A Living, Breathing Inconvenience: The War Within – An Adoptees Perspective

Trigger Warning: This article contains content about suicidal ideation. 

This website has saved me so many times from releasing my burdensome thoughts to those I am close to. Over the last decade, being able to share my big adoptee sentiments here on my website has likely saved my life many times over!

Thank you for being here and allowing me to communicate my inner adoptee thoughts and struggles. We all need a space like this, and if you are an adoptee and don’t have it, I inspire you to get it! 

While 2022 is winding up, the year will soon be behind us. But, as we step into 2023, I can’t help but acknowledge all the changes and growth that’s transpired in 2022 in my personal life. So much greatness has happened that I will be eternally grateful for. 

Yet, I’ve also experienced many significant things that have created a layer of sadness that I’m unsure what to do with. Holidays are challenging in general and even more so for adoptees. While everyone is arranging holiday get-togethers with family and celebrating life and the marvelous things it brings, I am drowning in my sadness.

Welcome to adoption. 

Anytime I’m feeling “some type of way” in my journey, I try to get with myself and self-reflect because I know I am the only one who can figure out what’s going on. So I look inward and identify the areas that might bother me so I can work on them. Sometimes, I can identify what’s happening and make some changes. But right now, I feel stuck, so I am attempting to see if writing about it helps me.  One of the realities in being adopted is that I was denied a voice. This is why writing has always been easier for me to share feelings because I seem to be able to write about my thoughts, but allowing them to come out of my mouth is another story.

Lately, I am struggling with constantly feeling like I am an inconvenience to those around me, so I spend every waking moment trying to ensure I am not that! Unfortunately, I do it a lot of the time automatically, not even realizing I’m doing it. 

This battle has been a lifetime; however, it’s highlighted more now than before. Sharing it here in this safe space may help since I cannot share it with anyone close to me because of the burden factor. 

I wrote about this topic years ago in an article titled “Being Born A Burden.”

“Many adoptees spend their entire lives searching. It’s exhausting mentally, emotionally, and physically. I never thought I would have to experience this again. For me, searching is extreme mental anguish. I don’t even know how to describe it. It triggers me back to my childhood and earlier life, searching for my birth mother. Now I’m searching for a sister. Before the sister, it was my birth father, and another brother and another sister. It’s the unknown, and that’s not a good place for me.”

I have promised myself that I will always be true to myself, but sometimes my adoptee feelings are so big they scare me. I am 100% confident that if I share them with anyone close to me, they will scare them also. At least, this is my fear anyway. 

Unfortunately, this is the only place I can share them. Still, I am baring my soul for the world to help myself by releasing them and opening the possibility that my transparency might help another adoptee out there. There is a lot of power in “letting things out” and sharing them with at least one other person. Sometimes that all by itself helps me, and I can regroup, recenter and move forward. 

Of course, sharing such personal pieces of my life publicly doesn’t come without a risk of those who love me finding out about my struggles and kicking me to the curb. This would be the easiest solution, and I wouldn’t blame them. Hell, a lot of the time, I want to kick myself to the curb, too. 

But, if they knew I was only trying to spare them from my BIG ADOPTEE FEELINGS, maybe they would understand better. The truth is, I have always been a deep thinker and a deep processor, which is a blessing and a curse. So what I write about here isn’t always rainbows and unicorns but real-life struggles from an adult adoptee’s perspective. Adoption always has been and always will be the gift that keeps giving. 

It seems that no matter how much healing I do or how hard I work towards feeling “good,” my adoptee reality will always knock me back down. That’s a significant struggle all by itself. I’ve been riding the waves for 48 years now. Sometimes it’s hard to get back up. Sometimes I can’t see the light. Sometimes it takes my breath away. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning. Sometimes it’s so much that I want to die. Sometimes it lasts a few hours, and sometimes days and weeks. Sometimes the highs are high, and the lows are low. As I write this article, I am sitting knee-deep in one of the lows that I am having difficulty shaking. 

I’m an expert at smiling for the world, always putting my best foot forward to make others feel good, cheerful, or loved, which takes the focus off me and what I might be genuinely dealing with underneath it all. Us adoptees are great at being chameleons and pretending. It’s survival, and we learned it very young! 

I genuinely feel this adaption is rooted in adoption and the reality of being placed in a situation where everyone’s feelings matter more than mine. To my adoptive parents, my feelings have never mattered. I was the prize (a gift, if you will) that was paid for with a hefty cash price, and in return, they became parents. The misplaced link is that I would be expected to be forever praising and indebted to a lifetime of caring for them while sacrificing my wants and needs. 

Sadly, I had to walk away from everyone to choose myself. I would do it again if I had to; however, I struggle with being put into a situation at no fault of my own that made me feel like I had to choose between my adoptive family and biological family and MYSELF. I struggle HARD to navigate the tightrope of being somewhere between all these families. So walking away from them ALL is the only solution I have. 

I don’t have the tools to manage all the emotions that come between existing between two worlds, never belonging to either of them. THIS IS PAINFUL AND HARD FOR ME, AND IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN. I don’t have a shared history with my biological family, which makes things incredibly uncomfortable and challenging. I don’t share DNA with my adoptive family, who are genetic strangers to me! I do not feel connected to them and never bonded with my adoptive mom, but I was forced to TRY. 

Somehow I am expected to keep everything between them separated. It fucking hurts to be placed into a situation where I constantly have to leave pieces of my life separate. I didn’t sign up for this bullshit, so I am not playing the game. 

One of the significant healing dynamics I came to years ago is accepting that the pain from adoption was here to stay and that some of the wounds caused by relinquishment trauma and adoption trauma can’t heal! Fuck Adoption!

This was a KEY DYNAMIC to accepting what has been done and sabotaged, at no choice of my own. It might sound depressing to some, but please understand I didn’t come to this conclusion without spending a lifetime trying to heal the wounds that cannot be fully healed! God couldn’t fully heal my wounds; praying couldn’t fully heal my wounds; nothing has fully healed these wounds. The sooner I could accept they were here to stay and learned to sit with them, the sooner I started to heal! 

I feel like a living, breathing inconvenience and a burden. I can acknowledge and recognize this feeling is rooted in my beginnings (being born a burden), which has nothing to do with NOW; however, it has dramatically shaped how I feel and live my life. 

I can grasp a lousy day or a bad few days, but what do I do when the heaviness doesn’t leave and I can’t shake it? I’ve been wrestling with this for a while now, and I haven’t told anyone I’m on the struggle bus. 

Why? 

Because I don’t want to inconvenience anyone, and I don’t want to be a burden. Of course, it’s easy for someone to say, “You aren’t a burden!” but no matter how much they say it, that’s not how I feel. So I beat myself up for feeling that way, as if feeling like a burden and inconvenience isn’t enough all by itself. 

So what is my effing problem as of late? 

I am genuinely struggling because my being adopted by no choice of my own directly harms my kids in many ways. The thought of them feeling even a little of how I feel is enough to take my breath away. I feel this tremendous feeling of GUILT that is suffocating me! It makes me feel defective, and I carry a huge burden that I can’t put into words. 

How can I ever forgive myself for bringing my kids into a world where they have to pay the price for their mom being adopted and all the heavy layers that come with it? They deserve more, much more. I wish I could take this pain and direct it to something positive; however, I am not there yet. I don’t know what to do with it, especially when it’s impacted my kids the way it has. 

There I said it.

Well, half of it. 

I am also struggling with the reality that I would likely DIE before I burden anyone with my feelings, problems, or issues about all of this or situations that arise in my life that isn’t optimistic, positive, or uplifting. I always want to show up with a smile and cheer for everyone around me. I hold myself to a high standard when it comes to this, so when I go through some things that I can’t bring myself to share, I become overcome with complex emotions and feel like I’m drowning. Most of the time I can’t even put my feelings into words.

I feel inadequate on top of feeling flawed. It’s no one’s problem but my own for feeling this way, and I am the only person who can put it on the table and work on it. I don’t think many non-adoptees will ever comprehend the layers of the adoptee experience and how it runs so deep and lasts a lifetime. However, I can’t believe I am the only adoptee struggling with this. 

Recently, I had a scary SVT episode that was awful. My resting heart rate was stuck at 154 BPM for several hours. I should have gone to the ER, but I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone. The only way I can describe this is to imagine Mike Tyson hitting his punching bag as fast as he could for several hours, nonstop. Put my heart in the place of the punching bag. It’s a really dreadful feeling that has a recovery process of days for me. 

It’s invisible, just like I want it to be most of the time. I was super thankful to have two friends who drove me home and were very compassionate. However, I didn’t contact one person in my immediate life to notify them this was happening, and I crawled into my bed after taking a heart pill and slept for the next 13 hours, which is entirely out of my nature. But, again, I didn’t want to inconvenience or burden anyone.

I am at fault for being groomed this way because of adoption, always putting other people’s feelings, wants, and needs ahead of my own. I have been alone with my kids and me for a long time, moving across the country away from everyone to find ME and be FREE, finally. Being a single parent of 3 kids makes for a strong woman. I had no one to depend on, but myself and the family dynamic was nonexistent, so there hasn’t been a family cushion to fall back on for a long time. 

A variety of these things makes me feel stuck in a paradox between wanting to be true to myself yet never wanting to depend on anyone for anything; even if I needed a little help that could be lifesaving, I would never ask! I will die first! This is an expansive war I struggle with within myself. 

Well, the reality is that this impacts those I love who also love me. This can cause problems, so my first step is acknowledging it’s a thing for me. Have any of my fellow adoptees struggled with this dynamic? 

It was a stretch to ask my friends to help me get home because I sat there pondering how to ask or get home without inconveniencing anyone. I was considering taking a Uber or a Lyft. Once they offered, I accepted, but I felt terrible the whole way for upsetting our plans and inconveniencing anyone, on top of having a significant heart issue. They were so kind and understanding, but I felt like I was about to have a heart attack and was also feeling guilty for getting a ride home. Then once I got home, I quietly went to my room, not to come back out for 13 hours, suffering all alone without anyone knowing what was happening. I did end up telling my significant other and my oldest daughter, after the fact for the sake of them knowing for health reasons. They wished I would have told them at the time, but I let them know I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone.

The moral of the story is, why be a burden? I was born a burden; I don’t want to die one. I even planned my funeral because it’s important to me to die better than I came into the world. These are some fucked up thoughts, and it’s a lot to carry at times. One thing I can share is that I already feel a release by reaching this paragraph in my writing about these issues. Some of my heaviness has lifted. I want to get to a place in life where I don’t have to “do anything” but process through my adoptee struggles all on my own, but I am not there yet. Quite frankly, I am not sure I will ever be. Keeping things bottled up inside isn’t always effective.

I gave up on therapy because, being adopted, I have always had to therapy the therapist. I’m dead ass tired of therapy. I am in charge of healing myself. I genuinely feel all the tools I need are already inside of me. Writing has been exceptionally cathartic and therapeutic. When I can’t find the courage to talk about things, I can usually write about them.

Adoptees, Do you write?

How does it help you navigate your healing journey?

What helps you when you can’t see the light?

Today, I remind myself, and I can share without a shadow of a doubt, that even when I feel defective, like a burden and a total inconvenience, I know deep down that ADOPTION IS WHAT’S F*CKED UP. I am not f*cked up. Adoption is. Adoption has caused these issues, which are a constant, lifelong struggle. No matter what I do, this sh!t keeps resurfacing, and it’s here to stay. The sooner we accept this, the sooner we can learn to sit with it when it comes and walk through it. We have to feel it to heal it. Sharing it helps too! 

I know I’m not alone in feeling the way I do, and I remind myself sometimes daily that the way I feel is normal for a not-normal situation. Nothing is normal about being separated from your biological families at the beginning of life and having your very existence built on a bed of lies. 

While I conclude this article, one thing I would like to highlight that’s a positive spin is that today is Winter Solstice – 2022! I get comfort in knowing a shift is on the horizon and our days will start getting longer.

If you are an adoptee struggling, please know you are not alone!

I have created a comprehensive list of recommended resources for you! 

Facebook: Pamela A. Karanova

Don’t forget that I’m streaming my articles on several audio platforms for your listening convenience! 👇🏼

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🌎 Google – https://bit.ly/3JP6NY0

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☕️– Buy Me A Coffee https://bit.ly/3uBD8eI

*The views and opinions expressed in this article, memoir, and podcast are that of the author, Pamela A. Karanova. Reproduction of the material contained in this publication may be made only with the written permission of Pamela A. Karanova

Recommended Resources for Adult Adoptees & Adoption Advocates

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255 OR Dial or Text 988.

Suicide – Read This First

Adoptee Centric Therapist Directory – Grow Beyond Words

Marie Dolfi – Specializes in counseling for all members of the adoption constellation.

Adoptees On Healing Series – Adoptee Therapist 

Abby Jacobson, Adoptee Counselor 

Ask Adoption by Lesli Johnson, MFT

100 Heartfelt Adoptee Quotes that Honor the Truth of Adoption by Pamela A. Karanova & 100 Adoptees Worldwide

100 Heartfelt Transracial Adoptee Quotes that Honor the Truth of Adoption by Pamela A. Karanova & 100 Transracial Adoptees Worldwide

15 Significant Steps Towards Adoptee Healing by Pamela A. Karanova

Adopted and Pro-Choice: A Reproductive Journey by Lynn Grubb

Still Grieving Adoptee Losses, What My Adoptive Parents Could Have Done Differently by Pamela A. Karanova

Considering Adoption? What Adoptees Want You To Know by Pamela A. Karanova

Light, Water, Love by Michelle Hensley | Severance Mag

Why Do Adoptees Search? An Adoptee Collaboration by Pamela A. Karanova

Adoption is Amputation! By Shane Bouel

Adoption, Sex, and the Pursuit of Love: Why Adoptive Parents Need to Talk to Their Children and Teens about Sex (2022) by Christina Romo

From Political Pawns to Punchlines – Leave Adoptees Out of Your Abortion Arguments (And Memes) by Stephanie Drenka

No, I Will Not Pretty Up the Details, Why I Don’t Agree with Positive Adoption Language (PAL) by Deanna Doss Shrodes

I’m Adopted: You Can’t Fix Me or Take My Pain Away. Please Stop Trying by Pamela A. Karanova

I Died the Day I Was Born by Shane Bouel 

Article on Light of Day Stories about Adoptees Connect, Inc.

Maybe – What is the Cost of Swallowing a Secret?  by B.K. Jackson | Severance Mag

“Not My Adoptee!” Yes, Your Adoptee by Sara Easterly 

What Are the Mental Health Effects of Being Adopted? By Therodora Blanchfield, AMFT

Adoption and Abortion: What Adoptees Wish Others Would Consider When Discussing Adoption and Abortion by Melissa Guida-Richards

The Link Among the Brain, the Gut, Adoption, and Trauma by Maureen McCauley 

Family History “UNKNOWN” – Understanding an Individuals Needs in the Healthcare Environment by Julia Small, MS III, Ramya Gruneisen, MS, Elaine Schulte, MD, MPH, BCC

I Am Grateful To Be Adopted  – Yet Adoption is Still Traumatic by Therodora Blanchfield, AMFT

12 Smiliarities Between Witness Protection & Adoption by Shane Bouel

Dear Adoptive Parents: An “Angry Adoptee” Gets Vulnerable – The Pain Behind the Rage by Mila at Lost Daughters

Does Adoption Really Equal Trauma? by Maureen McCauley 

The Truth About Adoption – An Adoptee’s Perspective by Stephanie Drenka

5 Infuriating Things Non-Adoptees Say to Adoptees by Angela Barra

Assume All Adopted Children Have Trauma by Musings of the Lame

How Adoptees Feel About Birthdays by Pamela Karanova

What Problems Do Adopted Adults Have? by Dr. Andrew Rosen

Bringing Adult Adoptee Issues to Light by Angela Burton of Next Avenue

5 Hard Truths About Adoption that Adoptive Parents don’t want to Hear by Louisa

These Adoptees Refuse to Be Christian Pro-Life Poster Kids by Kathryn Post of Religious News Service

10 Things Adoptive Parents Should Know – An Adoptee’s Perspective by Cristina Romo

What Adoption Taught Me About Family Separation by Stephanie Drenka

Adoptees, Why Are You So Angry? Over 100 Adoptees Share Heartfelt Feelings by Pamela A. Karanova & Adoptees Worldwide

Dear Adoptive Mother by Shane Bouel

We Should Be Fighting for a World Without Adoption by Michelle Merritt

When Your Biggest Blessing Invalidates My Greatest Trauma by Pamela A. Karanova

Struggles of an Adoptee: Loss by Cosette Eisenhauer

What it Costs to be Adopted by Michele Merritt

Canceling My Adoption by Netra Sommer

Exploring the Great Divide in Adoption: Why You’re Not That Different by Christina Romo

On the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Adoptees Don’t want to Be A “Pawn” in Abortion Debates by Danielle Campoamor

An Adoptee’s Perspective on Healing by Christina Romo

5 Reasons Why Biology Matters to an Adoptee by Angela Barra

Adoption and Mental Illness by Arline Kaplin

How to Help Yourself & Others with Suicide Ideation by Ginger Robinson

We Need to Talk About Adoptee Suicide by Angela Barra

Understanding Why Adoptees Are At A Higher Risk for Suicide by Maureen McCauley | Light of Day Stories

Research on Adoptees and Suicide by Harlows Monkey

Dealing with Adoptee Suicide by Lynelle Long

6 Things You Should Know About Adoptees and Suicide by Jennifer Galan

Adoptee Suicide by Layla Schaeffer

Adoptee Suicide in the Media by Jeanette-ically Speaking

Toward Preventing Adoption- Related Suicide by Mirah Riben

Suicide Amongst Adoptees by Hilbrand Westra

R U OKAY, Day? It’s Time To Talk About Adoptees and Attempted Suicide by Angela Barra

Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide by Suicide Prevention & Public Health Organizations 

Changing the Conversation About Suicide by Claudia Youakium

Hidden Identity Podcast by Lynn Grubb

Who Am I Really Podcast? by Damon Davis

Adoptees On Podcast by Haley Radke

Somewhere Between Podcast – Asian Adoptee Podcast by Maia, Aimee, Alia, and Ace

The Adoption Files Podcast by Ande Stanley

Thriving Adoptees Podcast by Simon Benn

Secret Son Podcast by Mike Trupiano

Adoption: The Making of Me Podcast by Sarah Reinhardt & Louise Browne

The Adoptee Next Door Podcast by Angela Tucker

Cut Off Jeans Podcast by Julie Dixon Jackson & Richard Castle

Adoptee Thoughts Podcast by Melissa Guida – Richards

Born in June, Raised in April by April Dinwoodie

Adoptee Reunion Coaching – By Daryn Watson  

Reunion: Is There Enough Room for Us All? By Lynn Grubb

Adoptees Connect, Inc. – Where Adoptee Voices Meet

Adoptee Merch – Your #1 Adoptee Merchandise Shop with 100% of the benefits donated directly to Adoptees Connect, Inc. 

Adoptee Recommended Resources by Adoptees Connect, Inc.

Recommended Resources by Adoptees On

Right to Know – It’s a fundamental human right to know your genetic identity

Adoptee Paths to Recovery by NAAP United

Adoption Mosaic by Astrid Castro

Intercountry Adoptee Voices – ICAV 

Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th – Exposing the hidden side of adoption, acknowledging adoptee suicide, grief, and loss. 

Pamela Karanova’s website, where she documents her journey over years of her life, uncovering the truth of who she is and where she came from. Her audible memoir can be found here titled, “Finding Purpose in the Pain, One Adoptee’s Journey from Heartbreak to Hope and Healing.” 

Dear Adoption, is a community where adoptees share stories.

Adoptee Restoration by Deanna Doss Shrodes

Adoptees for Justice – Inter-country adoptee-led social justice org working to educate, empower, & organize international & transracial adoptees

Truth is Louder by Moses Farrow 

Adoption Decision-Making Among Women Seeking Abortion

Mental Health and Psychological Adjustment in Adults Who Were Adopted in Their Childhood: A Systematic Review

Substance Use Disorders and Adoption: Findings from a National Sample

Adoption as a Risk Factor for Attempted Suicide During Adolescence

The Mental Health of US Adolescence Adopted in Infancy by Margaret A Keyes, Ph.D.

Relationship Between Adoption and Suicide Attempts: A Meta-Analysis

Risk of Suicide Attempt in Adopted and Nonadopted Offspring

Behavioral Problems in Adoptees

Attachment Theory Explained by Kacy Ames, LCSW

Risk of Eating Disorders in International Adoptees: A Corhort Study Using Swedish National Population Registers

Rediscovering Latent Trauma: An Adopted Adults Perspective by Michele Merritt

Adopted Children Have Twice the Risk of Abusing Drugs if Biological Parents Also Did by Partnership Staff

Adoptees 4 Times More Likely to Attempt Suicide by Jenny Laidman

“Teachers and Adopted Children” Survey – Report: Key Findings, Topline Results, and Recommendations by Rudd Adoption Research Program Executive Summary Results

Adoption: Adverse Childhood Experience Explained by Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker 

Infant Adoption is a Big Business in America by Darlene Gerow

Adoption and Trauma: Risks, Recovery and the Lived Experience of Adoption by David Brodzinsky 1, Megan Gunnar 2, Jesus Palacios 3

Reckoning with The Primal Wound Documentary with 10% off coupon code (25 available) “adopteesconnect”

Closure Documentary by Angela Tucker

Daughter of a Lost Bird by Brooke Swaney

Calcutta is my Mother by Reshma McClintock 

Father Unknown by David Quint

A Girl Like Her by Amy S. Weber

Adoption and Suicide Prevention: Adult Adoptees Speak Out by United Survivors

Adoption, DNA and the impact on a concealed life Tedx by Ruth Monning

Adoptee and Identity by Just Jae

Fireside Adoptees – Together We Rise!

Adoption and Addiction by Paul Sunderlund

The Trauma of Relinquishment- Adoption, Addiction, and Beyond by The OLLIE Foundation

An Adoptees Nightmare by Cryptic Omega

Transracial Adoptee Voices of of Love and Trauma by Mikayla Zobeck

What is Gaslighting and How Does it Impact Adopted Persons by Dr. Chaitra Wirta- Leiker

The Secret Identity of An Adopted Child: Catharine Robertson at TEDxBaltimore

Pulled by The Root – Unearthing Global Conversations for The Adoption Community

What is Adoption? A Video for Kids by Jeanette Yoffe

Finding Purpose in the Pain: One Adoptees Journey from Heartbreak to Hope and Healing, An Audible Memoir by Pamela A. Karanova

The Primal Wound – By Nancy Newton Verrier. Can be purchased used on Amazon.

Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self – By David M. Broadzinsky, Ph.D., Marshall D. Schechter, M.D. & Robin Marantz Henig

Visit adopteereading.com, where you will find a comprehensive list of adoptee books recommended by adult adoptees.

Coalition for Truth and Transparency in Adoption – Rise Up, Speak Up, Join Up by Richard Uhrlaub

Adoptee Rights Coalition – ARC

Adoptee Rights Campaign 

Adoptee Rights Law 

Bastard Nation  The Adoptee Rights Organization

Adoptees United

Facing the Primal Wound of Transracial Adoption by Naomi Sumner

InterCountry Adoptee Stories by ICAV

Hey TRA by Hannah Jackson Matthews

Adoptee Bridge 

Navigating Disability and Rare Medical Conditions as an Intercountry Adoptee by ICAV

Racisim and Microagressions in Transracial Adoption by AFFCNY

What Jessica wants You to Know About Transracial Adoption by Jessica Walton

Exploring Transracial Adoption and The Invisible Protection of Privilege by Molly McLaurin

Online Events by ICAV

Webinars by ICAV

Adoptee Hub 

Intercountry and Transracial Adoptee Experiences of Search and Reunion by Thomas Grhahm 

I Am the Black Adoptee of White Parents: What George Floyd Taught Me About Race and the Adoption Industry by Tony Hynes

Harlow’s Monkey – An Unapologetic Look at Transracial and Transnational Adoption 

Grieving as an Asian Adoptee by Stephanie Drenka

Diary of A Not-So-Angry Asian Adoptee 

InterCountry Adoptee Memorial by ICAV

An Adoptee’s Perspective: 15 Things Transracially Adoptive Parents Need to Know by Christina Romo

Navigating Disability and Rare Medical Conditions as an InterCountry Adoptee by Lynelle Long

Dear Adoptive Parents of Overseas Adoptees, Wake Up! by Stephanie Drenka 

Navigating Adoption by Cossette Eisenhauer & Zoe 

I Am Adoptee 

To Pimp an Adopted Butterfly by Matthew Charles | Severance Mag

Transracial Adoptee Voices of of Love and Trauma by Mikayla Zobeck

Interview: Lynelle Long – TRA/International Adoptee Part 1 by Fireside Adoptees 

Interview: Lynelle Long – TRA/International Adoptee Part 2 by Fireside Adoptees

Gazillion Voices 

Delaying Adoption Disclosure: A Survey of Late Discovery Adoptees by Amanda Baden & more. 

Storytelling to Save Your Life: A Late Discovery Adoptee Experience by Kevin Gladish | Severance Mag

Late Discovery Adoptees (LDA) and What We Can Learn by Lynn Grubb

Narcissism and Adoption: Very Likely Bedfellows by Lynn Grubb

72 [S4 E10] Alice – Narcissism – Adoptees On Podcast

Trying to Heal After Maternal Narcissism by Louisa

5 Reasons Narcissistic Parents Replace Their Children by Devon Frye

The Narcissistic Adoptive Mother by Pamela A. Karanova

Adoption, Narcissism, and Psychopathy by Lee Daniel Hughes

New Study sheds light on the links between family type, childhood experiences, and narcissism by Eric W. Doolan

Is Maternal Narcissism more Prevalent in Adoption? By Louisa

Little Fires Everywhere – An Adult Adoptee’s Reflections: Narcissism and Mother- Blaming by Sara Easterly 

33 Revealing Signs You Have A Narcissistic Parent: The Ultimate List by Toxic Ties

Finding Long Lost Family – DNA Favorites by Richard Hill

How Consumer DNA Testing is Changing the Conversation Around Original Birth Certificates (OBC) by Lynn Grubb

Adoptee Resources – DNA Favorites by Richard Hill

Right to Know – It’s a fundamental human right to know your genetic identity

While You Wait for Your DNA Results: Things Adoptees Can Do by Lynn Grubb

Finding Family Book – DNA Favorites by Richard Hill

The Best DNA Testing Companies – DNA Favorites by Richard Hill 

Lessons for Adoptees with Unknown Parentage by Lynn Grubb

Favorite DNA Books – DNA Favorites by Richard Hill

Search Angels for Adoptees – DNAngels – Find Families, One DNA Strand at a Time.

DNA Search Tips for Adoptees by Janet Weinreich- Keall

Adoptee Remembrance Day: Today by Light of Day Stories

Before a month celebrating adoption, a day to recognize adoptees’ trauma by Religion News Service

Adoptee Remembrance Day by InterCountry Adoptee Voices (ICAV)

Adoptee Remembrance Day by Adoptees On

Adoptee Remembrance Day by My Adoptee Truth 

Adoptee Remembrance Day Presentation by Brenna Kyeong McHugh

Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th by Bastard Nation

It’s Hard to Smile Today – My Tribute to Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th by Pamela A. Karanova

Adoption BE-AWARENESS and Remembrance By Mirah Riben

Adoptee REMEMBRANCE Day by Janet Nordine, Experience Courage

Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th YouTube Poetry Hosted By Liz Debetta

Listeners Acknowledge Adoptee Remembrance Day by Adoptees On

The Family Preservation Project – Adoptee Social Media Accounts to Follow

JoJo Patience – Adoptee Self-Help Book and Coaching for Adoptees

Start writing, journaling, and documenting your adoptee journey. WordPress is our recommended platform that is free to use. Healing through writing is a wonderful healing outlet, and we highly recommend it.

If you have any recommended resources we can add to this list, please leave them below, and we will consider adding them to our database.

Crisis Hotline Numbers

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

  • The Trevor Project – LGBTQ Community.

Call: 1-866-488-7386

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline

Call: 1-800-799-7233

  • National Sexual Assault Hotline

Call: 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673)

  • Suicide Hotline:

Call: 1-800-784-2433

  • National Hopeline Network

Call: 1-800-442-4673 General Crisis Support by Text

  • Crisis Text Line: Text Support to 741-741 (24/7) Trained counselors can discuss anything that’s on your mind. Free 24/7, confidential. crisistextline.org

Not a crisis but need someone to talk to:

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

Concluding Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th, 2022 but Adoptee Voices Will Continue to Blaze

by Pamela A. Karanova

Adoptee Remembrance Day: October 30th, 2022, has recently passed, and the collective echoes of adoptee voices can be reflected worldwide. To learn more about this day, click here

It’s no surprise at the outpouring of support the adoption community has received about this special day of remembrance for adopted people worldwide. No doubt about it, it was a difficult day, but every day, being an adopted individual, comes with its own struggles. Yet, we must consider that adoptees have never had the support they need to navigate such a lifelong, complex, and emotional journey. 

One of the core components of Adoptee Remembrance Day is to create one day before National Adoption Awareness Month which is in November and National Adoption Day, November 19th, where adopted individuals can share from the deepest parts of their hearts the reality of how adoption makes them feel. Unfortunately, the Pro-Adoption narrative has always dominated the narrative, but adoptees are dying, and we can’t afford to stay silent. 

Adoptees are overrepresented in prisons, jails, treatment, and mental health facilities, and we are 4x more likely to attempt suicide. Thankfully, the tides are turning, things are changing for the future generations of adoptees, and adoptee-centric resources are starting to surface more than ever before. But unfortunately, even with some resources surfacing for adult adoptees, our cries for help have been ignored for far too long. This is one of the many reasons Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th was created.

With our collective efforts, we’ve picked October 30th annually to share our hearts, and adoptees from all over the world showed up for this day, and they showed out. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this community. The adoptee experience is unique to each of us, yet we all share the ultimate loss of our beginnings, which can impact every area of our lives. 

Photo Credit: IG: @nikki_often / Artist / Korean Adoptee

Nikki’s Tribute, “Don’t let the feeling that I’m all alone deceive me. Among the many reasons for this day, Adoptee Remembrance Day is to raise awareness about crimes committed against adoptees by adoptive parents, as well as suicide, and different kinds of loss that are experienced by everyone who is impacted by adoption.”

While the internet is overflowing with tributes from adoptees worldwide, we wanted to share a message of gratitude for everyone who participated, adopted or not. Your voice was loud, and we appreciate everyone who took the time to share something on Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th. 

As the Adoptee Movement for Adoptee Remembrance Day continues to expand and grow annually around the world, more non-adoptees will learn that there is so much more to adoption than what they have come to know. Between now and then, Adoptees will continue to do outstanding work in the adoption community by raising their voices and sharing the truth about adoption. I commend each of you and appreciate you!

We are so sorry to all the adoptees who didn’t make it because their pain was too great. We will never stop exposing the hidden side of adoption, and we love you. For the adoptees who are hurting and can’t see past their pain. Don’t give up! You are not alone. To everyone who participated, THANK YOU! WE LOVE YOU! Sending you massive hugs of support and embracing you with love and encouragement to press forward in your cause. 

Below are some online tributes for Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th, 2022.

Photo Credit: IG: @chung.woolrim / Artist / Adoptee

Lisa Wool-Rim Sjoblom’s Tribute: “Today, October 30th, is Adoptee Remembrance Day. Today we mourn all the adoptees we’ve lost. Those who were murdered by their adoptive parents and other family members, and those who died due to neglect and abuse. Those we lost to suicide. Today we acknowledge all the adoptees suffering in their adoptive homes and whose please for help no one hears or believes. We recognize all adoptees struggling with depression, addiction, poverty, homelessness, abusive relationships and loneliness. We acknowledge those who have been re-homed – some multiple times, those without citizenship, those who have been deported and those who are incarcerated. We recognize all adoptees searching for their first families, all who are not allowed to reunite and all who are trying to get access to their birth certificates and other documents they’ve been denied for far too long. We recognize all adoptees who will never find their families and will never learn where they came from. We recognize that for many of us, adoption is a wound that will never heal, a grief that will never diminish and a trauma we will carry for the rest of our lives.”

Korean Adoptee Community in Germany‘s Tribute: “We are proud of this collage! It shows cohesion, understanding, love and trust. We are an international community and nobody has to be lone! Special thanks to our friends around the world.”

Photo Credit – IG: @sanjaypulver / Indian Transracial Adoptee / Trans Man ‘ Advocate / Shirt = http://www.adopteemerch.com

Sanjay’s Tribute: ” Thinking of all of us who haven’t been able to grieve the losses to our community because we’re supposed to be grateful/thankful. Or even how close I’ve come to that edge because the pain felt is overwhelming and I couldn’t imagine another way forward. For all adoptees today, I see you, I love you, and your lives matter!”

Photo Credits – IG: @carmencampbell_ / Guatemalan Adoptee / Adoptee Awareness Advocate

Carmen’s Tribute: Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th. This day holds a special place in my heart. It’s one in which we reflect upon the hardships that are within being adopted. As well as remembering and honoring those in the adoptee community we have lost too soon. I light a candle to remember how far I have come in this adoption journey of mine. Had you known me as a child, even two years ago I never would have expected me to be speaking at my own candlelight vigil. Sharing with others my adoption journey has led me to a whole new world of healing.”

Photo Credit – IG: @valnaimanauthor / Adoptee / Author / Advocate

Valerie’s Tribute: Adoptee Remembrance Day is October 30th, 2022. Adoptees are four times more likely to commit suicide than non-adopted people. Here is a bowl of yellow flowers from my garden for all my co-adoptees out there. Adoptees Matter, We Matter. So much love to all the lives we lost, those who have attempted, and for those who are still struggling.”

ADOPTEE’S & SUPPORTERS ON TiKTok

Reflections on Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th, 2022.

Video Credits – Tik Tok – @wardofthestate1.0
Video Credits – Tik Tok @1adoptee
Video Credit – TikTok – @dariarottenberk
Video Credit – TikTok – @withloveaugust
Video Credit – TikTok – @transmomsbex_kasey
Video Credit – TikTok – @alauraslateagain
Video Credit – TikTok – @theoutspokenadoptee

Video Credits – TikTok – @truthspeakssp
Video Credits – TikTok – @wardofthestate1.0

Video Credits – TikTok – @june_in_april

To our fellow adoptees, keep sharing and keep shining. We need you; you matter, and your voice is critical to the community that has been marginalized for a lifetime. Please take care of yourself and practice a healthy balance between self-care and pouring into the adoptee community.

Please visit the next Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th, 2023 Event Page on Facebook at CLICK ATTENDING! Invite all your friends and family.

Much Love and Gratitude,

Pamela A. Karanova / President Adoptees Connect, Inc. | Founder, Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th.

Here’s a comprehensive list of some wonderful articles for everyone in the adoption constellation.

100 Heartfelt Adoptee Quotes that Honor the Truth of Adoption by Pamela A. Karanova & 100 Adoptees Worldwide

Before A Month Celebrating Adoption, A Day to Recognize Adoptee’s Trauma by Kathryn Post of Religion News Service.

Adoptee Recommended Resources by Adoptees Connect, Inc.

Recommended Resources by Adoptees On

Understanding Why Adoptees Are At A Higher Risk for Suicide by Maureen McCauley | Light of Day Stories

Suicide Amongst Adoptees by Hilbrand Westra

Adoptee Centric Therapist Directory – Grow Beyond Words

Adoptee Remembrance Day: Today by Light of Day Stories

Toward Preventing Adoption- Related Suicide by Mirah Riben

Adoptee Books- Visit adopteereading.com where you will find a comprehensive list of adoptee books recommended by adult adoptees.

Adoption and Suicide Prevention: Adult Adoptees Speak Out by United Survivors

Still Grieving Adoptee Losses, What My Adoptive Parents Could Have Done Differently by Pamela A. Karanova

Adoptee Remembrance Day by InterCountry Adoptee Voices (ICAV)

Adoptee Remembrance Day by Adoptees On

Adoptee Remembrance Day Presentation by Brenna Kyeong McHugh

Adoption, DNA and the impact on a concealed life Tedx by Ruth Monning

Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th by Bastard Nation

It’s Hard to Smile Today – My Tribute to Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th by Pamela A. Karanova

Adoptee Suicide by Layla Schaeffer

Adoption BE-AWARENESS and Remembrance By Mirah Riben

Adoptee REMEMBRANCE Day by Janet Nordine, Experience Courage

Considering Adoption? What Adoptees Want You To Know by Pamela A. Karanova

Facing the Primal Wound of Transracial Adoption by Naomi Sumner

Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th YouTube Poetry Hosted By Liz Debetta

Listeners Acknowledge Adoptee Remembrance Day by Adoptees On

Adoptee and Identity by Just Jae

Adoption and Addiction by Paul Sunderlund

The Trauma of Relinquishment- Adoption, Addiction, and Beyond by The OLLIE Foundation

Adoptee Suicide in the Media by Jeanette-ically Speaking

An Adoptees Nightmare by Cryptic Omega

6 Things You Should Know About Adoptees and Suicide by Jennifer Galan

InterCountry Adoptee Memorial by ICAV

I’m Adopted: You Can’t Fix Me or Take My Pain Away. Please Stop Trying by Pamela A. Karanova

Transracial Adoptee Voices of of Love and Trauma by Mikayla Zobeck

What is Gaslighting and How Does it Impact Adopted Persons by Dr. Chaitra Wirta- Leiker

Creating Space To Find Who I Am – Pamela Karanova – Who Am I Really Podcast? Damon Davis

The Secret Identity of An Adopted Child: Catharine Robertson at TEDxBaltimore

Article on Light of Day Stories about Adoptees Connect, Inc.

Bringing Adult Adoptee Issues to Light by Angela Burton of Next Avenue

These Adoptees Refuse to Be Christian Pro-Life Poster Kids by Kathryn Post of Religious News Service

Adoption Decision Making Among Women Seeking Abortion

Mental Health and Psychological Adjustment in Adults Who Were Adopted in Their Childhood: A Systematic Review

Substance Use Disorders and Adoption: Findings from a National Sample

Dealing with Adoptee Suicide by Lynelle Long

Adoptees, Why Are You So Angry? Over 100 Adoptees Share Heartfelt Feelings by Pamela A. Karanova & Adoptees Worldwide

We Should Be Fighting for a World Without Adoption by Michelle Merritt

When Your Biggest Blessing Invalidates My Greatest Trauma by Pamela A. Karanova

    Where darkness resides: suicide and being adopted – is there a connection of elevated risk?

   Adoption as a Risk Factor for Attempted Suicide During Adolescence

What it Costs to be Adopted by Michele Merritt

The Mental Health of US Adolescence Adopted in Infancy by Margaret A Keyes, PhD.

Relationship Between Adoption and Suicide Attempts: A Meta Analysis

     Risk of Suicide Attempt in Adopted and Nonadopted Offspring

     Behavioral Problems in Adoptees

Risk of Eating Disorders in International Adoptees: A Corhort Study Using Swedish National Population Registers

Cancelling My Adoption by Netra Sommer

Risks of Suicide Attempt in Adopted and Nonadopted Offspring

Rediscovering Latent Trauma: An Adopted Adults Perspective by Michele Merritt

     Adopted Children Have Twice the Risk of Abusing Drugs if Biological Parents Also Did

     Can Adoption Create Addicts?

On Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Adoptees Don’t want to Be A “Pawn” in Abortion Debates

Adoptees 4 Times More Likely to Attempt Suicide by Jenny Laidman

Infant Adoption is a Big Business in America by Darlene Gerow

Adoption and Trauma: Risks, Recovery and the Lived Experience of Adoption

Give Me Back My Name by Michele Merritt

Stop Weaponizing Adopted People for Your Anti-Choice Agenda by Michele Merritt

Adopted Children at Greater Risk for Mental Health Disorders by Madison Park

     Understanding Why Adoptees Are at Higher Risk For Suicide

Video Credits – Korean Adoptee Community in Germany – @koreanische_adopteierte_ev

Chapter 7. Goodbye World – Finding Purpose in the Pain, One Adoptees Journey from Heartbreak to Hope and Healing, An Audible Memoir By Pamela A. Karanova

Chapter 7.

Goodbye World

Trigger Warning // Physical Assault // Violence // Suicide

Eventually, we left the small two-bedroom Westover Road apartment. Instead, we moved to a bigger three-bedroom townhome closer to Lyndale Mall.

My relationship with Giovanni became my whole world, filling a massive hole in my heart from losing my birth mother. Finally, having someone I loved who said they loved me back was a fantastic feeling.

Patricia forbid us from seeing one another, just like she forbid me from seeing Tasha. The more she tried to control what I did or who I hung around, the more I rebelled. She would sometimes come home, and Giovanni or Tasha would be hiding in my bedroom closet. They knew how to climb in, and out of my bedroom window, so we didn’t sweat it. We were still going to spend time together regardless.

When Thomas got wind of me dating someone black, he sat me down and talked with me. “Back in my days, we didn’t mix races, but if you’re happy, I’m happy.” And that was the end of his talk about race-mixing! He didn’t shame me or threaten me with hell. I could respect that times were different when he was coming up, and I appreciated his sentiments of hoping I was happy at the end of the day.

About five weeks after being released from drug and alcohol rehab, I learned I was pregnant. I shared the news with Giovanni, and we wrapped our heads around the reality we would have a baby together. We both became excited, and then I had to break the news to Patricia. Her initial reaction was that of tears, of course. But after she overcame the initial shock, she also wrapped her head around the idea she would have a grandbaby.

Little by little, I started to buy baby items, and I stored them away in a small corner of the spare room we had in the townhouse. Deep inside, I became excited at the thought of being a mother. I would never give my baby away as my birth mother gave me away. Because I knew what that deep-rooted pain felt like, I would never inflict that abandonment on my child.

As the weeks passed, I became attached to my baby, and the thought of being a mother, even at the age of 15, this was something I was ready to take on. I stopped drinking alcohol and using drugs right away. No more fighting or running the streets like I was used to. Finally, I had something to look forward to.

I got a job at the local Pizza Hut by the mall and would walk back and forth to work each day. At this point, high school was almost a non-factor, but I would agree to go back to Metro, but this agreement was short-lived. On a Saturday night in the summer of 1989, I learned Giovanni had gotten in a fight and got arrested at a bar in Czech Village on the S.W. side of Cedar Rapids. It was all over the news and in the newspaper the next day.

I remember being upset because I had no idea how long he would be gone, but being pregnant worried me. However, he was released after a few days after appearing in court. This resulted in him being put on probation, and he would turn himself into a probation officer every month. If he did anything else to break the law, he would be sent away for at least three, possibly five years.

While our relationship seemed to get stronger because we were going to start a family together, Giovanni’s temper and rage only increased as time passed. He became paranoid and would accuse me of things I didn’t do, which resulted in frequent physical attacks that I just took. I never fought him back because I knew it would not end well.

One Friday evening, when I was approx. 12 weeks pregnant, he accused me of messing around with someone he knew. However, I denied it because it wasn’t true. He drew his fist back and punched me in my chest as hard as he could. I remember falling back, losing consciousness for a short time, and gasping for air, but he knocked the wind out of me. As soon as I thought he might have some sympathy for me, he choked me, making me admit to talking to the guy. But, again, I didn’t admit it because it wasn’t true.

I started to cry, and after a few minutes, he started to apologize for what he had done. Then, he started to get emotional, telling me how much he loved me and that it would break his heart if I were ever with someone else. Then, he stopped with the paranoid accusation and started to get sympathetic. I was in pain because the chest blow completely knocked me out for a short time. I had red marks around my neck from him choking me.

After he spent some time apologizing, telling me how much he loved me, I turned the page and acted as if these events didn’t happen. But he said he loved me and stayed, which trumped all the emotional and physical abuse he inflicted on me.

The following week after these events, at 15 weeks, I started spotting, and my chest continued to hurt beyond my ability to handle the pain. Finally, I found myself in the Emergency Room with Patricia, where the nurses and doctors asked me what happened to cause the chest injury.

I covered for Giovanni at all costs because only a snitch would tell the truth of what happened. So I told them I got in a fight a few days earlier, and that was all I said.

They did some x-rays and learned I had a periosteal contusion of my chest bone from Giovanni punching me. They also did some tests and learned that the spotting was from me miscarrying the baby. I asked Patricia to please reach out to Giovanni at the hospital so he could be with me.

Not long after, I asked Patricia for a few minutes of privacy. Giovanni entered the hospital room, where I was all alone. He hugged me, told me he loved me and would be outside waiting for me. Soon a doctor came in asking Giovanni to have a seat in the waiting room, and he performed a DNC, ultimately removing the baby’s remnants from the womb. I remember becoming deeply sad and in tears, and I hated that experience to the core of my being.

Giovanni never said he was sorry, and I never connected the dots at the time that there was a very significant chance that his actions of physical abuse could have very well caused the miscarriage. I think that reality was too much for me to bare on top of losing the baby. So I tucked it away and acted like it didn’t exist. It was my secret, and I never told anyone close to me either. Besides, I was scared to lose Giovanni; he was my whole world.

The miscarriage triggered some emotions in me that heightened more feelings about my birth mother. I remember a sadness set in like never before, and I would think of her. Was this how she felt when she lost me to adoption? Was she sorrowful? No one talked to me about grieving the loss of the baby I miscarried, yet I was expected to move on and never think about them again. Is that what my birth mother was told when she gave me up for adoption? Thoughts of her plagued my mind, as well as thoughts of the baby I would have given birth to less than six months away.

The days and weeks following the miscarriage became a blur to me. My sadness spiraled out of control. I was heavyhearted and grieving like I never imagined.

I had noticed a distance between Giovanni and me, but it was more a time distance on his part. We didn’t spend as much time together or see one another after I lost the baby. But then, I would learn that Giovanni was seeing someone else and finding this news out crushed me. I also learned he had slept with Tasha, who was my closest friend at the time. So I confronted him, only for him to completely deny the accusations.

While we tapered off from seeing one another like we originally had, my alone time increased because now, not only did I lose the baby, but I felt like Giovanni was slipping from my grasp. My friendship with Tasha was over because she told me it was true; she slept with Giovanni. I was broken-hearted and couldn’t seem to shake it. I dreamed of my birth mother daily, sometimes hourly. I wish she were close, and I wish I knew where she was. She would make this all better, but the painful reality was that she was nowhere around.

Just a few months before my 16th birthday, I decided I wanted to end my life. I didn’t have the energy to write a note. I didn’t have the strength to ask for help. I didn’t have anyone to talk to. So I went into Patricia’s room, grabbed a handful of her pills from her nightstand, and laid back in my bed. This was one of the darkest times of my life.

Why did I decide to share this piece of my story? Because at 47 years old, I genuinely believe the separation trauma from the loss of my birth mother impacted every area of my life. As long as therapists, counselors, adoptive parents, and others want to sweep this reality under the rug, adoptees will continue to be negatively impacted as I have been and so many of my fellow adoptees.

The abandonment I have felt my whole life has run deep to the core, and I believe I felt it in my subconscious memory and every fiber of my being. I believe that every decision I made growing up was a reflection of this trauma. I don’t have a fluffy adoption story that everyone wants to hear. I have a real story, and I want people to understand how abandonment and separation trauma from our biological mothers can impact us long-term.

I always share that I’m not into dishing out feel-good juice. I’m into dishing out the truth. I promised myself that I would always be true to myself and walk in my truth even when it might be uncomfortable for others. So this is why I am sharing MY TRUTH. This is not only for me, but so my fellow adoptees know they aren’t alone in feeling how they feel. They need to know they aren’t crazy. What’s crazy is removing babies from their mothers, expecting them to not have lifelong consequences. Adoptees are dying from the pain. If we want to make changes within the adoption arena, we have to stop softening our realities! My audible memoir is my adoptee reality.

I will never forget taking all the pills, swallowing five at a time with big gulps of water, taking at least 30 pills, if not more, hoping I could finally go to sleep and never wake again. This was because the pain I felt was too great and too much to feel. Finally, I truly felt I had nothing to live for, so I took the pills and nodded off to sleep.

Goodbye, world, were some of my last thoughts. I rocked myself to sleep all alone, as I usually did. Something about rocking made me feel close to my birth mother, and that’s all I wanted to be close to her in my last moments of life. I always wonder if she sat in a rocking chair pregnant with me?

During my last thoughts, I pondered with deep, heartbreaking sadness and tears streaming down my face soaking my pillow, that I would never get to look face to face with the woman I had dreamed of my whole life, my birth mother.

Facebook: Pamela A. Karanova

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*The views and opinions expressed in this article, memoir, and podcast are that of the author, Pamela A. Karanova. Reproduction of the material contained in this publication may be made only with the written permission of Pamela A. Karanova

Dear Non-Adopted Friends & Family Members

I will do my best to share from a place of grace because a lot is on the line here, but I also refuse to sugarcoat things to make them comfortable for anyone who reads this article. Hopefully, I can reach a middle ground that relays the message yet shares what is at stake in an upfront way. 

The lives of adopted individuals are in a crisis, and there is no time to wait in sharing this truth or to ponder on those who might take this article as a slap in the face or offensive. 

First things first, this article is for anyone who knows and loves an adopted individual and for those who can step into their shoes to try to gain a level of understanding that adoption might not be all you have known it to be. 

Do you have the emotional and mental capacity to do that? 

Are you open-minded and can see that other perspectives are entirely possible? 

If the answer is “YES,” Please continue. 

If you can’t do that, don’t bother reading any further.

Your time will be wasted. 

This information is for those who want to learn and those who can see beyond their own level of experience, knowledge, and understanding. 

My entire life, I’ve been silenced, shut down, and ridiculed by non-adopted individuals, and I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of seeing my fellow adoptees treated this way, and I can’t help but wonder if people understand the depts of their words and actions? Do they know their responses to us sharing feelings could be a life or death response from the adoptee? 

Adoptees are DYING!

I can’t help but give some of these people the benefit of the doubt that it’s not just adopted people they treat this way, but all people because they never learned the actual value of acknowledging someone’s feelings, sitting with others in their sadness, and also having empathy for others and trying to understand their viewpoints. I have learned the hard way, this is a gift, and not everyone has it. 

I have recently seen an adoptee share a meme (see below) on a social media post, and a long-time friend & family member decided to post a comment on the meme. This is what they said, “I don’t get it. Would you have rather grown up in an orphanage or foster care?” This reminds me of all the times we get, “Would you rather have been aborted?” or the infamous “You should be thankful you were adopted!” 

I couldn’t help but jump in and go to the defense of this young lady, who is a fellow adoptee, because his comment struck a chord with me. Even when the meme said, “Adoptees are 4x more likely to attempt suicide – Listen before its too late,” and he still didn’t have the common sense that it was OBVIOUS that the adoptee shared this for very valid and legit reasons. Gaslighting her into feeling bad about sharing it was an awful thing to do. Talk about insensitive and offensive to the adoptee experience, yet how many adoptees experience this daily? 

If we emerge from the fog and start sharing our feelings, we are always in fear someone will jump on us or tell us we’re ungrateful, and it can and does cause us to shrink back from sharing our truth. 

My point in sharing here is that you have no idea what it feels like to be an adoptee if you aren’t adopted. You don’t have a clue about the complexities that we carry around with us daily. You have two choices. To listen and try to learn from us OR you can turn the other way and ignore us like we’re the ungrateful adoptees the world says we are. BUT YOU WILL NOT continue to gaslight us and minimize our pain and suffering when it takes us our whole lives to get to a space where we feel confident enough to share our feelings. 

I know so many adoptees who have been on the edge of taking their own lives at various times in their lives. I am one of those adoptees. But, unfortunately, one friend or a family member can say something that literally can and will and has sent an adoptee over the edge of taking their own life, and there is no coming back. It happens all the time!

It blows me away that even when this meme says what it says, this individual had to insert his ignorant and self-serving comment without ever asking the adoptee, “Hey, I’m wondering if you can help me understand this better? I would love to learn from you!” 

I wrote an article back in 2014 – Just Listen, That is All. But if you want to do the world a favor, try to LEARN something new while you listen to adoptees share their experiences. It truly is a humbling thing when we come to a place in life where we acknowledge and accept that we don’t know everything and we can learn a lot of things from other people. 

If you have made it this far and are a friend or family member of an adopted person, thank you for reading. I would like to invite you not to comment when an adoptee shares feelings unless it’s coming from a place of support and understanding. What would you do if your comment was the breaking point for that person, and it was the last straw for them to feel once again invalidated, unheard and unacknowledged? You would have to live with that for the rest of your life, and there is no bringing that adoptee back. 

Like the meme says, LISTEN BEFORE ITS TOO LATE! 

How hard is it? 

TOO HARD FOR SOME PEOPLE! 

National Adoption Awareness Month is coming up, and so is Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th, and a lot of adoptees will be sharing feelings, thoughts, and emotions during these times. I invite everyone reading to try to understand the WHYS better when adoptees share how they are feeling. 

It costs nothing to be a kind and empathetic human being. 

I am thankful you are here for the adoptees who have made it this far because I want to invite you to cut these insensitive and harmful people out of your life. You do not need anyone in your life who tries to shut you down, silence you, and minimize your legitimate feelings. I encourage you to block, ban and delete anyone who can’t create space for you to share your story and emotions. Those are not your people, and it might be hard but do it anyway. You deserve to have people in your life who are understanding and empathetic for you and all that you carry. Allowing harmful people in your life will not serve you well in the long run. 

Family or not, they have to go.

Put yourself first, and set firm boundaries.  

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 Podcasts, iTunes , 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!

Love, Love. 

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the author, Pamela A. Karanova. Reproduction of the material contained in this publication may be made only with the written permission of Pamela A. Karanova

Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th – Express Yourself

As Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th approaches, a fundamental component to this day is to encourage all the adoptees to share their feelings on this day. The ways to get involved are limitless, but I have created a comprehensive list of how to participate on this day. You can visit the link by clicking here.

Express Yourself

I’ve suggested that adoptees express themselves by writing and sharing that writing on Adoptee Remembrance Day. You might want to share it with a few co-workers or at a Friday dinner with a few friends. Whatever your plans are, sparking conversations about what this day is all about is the key to opening up the discussion on how you feel about Adoptee Remembrance Day.

For those who don’t know, Adoptee Remembrance Day was created to pause before National Adoption Awareness Month and put a focus on remembrance of all the adoptees who didn’t make it out alive. Maybe the adoptee was murdered at the hands of their adoptive parents, or they took their own life because the pain was just too great. Perhaps they are an international adoptee who’s adoptive parents failed to complete the proper paperwork for citizenship, leaving the adoptee in limbo, a lot of times deported from the only country they have ever known.

Express Yourself

Adoptee Remembrance Day is a day to reflect on adoptee loss. While our world seems to dismiss the side of adoption that doesn’t acknowledge this loss, the adoptee lives with this pain our entire lives. Most of the time, never being able to articulate the words at a young age, so we spend our whole lives trying to process how we feel inside.

Express Yourself

Adoptee Remembrance Day is to share those feelings at your comfort level. It’s a day of acknowledgment. It’s a day for adopted individuals and our allies to come together and raise our voices on areas that we are passionate about and our feelings about this day.  

Express Yourself

You don’t have to be adopted to acknowledge Adoptee Remembrance Day. Maybe you are a friend or family member of an adoptee, and you’ve seen this adoptee experience heartbreak and pain regarding their adoption journey. Perhaps you are a family member of an adoption that was closed. Maybe you are the adult child of an adoptee, and adoption has echoed throughout your life, and loss has been prevalent.  

Express Yourself

Adoptee Remembrance Day is a day for adoptees worldwide to be heard, validated, and acknowledged. Whatever your feelings are about this day, I encourage you to focus and reflect on the places you hold deep inside and consider letting them out. Maybe sharing them is too much for you at this time, but writing about them and letting them out is one of the most critical steps. Start a journal, and keep writing. Consider making a video or a song. Being creative in art, spoken word or poetry would fit right in. Anything you can do to share how adoption has made you feel…

Express Yourself!

  • If you would like to share them publicly, visit the Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th Facebook page and learn how to get involved. Invite your friends and family to this page and the event as well.
  • To get involved with the promotion of this day, please visit our promoting Adoptee Remembrance Day page.
  • You can view the Adoptee Remembrance Day Agenda (we will insert the link once it’s ready) to find out a list of events and activities that are going on that day.

The key is to do something!

Express yourself in whatever way feels natural and organic to you.

Share the love and get involved.

A special shout out and THANK YOU to the individuals and organizations who have reached out to me to collaborate to add an activity to this day. Thank you! I couldn’t pull this day off without your willingness to participate.

If you’re an adoptee who wants to share your Adoptee Expressions on Adoptee Remembrance Day, please email me at adopteeremembranceday@gmail.com for guidelines.

Sending Sunshine, Love & Light