rough, and times may be tough, But we can work it out together!!
  • She’ll beat me, I won’t be better off.
  • I would ask my biomother if I could come and live with my grandfather and mother after being abused by adopters.
  • No matter how much money my adoptive parents have, no matter what story you were sold, I will never bond with them and there is no one or no thing in this world that will ever be able to replace you. NOTHING. Please don’t make me go. We can do this together. I love you and always will. My life will never be complete until I find you.
  • I would ask my birth parents if they had any regrets.
  • I didn’t choose this life, it chose me.
  • Yup, will bring up lots of questions.
  • Have an open adoption plan.
  • Probably something along the lines of why? I’d want to know the history…
  • You should tell my father about me. No, not YOUR husband, MY father.
  • Please put my birth father’s name on my OBC!
  • Run away. Get married. Save me x
  • Stay in touch.
  • Don’t do it, Mommy!
  • Why?? Am I not right ?
  • Don’t leave me.

If you’re an adoptee and you would like to add to this list please comment on this post. Can you relate to how any of these adoptees feel?

If you’re a non-adoptee and/or someome impacted by adoption in any way, how do you feel reading these responses? 

Pamela A. Karanova ❤

Together we’re sharing the TRUTH about adoption one click at a time.

Don’t forget this article along with all my other articles are available in audio for your convenience, just look up Pamela A. Karanova Podcast on Google PodcastsiTunes , Spotify. and Amazon Music. Interested in treating me with a coffee, to add fuel to my fire? Click here. Many thanks in advance to my supporters!

People Leave. They Walk Away. Pictures Stay.

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A photo is more than just a photo to me.

It’s proof…

Captured proof that something actually existed in my life.

Something happened.

It’s a reflection of a time and a moment in my life. It’s remembrance of a moment that no one can take from me.

For adoptees, there are so many memories that aren’t memories at all.

They simply don’t exist.

LOST IN ADOPTION…

Not just one family but two families.

When your birth parents abandon and reject you it’s hard to believe people wills stay. Most of the time I’ve found they don’t so capturing the moments is essential to me.

Abandonment.

Rejection.

Grief.

Loss.

Birthdays, Holidays, Births, School Days, Growing Up, Faces, & Smiles.

Moments in pictures last a lifetime.

Pictures are free.

I have plastic bins filled with photos from my life. I take pictures of as much as possible, as many people as possible and of as many things as possible.

My experience with losing so much has given me a unique perspective of the value of a memory because so many special and symbolic memories for me in my life simply don’t exist. As for most adoptees.

I always tell people the things I need in life are free.

Time & Memories.

I can never duplicate any memory exactly like it was the original time the memory took place. This is where a PICTURE comes in. It’s the closest thing I will ever have of the proof I can pull out at anytime and reminisce on old times I hold close to my heart.

So much LOST in ADOPTION…

Never to return.

I don’t want to lose any more.

People leave.

They walk away.

Pictures Stay.

This is very important to me.

Pictures are very important to me.

They are ties to my heart.

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Can any of my fellow adoptees relate to being obsessed with taking photos? Have you ever contributed it in with being adopted?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Pamela Karanova

 

 

My Adoptee Community

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 BIO: Pamela resides in Lexington, KY although she was adopted in Waterloo, IA. She has a passion for connecting with adoptees all over the world, sharing her story so they know they aren’t alone and giving a message of hope. She’s a mother of 3 awesome kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats. She’s a private caregiver and loves working with elderly. She loves nature, writing, the sky and Jesus!

 

 

I remember back in 2011 I was in a desperate place and I had nowhere to turn. My life had seemed to reach an all-time low. For me it’s always been more of an internal struggle with being adopted, one that rarely ever seems to leave my mind. I would describe it like a mental and emotional torment, but it’s an invisible wound and others have no idea it’s there.

Being adopted can bring a spirit of aloneness and unwantedness with it. Most non-adoptees don’t understand and I’ve found some adoptees aren’t even aware of why they always feel unwanted and alone. This journey is a lonely one and for many of us we feel like we were born a burden and living a normal day to day life can be challenging, at best.

I remember in 2010 making the connection with my first adoptee online and the awakening process that followed. For the first time in my life, someone understood me. Someone else was speaking and sharing feelings I had tucked away inside in a deep dark space, never to be revealed to the world around me. Someone else was speaking my language. Although I could feel a deep sense of connection to this adoptee, it was next to impossible for me to verbalize my feelings. Writing seemed much easier for me. No one interrupted me and no one tried to silence me. I’ve found writing about my pain and experiences has been one of the biggest healing tools to date.

In 2010 fear was at the forefront and it navigated all areas of my life. My fear of what others would think who were close to me and hurting them overpowered all areas of my life regarding sharing my feelings on how it felt to be adopted. I was in fear of being labeled “Angry” or “Ungrateful” or better yet, “She just had a bad adoption experience”. You see, adoptees tend to always put others first. Many of us are taught from a very early age that our biggest loss and heartache is our adoptive parents dream come true. We learn early on our adoptive parent’s feelings come before our own, and we learn to be silent about something that matters deeply to many of us, our feelings being adopted.

As I began to explore social media more and more adoptees surfaced out of the woodworks. Connections were being made online. I began to build relationships with adoptees all over the world. I decided to share my real true feelings, but I felt I had to hide behind an alias. That worked for me for 5 years but I learned I wasn’t being true to myself or my fellow adoptees by hiding my real identity. By connecting with my fellow adoptees, I came to a place of empowerment and acceptance that I no longer needed to hide who I really was. I didn’t need to apologize for how I felt. I mattered and my feelings mattered. I didn’t need to continue to put everyone else’s feelings before my own.

In 2015 I came out of the “Anonymous Adoptee Closet”. It was a liberating yet terrifying moment for me. All I knew was that I needed to be true to me, no matter who could see. I had to share my truth but I knew there would be a price to pay. I was willing to pay the price not only for me but my fellow adoptees.

I struggled to navigate this online adoptee personality with my real-life personality. I desired to connect the two but the division between be writing about pain in adoption and the world celebrating adoption was clear. Most people in my real life want no part of it and they certainly wouldn’t celebrate my important moments with me. I found most people who were not adopted not only didn’t understand my cause, but they really wanted nothing to do with it.

I have a deep compassion for others and have the willingness to want to try to learn other’s perspectives and views.  That said; I’ve concluded not all people are like me. A few friends & family members close to me have listened to me, cried with me, and have done their best to try to understand. I’m appreciative of them. They know who they are. My children have had their share of listening to me express my feelings, cry my tears and celebrated milestones with me when they arise. I’m thankful for them. I know they can’t truly understand because they aren’t adopted. I do appreciate them trying. On the other hand, I have had many people try to silence my work, silence my passion and silence my cause simply because they don’t agree with it. Even some family members. Some days I could just cry at the lack of empathy people have in this world today. Again, I had to realize not everyone has compassion and kindness in them nor do they have the willingness to want to learn other experiences, no matter if they agree with them or not. The sooner I came to a place of acceptance of this the easier things became.

I’ve recently come to the acceptance that being adopted is always going to be a lonely journey in real life but I’m so thankful for my adoptee community online. There have been times where I disappear for 6 months at a time and they totally understand why I had to leave, and they are there waiting for me when I return. We all have this understanding for one another. I have received countless amounts of positive encouraging messages from followers of my blog and they all let me know they can relate and they no longer feel alone. I finally feel like my pain isn’t going in vein but being adopted is still a lonely journey.

I’ve found a safe space within myself that allows me to share my heart so that others may receive it. Each blog post I share I take the chance of offending someone, or someone rejecting me and this is a real fear many adoptees face daily. I’m willing to take that chance, not only for me but for my fellow adoptees. Especially the adoptees that feel alone and are hurting. My hope is that my sharing my journey can be healing words for others to read. This is healing to me as well.

No matter what we do in life we must be true to ourselves and not apologize for how we feel. Sadly, for many adoptees our feelings of aloneness follow us where ever we go. Many of us will always have those missing pieces, that empty void, that broken heart from losing so much in adoption. I’ve found the sooner I come to a place of acceptance of this life, this pain, this loss the sooner I begin to be able to grasp my reality and the truth of it and move forward with healing.

For many adoptees, they don’t have their truth and without their truth they can’t heal. Keep in mind there is no healing from secrecy, lies and half-truths.

John 8:32

As I grew in my ability to share my real raw feelings regarding being adopted my circle of fellow adoptees grew, and grew and grew. I realized that they were such an important part of my life and my walk that I honestly don’t know what I would do without them. There were times in my life where I was having thoughts of suicide, and they swooped in and became a place of rescue for me. I LOVE YOU ALL! All because they listened, understood and acknowledged my feelings. I understand that to truly understand how it feels to be adopted one must be adopted, but I also understand that adoptees need non-adoptees to have the willingness to listen to us, to want to try to understand and learn from us. WE REALLY NEED THIS FROM NON-ADOPTEES, more listening to learn and less listening to comment.

In April of 2017 I decided to make a trip to Indiana to the Indiana Adoptee Network Conference. This was my first ever adoptee conference and I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I knew was this was my first-time meeting so many far away friends and faces in real life I was ecstatic to have this opportunity.

Between the emotions that came with all the workshops, the time spent talking to each adoptee and the memories that were made this was honestly a chance of a lifetime. It was like a family reunion that I’m never going to get otherwise. To be able to sit and talk, see faces, hug, listen to each other’s journeys and have that connectedness that I’ve never felt elsewhere was awe-inspiring. To be quite honest, I was rather taken back by it all. Not in a bad way, in a healing tears kind of way. I wouldn’t change this experience and being able to connect with my fellow adoptee community in real life for anything.

If you are an adoptee reading this I would love to encourage you to reach out to me and other adoptees online and begin to build your adoptee support community. This is a critical step in your healing journey is to understand you aren’t alone and to make those connections with other’s who understand you. My adoptee community has been my saving grace in good times and bad. We all deserve healing and freedom and sharing our truths no matter how positive or negative it is, is essential to our healing process.

I’ve had to weed out the relationships in my life that are only seasonal and get alone with God and discover who I really am. Adoption is a piece of my pie, but it isn’t all of it. I’ve gotten peace in being alone and I’m working on accepting it as a blessing. Only after I have peace being alone will I have peace being with others.

I would love to extend a special invitation to all reading to consider attending the 2018 Indiana Adoptee Network Conference. The more of us that get together the more community is built. Please visit their website at http://indianaadopteenetwork.org/ to keep up with the planning of this event. My dream is that I get to see you all there IN REAL LIFE! Always remember there’s an army of adoptees out here to support you, encourage you and LIFT YOU UP! You are not alone.

Thanks for reading.

Many blessings and love,

Pamela A. Karanova

www.adopteeinrecovery.com

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