Mother May I…

Mother May I
 
Mother, I’ve been tied to this pain for so long and each day I awake I desire for it to be gone.
It’s like a dark cloud hanging over my head.
It starts each morning as soon as I rise out of bed.
You never leave my mind.
How can I let it go?
 It’s all I have of you, you know?
It’s deep in my soul and always appears when I’m low, usually nobody knows.
When there is nothing to hang on to, no memories and no history, all I have is the pain.
Is that why I’m hanging on to this pain so long?
In your memory, it’s clenched tight.
 I know deep down its blocking some of God’s light.
It’s been 40 years now.
It feels like a bag of bones and it’s heavy to carry.
But if I let it go, what will I have?
There are no memories to remember, no future, and no forever.
I thought of saving a piece, folding it up and putting it away.
Then I can take it out on a rainy day.
Because then you will know I never forgot you. I never want you to think I forgot about you.
But God said, “NO, you are my child, and I want your heart to be healed. You’ve had enough rainy days”
Mother, I’m tired of carrying this pain.
 I know I have to let go, but there are a few things I need you to know.
Just because I let go of the pain, doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten you.
It doesn’t mean I don’t hold you close to my heart.
It doesn’t mean I’m trading you for anything.
It doesn’t mean I don’t think of you, because I do.
It just means that I’ve made the choice to move forward with my life, and let go of the pain.
I need this for myself, my kids and for my future.
I will ALWAYS hold you close to my heart, because you are the woman I dreamed of knowing from the very start.
So let me ask
 Mother May I?
 Let go of the pain?
Because holding it so tight, I know I have nothing to gain.
Mother May I let go of the pain?
Mother:  “YES YOU MAY” 
Healing by discovering my truth & sharing it with the world one blog post at a time…
Pamela Karanova
Lexington, KY
Reunited Adult Adoptee
 

Birth Father Blues

I was supposed to forget he existed but I have a biological father. His name is Jimmie Jones from Leon, Iowa. I’ve gotten to meet him 2x which is more than most adoptees will ever get.  Although I’m extremely happy I finally got to see his face I still have many emotions associated with finding him, the reunion and post reunion. I truly feel the long term effects of adoption on the adoptee are negative consequences that we have to face ALONE are all based on others decisions for our lives. This is so not fair. Yeah, I know. Life isn’t fair!

I met my biological father for the first time in 2011. He knew nothing about me.  I drove to his door step and introduced myself. I visited him about an hour, took his picture and off I went. FINALLY I got to see who I looked like. I’m writing today because even when I met him, and even went back a second time to meet him I am not settled with this. Every day he crosses my mind in some way. I think about the fact that he wants no relationship with me. He isn’t interested in getting to know me, not even a little bit. I scramble with the thoughts of “How can someone be so cruel?” How does a biological parent just dismiss their child like that? The world may wonder why so many adoptees have backwards views of love. When your own FLESH & BLOOD just tosses you to the side like a bag of garbage it’s really hard to comprehend anyone loves you. If everyone wants to get honest, let’s face it… Your mother and father of the world should love you the MOST out of everyone. For adoptees, that love is nowhere to be found. Their actions of handing us over to strangers, is all we know.

I know, I know… God loves me, he planned me, and he has a purpose for my pain. I do not deny this. But I also believe it’s critical to my healing that I identify my root issues. This whole adoption thing has a million little jagged edges to it. It’s not just a happy beautiful baby to complete a family. I have to live daily with the long term effects of others actions over my life.
Do you know how it feels to have a biological father out there, who you have been told has less than 5 years to live? But he doesn’t want you in his life? He could care less if I lived or died. My mind is swamped daily about “What If’s”. What if I was in his life, I would go visit him every year, and get to know him better and maybe one day take care of him? Maybe he would come to KY and visit my children and I? I will never know, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about it. It truly crushes me that he would rather die without his only biological daughter in his life, just like my birth mother did. I will not be listed in his obituary either. I’m non-existent in their lives. This makes me feel invisible, like I shouldn’t even be here. No one understands how this feels unless you are an adoptee, and you have had to live through it. I know it’s coming.
Going to my birth mothers funeral and not being listed in her obituary was probably the most difficult thing I have ever gone through. And the fact that I know I will eventually have to go through it again with my birth father is just sickening to me. I wonder if my adopters thought about all these things when they adopted me? Did they even care? Or were they just out to get “THEIR BABY”. None of them has acknowledged my pain and I am resentful about that.  It always has been and always will be about them and them taking me in when my own biological family didn’t want me.
My birth father has been on my mind a lot lately, so this is why I’m writing about it. My biological grandmother who I will never get to meet is also on my mind. Acceptance in this journey is a hard pill to swallow. I have accepted things, but I am still healing. I believe it will take a lifetime.
Thanks for reading!

2 Years After The Healing Begins…

I wanted to write a little bit on the last 2 years of my life and all the healing that has taken place.
When I started my recovery journey 2 years ago, I couldn’t even let anything about my birth mother come out of my mouth without sobbing like a new born baby. I was angry and I was hurt when it came to her. I was expected to keep quiet my whole life so when I finally was sitting around a group of women in my Step Study for Celebrate Recovery, and everyone was going around sharing about their life and all of a sudden it was my turn it was very emotional for me. I remember everyone looking at me, and I shared with them that I wrote a letter to my birth mother as a healing exercise and in that letter I expressed all the hurt and pain I have experienced from her making the decision to give me up for adoption, to strangers, and to a woman that couldn’t raise me. I was angry with her, and the letter shares all of my anger. All of these years my anger was flaring in every way imaginable, and I was happy to finally be able to have the tools to get to the root issue, dig up the root and lay it down at the cross.
This doesn’t mean I don’t hurt, because every day I struggle. It just means that God has given me the gift of forgiveness and because of this gift, I’m able to begin to heal and move forward with my life. Acceptance has been a key for me but the question is, what am I accepting? You can’t accept anything if the truth is being kept from you. My entire life, I was lied too, the truth was covered to protect me, but in the long run it has caused me more harm than good. This is not fair for adoptees and I will never stop speaking about something that has hurt me the most in life.
I prayed for grace, and God has given me grace. I was someone who was mad at the world, and when you are told your entire life that the feelings you have about your first family, no matter what kind of people they were should be that of non-existence but you want so badly to know who they are and where you come from it definitely plays some tricks on you. How can I learn to share feelings in life, but never speak of those who are a part of me, my own flesh and blood, and my biological roots.  I will never be FOR adoption because it has taken so much for me and caused me so much pain and at the same time I see the need in certain situations that adoption is necessary. I believe adoption needs massive reform and every adoptee on this earth deserves to know where they come from. I believe the lies, secrets, and all the hurt that comes from adoption are based on man’s decisions and people on this earth and an industry that is very corrupt has caused unthinkable pain for adoptees who have their identities locked in a filing cabinet, never to be discovered. Why should we have to fight for something that is already ours?
When I was able to receive every bit of what was already mine to begin with, is when my healing began. I had to search alone, and fine all of my biological family alone. No one supported me, and no one helped me. No matter what the outcome, searching and finding everyone and seeing their faces on my own has been my ticket to healing and freedom. Instead of believe what everyone had been telling me all these years, (which was lies) I was able to be filled with peace in seeing things on my own, and being able to form my own conclusion about my biological family members.  This has been critical to my healing.
If you look at my writings 2 years ago, you will see the anger. You can read the letter to my birth mother and feel my anger. You can read her letter I wished she wrote back to me and see there was healing in writing that. Next, I will be writing a letter in response to what I wished she wrote me. I had to do the work and uncover the truth, so I could work on my deep seeded emotional issues with abandonment and rejection before I could write the next letter or move forward with my life. This healing journey is a process, and I had to accept the fact that this pain may never go away, but processing my feelings like I need to are helping me and I pray that in time things get easier, most important I need to believe with my heart that it will get easier.
I will be 40 in about 6 weeks. I wish I could figure out how to be happy on my birthday. Don’t you know if I could I would? I’m learning that now I can cry, and talk about my feelings and that’s okay.  Does anyone really want to hear it? I honestly don’t think so and that’s why I write. This is a healing place for me. I feel like if only I would have gotten that letter from my birth mother, like she promised I could take it out on my birth day and read it and maybe it would make me feel better.  But instead, I have nothing. I wish everyone close to me would write me letters for my birthday, but I wonder if they will think I’m crazy for this one simple request?  I feel like if I ask, it won’t be sincere or true so no need to bother. If I could open up a basket or a box full of letters I think I would ball like a baby. No one on earth but God understands the depths of my pain in this area. I’m so thankful I can share it with my blog readers.
Every day in every way I am reminded of the loss of my first family. I’ve accepted the loss, and I have recently accepted the pain that may never go away. I’m so thankful that my healing started before my kids moved out of my house. I don’t think I could do this alone, or without them here to take my mind off of it on occasion. Mother duties call daily, and this gets my mind away from reality.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Learning the TRUTH is the ONLY way to healing and freedom.
Now, as I go get ready for church I feel great I got all this off my chest and I’m thankful for this place that is healing for me.
Thanks for reading!

Somewhere Between Here and There, Accepting the Pain

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m at a place where I need to accept this lifetime of adoptee pain. I don’t understand how on earth society doesn’t understand there is so much more to adoption that a cute little baby to complete a family.
I’ve done everything I can think of to work on healing from the pain I experience daily. I ran for 26 years because the pain was too great. I numbed myself with drugs, alcohol, sex and things that were a threat to my life and soul. I didn’t understand the depths of my pain because I spent 37 years being told to be thankful and grateful for someone taking me in when my own mother and biological family didn’t want me.  It was beyond confusing to know this pain was coming from the same place I was expected to be grateful. And they wonder why I drank to cope. What else was I supposed to do? I saw counselors from the time I was 5 years old until I was an adult. Never once was my “Adoption” brought up or spoke about. The counselors swept these issues adoptees face under the rug, just like my adoptive family did. My feelings were never to exist, never to be spoken of. My history was gone just like that.
I was in and out of juvenile jail, in so many fights I can’t even begin to count, I was a teenager full of pain and no one would acknowledge my real root issue, where the trauma began. That was being separated from my biological mother at the beginning of life. I can’t help but wonder why the psychologists and counselors never acknowledged this to be a root issue or a trauma? Did they truly not know? Or were they fed the propaganda the rest of the world has been fed. Keep quiet, pretend and lies are okay, because were actually protecting the child? Little do they know that child will one day grow up and have questions and more questions? We will want answers and when we feel like we’ve been duped or like a rug has been pulled over our heads we will truly not feel like we are a part of any family. Some days I feel like I’m an alien and I don’t’ even belong on this planet. I can’t figure out where I fit in, perhaps it’s somewhere between here and there? I’ve accepted the fact that I don’t’ fit in anywhere and it will solve me a lot of heart ache and grief for the future to come.
As I have been on this healing journey, which started in 2011 so much has come to light for me. I knew I had a lot of feelings deep inside that needed to be acknowledged but as I began to write and uncover my feelings I was able to identify that my root issues to my low self-esteem, anger, rage, and feelings of abandonment and rejection stem back to being separated from my first family. The other side is my adoptive family pretending they didn’t exist and making me feel guilty for wanting to know them and love them, even if they didn’t want to know and love me. This has been heartbreaking! I started drinking at 12 years old and drank heavily my whole life because I didn’t want to face the pain. About a year into my healing journey I decided it was time to throw in the towel on my drinking habit and start a recovery program. The day before my “Birth”day (which feels like dooms day to me) I will celebrate 2 years of sobriety. This has been the hardest 2 years of my life. I keep waiting on something magical to happen. Okay, I got sober… NOW WHAT? I’ve been writing for 2 years, I’ve been mentoring and leading in a recovery ministry and I’ve been working really hard at identifying with my real adoptee feelings. I have stood up in front of approx. 100 people and read my testimony out loud which shares a lot of my adoptee experience which is a healing experience. I have worked on writing exercises and workbooks for adoptees. I help others search for their long lost family members because search and reunions will always have a special place in my heart.  I have been seeing a lay pastor for over a year about my life and my adoptee issues. I read adoptee books, I reach out to other adoptees online because they are the only ones that know how I feel and can relate. I wake up and pray daily and thank God for another day on earth with my kids. I pray and ask him to help me heal, to give me strength to get through another day. I ask God to help me find my purpose in this world. I go to work and take care of the elderly for a living and I absolutely love what I do. I surround myself with positive people and I’m very active in my church. I serve on the Emergency Response team and the Social Media Team. I’m in leadership in Celebrate Recovery, which is a ministry for those overcoming hurts, habits & hang-ups of any kind. I spend every moment I can with my kids.
Yet, My heart is broken, I am so sad deep down, and I just can’t seem to shake this feeling. I keep waiting and waiting, but perhaps it’s time I just accept this fate of the life I was given. Healing may be possible for certain areas for me. For instance, I have healed and forgiven my birth mother. I’m not mad at her anymore, but in order to heal from that I needed to discover the truth. I needed to know the truth about WHY she gave me up and WHY she decided not to tell my birth father about me. With my adoptive family holding these secrets from me and the rest of the world it was IMPOSSIBLE for me to heal. Now that I have fought tooth and nail and uncovering WHO I AM, I can move forward in certain areas.
I hear other adoptees say the pain never goes away, some much older than I. I am starting to believe this. I am a believer that GOD HEALS, but maybe the pain I’m experiencing is supposed to stay so I can fight and help other adoptees make it through what I have been through? So I can keep telling my story so maybe someone somewhere will realize that there I so much more to adoption than completing YOUR family. I’m almost 40 and the pain is so great now, even after I have found everyone and been in reunion some years. Now it’s heavy on my mind at what I missed with my siblings.
EVERY SINGLE HOUR OF EVER SINGLE DAY I THINK OF MY FIRST FAMILY AND HOW I WISH I WAS CLOSER TO THEM AND WHAT I MISSED.
I’m going to write a blog post about all the reminders I experience in a given day.
Accepting this pain is here to stay is something I’m working on and praying that God takes my pain and uses it for his gain. I am so sick and tired of feeling this way. I’m extremely thankful for all the adoptees at www.facebook.com/howdoesitfeeltobeadoptedI created this Facebook like page in October 2012 and it’s been the best healing tool yet. I can see that I’m not alone, and the other adoptees can see they aren’t alone. If only more adoptive parents would read and try to understand how it feels to be adopted, maybe their kids would have a better chance at healing early on in life vs. never being given that chance like so many of us. My right to heal was stolen along with my history. This has to change. We can’t accept anything if it’s being kept a secret from us.
Thanks for reading!

She Loved You So Much…

It has been more and more on my mind that my birth Fathers rights were taken from my biological father and this is the reason he knew nothing about me until I was 37 years old. This has had a major impact on my life.
  The first and last time I met my biological mother, I asked her about my birth father. Her words were “He knew nothing about you and he wouldn’t want too.” I wonder why I couldn’t just take her word for it. I always believed  my birth mother “Loved me so much” because I was told this over and over again growing up. Hearing these words contradicted her actions. She shut me out after meeting just one time and wanted nothing to do with me after. What this has lead me to believe is that she truly didn’t love me at all. I honestly feel like it always made my adoptive mother feel better saying that because she wanted to make me feel better as well as society in general. In all honesty this only made my pain worse. I will never understand how you love something and hand it over to strangers. I can’t comprehend that. I don’t believe it. When my birth mother shut me out this was heart wrenching to me because I will never understand how a mother does that to their child. My heart will always have a missing piece, and I’m finally able to emotionally deal with this as an adult because I don’t have society and my adoptive parents telling me how to feel. I’m able to express my own feelings.
Thinking about my birth father and only getting to meet him two times, so many emotions come to mind. He too has shut me out, and this has also left me heart broken. I can’t help but wonder about how things might have been different if times were different and adoption laws in earlier years acknowledged the birth father as having parental rights. Would he have wanted to keep me? Based on his current actions maybe my birth mother was right? I know he was married at the time, and he had a drunken affair with my birth mother. That was the end of the story from what I was told. She was ashamed and he knew nothing about my existence. I have had to accept this is the truth about my conception. I was not planned. I was not created out of love of two people. I was a mistake. This is the truth I know, God planned me. But I needed to truth about my birth parents so I could accept this and move forward at a chance to heal.

WHY WAS THE TRUTH KEPT FROM ME FOR SO LONG? WHY DID I HAVE TO FIGHT AND DISCOVER IT ALONE ON MY OWN? If everyone “Loved” me why didn’t they HELP ME THEN?

If my birth mother kept me chances are I would have ruined a marriage just by simply being born. I feel now after knowing the TRUTH that she made the best decision she knew how but that doesn’t mean she loves me. Her actions after I found her show me otherwise. I think this is what has had me so messed up for so long. She gave me away to strangers and shut me out after I did locate her because I was a reminder of her pain. Of her shame and guilt. Not because she loved me. Love is patient and love is kind. She showed none of that and I have come to a place of acceptance that she didn’t love me at all. She wanted to get rid of her dirty little secret she hid from everyone.

I can’t be mad at my birth father, but I am going to write him one final letter and let him know how I feel. His irresponsible actions still play a major role in my life. He needs to take accountability. I am not holding onto any hope I will even get a reply but at least I am working up enough courage to share with him how I feel.

The adoption industry led my birth mother to believe she was making a selfless decision and the best decision for her baby. In the 70’s unwed mothers were less common than they are today but they increased in years to come. The truth is her shame and guilt for her actions and the stigma of that ear was greater than her love for me. She just wanted to get rid of me. I truly believe she never wanted me to find her or return into her life. The part I was struggling with is HOW SHE LOVED ME SO MUCH but SHE SHUT ME OUT AND REJECTED ME. I kept thinking about it and everyone else around told me she loved me, but she never did. Everyone in society is speaking for her but that is more lies to add to the pile of lies in adoption. Adoptees can’t heal from living a life of lies. I have had to uncover every single detail about MY LIFE ALONE. But the best part is; now I am able to heal because the LIES are exposed and I have found out the TRUTH on my own. God heals. I know this, but you can’t heal living a lie.

Maybe adoptees who had good reunion stories have a different way to look at their experience. But for me, I don’t think anything in life can top the pain from being rejected by your biological mother and father. That’s just the after effects of the original trauma of being separated from my first family at the beginning of life. Then another aspect is being raised in an abusive home that was not a better life. With adoption no one can promise a better anything. You can’t heal unless you know the truth!

Have you been lied too about your adoption? Were your biological father’s rights considered? How has this impacted you? What ways have you been able to heal?

Actions Speak Louder Than Words…

Is it me?
Or do other adoptees experience similar emotional issues? Is there someone out there that can relate to me?
I spent my entire life dreaming and fascinating about my first family. I had no information about them and no one in my life was willing to share anything and I never knew if they knew anything at all. I never have found out the truth. From the moment I found out I was adopted and another woman “Loved me so much she gave me away” my view of “Love” and “Life” was distorted. How does someone LOVE SOMETHING and GIVE IT AWAY? I don’t think I’ve ever truly grasped what it feels s like to be loved by someone. The most recent incident with my oldest daughter has caused a whole new set of emotions that stem from my adoption experience. Maybe I can explain the best way I know how.
No matter what happened with my adoption, It has left me feeling totally alone, and unworthy of accepting love from others. Even being a Christian woman, I sometimes struggle even believing that God loves me. I have some people in my life who I am close to, and I love them and I love my kids, but when people tell me they love me I just can’t grasp it and believe it. The word LOVE in response to me is just another word. I feel like I merely exist on this earth. What’s the purpose?  After all, as far back as I can remember the ACTIONS of my birthmother that were supposed to be so loving have left me feeling like I don’t even deserve to be on this earth. Her actions of having me and giving me over to strangers are not love in my mind. Everyone always says “She loved you so much, what a selfless act”. I think that’s complete bull crap. Not one single person telling me that has had a 5 minute conversation with my birth mother. Not even a one minute conversation. So for me to believe it all these years have just added to my pain and agony and to the lies in the adoption industry. I believe people say those things to make us adoptees feel better but for me it’s made it worse.  Those WORDS and her ACTIONS contradict one another and at almost 40 years old I am finally able to express my feelings about it and uncover the TRUTH. This has had a major impact on every single area of my life, even how I raise my own kids.
The TRUTH I have uncovered has been put together by my observations and experiences over the last 20+ years of my life. I found out my birth mother had an affair with a married man, and he was a friend of the family who was 10 years older than her. When she found out she was pregnant, she hid it from everyone and was completely ashamed of her actions. I was told she was an alcoholic and drank the entire pregnancy. In 1974 abortion was legal. I believe she would have aborted me, but her experience with abortion was horrific. Her mother tried to abort her first born child every way imaginable on her own, and she failed giving birth to a very deformed older sister. This older sister (who would be my biological aunt) was in a nursing home her entire life where she later died in her late 50’s. This is why I believe my birth mother didn’t choose abortion, although I wish she would have. My pain would not even exist.  So for those who always want to say “Aren’t you thankful you weren’t aborted”, I guess you know my very sincere answer now. Thanks for your thoughtful question. Let me ask; are you thankful you weren’t adopted?
My point in bringing up the TRUTH is because it’s impossible to HEAL unless you acknowledge the TRUTH about what you are struggling with. Being in denial is not going to help anyone. It seems that this adoptee journey has many layers like an onion. They just keep being pealed and uncovered one by one. But from my experience being an adoptee the onion doesn’t’ have a center or an end. It just goes on forever and ever.  I truly don’t feel the pain is ever going to go away. My experience is that when your birth mother can discard you, anyone can. The one place I thought I was “Safe” was with my own children. I have always felt we had a very close relationship but things took a turn in that area this past weekend. I believe that our kids will always test the waters, and push parents to the limits on occasion. I have expected this from raising my kids on my own and now I have 3 teenagers, one who lives alone across the street in her own apartment and my twins that still live at home. They will be 16 soon. I have taken so much pride in being able to be sober for close to 2 years, commit myself to my recovery journey so I can be a better mom and one day a fabulous grandma. I have been hit smack dead in the face this past weekend. Maybe I am just fascinating again; we adoptees seem to get five stars in that area.
 I was put in a situation where it was tough love, but I had to tell my oldest daughter “NO” on something. She got upset with me, and deleted me and blocked me from her Facebook. There are more details to the story than that, but I don’t want to go into all the details because it would take forever. As a parent and a person who had a very rough teenage life, I expect these things. When this happened it triggered a whole new set of emotions. It made me realize that not only did my birth mother discard of me, but at any given moment my children will do the same. The feelings of sadness I have felt this week due to the cancelation of meeting my biological grandma (see previous post) and the emotions from the disagreement with my daughter have really sent me into sadness. I went to church Sunday and got up and left. It was too hard to pretend everything was just wonderful. I had to leave. Some might say “Teenagers stay mad at their parents”. I agree. They do but my kids and I have always had such a close relationship and I have always hung onto hope that it would continue that way, and one day I would have grandkids and that would be the beginning of my family tree and things would be wonderful. Another fantasy. I feel like my whole life is one big fantasy. It started the moment I found out I was adopted.
During the disagreement with my daughter she brought it to my attention she has “NO ONE” as in family to rely on in times of need. As sad as this makes me, I feel her pain because I don’t have anyone either aside from a few far away cousins, that I hold dear to my heart. My adoption has caused a major division between my kids and me & most all of my immediate family.  I had to move my kids across the country to protect them from my very emotionally twisted and mentally sick adoptive mother. This was for their benefit, but it also left them with no grandmother and this impacts them. Adoption not only impacts me, but it impacts my children and it will impact their children and their children. This decision and institution made up by people has negatively impacted my life in every way possible. I struggle with that. I have a hard time with that. This is why I drank alcohol and searched in some very dark places for love for 25 years of my life. I didn’t want to face the truth, and I had no help in discovering the truth because my adoptive parents were so brainwashed and convinced that if they didn’t talk about it, and if they just tell me I should be grateful everything would be just fine.  This is totally opposite of how I have healed and what many adoptees feel help bring them healing.  Adoption in the 1960’s and 1970’s was very different than adoption today, but then why are the laws still the same and many adoptive parents still blinded by the fact that the original trauma can’t go ignored and unrecognized? WHY? Because they don’t want to face the truth, that’s why. The hard core truth upsets their feelings of “Were doing a good deed by adopting an unwanted orphan.”  All because the bible tells them so.  Let me share something with you. Adoption is a manmade industry, and entire entity made up to make profit off vulnerable mothers and their babies, and it’s blown up to be a major industry all over the world. I can honestly say the experience I have had from my adoption has no good involved. Every single day I wake up trying to find my place in this world. Every single day I look in the mirror and I’m reminded that the 2 people who should love me the most don’t.  Yes, I’m thankful I found my birth parents and got to see them very few times. But they rejected me. What’s happy about that? What’s good about that? I will never forget this. The pain doesn’t get easier. I had to accept this because it’s the TRUTH!
How do you think it makes adoptees feel when adoption is praised all around the world? Something that caused us so much pain and inconsolable grief is constantly thrown up in our faces and brought to our attention adding salt to the open wounds. This is not okay. Those people in society that want to speak how amazing and wonderful adoption is have never walked one footstep in an adoptees shoes. We are finally starting to break out of “The Fog” and when we grow up we learn the TRUTH about adoption. As a child I was brainwashed and told I couldn’t feel bad about losing my first family and my birth mother. She loved me so much she gave me away, TO STRANGERS! To people she never laid eyes on, or met in her life. How is that love? The “Better” life I was supposed to have wasn’t better at all. It was just different.
I will be writing soon about how I feel when society and people in general speak for birth mothers, and birth parents. More of the lies that are a part of the adoption industry.  Finally at almost 40 I have come to a place of more TRUTH in my life. I will share in my next post.
So now as I have been trying to work things out with my daughter, it will always be in the back of my mind that she too will one day reject me, and leave me. It’s so crazy but I always had a feeling that was coming. Some don’t realize that when you have experienced the extent of abandonment and rejection adoptees have it changes everything! Every single biological family member I have I have pictures saved in a special file on my computer, titled “Bio Fam”. Why you may ask? Because I KNOW they will disappear one day! It’s just a matter of time. I better hurry up and save their picture before they do. It’s not that the pictures are everything but they sure are when all the memories you SHOULD have had don’t exist.  I learned this when I met my birth mother for the first time, and it was the last. I fantasized my entire life about this woman, and POOF… She’s gone just like that. With no explanation, no nothing. This experience has impacted every area of my life. Adoption has impacted every area of my life. When I realized that I was also saving my children’s pictures off the computer I learned that my wounds go even deeper than I realized. I am also fearful my own children will leave me.  This is very sad to me. I realize it but I can’t do anything about it. That fear is still there and this recent upsetting with my oldest daughter triggered emotions that I hadn’t ever faced before. My fantasizing how perfect life was because I had 3 amazing kids in my life could come to a crashing halt at any given moment. They too could get mad at me for something and abandon me and reject me. This has left me feeling like no matter what I do, the reality is the outcome could be as devastating as it has been with my biological parents. It opened the wounds I have tried to hide of the tragedies and trauma of not only being separated from my birth mother at the beginning of life, but her rejecting me when I did find her.  What do I do with that? Continue to deny the realities of what has happened? Continue to pretend my kids won’t do the same thing one day? I’m pretty sure non adopted people can’t even relate to this language. It probably sounds pretty ridiculous to them.  And that’s okay. My goal in writing my feelings is to #1) Let other adoptees know they aren’t alone. #2) For any adoptive parents who can face the fact that their adoptive children can and most WILL have emotional issues due to their adoption can come here as a place to try to understand better.
If any adoptive parents are reading this, and I’m sure many will I wouldn’t expect you all to understand how we feel but you can TRY to understand by reading what we have to say. But please be open to the realities of how adult adoptees feel and what has hurt them and what has helped them handle the pain and realities of adoption. For me, and I will say this until the day I die, THE TRUTH has helped me more than anything. Telling my birth mother “Loved me so much she gave me away” didn’t help me. Telling me I was the “Chosen” one didn’t help me. Telling me I was a “Gift from God” made me feel like someone’s property and God was in charge of all this pain. Telling me I should be thankful didn’t help me. Saying “Aren’t you thankful you weren’t aborted” definitely hasn’t helped me; all of these things have made it worse. Denying the trauma that was experienced at the beginning of life has hurt me. Pretending my first family didn’t exist hurt me. Not supporting my search and reunions hurt me. Having insecurities about my first family hurt me. Lying to me hurt me. Seeing me search and not offering the information you KNEW hurt me! I could go on and on and on.
The bottom line is that adoption lies no matter how big or how small has got to stop. Lying to the adoptee for any reason is not healthy nor is it the right thing to do. It’s very wrong and lying or as the adoption industry likes to convince people “Protecting the child” is terminology used centuries ago when adoption first became legalized. Take it from an adult adoptee that is in recovery from my adoption related issues. LYING WILL DESTROY THE ADOPTEE and it will destroy the relationships the adoptee has with the adoptive families. We already have a major issues regarding having no choice in being separated from our first families and facing the truth about the woman that should love us the most in life not wanting to parent us, for whatever reason. Cant’ you see that the REASON doesn’t even matter…. The root issue is abandonment, from her handing us over to strangers. That is where the dysfunction comes from. Being denied to grieve the root issue and having to pretend our whole lives that our biggest PAIN is in our imagination, we shouldn’t love our first mother nor should we ever think about her when this “Wonderful, amazing, family” has “Adopted” us and they have all the love in the world to give. Let me share, loving ME is also loving my HISTORY. When you try to erase my HISTORY you are erasing a part of ME. What makes you think I believe you love me when you have no problem erasing part of me? My HISTORY and I are a total package. And until adoptive parents can willingly embrace this, adoptees all over the world will continue to be hurt and devastated due to their adoption experience.

Thanks for reading!

If I Die Tomorrow, What I Want You To Know Today

Let me first say this is in NO WAY a suicide letter or anything of that nature. I promise you and give you my word. I’m a Christian and I value my life and look forward to any days I have on earth to spend with my amazing children, and one day grandchildren.
It’s REALLY been on my mind and in my heart lately so I wanted to write about it. Maybe it will give me some comfort in sharing my feelings.  I wake up daily, with the weight of the adoptee emotions at the front of my brain. It sometimes seems impossible to get through a single day. Some of those following my blog know my journey. For those who don’t, basically I ran from processing any abandonment and rejection issues from my adoptee situation and drank alcohol to cope my entire life because the pain was so deep; I didn’t know what to do with it. My adoptive parents denied that I should feel any kind of way about my first family, or have any adoption related issues. From the time I was 12 I was drinking and at 37 years old I decided I didn’t want to live that life anymore and I started a recovery ministry called Celebrate Recovery. It’s been a life changing journey for sure! I’m 39 now, and I have been living a sober lifestyle for a year and a half TODAY. This has definitely been a tough year and a half. I have made the choice to dig deep and pull out all my skeletons from my past and put them out on the table and work on them. I’ve asked God to come in and help me heal from these hurts, habits & hang ups.  I’ve came so far in this little bit of time. I no longer have the desire to drink, he’s taken it. That’s a huge victory in itself.
Image Courtesy of Master Isolated
FreeDigitalPhotos.Net
Let me just tell you a little about my life. I have 3 amazing kids. They are my world. They are the reason I wake up every day and push past the feelings of abandonment and rejection and all the emotional issues being adopted has brought me. They are the reason I’m alive today, because without them I have no reason to be here.  I truly mean that. I have a wonderful career, caring for the elderly. I make handmade soap and get great joy from coming up with new creations, and sharing them with others. I have a WONDERFUL church home, and an amazing church family. I’m very active at my church; I am there 2-3 times a week trying to fill my life with positive, happy things. I spend my days trying to give back because so much has been given to me. Having 3 healthy amazing children is HUGE in my eyes. They are all great kids too.  I live in a fairly nice home. I’ve been blessed with a new car recently, and to the outside world life would appear to be picture perfect.  I don’t have a man in my life, and quite frankly I’m not sure if I ever will again. I find it very difficult to explain my deep rooted emotional adoptee issues to people that don’t understand what we go through, and it’s just easier to keep things simple and be alone in that area. I get more frustration or grief from sharing my feelings with someone and they just look at me like I’m crazy, or assume I’m just stuck on the past and I need to just “LET IT GO”. Trust me, if it was that easy, I would have just LET IT GO a long time ago. Let me mention, that when an adoptee is sharing their feelings most of the time we just want someone to listen. You can’t fix us, only we can fix us and this traumatic situation we have been put into. SO please just listen! I stay very busy so I can keep my mind off my adoptee reality. When I sit, I think. Writing has been a way for me to process my emotions and feelings in a healthy way. I may not be the best writer in the world, but these feelings and this place is all mine and I feel I finally have a place to share with no interruptions. Do you know how many times in my life I’ve tried to speak about my adoption feelings and someone interrupts me, or they say something ridiculous like “Aren’t you glad you weren’t aborted? Or “You were a gift, God planned you before you were born” Just about every single time in my life I have had someone interrupt me, or say something very insensitive about how I feel so I learned I had to hide my feelings until recently. I’ve broke out of my hidden shell in the adoptee world. I speak out, and I’m not scared to share how I feel. Do I have to hide it from my adoptive family or my biological family? YES I DO. Although some of them try to understand, in no way do I want to hurt their feelings by speaking how I feel. It’s created an awkward situation because I feel I have to live a double life, and that everything is still so much of a secret.  But at least I’m sharing my feelings with the rest of the world, and it does bring me comfort.
Enough about me and back to the topic of me sharing my feelings for this blog post.
I am unsure if these feelings I’m having are so strong because this is the first time in my life I have soberly processed all these emotions, or if I’m stuck with feeling this way until I get out of this hell on earth we live in. I knew this would be a difficult journey when I began, the day I quit drinking, August 12, 2012. I know God is with me, I know I have friends that fellow adoptees that support me. I thought by now it would get easier. It’s been a year and a half. Why am I not feeling some sense of peace with my adoption journey? I have peace with almost everything else, but not this. I’m at a limbo with coming to the conclusion that I very well may feel this way for the rest of my life here on earth. I guess I can describe it as an aching, deep sadness that never leaves. It’s always there; it hangs over my head, every minute of every day. It’s always there. I’ve learned to put on a smile for those around me, especially my kids. I never want them to be burdened with my issues like I always was growing up. My adoptive mother made it a point to cry daily, and express her unworthiness of being a mother as well as self-medicate with prescription pain pills. This made me want to keep as much of my emotional issues from my kids, because let’s face it. Why should our kids have to deal with our emotional issues? They shouldn’t. They do listen when I speak about certain things, but sometimes I sit and wonder. “I wonder what they would say if they knew how broken my heart really was?  I wonder if they really knew that they are the only reason I’m alive today.” Of course I never say a word about those feelings. I just keep it to myself and keep moving. I never want them to think they have anything to do with it. They bring me more joy in my life than words can even express and because of them, I have a reason to let my feet hit the floor every morning.
I guess I will wrap this up by saying what I wanted to say all along. If I were to die tomorrow, I would want everyone close to me to know that I am no longer suffering. I’m no longer in pain. I no longer have this deep dark sad wound deep in my soul from being separated from my first family. I no longer have to make hard decisions in the reunion process. Recently I’m being faced with the decision of going to meet my biological grandmother for the first time that’s 94 or not going, she lives 13 hours away. You might think that’s an easy decision to make. But for me, I am grieving daily about the loss of relationships with my first family. Do you know how hard it will be to see my biological grandmother for the first time in my life and know it will more than likely be the last and only time I ever get to see her? Words can’t even describe my thoughts on that. What may seem like something amazing to some and I feel is amazing as well, but that’s not all. Knowing that I missed so much with her, and it will never be replaced, and that the one and only visit will be the last is just flat out depressing for me to think about. And I think about it daily. I grieve the losses of my first family daily. I wish, I wish, I wish runs through my mind daily. If only things were different or maybe if I was different they would have accepted me. Yes, both my biological parents rejected me and this has caused me the most amount of grief you could ever imagine. I don’t think that pain will ever go away, but I do hope and pray it will get easier. Today I want the world to know, that when my time is up on earth, and when God takes me home to be with him this pain will all be gone. I look forward to that day and I’m extremely grateful that I believe in heaven and hell because if I didn’t I wouldn’t have that place of pure peacefulness to look forward too. I long for the day that my heart is whole, and peacefulness takes over my mind. Some may say, “Well you have a choice now what you do with your current situation”. You are so right, I sure do. I’m sorry that I can’t just wake up one day and make the pain all be gone. It’s feels like a knife slicing my heart or a constant loss and grieving feeling that is always there. I pray for God to make it easier for me and other adoptees that are going through the same emotions that I might be. During the rest of my time here on earth I will continue to work on healing, and grieve in healthy ways. I will continue to speak about my feelings. I will continue to reach out to adoptees. I will continue to wear the mask that I have had to wear my whole life, ever since the moment I found out I was adopted. Why wear the mask you ask? Well, because it’s simply easier than letting everyone know my heart is literally ripped into shreds and I struggle daily with my feelings of self-worth, abandonment & rejection. If I appear to have it all together at least I don’t have people thinking I’m some ungrateful, angry adoptee.
I believe God can definitely heal our broken hearts about so many things in life. But I have come to accept the fact that my root issues of abandonment & rejection are here to stay.  This has been a big thing for me to accept. I have always used alcohol to take the pain away, but today it’s as raw as it was the first day I stopped drinking. You would think that time would heal, but the truth is when a piece of your heart is missing, or shredded sometimes it never heals. It’s leaning on God in times of despair and trusting that he has a purpose and a plan for me and my life is my main focus in my life today. I realize all adoptees are different, and we are all at different places with our journeys. Some adoptees are at total peace with their journeys, and I would give anything to feel that way about mine.
But let me just say one more time, if I were to die tomorrow please know that my life is far better than the one I have lived here on earth because my broken heart will be healed. My abandonment & rejection issues will be gone. It will be sad for my kids to loose me, but at least they will have some amazing memories with me to remind them of our time together. Adoptees get absolutely none of that when it comes to our first families. I hope that one day if they will read this and know how much I loved them, and how I thank God for them every day. I do look forward to the future with my kids, and my future grandkids but I also look forward to the day where my heart is whole. They will be the beginning of my family tree and that brings joy to my heart.  I hope this letter would bring them peace to know that I’m in a better place where no suffering occurs. Every single day is a struggle and every single day I suffer mentally with my adoptee issues. I hate the thoughts I have, and look forward to the day they are all gone, the day I go to heaven.
For any adoptees that may be reading this, can you share some of the healthy ways you cope? Or some of the things you think of or remember in your mind that get you through another day? Do you share some of the same pain I do?
Pray for me and I’m going pray for you too!

You Can’t Heal A Wound By Denying It’s There…

I want to share a little about my recovery journey. As you already know my blog and writing are all a part of healing for me. I made a vow to blog more in 2014. I really find this is a safe place, and I can get my feelings out and no one can interrupt me or tell me how to feel. Why didn’t I discover this earlier? I might not have had so many emotions and feelings built up and they came out in other ways like anger, resentments, and rage, confusion, low self-esteem, etc.
I always say I’m in recovery from LIFE. What this means is that all life’s experiences have made me into the person I am today. I will say all the way back to being in my birth mother’s womb and being given away to strangers after I was 4 days old. This is part of me, it’s my history. I want to write about it because it’s mine to write. It’s the truth. I heard an adoptive mom say recently “You should never say “Given UP”; you should say “Given a Better Life”. This frustrated me a bit, because you can’t tell people what they should or shouldn’t say. What I say is based on what I feel and what I feel is based on my experience. Who is to say I had a “BETTER LIFE” anyway? I believe that’s the stereotypical statement that most people are lead to believe. That’s what the adoption industry want’s you to believe. “ADOPTION IS BETTER”. I have news for you, many adoptive families are FULL of dysfunction and have homes that aren’t fit for anyone to live in, let alone a child that has been paid for at a very hefty price. A price that’s based on LOSS all the way across the board.  I have always felt like I was abandoned at birth, because I was. My birth mother gave birth to me, and left the hospital and left me there. I was placed 4 days later by strangers. People I didn’t know.  This is abandonment. Whatever her intentions were she still gave up every right to parent me, and gave me away. I don’t care what anyone says, this is abandonment. This is where it all started for me.
GOD MADE YOU SO YOU COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
It’s been proven that adopted kids separated from their mothers for any reason or kids separated from their birth mothers at the beginning of life endure a trauma. When a trauma occurs and it’s not grieved or tended too in the proper way, it will come at other stages of life. To ignore the trauma only adds pain to that trauma. When a child is adopted or separated from their mother the beginning of life this needs proper grieving at the right age so the adoptee or child can heal in the proper way. This might seem foreign to some people. But take it from an adoptee that turned to drugs, alcohol, sex and violence, anger and rage 27 years of my 39 years of life. I have been living in VICTORY for almost 17 months. I’ve been in recovery from abandonment & rejection issues for 17 months. I’ve been sober for 17 months and during this time, I have been able to uncover what has been covered my whole life. That’s its okay to grieve the loss of my first family. Its okay to cry about the family I never grew up with. It’s okay to grieve the fact that my birth mother didn’t want to parent me. It’s okay at 39 years old to feel abandoned and rejected by the two people who should love me the most, my birth parents. It’s okay to feel the way I do and not have anyone else tell me how I should feel.  Do I feel like an idiot sometimes grieving something some people don’t even comprehend? Sometimes, but unless you have been left at the hospital by the woman that gave you life you will never understand how we, the adoptees feel. It’s been the biggest heartache of my entire life.
What do I think can be changed for future adoptees and those who have been adopted at the present time? I think that allowing the adopted child, or child who has been separated from his or her mother to grieve and encouraging them to grieve is a great way to start. This can’t be done by living in the “Fog” about what is really going on. Adoptive parents need to come out of the fog, and accept the truth about their adoptive child. As hard as it may be, read what adult adoptees are writing. Learn from them. We aren’t sharing our experiences for them to be kept in silence. Ask questions, and have an open mind. At 39 I’m grieving the biggest loss of my life, and that’s my first family. Until you grieve that loss it will always be an open wound deep down and it will never heal until grieving that loss takes place. Healing is possible but it will never happen by denying the issue is there.
In my recovery journey and giving up all substances and giving my life to God, I have learned that it’s not an easy journey. But I didn’t want to keep living with the pain from my past any longer. I feel all adoptees need to grieve their losses in order to live a healthy productive life. For some adoptees, they don’t feel they have any adoptee issues. That’s wonderful but certain things in life can trigger these issues, and they may very well come out at some point. My adoption issues have had an impact on every aspect of my life. The way I raise my kids, my relationships, bonding with people, letting people close to me, my work, my self-esteem, my happiness, and the list could go on and on.
I believe that God uses our pain for his gain. We each have a journey and we are called to share our experiences with the world. We have to share our struggles so they can help someone else heal. That’s what my blog is about. Maybe that’s what my journey is all about?
Healing is possible, but denying the problem or issue exists will never benefit the adoptee or the child separated from their mother.
Thanks for reading.

Open Hearts and Open Minds, Adoptive Parents

I had an adoptive mom say to me on twitter yesterday, “I read your blog,
I know from personal knowledge that many adoptees do not share your issues.”
And I replied with “I know from personal knowledge many adoptees DO share my issues.” I don’t understanding why society is so blinded about the realities of adoption. My adoptee issues and pain are very real and I will continue to always share my feelings with the world to help raise awareness on how it feels to be adopted.
From this lady’s response to me, it leads me to believe she’s an adoptive mom or why would she care to comment? I find this comment to be disturbing. Half-truth, half lie? It was pointless to say the least. I find it appalling when an adoptive parent wants to stand up and speak about what adoptees go through when they are basing their opinion on their fantasy or what they wish their adopted child felt. The truth is, more than likely their adopted child hasn’t grown up and developed their adoptee voice yet.  This means as a child they just might not have any issues, and for the lucky adoptees maybe they never will. I have been blogging about my adoptee experience for almost 2 years now and I’m fairly active in the online adoptee community. I have yet to experience an overflowing amount of “EXCITED TO BE ADOPTED ADOPTEES!”
I really believe that all the adoptees with a voice need to keep voicing their experience so that any adoptive parents that stumble across their blogs, or tweets, or Facebook pages can truly open their hearts up and learn something. It’s the AP’s such as the one above that are blinded and don’t see REALITY who are not going to learn and benefit from the adoptees who have been in the shoes of the very ones they are raising. Even if they don’t agree with what they are hearing about how it feels to be adopted, they should really open their heart and eyes and ears up to the fact that, WOW, MY ADOPTED CHILD COULD FEEL THIS WAY. Not, “I know for certain many adoptees don’t feel the way you do”  With an attitude like that there will be no hope for future adoptees and for society to understand there is much more to adoption than 2 people completing their family by adopting an unwanted, abandoned child.
The reality of adoption is that before a child is adopted their own mother gives them away. However this is explained to the child leaves the child confused. After all, how does one love something and give it away? This can very well lead to low self-esteem, abandonment & rejection issues and fear issues that everyone is going to leave them. These issues are ALL root causes of many types of dysfunctional behaviors and adoptees have a very large chance of facing any of these root causes. Weather any adoptive parents want to admit it or not. I think the real question should be, “How do I help understand my adoptive child better?” VS. “I know from personal experience many adoptees don’t feel like you do”.
Open your eyes and ears, and be receptive to what adoptees have to say, especially if you have invested in adopted children. Of all people you should have an open heart and mind. You can learn a lot from someone who has been in your child’s shoes. Especially those who have healed from the trauma that being given up for adoption by their own mother.
To be continued…

What I Wished My Birth Mother Wrote To Me.

My dearest sweet Pamela,
I am so sorry for all the pain I have caused you. After reading your letter I wanted to answer a few of your questions.
I want you to know that as many times as you dreamed about me, I dreamed about you. Not one day or one hour went by that I didn’t have you in my mind. I always wondered what you looked like, who you looked like, and what your life was like. I always had you close in my heart, even if you were physically far away. I am so sorry for all the pain that being adopted has caused you. That was not in the plan or my intentions, not even for one minute.
I need you to know that I grew up in a very dysfunctional home. My mother and father were alcoholics, and my life was anything but a normal one. We were poor, and we didn’t have much. My mother was in mental institutes many times throughout my life. She did some very horrible things but I will just say we didn’t have it easy.
I married my first husband and had your half-sister. She was born in 1970. Her father and I started to have problems, and we soon ended up divorcing. He was the love of my life. I always drank alcohol to cope with things in my life and it always seemed to make things much easier to deal with. I never realized until it was too late how much alcohol took from my life and how much of an impact it had on my life. Now looking back I see it controlled everything. My life never would be the same after we divorced.
Even thoe I always had alcohol in my life and things just seemed to get worse after my divorce. My father began to get sick, and soon passed away in 1973. At this time I was a single mother of your older sister and alcohol was a big part of my life. There were pall barriers at my father’s funeral, and one of them was Jimmie Jones, whom was 10 years older than me. He was a close family friend, and he was close with my father, and my brothers. After the funeral he asked me if I wanted to go have a few drinks with him, and even when he was married at the time, I didn’t think there was any harm in having a few drinks. Alcohol seemed to make everything so much better and it helped ease the pain I was facing with my father’s passing. The night of my father’s funeral was the night you were conceived and after this night, my life would never be the same. Jimmie and I both were lonely and ended up getting a hotel room that night after we left the bar, and one thing led to another. After this night, I never saw him again. This was a very poor decision on my part, but there was nothing I could do to take this night away, and to take the pain away from my father passing away Jimmie consoled me, as he was 10 years older than me, he knew all the right things to say.
Soon after I found out I was pregnant with you. I did continue to drink during my pregnancy, and I am so sorry for that. It is one of the many regrets in my life I have. You see alcohol had a control over me, like nothing else ever did. It was all I knew to get by, and ease the pain I was about to endure. There is no way I could have made it through a pregnancy and know I was going to give my baby away, and not have alcohol to help me cope with those emotions. I am so sorry for what that has done to you. Please know I never wanted to hurt you. I could say I would do anything to take that night back, but if I did that you wouldn’t be where you are today with your beautiful children. What I can say is that I want to let you know I am so sorry for your pain and I hope someday you can forgive me so you can let go of the pain you have in your heart so you can truly be happy. I understand your anger towards me, and I am so sorry I have caused this. You have every right to be angry.
When I made the decision to give you up for adoption, I want you to know abortion just wasn’t an option. My mother tried to abort her first child in every way possible, and didn’t succeed. My oldest sister was born mentally retarded and lived in a nursing home her whole life until she passed away in her 60’s. Abortion never was an option for me, because this situation tore our family up on many levels. When I got pregnant with you, the reason I decided not to keep you was because your biological father was married and I didn’t want to bring you into the world under those circumstances. You see, if I would have kept you then you would have felt like a mistake, or a product of an affair and I didn’t want you to have to endure that type of pain. I felt like it would have ruined you, and I also was so ashamed of my behavior I just couldn’t deal with the pain. This is my reason in choosing adoption. Never did I ever mean for you to grow up harboring such pain that you have. I have carried the shame from my actions deep inside, and I never have forgiven myself for what I have done. Having an affair with a married man is just not in my character, and I have had to live with that my entire life. The only thing that seemed to ease my pain is to drink alcohol because no one ever taught me about healing, or God, or how to pray. We never grew up in church, nor did I have a church family to be close to. All I knew is alcohol took the pain away, but of course it was temporary. As soon as I got sober, I would begin to think of my past, my life, my guilt, and about you. The pain was unbearable.
All the years that passed, not one single birthday did I not shed a tears for you. You were always on my mind, and in my heart. I had always wondered what your life was like, if you had children, or got married. I hoped you were happier than the life I could have provided for you. I know you feel like my decision in giving you up for adoption was a selfish one and I can understand this but please know that my decision was based on what I felt would have been best for you at the time. If I had it to do over, and times were different I would have loved to have an open adoption, where I could have watched you grow over the years, and we could have exchanged letters and pictures, but back in the 1970’s there was no such thing as an open adoption.
When I received the very first phone call from you in 1995, I am so sorry my first response was to hang up the phone. This is not anything you deserved, nor did you do anything wrong. I was just completely shocked, and I wasn’t sure what to say. I am so sorry I hung up on you. When you called back, I had a little time to get myself together. I decided to let you know that “YES, I am the person you are looking for”, because I felt like you deserved to know the truth. For me it was facing my fears, because I was still so very ashamed of the circumstances that brought you into this world. I never forgave myself. An enormous amount of guilt went with me for my entire life after you were born, and for you to call, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt so sad deep down, but it had nothing to do with you personally. It was nothing I wanted you to feel. After hearing your voice for the first time, I was in complete shock, because after all those years, 21 at the time I always had you on my mind but I never knew what happened to you. I am so sorry I didn’t keep my word on sending you the letters and pictures I promised you. Again, the pain was so unbearable; I was doing well to get by day to day. I never mean to hurt you.
When I gave you up for adoption this created a lifelong pain deep in my heart that no one understood. I was not able to grieve because everyone I knew that knew about you kept saying, “You are doing the best thing for your baby, now it’s time to move on with your life”.  The pain was so deep, the only way to escape was by drinking alcohol, and it would get me by day to day. This was all I knew. Deep down I had a piece of my heart missing, and that piece was you.
When I spoke to you for the first time on the phone, and I promised to call you and send letters and pictures, I began to feel very overwhelmed and it was like a sense of darkness from my past came over me. This darkness wasn’t you, it was me and my poor decisions in bring you into this world under the circumstances you were conceived under. I felt such an incredible sense of guilt and shame; I just didn’t know what to say to you. This is the only reason I didn’t keep my word. I am so sorry because you didn’t deserve that. I don’t blame you for searching for your half-sister, and finding her and contacting her. I think I would have done the same if I was you. She knew nothing about you, but I am glad you all are building a relationship because you deserve to have her in your life, and she deserves to have you in hers. I really wanted to be the one to tell her about you, but you beat me to it, and that is okay.
When I got the phone call from her, saying you found her my heart sank. Now the secret was out, and I couldn’t back out of it or deny it. I know some might have just lied, but I didn’t. I confessed to her, “Yes, I had a child and gave her up for adoption”. Her first response was that she wanted us to both meet you. She told me she was flying to Kentucky to meet you, and I just told her I wasn’t quite ready yet. She didn’t understand why, but I didn’t feel I had to explain it to her. I was never good with my emotions, and I was never good at expressing myself. I just wasn’t ready yet. I needed some more time. I knew why, it was because I was still feeling such guilt and such a huge amount of shame that I just wasn’t ready yet.
When I became ready to meet you, and your sister set up the meeting I was a nervous wreck, but I came to a point where I knew I needed to meet you, not only for you, but for me too. I am so sorry when I saw you for the first time I didn’t reach out and hug you right away, I was so nervous and I didn’t know what to do. I wish now, I would have reached out and hugged you and never let you go, because after all that was what you deserved. This was such a painful time for me, as I know it was for you too. When we sat at my dining room table and you told me your adoptive parents divorced a year after you were born, it just crushed me. The overwhelming sense of sadness this brought to me was devastating. This was not what I had planned on for you. I gave you up for adoption so you could be raised in a two parent home, by a loving family that wanted to adopt a baby. Not for them to divorce a year later, and for you to have a very hard life as you mentioned.  This just added to my pain and guilt. I just couldn’t stand the fact that you had a hard life. When I gave you up for adoption I wanted you to have a better one. After you left from our visit when we met the first time, the sadness came back and it was overwhelming. It added to the already sense of guilt and shame I had from the beginning. Now I had to face the fact that I gave a baby up for adoption, and she didn’t have a wonderful life like I planned. This was the reason I never saw you again. It was just too much for me to bear. The guilt and shame was just too much.
I want you to know that it was nothing that you did to deserve this situation you were dealt. You didn’t ask to be born, and you most certainly didn’t ask to be given up for adoption. I always hoped you had the best life out there, which was more than what I could give. I never realized until now the pain that being adopted has brought you. I am so very sorry you have felt that you were abandoned. This is not what I planned for you. Please my sweet daughter; know that deep in my heart I just wanted what was better for you. 
Sometimes in life things don’t go as planned, and when your adoptive parents divorced that was not in the plan. I know you never had a bond with your adoptive mom as you mentioned, and I am so sorry for that. I hoped she would be a wonderful mother, and love you with her whole heart. That is what I had planned for you. I am so sorry you have always felt like you didn’t fit in, or that you were alone in this world. That breaks my heart, and that is not what I want for you. Please remember you were always in my heart, and you have never left it. Not even for a minute.
You said you wondered if I knew if you were at my bedside when I was in the ICU, after I fell down the steps. Yes, I knew you were there. I never contacted you to tell you, but I knew you came to Iowa to see me. They thought I was going to die, but I made it. I never intended for that to be the last time you saw me alive. I wish I could have told you “I love you”, but I was in a coma and I couldn’t say a word. I don’t even remember falling down the steps, because alcohol had such a hold on me, I was in a deep black out when this happened. I want to say “Thank You” for coming to the hospital, because I never got to tell you before.
17 years passed, and you reached out to me, and I never reached back. I got your letters, and pictures and cards in the mail, but I could never get up enough courage to respond. This is nothing you did, I just felt so guilty about the situation, and I didn’t know what to say or how to say it. You didn’t deserve this, and you deserved more than what I allowed myself to give. I am so sorry for that.
At the end of my life, in 2010 I hadn’t spoken to your sister in over 3 years. I had developed COPD, and I became very sick. I was on oxygen 24/7, I was less than 100lbs, I smoked and I was all alone in my home. I was unable to care for myself, or my home, and I became someone that was just alone and I didn’t even let those that wanted to help me come inside. I was too embarrassed of my home, as over years it developed such a sense of darkness, and sadness I never wanted anyone to see what my life was really like. My home didn’t have any running water, I had holes in my windows with plastic and tape to cover the holes, and I hadn’t had anything new in my home sense the 1970’s. I kept it completely dark, with all the curtains drawn, because this way I couldn’t see how filthy and dirty it was. At the end of my life, I had no energy to tend to it, so the dust and filth became unbearable. I didn’t want anyone to see that, so I shut everyone out, even those that tried to help me. The only comfort I had at the end of my life was alcohol. I kept it close at hand, and it got me through each day of sadness I felt.
I want you to know that I didn’t mean for your feelings to get hurt when you weren’t listed in my obituary. I am so sorry they did. I had my funeral planned out to a tee, and I didn’t list you as my daughter or your children as my grandchildren because so many people didn’t know about that painful part of my life. I did my best to hide it, because I was afraid of what people might think. You see Pamela; I took that pain to my grave. Never once did I forgive myself for the events that happened to bring you into this world. I was so filled with shame and guilt but it was nothing to do with you. It was the decisions I made before you were even born and I have never forgiven myself for that. I know you drove 10 hours to be at my funeral, and even if I wasn’t ready to accept you in my life, you were always in my heart.
As I close this letter, I would really like you to know that I’m so very sorry that you didn’t have the chance to know your biological father because of my irresponsible decisions. I am so sorry you didn’t get to know your biological siblings growing up, and I am so very sorry you felt such a loss your whole life. From the bottom of my heart I would like to ask for you to forgive me for my decision in placing you up for adoption. I would like for you to try to understand where I was coming from, and please understand that I never have or never will stop thinking about you. You are in my heart, and always have and always will be.
I also want to tell you how very proud I am of you that you made the decision to stop drinking alcohol and start a 12 step program. I know this is the best thing you could ever do for yourself, and your kids, and grandkids. I might still be alive right now if alcohol wasn’t such a big part of my life.
 No one deserves to carry the pain you have been carrying. As I learn to forgive myself I would like to ask you if you have it in your heart to forgive me? 
I love you, always have and always will.
Your First Mom, Arlene

I’m Looking For My Mommy, Where Is She?

This is a drawing that I drew as one of the exercises in Sherrie Eldridge’s adoption healing workbook. “Under His Wings”.
I remember dreaming this dream over and over again growing up. The hallways never ended. They went on forever and ever. I was never going to stop looking for my mommy.
But then I found her when I turned 21, and she hung up on me. I finally met her 1 time in person, and I never saw her again. She left me and rejected me 110%.
So that was 2 times. One was giving me away at birth,and the other was when I found her. I will never understand WHY?
I must say through God’s Grace & Mercy I might never understand WHY, but he’s helping me COPE with my adoptee feelings. If I didn’t have God on my side, there is no way I would be here right now. When my birth mother abandoned me, and later rejected me God was always right by my side. When my birth father rejected me, God never took a step away, only came closer. I’m growing everyday and with God healing is possible.
If you are in Lexington, KY or the surrounding areas and an Adult Adoptee please email adopteeloveforever@gmail.com   I’m praying about starting a support group in my area to help other adoptees heal and connect. You are NOT alone. 🙂