Adoptees, Mental Health & Daily Self-Care

Once again, I’m noticing a significant amount of changes in the adoptee community, and it’s helped me reevaluate and reorganize my commitments on where I stand within this community. We all have the abilities to make these choices for ourselves.

Back in 2010, when I started to emerge from the fog, Adopteeland (the online adoptee community) was a welcoming place to be in. It was a light to not only me but hundreds of thousands of fellow adoptees. We made online friends, we built online relationships, and we helped one another online when the other was down. 

I remember all of the “aha” moments I experienced in hearing other adoptees share their stories, and little by little, my story started to come out just like the adoptees I knew that shared their stories before me. It was empowering. I was finally able to tap into my deep-rooted issues that stem from being relinquished by my birth mother and being adopted into an abusive adoptive home. I started to share my feelings little by little, and it was validating and freeing in many ways. Eleven years of being completely consumed in Adopteeland has passed, and I’ve learned many things in that time. 

Part of sharing my feelings on my website has been for my healing, but it’s also to help my fellow adoptees who might be reading from afar so they know they aren’t crazy for feeling the way they feel. Our feelings are expected for a not normal situation. Nothing is normal about being separated from your biological mothers at the beginning of life. 

As years have passed, I saw the recognizable need for adoptee-centric spaces that meet in person, in our neighborhoods, and our communities. After a close call with my contemplation of ending my life in 2017, I decided I wanted to take all the pain I was carrying from my adoption experience and do something positive with it. For me, I describe it as finding purpose in the pain. It’s saved my life to create Adoptees Connect, Inc. In return, the resource itself has saved the lives of many adoptees around the USA and beyond who attend our in-person groups. 

Around 2018, I noticed an overwhelming and alarming amount of cyberbullying and cyber mobbing in Adopteeland. It was disturbing in every regard. I have seen fellow adoptees bully other adoptees to the point of attempting to take their own lives. It was so disturbing to see, and I created an Adoptees Connect Social Disclaimer because of this activity. I decided that any of the platforms I am a part of cannot and will not turn a blind eye to this type of behavior.  All of our volunteers and facilitators must agree to abide by this disclaimer to join our organization. 

I was hoping many of the other organizations in Adopteeland would follow suit, but sadly I have been greatly disappointed in that area. 

Let me be honest, aside from the adoptee vs. adoptee discord, the internet, in general, isn’t a safe space for anyone. Adopteeland is filled with triggers for adopted individuals, and time and time again, I see the fallout from these events. Someone is always getting hurt, and that’s never a good feeling. Adopteeland, just like the internet in general, is a breeding ground for keyboard warriors to flex their muscles and mistreat people disrespectfully and downright awful. Many people have big balls on the internet, even women. I have seen adoptees turn on other adoptees or adoptee-centric organizations and the drop of a dime. It doesn’t matter how much good they have done in the adoption community. This is the same community they wish to protect and care for. No one can be trusted on the internet. All of my real adoptee friends are ones I connect with offline, off the internet. There is a small group of them, and they know who they are. 

Because of the increasing toxicity of Adopteeland and the internet in general, I have decided to make some very significant changes for myself, and I hope you consider doing the same. First, I had to self-reflect and ask myself how these interactions with other adoptees and organizations made me feel? Do I feel consciously good about them, or do they leave me feeling drained, sad, depressed, isolated, and alone? Do they trigger me? How do I respond to the triggers? Are they interfering with my quality of life?

A lot of the time, I had so many fires in the oven all over Adopteeland, I sacrificed my time as if my commitments to Adopteeland were a full-time job. I knew the commitments created needed resources, and they were areas that had never been touched in the adoptee community before. I held my commitment to Adopteeland as one of the primary and most significant commitments of my life. This is 11 years of time I can never get back. 

I can’t lie; it’s taken a toll. 

I woke up one day and learned I had been misled by this community I put so much trust in because I saw what they would do to others. I knew they could do the same to me. Adopteeland can and will turn on you in a heartbeat, stab you in the back, and LITERALLY leave you for dead. Most of them don’t care about you. You are just another adoptee on the internet. I have seen adoptees set up cyber mob attacks towards other adoptees or organizations and not think twice about the person they are cyberbullying or what they might be going through in their personal lives. After many years of seeing my fellow adoptees get dragged through the mud, I realized I could no longer witness such travesties. My heart hurts and hurts deeply when I see these interactions online, and it aches me to the core to see adoptees harm fellow adoptees. This is not the community I want to put my hope, trust, and time into. This is one of the main reasons Adoptees Connect groups meet in person in real life. To bypass the internet and build genuine in-person relationships.

It’s life or death for many of us. 

Don’t get me wrong, there are adoptees worldwide whom I have built relationships with online and who mean the world to me, and I will never meet many of them in person. They aren’t included in the Adopteeland problematic scene. They are kind, loving, compassionate, and would do anything for the adoptee community. I would do anything for them. They know who they are. 

Adoptees are tender individuals, and no matter what anyone does that I don’t agree with or dislike, I don’t have a right to cyberbully them or set up cyber mobbing attacks on that adoptee or an adoptee-centric organization. If I was to lower myself to that type of activity, it’s CLEAR that Adopteeland isn’t a place for me. 

I think it is safe to say the old days of Adopteeland back in 2010 are dead and gone, and for my mental health, I have had to disconnect and release myself from 99.9% of adoptee-centric spaces on the internet. Let me be honest; I don’t give my time too much on the internet these days. I have a beautiful life to live, and I don’t like the primary bloodsucker (internet) stealing the most valuable thing I have, my time.

Another dynamic to my mental health is not over-committing myself to adoptee/adoption-centric responsibilities. I sometimes think, as adoptees, when we find the online community, we get so excited we jump all in headfirst. But the kicker for many of us is that we forget to swim back to shore and find life again. It’s sometimes tough, if not impossible, to find a happy balance between life outside of adoption commitments and to be adopted and finding happiness in the world. 

For me, Adopteeland and adoptee-centric activities have drained the life out of me. I think it’s so important that we listen to our bodies and make changes when things aren’t bringing us solitude and happiness. It’s essential that we learn that many things are for a season, and we’re not supposed to sit in Adopteeland or the Adoption arena FOREVER. It will keep us stuck, and I am a prime example that it’s kept me stuck for a long time. 

I don’t regret a minute of my time in Adopteeland, and I am not disappearing. However, I have to put my mental health first because my mental health suffering was impacting my physical health. I encourage anyone reading this to listen to your bodies and what they are telling you. It’s okay to back out of commitments and also prioritize them. 

Adoption and Adoptee related topics are draining AF. The internet and Adopteeland are draining AF. Self-care is an essential dynamic to being knee-deep in something as heavy as adoption. I have developed a very effective self-care routine, and most of the things I do to take care of myself have nothing to do with adoption other than writing. For me, this means removing myself from ALL THINGS ADOPTEE/ADOPTION at times. My self-care routine are the things I’ve found that re-energize me and allow me to stay grounded and centered. Hiking, walking, writing, reading, bonfires, sunrises, sunsets, outdoors, spending time with my kids and loved ones, my dogs, arts and crafts, kayaking, tending to my plant addiction, etc.

Staying in something so heavy so much of the time can and will impact our quality of life. 

I challenge you, if you are an adoptee in Adopteeland spaces, to be mindful of your emotional, mental, and physical health being challenged. Be aware of your interactions on the internet, with others and how you treat people, and how you allow them to treat you. Be mindful of the triggers you experience and how your body responds to the triggers. Adopteeland can be an unhealthy place to be involved in. In the beginning, it’s like you finally found your tribe, a euphoric feeling. It has a lot of pros to it, but all of a sudden, you get sucked into something, and your whole life is consumed into it, from the minute you wake up to the minute you lay your head down at night. Nothing as heavy as adoption can be healthy without consistent and committed self-care and a healthy balance.

Every. Single. Day. 

If anyone on the internet has mistreated you, adopted or not, I encourage you to report them if possible and block and ban them from all of your platforms. However, if you are the creator of a platform and allow this behavior to occur on your platform, I would like to ask you why you let abuse happen? Turning a blind eye, you are no better than the cyberbully or emotional abuser. I used to have a loyalty to the adoptees in Adopteeland, but that ship has sailed and sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Unfortunately, there are many problematic adoptees in Adopteeland, and I will not tolerate anyone’s bullshit. Period. 

We have to realize that sometimes people make mistakes in person and online. We’re all human beings, and we don’t always get it right. If you make a mistake and have tried to right your wrong, and someone won’t allow for an honest, professional, and open dialog to find a solution for the mishap, you can walk away. If someone drains the life out of you, you can walk away. If anyone is bullying you and cyber mobbing you, you do not have to tolerate this behavior. I wonder what the online cyber bullies would do if they pushed another human being over the edge to end their lives? Would they still advocate for adoptee suicide?

WALK AWAY. 

REPORT ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR. 

BLOCK. 

BAN. 

DELETE. 

Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th is approaching. I picked one day on behalf of Adoptees Connect, Inc. to be a day we highlight Adoptee Suicide and all the other dynamics ARD symbolizes. I thought long and hard about this. One day was picked (over a week or month) because of the sensitive nature and focus of the day and how it can impact the adoptee community long term. One day seemed like a better idea than a week or a month because I worry about the mental health of anyone participating in such sensitive topics for a longer duration than a day. 

I am noticing the rise of a three-month highlight, starting with September being Adoptee Suicide Awareness Month, followed by October and November trailing on with some of the same highlights. I commend all adoptees who are pouring their hearts and souls into bringing awareness on such an important topic for the adoptee community. I support each of you!

First, of course, November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and it’s heavy and triggering for adoptees in its own way.  I worry significantly and even gravely for the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of all the adoptees participating in these topics for up to three months in a row. Do they have the resources they need? Are people spreading love and light during a difficult time? Who’s on standby when someone is on overload with emotions piling up during such a lengthy focus on such a excruciatingly painful topic?

I know for sure, my emotional and mental well-being can only take one day of it, and I am dedicating that day to Adoptee Remembrance Day. After that, I can not and will not be able to participate in more. It’s just too heavy. I would die committing to more, and I am not saying this lightly. 

One of the main points of me writing this article is that I’m worried about the adoptee community, and I see some awful interactions happening that are harmful and hurtful to the productivity of so many amazing causes. I’ve witnessed dark sides of adoptees I have known online and loved for years that I never thought I would see. In experiencing and seeing these things, I will continue to take steps back away from the same community I have poured my heart and soul into for 11+ years. My main focus is Adoptees Connect, Inc., and that’s the only commitment I have time for these days. Keep in mind, while Adoptees Connect does have a social media account on Facebook and Instagram, the root and main focus of the entire vision of the organization is creating OFFLINE adoptee-centric spaces that meet in person, in real life for many of these reasons. That’s where I choose to put my focus, time, and energy. I can’t get sucked into online drama, and I avoid it to the fullest at all costs. 

Please be careful with your online interactions and the amount of trust you put into Adopteeland. Please give yourself the gift of walking away from anything, anyone, and everything that doesn’t serve your emotional, mental and physical health positively. If Adopteeland is too triggering for you, either walk away entirely or set yourself boundaries and participate in small microdoses. Understand and recognize when your time’s up, and you can cross over to finding other fulfilling things in life. If you don’t do it on your own, your body will do it for you!  

Take care of yourself, and above all things, please put your Mental Health first. 

For any adoptees struggling right now, here are some Recommended Resources we have listed on the Adoptees Connect website. Please share them in your online communities.

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 Dreaming & The Island of Lost

[DREAM] – Indulge in daydreams or fantasies about something greatly desired.

[LOST] – Having gone astray or missed the way; bewildered as to place, direction, etc.

Dreaming – One more adoptee robbery to add to the list of LOST. The traditional concept of dreaming has been out-of-place for most of my life.

While other little girls were dreaming of what dolls they wanted for Christmas, I was dreaming of finding my birth mother, living in mental torment every day. She was nowhere to be found.

While other little girls were celebrating their birthdays, I was wishing my birth mother would come back to get me, feeling like an outsider on the island of LOST.

Being adopted comes with a heavy cost.

While other little girls were thinking about one day getting married and having children, I was obsessed with finding my birth family. Who were they? Where were they? Why haven’t they come back to find me?

While other little girls were dreaming about what college they wanted to go to, and what they wanted to be when they grew up, I was fighting the world to find out WHO I AM? Where did I come from? Who do I look like? Why am I so tall?

While other little girls were playing with barbies and baby dolls, I was searching for my people. Everywhere I went, I was looking for them. Who matches my hair and skin tone? Could they be my people? Is that my mother?  Is that my sister or my brother?

While other little girls excelled and enjoyed school, I was riddled with anxiety and fears about the previous nights traumatic experience in my home. Concentrating on school and school work was impossible.

While other little girls were playing outside with their friends, I was trying to escape the prison I was adopted into. Chore lists the size of poster boards was all I knew. The work was never done. Ever.

While other little girls were watching Saturday morning cartoons, I was searching in my adoptive moms filing cabinet looking for any clue as to who I really was.

While other little girls sit back in awe as they hear their birth story shared by their families, I had no birth story. When you have a birth story, you feel real. Feeling REAL has always been a struggle. Having no roots contributes to the magnitude of being on the island of LOST.

While other little girls were having sleepovers and telling their friends which boys they liked, I was rubbing my adoptive moms back, feet and legs. Brushing her hair and putting makeup on her. Running her bath water and scrubbing her back. Fetching her Pepsi’s and pills.

While other little girls were being spoiled by their grandparents, I was recovering from witnessing my adoptive mom trying to commit suicide. Over and over. Trauma wounds piled up.  

Mental torment was my constant companion, and I did not have time for typical little girl dreams. A childhood misplaced, but I have survived. It has taken me 46 years to feel even a little alive.

I must make up for all the lost little girl dreams, it seems.

I want to be free, with the sunshine all over me. I want to see the rainbows even on the darkest days and climb trees to the top. I want the teardrops to stop, to sit on the mountain tops and make new memories with those I love, nonstop.

I want to love and be loved with no agenda. I want to be surrounded by friends where I do not have to censor my thoughts. I want to connect with mother nature because we are one – This is just for starters.

I am not close to being done.

I must make up for whatever has been lost, no matter what the cost. The future belongs to me, but I must be the one to see. Brightness is all around, no more letting others let me down.

Smile. Be Free. The future is bright but only if you see that beauty surrounds us in everyday life. I have learned to embrace feeling LOST, because being adopted comes with a hefty cost.  I’ve learned that in feeling lost, I’ve actually been found.

Dream little, dream big, I must be true to me and do whatever it is I love to do. It is never too late to look myself in the mirror and embrace what I see, the key is learning to love ME.

This is my adoptee reality.

It’s time to take back what was stolen from me.

R.I.P. RECOVERY

img_0181Never in a million years would I think I would be at a place where I would be writing about this topic, let alone feel like it is a piece of fabric intertwined into my journey.

So much has changed in my life in the last 6 months, like it has for most of us. For me, the good seems to outweigh the bad but that does not mean there was not a lot of pain to get here. I think if we are all honest Covid-19 has rocked our worlds to the core, followed by the racial injustices and racism we continue to see that is dominated the news and our worlds in the recent weeks. Let us be honest, it has always been there, we are just now seeing it at this magnitude.

I have been thinking recently about everything I have learned along my recovery journey all the way back to my childhood being in treatment at 15 years old. I have heard many times that once you consider yourself in recovery, you will always be in recovery. Like the saying, once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. I have heard that one too. I remember that one of the significant steps towards recovery was accepting that my recovery journey was a way of life, forever.

Ball and chain, ride or die recovery for life! 

One of the most wonderful things about growth is the ability to see ourselves differently from the person we used to be. For me, everything has changed in the last 8 years. On August 13, 2020 I will celebrate 8 years sobriety and let me tell you – It is a day I celebrate. It also happens to be my birthday. The day I came into this world and the same day I was separated form my birth mother forever, is the same day I celebrate my sobriety birthday. It might not be for the reasons you think, so let me share a little bit.

The last day I drank alcohol was the day I truly started living. That is when the shit got real, and adoptee issues smacked me straight in the face. They had always been with me, but alcohol numbed the pain at least temporarily. The last drink I ever had, was the end of the old me and I was welcomed by being an Adoptee in Recovery. It was a rebirth, a new life, and it has taken me 8 years of blood, sweat and tears to get to the space of arrival to where I am today. I could write for days at all the work I have put in to get here, but I don’t have time to write it and I’m sure you don’t have time to read it.

The reason I am celebrating that day is not because I was born that day. That is a very painful piece of my story, as it is for most adoptees. I gifted my kids a new mom that day, and I gifted myself a new life. That is why I celebrate that day. I also celebrate it as a reminder of all the heartache I had to go through to get to the place of sobriety for 8 years. I think I will always celebrate this day, and it means something different to me than almost everyone else. It is accomplishment, freedom, joy, and pain. I cried years of tears and sat with a lifetime of adoptee pain to finally get to a place where I can finally say “I’m Okay.”

That does not mean I do not have bad days or bad hours. It just means that I have accepted I am adopted and there is not anything I can do about it. I have accepted both my birth parents rejected me and my adoptive family was abusive and there is nothing I can do about it. I have walked through good days and bad days, and still process this pain daily. I have accepted that the pain is here to stay, and although it might get easier on occasion, I know it will always come back around because I will always be adopted. The layers of pain are just too great to disappear, so I have learned to welcome it and learn to sit with the pain.

Let me be clear, I will ALWAYS be recovering from the damage adoption has done! I will always share that damage, and my journey so other adoptees are inspired, and so they don’t feel alone. 

I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE.  

I think recovery is something we move through. Some of us attach it to us for the rest of our lives, and some of us can move through it and let go of the label when and if the time is right. Whatever works for each of us individually is all that matters. It’s not a life sentence and I refuse to accept it is any longer.

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I no longer have a desire to drink, and quitting the alcohol was the easiest part for me. I have been asking myself lately why I must attach the label “RECOVERY” to my life forever? Because they said so? Those in the recovery realm have told me that is what I need to do to stay in sobriety? Yes, that is part of it. I have learned for years that the minute I no longer consider myself in recovery, is a pathway to relapse to my old life. This has truly been embedded into my mind and I have always been ride or die recovery because of it. The THOUGHT of removing that label has never entered my mind until now.

I learned in the recovery world, that working the 12 steps was an ongoing process. I remember working them back to back for years. One day it was like a light switch went off and I realized years had passed me by and I was on this merry-go-round ride going around and around on the recovery wagon nonstop. Countless time invested that I can never get back, however I would not change a thing. These experiences have brought me great understanding and wisdom not only about myself, but the world we live in.  In this flip I switched, I made more changes in my life. I withdrew from Celebrate Recovery to “find myself” outside of the rules and regulations of this ministry and recovery program.

Most of you reading understand my love for nature but I will be clear, I did not reconnect with this love until after I left the church and the recovery ministry all together. They were two things that sucked my time bone dry, and I did not have time to do anything else. Fast forward to now and it is 2020 and all I want to do in my spare time is escape to nature and I have found it to be the greatest aspect to my healing journey yet to date.

What if I have worked so hard and so long at recovery, that I really feel okay with my life now? What if I have pulled out all my root issues and worked on them for years and I have moved forward with my life? What if I am no longer stuck? What if I have decided I want to write my own pages of my story and I have finally decided I no longer want to refer to myself as being in recovery? What if I am comfortable with this?

What if the recovery world does not support me or if they judge me or tell me I am making a bad choice? What about Adoptees in Recovery? How will I identify myself moving forward? What will people think? Can I still share my recovery journey with others? Can I still celebrate my sobriety?

The moral of the story is, I genuinely do not care what anyone thinks. These fears have been on my mind off an on over the last few months, and I am finally ready to let them go while I make a public declaration that I am saying RIP to RECOVERY. Being an outsider looking in, although this is a piece of my story, I have noticed this label has hindered me in many areas of life.

I am determined to not let this change the fact that I am always growing and moving forward. I am always striving for greatness and continuing to improve my life in all areas, mind, body, and spirit. I truly feel all I am doing is dropping the label because I have put in all the work and effort that if I want to drop it, I can. I don’t like how this can be a life sentence. It’s up to us to write the pages of our story, not one is going to do it for us. No one has the right to try to confine us to commit to any label for the rest of our lives.

I want to just live my life.

I want to be happy and free from all the rules and regulations that go along with recovery and what that even looks like depending on what recovery program I am a part of. Yes, things still hurt sometimes, and they always will but I’m no longer interested in continuing with the ride or die, ball and chain link to the recovery world that I’ve invested so much time in for the last 8 years. Recovery has been such a huge part of my life for so long, it is going to take me some time to stop using the terminology but if I am being honest that is all it really was. Nothing is going to change aside from removing the lifelong life sentence of the label. I hate labels, all labels. They can and do cause a lot of damage, so one by one I am removing them.

Can’t I just be someone who doesn’t drink alcohol?

Sure I can!

I don’t have to cling tight to a label for the rest of my life to do this. 

I am writing my own story, and today I am Pam and I am happy internally. I’m healing daily, I am moving forward and growing. Instead of saying “I’m Pam and I am in recovery from LIFE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE” I am going to start sharing that “I’m Pam and  I have finally found a LOVE FOR LIFE!”

With this, I must go live it!

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Until I did the 8 years of time recovering, this would not be possible. I do not regret a thing. I just want to enjoy life; do the things I love and spend time with those I am close too. That is, it.

RIP RECOVERY

TODAY I’M FREE

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!

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Adoptee in Recovery – When Forged Forgiveness Becomes Fatal 

1f6ae293-fe8e-4e1f-903b-0e9d69324cafTo my friends, David Bohl and GRH –   Thank you for giving me the courage to write about this! 

As I continue on my recovery and healing journey, so many things are coming to the light about different areas I’ve navigated over the years. One of those areas is the topic of forgiveness. This is going to be lengthy, so get a cup of coffee and be prepared. 

The world says “If you let go, by forgiving others you don’t have to hold onto resentment and anger” It’s said that forgiveness is necessary for personal growth. I can see this might be true in some circumstances and for minor hurts, but my thoughts shared here are relating to forgiveness towards traumatic events and situations because of someone else’s harmful actions. 

What is considered traumatic? That’s for each person to decide. What’s traumatic to me, might not be traumatic to you. My role in sharing this information is to shine a light about a topic that’s significantly complex, with many layers from the perspective of an adult adoptee in recovery. Everyone seems to have their own opinion about what forgiveness is, or isn’t and this is usually in alignment with the experiences that person has gained over their lifetime. 

I’ve heard about forgiveness over the years, but I was never in a position to apply it to my life, nor did I see a need for it when I was young. It wasn’t a topic of conversation but I also wasn’t on a healing journey as a child either. In 2012 I started my healing journey and things changed. This sparked a significant experience with forgiveness as I got involved with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and I started working the 12 Steps. Not long after I learned of Celebrate Recovery, and forgiveness was talked about even more but it was in a religious setting because Celebrate Recovery is a ministry. 

Although I have an appreciation for both of these programs and the concept of forgiveness, I’m now an outsider looking in because I no longer attend either of these programs and I’ve been reflecting on my experiences with both. 

Let me back things up to give you a little history. 

When I was 15 years old, I was lost, alone, broken, rage filled and I had no hope in life. Not only was I experiencing abuse in my adoptive home, but my fantasy of my birth mother coming back to get me was shattered, and reality was beginning to set in. 

SHE WAS NEVER COMING BACK. 

SHE was constantly on my mind, but where was she? Who was she? I acted out in every way possible and began using substances daily at 12 years old.  My struggles were 100% adoption related, but adoption was never talked about and never mentioned so I turned to substances, because I didn’t want to feel. I didn’t know how to feel. Most days I wanted to die, but somehow I found myself committed to drug and alcohol rehab in a locked facility at 15 years old. 

I will never forget being locked in an all white room, and a nurse came in and handed me the big book. I had no clue what the big book was, but for those who don’t know it’s the story of Bill W. who’s the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, and he shares how to recover from alcoholism. It’s focused on the 12 Steps and 8 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. 

I asked myself, “did I hit rock bottom at 15 years old?” I hadn’t even begun to live my life yet. I had barely made it out of Jr. High, and I found myself locked in rehab, with a big book in my hand. I will never forget reading the first few pages, and the first few chapters. So let me get this straight, finding GOD was the cure all to this recovery thing? The only way I was going to graduate this drug and alcohol treatment program, and get out was finding GOD? And working these 12 steps. Today, I ask myself, ‘what were my other options?”  

I had none. 

So this huge gigantic responsibility was placed on me, TO FIGURE IT OUT. The entire treatment program and my recovery depended on it because the effectiveness of the entire AA program will depend on this decision to “turn my will and my life over to God, as I understood Him.”  

Let’s break that down a little more, “AS I UNDERSTOOD HIM.” I had no clue what this even meant, but I was either going with the punches, working these 12 steps or never graduate this program. Let me be honest. I didn’t care about any of it, because I just wanted to go drink and use again. I had no choice in this and I was forced to play along. I asked a few of the inmates (it was like jail so that’s what I will call them) what god they turned their wills and life over to in hopes to gain a better understanding. They expressed the God that created the earth, the bible was the word, and that was the only way this thing was going to work. 

I remember having experiences with that same God when I was growing up. My adoptive mom had us read devotionals, we went to church, performed in church plays, and she made us say prayers before meals. 

But now, my entire life depended on turning my will and my life over to God as I understood him. What did this even mean? To be honest, I didn’t understand him but I did what I had to do to get out. I finally worked all the 12 steps, and after about 8 weeks I graduated the program. During my time in this locked treatment facility, I never once worked on or talked about any of my root adoptee related issues, like relinquishment trauma, grief, loss, abandonment, the primal wound, etc. I got out, went and got high and drunk again as soon as I was free. 

I did NOT want to feel adoption, and at all costs and I didn’t.

 Of course, if the tools were present and I had help, I’m sure I would have been able to process but that’s not how things worked for me. I had no tools, no one opening up conversations about my adoptee reality,  it was a taboo topic. The less we talked about it, the better for everyone else. I felt truly alone in the world, but it wasn’t a happy alone. It was a deep, dark sad alone. I spent the next 27 years drinking alcohol, and using as many drugs as I could get my hands on as a way to numb my reality.  So many times in my life, I just wanted to die because my adoptee pain has been that great. Reality, I didn’t want to feel the pain anymore and I had no tools to work on my issues. In my mind, the only way to get rid of it is to go to sleep and never wake up again. Two times as a teenager I was unseccessful at trying to commit suicide, taking a hand full of pills each time, only waking up later regretful that the pills didn’t work. My adoptive parents never knew, and they still don’t. I just wanted out.  The next 27 years was a roller coaster of a ride. 

As 2012 hit, so did my next attempt at recovery and the 12 steps once again smacked me straight in my face. Here we go again. What other options were presented to me or available? 

None.

Even after seeing dozens of therapists all the way back to being 5 years old into my adult life.

NONE. 

The only way to get healing is turning my life and will over to God, and making sure I forgive all those who have harmed me, even if they aren’t sorry, and even if I hadn’t even worked on the issues at all. I also had to forgive God, and forgive myself, which was the hardest part.  As I set out on my recovery journey, I learned the rules to forgiveness in the religious realm are, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” – Matthew 6:14

I remember my time heavily in the church, surrounding myself with Christian’s and church people the advice and information I was getting was solely from them and I also researched forgiveness. As they shared, and the bible shared, I knew that forgiveness was such an important part of healing, and the 12 steps so I worked on figuring out the true meaning of forgiveness and what it meant to me. I knew it was something for me, not the other person. The more I learned, I applied this to my life, but I also shared it with others on many occasions, especially during the 4 years I served in leadership for the women’s chemical dependency group in Celebrate Recovery. I remember internally struggling with the fact that I had forgiven someone like I was told to do by the 12 steps, but I still had major issues with the situation or the person I had forgiven. This only made me feel more defective than I already felt. It made me feel worse, because I must not be doing something right. It was like a dark cloud hanging over my head, combined with my heart torn into shreds. It was a horrible life for many of my years on earth. 

I learned that in order for us to be forgiven by God, we had to forgive others who had harmed us. It’s said this “deal” could potentially send us to hell, and it would always keep us in bondage if we didn’t make the choice to forgive others, God and ourselves. I learned that once we make the choice to forgive others for them harming us and when we forgive ourselves, we then had to consciously decide to never bring it up again, and never discuss it or tell others about it, otherwise it wasn’t true forgiveness. Even when we thought about it again, we weren’t to speak about it, at all. 

In my mind, this is more like coerced and mandatory forgiveness, (forged) but not true from the heart and it’s also ABUSIVE.  Writing this today, I’ve come to the realization of how I personally feel this can be extremely damaging and even fatal for some people. I know in the AA Big Book, it says to find “God as I understood Him” and the forgiveness rules are possibly a little different than in the religious settings. But both of these ideas of forgiveness ignited the fact that I had to forgive others in order to make it out alive and complete these 12 steps. And what about there truly being no other choice towards healing, aside from working these 12 steps? 

Why wasn’t I given anymore options? 

Let me make this clear, I wholeheartedly believe that the 12 steps in AA and Celebrate Recovery have worked wonders and saved the lives of many individuals, and for that I’m very thankful. However, this topic is a critical thing, and it’s important it’s shared, especially with Adoptees in general, but specifically my fellow Adoptees in Recovery. 

I’m not addressing forgiveness for minor or petty offenses. I’m not talking about when someone TRULY makes a mistake, and they are sorry they did something and us forgiving them and giving second chances.  I’m not talking about those that don’t intentionally hurt us. We can easily say, “That person didn’t know what they were doing” but many times forgiveness is extended to people who knew what they were doing. Improper forgiveness can keep us in bondage, and it can set the forgiver up to be victimized again, and again, and again with the offender never being truly sorry or remorseful. This is ABUSIVE. THIS IS BONDAGE. 

Do you ever feel like forgiveness defends the abusers? I do. Do you ever feel like forgiveness feels like giving our abusers a free pass? I do. When someone has root issues that are trauma based, the whole idea of forgiveness can be very damaging, and oftentimes deadly. I can share this, because this is how forgiveness has impacted me, when it’s been presented in a way it has throughout my lifetime. Forced upon me by scriptures backing it up, and through programs I had to complete to LIVE, it’s clearly had me backed in a corner with nowhere to turn. It manipulated me to the core of my being. 

Until Now…

I realize that there are more resources today than there were when I was 15 years old, and even when I started my recovery journey in 2012. Today I’m thinking for myself, and I’m not being backed into a corner with no options.  I realize that I possibly didn’t have all the tools for recovery in my recovery tool box and there are more possibilities today than there was before. The more I learn about forgiveness, and all the different dynamics of it, the more I’m informed if it works for me or if it doesn’t work for me. 

I resent the fact that from the biblical concept of forgiveness and the world’s standards, I’ve felt 100% manipulated and duped into forgiving others, God and myself. What I wonder is, if I’m supposed to forgive all those who hurt me, myself and God and if I don’t God won’t forgive me, but he sends so many people to hell, so where is his forgiveness for others? Isn’t this quite the double standard and mental mind manipulation?  It’s lead me to question God all together, and rethink my entire approach on what I believe and what I don’t believe. I’m going to save that for another article, but it’s coming. 

I don’t know about you, but the idea that a person that has been victimized has a responsibility placed on them to forgive their perpetrator/s is pretty disgusting and a topic I’ve found to be very disheartening. Anyone who is pushing forgiveness onto others is doing it for their own gain, and their own agenda, not yours. A lot of the wounds people care are inner child wounds, and being forced or coerced to forgive others is extremely toxic and damaging!

For me, where I am today, what if I personally don’t believe in forgiveness based on my experience with it, but I believe in holding people accountable for their shitty actions? What if I make the choice if I want to allow them in my life or not without being manipulated into forgiving them? What if MY WAY isn’t the WORLDS WAY but who gives a shit, because it’s what works for me? Would you believe me if I told you that I’m at peace with things, but I haven’t forgiven anyone by the world’s standards? That doesn’t mean I still don’t have traumatic memories, or have trauma work to do.  What if I take forgiveness and everything about it and toss it in the trash? Shouldn’t we want to consciously and organically in our hearts want to give people second chances, be better people or come to peace with things on our own time without an entire belief system manipulating us into doing so? This manipulation with forgiveness has actually hindered me, kept me in bondage, and held me back from true authentic and organic healing. This is life or death for many of us. 

 Forced and Forged Forgiveness can add layers of shame onto victims, for not “getting over something” or for “sharing their trauma.” Once you forgive someone, you’re supposed to get over it, and move on with your life. What if you don’t get over it or move on? “Here you are talking about it again” … Shame comes in after we’ve said to forgive someone,  when you are simply having natural and very legitimate feelings associated with a very real situation for you. This isn’t helping people, only hurting them worse. I’ve had people09be5a42-2952-4e14-810c-0c40893545c9 silence me with scriptures, when I share very real feelings with them. “You’ve already forgiven yourself for that, the devil is only bringing it up again because he wants you to live in condemnation.”  Talk about BONDAGE and MENTAL MIND F&^KS. It’s becoming apparent to me that this belief system can cause great amounts of harm, and even become fatal to some. (I plan on writing about that later) 

Let’s touch on the our society’s “positive culture” that surrounds our lives today. Positive vibes, clearing any and all negative energies from our sacred spaces, and much of the time we’re denying our own feelings, stuffing them down and bypassing processing them just to fit into the mold of the world and the preaching of positive vibes. You see motivational speakers kicking into high drive, and spiritual circles silencing you with scriptures all to keep the positive vibes going.  Have you learned what Spiritual Bypassing is? I suggest you research it, and it’s a real thing. Also research Religious Trauma Syndrome. Your life will never be the same. 

As adoptees, it’s so important we understand that anger, and feelings of grief, loss and sadness are perfectly legitimate feelings, and they come in waves for many of us. Are you leaving room for these feelings within your friends and family and within your circle? If not, please reconsider because it’s life and death. I don’t have time to preach positivity when adoptees are dying! Once we are in a position to process these feelings, in natural ways we then start healing. When positive culture is shoved down our throats, like it is in churches, spiritual settings, and in society as a whole it leaves no room for us to share our pain. Just like forged forgiveness, this can be fatal. We really need to rethink our approach, and stop forcing this culture on everyone. We have to do better. 

Anger can be a very positive thing when used the right way. Anger can be used to fuel change, create visions, and put action behind them. We have to stop silencing people when they share it, and stop trying to dish out feel good juice, and learn to sit with people in their pain. I’m not talking about ANGER that abuses and hurts other people which is HUGE as well. This is when anger is toxic to others and it isn’t productive. We can each set our own boundaries if this type of anger influences our lives, or the lives of others. But before we get to the other side of healing starting, we have to process the anger FIRST. 

If you step out of the box filled with influences from your lifetime, please know It is entirely possible for someone to get to a place of acceptance, and peace about a situation and forgiveness has never been extended. Please know forgiveness culture can be very damaging when it’s forged and forced in anyway.   

What if I have been on a healing journey, and I’ve decided on my own that my goal is to come to peace with things in my life, and for me that process happens by accepting things are the way they are and there is nothing I can do to change them? What if forged forgiveness does more harm than good? What if expecting others to FORGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE HARMED US actually retraumatised us and damages us more than the actual offense itself? What if we’re placing an unrealistic and damaging burden on those who we expect to forgive who are perpetrators and those who hurt us and it only adds to our pain and trauma? 

“Forgiveness is for you, and no one else and it should never be forced on anyone” – Says the world.

Yes, this is true yet the world is set up as the opposite, especially in religious circles. The 12 steps are focused around forgiveness, and for me I was giving FREE PASSES TO PEOPLE WHO ABUSED AND TRAUMATIZED ME. Is anyone manipulating me into “coming to a place of peace?” No, no they aren’t. It’s something I do on my time, through healing (whatever that looks like to me), and trauma therapy, and TONS OF TRAUMA work. Not because GOD AND THE SCRIPTURES SAY SO. 

For me, forged forgiveness (a huge burden and responsibility) to forgive those who have traumatized and hurt me, was actually BONDAGE. Not the other way around. Forged Forgiveness feels like gaslighting to me, and that’s only adding trauma on top of trauma. It’s up to each of us to decide on our own, without any influences if we want to forgive someone or not. It should be from our hearts, not because of manipulation or to complete a program. If forgiveness has worked for you, that’s wonderful but we must understand what works for some doesn’t always work for everyone. Have you spent as much time sitting with someone, listening to them in their grief and pain like you have encouraged them to forgive their perpetrator/s? 

Today, I’ve decided I’m withdrawing my forgiveness claims, and reevaluating each and every situation on my own terms, in my own time. Right now, I have a clean slate and I have forgiven no one. From this day forward, as situations arise and thoughts come to my mind, I will process them organically either alone or with someone I trust and I will REMOVE any forged and forced idea of forgiveness from my mind. This is freedom to me. 

 If the idea of forgiveness comes naturally, then I will apply it to that situation. If it doesn’t, and I can come to a place of peace, then wonderful. Maybe I’m not at a place of peace yet about certain things, which means I still have trauma work to do. Maybe I will never get to that place, because trauma impacts us all in different ways. It can change our brain wiring, it can change our memory and our mobility. Trauma can change everything and not all trauma just goes away.  Sometimes acceptance that the trauma and it’s symptoms are here to stay is what’s needed to be able to cope. 

No two stories are the same, and we all need and want different things in life. This article is long, and it’s filled with a lot of thoughts. I’m sharing because this is a HUGE topic, and recently having someone tell me “MAYBE YOU SHOULD FORGIVE THEM” even after I shared many traumatic situations with that person, really rubbed me the wrong way. It made me reevaluate forgiveness all together, and made me really think how abusive it can be. It also made me realize how forged forgiveness has impacted my life, and how I’m the only one who can change things for my future. 

After reading ALL THIS, I’m not here to tell you forgiveness isn’t productive and it’s not for you. I’m here to share my truth, as my experiences back it up. I’m here to share there is a damaging side to forgiveness and I hope each person reading is given more tools than what I was given. I hope for each of you, forgiveness is a CHOICE that you choose.

I’m glad I got to share this, and I feel even more free than when I started typing it. I’m thankful I’m at a place of freedom where I can recognize the abuse behind certain areas that are portrayed to be positive things. The healthier we get, the more BS we can recognize. I hope to continue to share what’s worked for me, and what hasn’t worked for me. My hope is, it helps someone out there, specifically my fellow adoptees. Please understand, if you can’t bring it in your life to FORGIVE others, for ANY REASON please don’t allow others to place that BURDEN on you. You don’t deserve it, and it’s not yours to carry. You don’t owe anyone, I MEAN IT!

No matter who it is.

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! 

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Love, love. P.K.

P.S. I know some might mean well, but if you feel the need to send me scriptures about forgiveness, please spare yourself the time. I’m not interested.

What NAAM17 Means To Me…

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I’m still recovering from NAAM16

I’m not even lying. I totally overdid it last year and as a result I dropped off the face of “Adoptee Land” for 6 full months. I was too overwhelmed with it all I had to spend 6 months of self care to nurture my adoptee self back to life again. Then, I tippy toed my way back in but made a promise to myself.

I was not going to overdue it again! For my own mental health and sanity. And also so Adoptee Land wouldn’t lose me again, for 6 months or  maybe longer.

I wanted to share what NAAM17 meant to me.

NAAM17 is a time where the world celebrates adoption, yet adoptee voices have always been an after thought. As the years have passed adoptees are breaking out of the fog and coming together and raising our voices to the world on how it feels to be adopted. Finally, we have a space and our voice matters. On the other hand as November approaches I almost get this sick feeling in my stomach like someone punched me in the gut. It’s an unnerving feeling. Unsettling for adoptees and this is why many of us feel the need to raise our voices. Seeing the adoption agencies and those in the adoption arena celebrate adoption is sorrowful for many of us. It brings triggers that we have to learn to navigate. It’s difficult and there is no way to escape it.

For me, this month is a month I’m putting my long time vision of starting an all adoptee support group Adoptees Connect – Lexington, KY into action on the ground here in Lexington, KY where I live. This is my contribution to NAAM17 this year, as well as guiding some of my fellow adoptees around the USA to start their own Adoptees Connect in the city and state they live in.

IT’S OUR TIME!

I still have my Facebook “Like” pages to run, as well as my own blog so my plate is already full. For my fellow adoptees, please take care of yourself this month. Go treat yourself to something you want, buy a massage or get your nails done. Buy an ice cream cone or go to the gym and work out to burn steam off. Whatever calms your spirit and brings you job, make sure you’re doing that this month in the middle of your commitment to raising awareness on how it feels to be adopted.

I love you all.

Please, take care of yourselves.

P.K.

 

 

 

Considering Adoption? What Adoptees Want You To Know…

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

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

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

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

I LOVE YOU! ❤

Here are the responses of 115 adult doptees.

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

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

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

Pamela A. Karanova ❤

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

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

Refresher On The How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? – Page Guidelines & About Section

I have felt the need to share the details of why the How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? page is PUBLIC and why it’s an ADOPTEE ONLY commenting Facebook “Like” page.

Below is what you will find under our “About” section of the page. This area of the How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? page does a pretty good job at explaining things for our followers. After repeated requests to make this a “Private Group” I felt it would be a good idea to focus on a refresher as to why this page is set up the way it is.

PLEASE READ OUR ABOUT SECTION BELOW

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Bringing the truth to light one click at a time. As we grow closer by the click, this is a place for adoptees to share how it feels to be adopted.

Please Read Before Posting…

THIS IS A PUBLIC PAGE. THIS MEANS WHATEVER YOU SHARE HERE WILL BE ABLE TO SHOW UP ON YOUR TIMELINE.


FYI: We are aware that this might cause a privacy concern for some but we also feel that the secrets of adoption have been kept a secret for long enough, and it’s not a secret anymore. We want this to stay public to help raise awareness about adoption from an adoptees perspective.

This page is founded for all adoptees that want to express how it feels to be adopted. Your views and opinions matter, and you are not alone. Anyone impacted by adoption can benefit from understanding adoptees better. This page is to help make that happen. We welcome potential adoptive parents, adoptive parents, and biological parents to learn from us because no one can express better than an adoptee, “HOW IT FEELS TO BE ADOPTED”.

Announcement: With some careful consideration we have decided to limit the open dialog of communication here to adoptees, and adoptees ONLY. Everyone is welcome here, and we hope you embrace the experiences share by those who have lived being adopted. Forward, questions from non-adoptees will no longer be posted and comments from non adoptees will be deleted.  We have set up http://www.facebook.com/askanadoptee1 for non-adoptees to ask adoptees questions. Things have gotten a little out of hand lately, and to all the adoptees who have been triggered by this we apologize. We desire to keep this a safe place for all adoptees.

For those who are adoptees AND adoptive parents or biological parents, you are welcome to share here but as we all should keep our sharing focused on our own thoughts and feelings based on our own experiences being an adoptee. We can’t speak for each other. We can only speak for ourselves. We can’t belittle adoptees because we have different views than them. This is a great learning platform for all and the WORLD is allowed to learn from us, this is why the openess of this page is so important. Bringing the darkness to light. Keep in mind we have to respect each others feelings no matter what they are. This change starts now.

FYI: Please keep in mind that not all adoptees journeys are those of a positive outcome. Some are just that. This is considered a “SAFE PLACE” for ALL adoptees regardless of how they view their adoption experience. This page is here to offer support, advice, encouragement for every one of us so please be understanding when adoptees have a different view than you. We are each entitled to our own feelings, and they deserve to be heard, and validated.

If you always felt alone, you are not alone anymore. This is a wide group of amazing adoptees, and others impacted by adoption. We are here if you need us!

Please:
•No personal insults to others.
•Respect each other and moderators
•Strong language and vulgarity are prohibited.
•Please use common sense and courtesy
• Please validate others feelings and allow the negative and positive feelings also to come to the surface, as identifying these issues is the only way we can begin to heal.
• Even if you don’t agree with someones opinion or view, please respect that its theirs to have. We all came from different places, and we have no idea what the other person has been through.

Feel free to inbox if you have any questions, suggestions, comments or concerns. Adoptees, Please feel free to send any questions you would like asked on the page to the inbox for the page. As many as you would like, and they will be kept anonymous. Also, please share your reunion stories with us! We would love to celebrate the discovery if your history with you!

It’s a huge blessing to have each of you here!

Each adoptees unique story has tremendous power to promote identity, relationship, and healing.

Blessings!

Admin: Pamela A. Karanova
Anyone impacted by adoption in some way,especially my fellow adoptees feel free to add me. Please send me an inbox sharing how you are impacted by adoption. Looking forward to connecting with you! ♥

Many people don’t read the about section of the page but we always encourage it.  We have also set up page guidelines for all our followers to read and this is pinned to the top of the page for easy viewing.

THE PAGE GUIDELINES LOOK LIKE THIS

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How Does It Feel To Be Adopted Page Guidelines

The purpose of this page is to create a space for adoptees to share how it feels to be adopted. To ensure that this is a safe space for all adoptees we would like to use the following guidelines:

●Only adoptees are allowed to comment here. No exceptions.

●Adoptees, Please keep your sharing focused on your own thoughts and feelings based on your own experiences.

●There is NO piggy backing. This when one adoptee comments in his/her safe space (usually responding to a question asked by the poster) and another adoptee comes and disagrees or disregards their experiences. Most of the time this creates a dialog between the two adoptees. If you disagree with what an adoptee says, that’s your right but please refrain from commenting in another adoptees “Safe Space”.

●Share your feelings regarding the question by clicking “Reply” to the original question asked. Please do not “Reply” on other adoptees responses unless it’s agreeing and understanding them. Why? When you come against them it’s creating an immediate violation of the safe space created for them to share their feelings.

●This kind of communication can be difficult in the best of times, because of misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and differences. When this communication takes place it has the potential to be extremely negative, even leading to destructive outcomes. It can also be very triggering for many adoptees.

●There are no right or wrong answers on this page. Each person is free to express his or her feelings without interruptions in the “Safe Place” created just for them. When you reply to the question asked that is considered your safe space.

We are here to support one another, not “fix” another.

●If you are an adoptee and an adoptive parent or an adoptee and a birth parent, we value your dynamic experience. We ask you reserve this safe space to share your adoptee experience ONLY. There are other places you can share your adoptive/birth parent experience.

●It’s okay to agree to disagree. We must respect one another’s views even if we don’t agree with them.

If anyone doesn’t follow these guidelines we will have no choice but to delete any comments made if they are violating their fellow adoptees “Safe Place”.

Thank you for reading our guidelines. Together we want to make this the safest space possible so all adoptees can share how it feels to be adopted. – ♡ Admin.

So here we have it…

Page Guidelines & our “About” section of the How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? page listed here for us all.

Let’s unpack this a little bit.

First things first, this page is not a group. It’s a public “Like” page. It clearly states this in the ABOUT section of the page. The reason this page was originally set up this way is because (as shared in the about section of the page) there is so much secrecy in adoption already I wanted to let the world see our real, raw feelings because our feelings matter, we matter. I get tons of requests to make this a PRIVATE GROUP but it’s impossible to switch a public like page to a private group. Yes, I could make a private group for this page specifically but for me, and the purpose I have in this lifetime I only have a desire to keep things public because I’m tired of being a secret. I’m tired of non-adoptees running our show. I understand fully that some adoptees aren’t able to comment as they wish because they have fears of their adoptive and biological families seeing their truth. I totally understand and I totally get it. I’ve been there. I recommend creating a “Pen Name” (An anonymous name used for writing purposes). I used a pen name for 3 years when I didn’t feel strong enough to share my real true feelings for FEAR of __________ <—- Insert a million reasons here! I get it, I promise I do!

That said, there are thousands of adoptees who DO feel comfortable in sharing their truth on this public “Like” page. By all means I suggest any adoptees who are in need of a private group to start one of  your own or join one of the many that is already out there and available. There are TONS! Here is a link to one that is moderated by a friend of mine and fellow adoptee, Lawrence Proctor. Make sure you answer the question on why you want to join the group or he won’t accept the invitations. Click this link! Adoptees Anonymous? Who Are We?

ADOPTEE ONLY COMMENTING

Why is this page adoptee only commenting? It’s simple. Adoptees are tired of the rest of the world speaking for us, silencing us and not having any safe space to share our feelings.

Let me share a little about how the page was created. On October 20, 2012 I was attending a Celebrate Recovery group meeting in Lexington, KY. I was 60+ days in my sobriety journey and I had no where to turn. AA is a wonderful program but it wasn’t what I was looking for because I needed a safe place where I could share my feelings about being adopted and all the hurt and pain I was running from for 27 years. A friend recommended Celebrate Recovery so beginning October I went and continued on a weekly basis. It took me a few weeks to open up and get familiar with the people in my group. I remember like it was yesterday, I started to share something regarding my biological mother and tears began to flow. I started sharing my pain from losing her and a lady to my left whom happened to be an adoptive mother, interrupted me and said, “YOU DON’T KNOW ADOPTION LIKE I KNOW ADOPTION!!!” and she began to tell me her experience with adoption. I was cut off, I was silenced.

IT WAS CLEAR THAT ALTHOUGH THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A SAFE PLACE FOR ME ADOPTION WAS THE EXCEPTION. I left in tears, hopeless and even having thoughts of suicide. I was feeling like if this was a Christian Ministry and I was silenced sitting in a small group that was supposed to be a safe space, but not for me the adoptee I had no where to turn. There was no help for me. I went into a depression, was sad and upset for weeks after this. Eventually, after about 3 weeks I went back and I let them know how that impacted me. I let them know it hurt, and it took me to a really dark place. After this, some changes were made regarding cross talk so other peoples feelings weren’t invalidated like mine were, and I spent the next 4 years working through my adoptee issues via Celebrate Recovery. I went on to get leadership training, small group training and I was the small group leader for Women’s Chemical Dependency for almost 3 years. I shared my adoption journey many times by giving my testimony and I was able to get to the root issues of abandonment and rejection from my adoption experience so I could begin to address my issues, and move towards acceptance and healing. This process was critical to my healing process. I learned the dynamics of creating a safe space for everyone to share and how important it is.

So please know I have taken careful thought and consideration into creating this page and running it with the flow it has. I realize not everyone will like it and not everyone will agree. I am open to suggestions and feedback, but I’m also limited to what I can do regarding my commitment to the page, and my personal life, etc.

For the non-adoptees who might be reading this, don’t you think adoptees deserve a safe space where they can share without you all interrupting us or silencing us? My commitment is 110% to the adoptees, and creating a safe space for THEM to share their feelings. I want them to share whatever level of feelings they feel comfortable with. Have you noticed the other places online where ALL members of the adoption equation are participants how much chaos goes on and how adoptees are silenced by non-adoptees? I refuse to be a part of those pages because they are extremely triggering to me, and I’ve had countless amounts of adoptees say the same thing. I consider it a privileged that non-adoptees are able to sit back and LEARN from us. They can read and reflect and learn.

It’s about time don’t you think?

That said, I have also received over the years a high amount of non-adoptees who want to ask adoptees questions. The How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? page is not set up for this to happen. After many months of requests from non-adoptees to ask adoptees questions I created ASK AN ADOPTEE. This page has been an amazing tool in the adoption community.  It’s not only given non-adoptees a space to ask questions, but it’s given adoptees the space to share their insight regarding the question, based on their experience living adopted. Please visit the “About Section” for details on the flow of the page. Again, this is an ADOPTEE ONLY commenting space for the same reasons How Does It Feel To Be Adopted Is.

How Does It Feel To Be Adopted?  and ASK AN ADOPTEE are the ONLY FACEBOOK LIKE PAGES (that I’m aware of) that is set up where the moderator (me) only allows adoptee only commenting. This is because ADOPTEES DESERVE THIS SPACE. 

Again, I fully understand the way these pages are conducted it might not work for everyone, but I also know it’s working for thousands of adoptees and non-adoptees who want to learn how we feel without commenting, all across the world.

I hope this sheds some light on all those who are inquiring about why this isn’t a private group and why adoptees are the only ones who can comment.

Thanks for reading,

Blessings,

Pamela Karanova

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How Adoptees Feel About Birthday’s

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This blog post was inspired because I know first hand how hard birthday’s can be for adoptees. There is healing in sharing how we feel so I wanted to seek input from my fellow adoptees and find out how they felt about their birthdays.

I was blown away to see so many of us feel similar ways about this day and the days leading up to the “Birth” day. Many of us are impacted as the days lead up to the month as well.

Some adoptees have no issues with this day.

No matter what experiences are shared here, I’m excited so share the feelings of so many of my fellow adoptees no matter how they feel. Each and every one of you matters, your story matters and your voice matters.

If you would like to add how you feel about your birthday please reply to this thread and I’ll add it to this blog post. Feel free to share with your online communities to help raise awareness on how it feels to be adopted.

Adoptee Voice #1.

  • My birthday month is August. I wish the month could go away. My birthday is the 10th. I don’t ever recall looking forward to my birthday. It feels weird when people wish me happy birthday. I don’t even know what the normal feeling is supposed to be.

Adoptee Voice #2.

  • It’s not your birthday. It’s your cake day., eat cake.

Adoptee Voice #3.

  • August 21st is my birthday so in the back of my mind counting down to the day. Not sure what plans are. I usually try stay positive but by evening the mind tends to take over a bit. I used to think it was the one day she would be thinking of me but found out she never remembered my birth date.

Adoptee Voice #4.

  • My birthday is December 21. So I get the holiday blues wIthiBONUS birthday blues. My mom passed just over a year ago, my dad has had a super rough time (wrecked the tractor last fall, other medical problems, depression) and I’m already dreading this holiday season.I’m actually thinking about taking a road trip. I could use the solitude and the break and it just might be the perfect time and place for the crying jag I never seem to let myself have.

    Last year I turned 50 and my aunt (my mom’s only sibling) surprised me at work with a big cake. It was nice of her, but it was also sort of surreal.

Adoptee Voice #5

  • It’s the time of the year I can’t “not think” of my birth parents. (BF is deceased) My birth mother lives less than 15 miles from me and a mile away from where I was raised. She pretends I don’t exist. If there is one day a year she thinks about me, that should be it, right? I do write her letters and send them, even though I never get anything back.

Adoptee Voice #6

  • I have an August birthday (the 28th). I HATE my birthday… As a child, it was never a happy occasion. Adoptive father was a violent drunk, and his drinking never took a vacation, no matter the day.. holidays, birthdays, weddings…. Adoptive monster was an enabler, and fed into his violence and never protect myself or adoptive brother. Birthdays were “family” parties until I was 10. Every year less and less people came, and I finally realized it was due to him. I always wondered what I did wrong.. But why in the world would you subject yourself to that disaster if you didn’t have to? And since I wasn’t blood to them, they just stopped coming. The final straw was at 16. Adoptive monster talked up a Sweet 16 party for years. Told me we would rent a hall, get a DJ, I could invite anyone I wanted… When it came down to it, it didn’t happen. It was downgraded to a house party in my garage. The day of ,I spent HOURS getting ready. Sat outside waiting and waiting. Hours after start time, I heard the adoptive monsters arguing. Adoptive father admitted the night before he called the entire guest list and told them it was cancelled…. NO JOKE. This is the deranged behavior I lived with my entire childhood. That was the last birthday I spent with them. Shortly after this, I fled in the middle of the night and was emancipated.

Adoptee Voice #7

  • My birthday is Nov 1 and I always got depressed and angry as it got closer. I’m 53. A few years ago I decided to start making it about others. I’d invite a couple of good friends to go out to a really nice dinner just to celebrate the friendships I have.
    I have a loving husband and family who wanted to bless me so I quit being a stick in the mud & let them and chose to enjoy what I have now instead of what I don’t have. Gratitude and choosing to bless others changed how I anticipate my birthday now.

    This was before I met my sister this past spring, and learned a lot about my birth parents who have passed. I am now looking forward to this year’s birthday.
    It’s all in perspective – I am here, alive, and have many things to be thankful about.

Adoptee Voice #8

  • Birthdays are hard for me. I have spent more than one birthday listening to John Lennon’s song “Mother” on repeat…

Adoptee Voice #9

  • I know some adoptees hated this, but I loved it. It made me feel special. My Adoptive Mom celebrated my adoption Birthday by taking me out and often giving me a special gift.

Adoptee Voice #10

  • The older I got the more I dreaded it. I only want to hear it from my son who I know loves me. And my boyfriend who I know loves me also. Everyone else I still wonder what they really think of me. No matter their loyalty or not….I still question it. It took me awhile to believe my boyfriend really loved me.

Adoptee Voice #11

  • Birthday, the day of happiness from all… Ugh it’s just a dreaded day of wanting to be alone.

Adoptee Voice #12

  • My birthday is in May and I just think of it as the day I was given to the universe rather than the day I lost my whole family.

Adoptee Voice #13

  • I have hated every single birthday I can remember. Everyone always thought I should love them and celebrate them! It never felt like my day or my birthday. Long story short at the age of 38 I found my birth mother 1 week ago. The day I had always celebrated my birthday was not the day I was born! I have no idea how I will feel for the next one….Feb always thought, March actual!
    Life literally changed overnight and upside down. I thought being adopted was hard, at this stage being reunited is even harder. My birth mother seems lovely and kinda “gets me” more than my adoptive mother. Huge journey/roller coaster ride about to begin.

Adoptee Voice #14

  • Growing up my birthdays were a mixed deal. The birthday party or events my parents had lined up were always fun things I really liked. But there is just something about the day I was born and always feeling like my biological mom did not even love me enough to keep me. Once I got into what my parents had planed it was always a fun day. But the lead up was bad for years. After I became an late teen and adult the day got worse. For years I would just ignore it, spending the whole day doing yard work, even mowing a relatives or a neighbors yard just things to keep my super busy and my mind off my birthday. The last few years have been better. I have dealt with my life much more working through it instead of burying it. I am beginning to feel I deserve to be happy or at least not sad on my day. Like others have sad feelings I have put in the work to earn my day. Wanting to show my biological mom this stubborn, loud, fussy baby turned out just fine!!!!

Adoptee Voice #15

  • It didn’t really seem much different than any other non-adoptees birthday, until I found out last year that by birth mother and I share the same birthday. I must have been the worst birthday present ever.

Adoptee Voice #16

  • For me I used substances for 26 years, so I didn’t have to process the pain of the realities of adoption. Birthdays were always a dreaded day filled with pain, loss, unconscionable grief and having to celebrate it was possible but only with alcohol in my life. 8/13/12 I decided I wanted to live a sober lifestyle and all the REALITIES of adoption came flooded in. I truly wasn’t prepared for it all. When you run for so many years how can you prepare. In the last 5 years I’ve worked towards handling these emotions in a healthy way. I am not gonna lie, there were birthdays I just couldn’t even get out of bed and it goes the same for the weeks leading up to that day. It was a dreaded day for many years, but recently I’ve given myself permission (because no one else in the world has) to be sad on that day, cry and share my feelings in my blog. I’ve learned it’s perfectly normal to be sad on the day I was separated from my birth mother. I wanted to erase the entire day and erase myself in the process! Thank God it wasn’t possible but I would have done it 100x over if it was. Today after almost 5 years of recovery and sobriety, my sessions of the pain of my birthday is still there, but each year I process and share my feelings and others validate them (THIS IS CRITICAL FOR US!) things get easier. This year, I will wake up on my birthday (Aug 13) and prob play a song that reminds me of my birth mother (My Way- By Frank Sinatra) and cry awhile. Why? Because it’s okay to cry awhile. Once I get that out of the way I might write about what I’m feeling and share it with those who understand, and get on with the day. I plan to go hiking with my kids and go see a waterfall and enjoy the rest of the day. You see, it’s critical we are able to process the pain because leaving it inside only KILLS us inside! Adoptees grow up, and they don’t stay babies forever. I wish someone would have told me it was okay to be sad on this day. If you are an adoptee who struggles with your birthday please know you aren’t alone!

Adoptee Voice #17

  • Birthdays for me, are somewhat hollow. There is an entire person who has never been acknowledged, celebrating his birthday, but as a different person. There is sadness and pain in any holiday for me. I still enjoy it. Just is different for me.

Adoptee Voice #18

  • We didn’t make a big deal out of birthdays or holidays while growing up. So, it’s still just that…not a big deal. A few people wish me happy birthday, but other than that it’s just another day.

Adoptee Voice #19

  • I always thought that the day I was born was the ultimate irony. I came into this world on Mother’s Day. I could never wrap my head around how that must have felt for my birth mother. My feelings towards my birthday fluctuate with the feelings I have for my biological parents. When I was younger, I had deep anger & spent my birthday wondering if they were thinking of me, hoping they were & hoping that it hurt like hell. My anger morphed into depression and my birthday has since caused me a deep sense of sadness & it is the time when I feel the greatest sense of abandonment.

Adoptee Voice #20

  • As a kid, I never thought twice about it. In the last 20 years it weighs on me, heavily. I’m now 42. My adopted father left as soon as the adoption was finalized leaving my mom and I. She passed away 4 years ago and I always think she loved me when no one else did. The date before the actual birthday is the toughest. Now that I have my own family I can remember every nuance of that day leading to their birth. Every year seems to be harder than the previous.

Adoptee Voice #21

  • I would never think twice about my birthday until I turned 16. I don’t know whether It’s because it’s an important milestone in our culture, or whether it’s because I was finally mature enough to understand the implications of adoption. From then on, a pattern began to develop. Each birthday would start off happy..until it didn’t. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing but out of nowhere I suddenly become overwhelmed with thoughts of my birth mother. Is she thinking about me? Does she get as sad as I do on this day? Has she been longing for me as much as I have been? Etc. Unfortunately, this feeling of loss has only continued to grow with each birthday.

Adoptee Voice #21

  • It’s my birthday, that’s all there is to it. I don’t have huge blowout gatherings or what have you, but I’ll do something to enjoy it. I feel blessed that people contact me in whatever manner they do to wish me well on that day!

Adoptee Voice #22

  • I remind people who love me it is an anniversary loss day, my body is grieving. I noticed a pattern likely in my childhood, usually crying on my birthday at the end of the day and not knowing why, had a full panic attach at age 19, and generally feeling sad for about 4-6 weeks around my birthday despite the happy celebrations. I love getting older but the loss does not seem to lessen with time, now almost 50, even after a happy reunion.

Adoptee Voice #23

  • It’s supposed to be such a happy day and every one wants you to be happy. But for me there’s always been something, something that spoils it. Something underlying that prevented me. It was only when I grew old enough to relate that it was the day “she” gave me away and chose never to see me again. To severe that 9 month bond and drastically change the course of my life without my consent.

Adoptee Voice #24

  • Like always, going through the motions, pretending to be happy because that is what everyone expects. Now, I am older, I choose to spend it alone with as little fuss as possible. This was a hard lesson for my natural siblings to learn on my first birthday post-reunion, they staged a birthday bash which I did not attend. It was always a painful period leading up to the actual day but it feels worse now, post-reunion. I was 5 years too late to meet my Mother and now, it just feels like the anniversary of when I lost her.

Adoptee Voice #25

  • My birthday doesn’t really bother me. I get really irritable around it, but on the day it’s always the best day. I try to make that day as happy as I can.

Adoptee Voice #26

  • I wonder if my ” mother ” thinks about me on my birthday.

Adoptee Voice #27

  • I can go into a full blown PTSD episode just because it’s that anniversary.

Adoptee Voice #28

  • It is simply the worst day of the year. Nothing fits.

Adoptee Voice #29

  • A yearly reminder that I was brought into this world to be given away, nothing more.

Adoptee Voice #30

  • I hate my birthday.

Adoptee Voice #31

  • It’s the saddest day of the year for me.

As you can see many adoptees share similar feelings regarding our birthdays. If you are an adoptee reading, please know you aren’t alone.

You matter and your feelings matter.

To all the adoptees who were brave in sharing their voices, THANK YOU for helping the world understand how it feels to be adopted. Keep sharing, keep using your voice!

If you are a non-adoptee reading this, thank you for making it this far. Your courage in having the willingness to want to learn how we feel is amazing alone. Please share this post in our online communities to help us raise awareness of how it feels to be adopted.

If you are an adoptee and would like to add how you feel about your birthday, please reply to this post and I’ll add it for you.

Blessings to all & thanks for reading.

Pamela Karanova

Adult Adoptee

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

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The Gift of a Grandmother

“And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears” – Mark Anthony

I wonder if anyone who has their grandmother in their life ever wonders what it’s like to never have one? Are they thankful for her? Same for a grandfather…

I’ve lived with many types of fear in my life, as we all have but I’ve also been working at freeing myself from fear so I can live a happier more prosperous life. Some people say FEAR stands for “FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL” but my reasons for FEAR are real.

There has been nothing false about them.

FEARan unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

I always had a dream of meeting my biological grandmother who resides in Leon, Iowa. I found out she was alive and well in 2010 and during that time my mind has been tormented on wishing I could go see her and meet her at least one time.

I have never met a biological grandparent and she is the only one who is still living. I made 2 attempts to go see her in the past and both failed at the hands of my biological father.  He made the choice for himself to reject me after 2 meetings. At one point he promised me he would take me to meet her in 2011. I drove all the way to Leon, Iowa from Kentucky and arrived only for Him to tell me he changed His mind. He said he thought it would “Kill Her”. I was crushed, and the words “Kill Her” stuck with me all these years which has kept me away from trying to meet her on my own accord. Reality is, he didn’t want his secret from 1974 of infidelity to his wife to get out. He was ashamed and it was easier for him to reject me than face His mistakes. He wasn’t letting the cat out of the bag. I was still a dirty little secret. After all I was conceived out of an affair while he was married.

After this huge disappointment in my life I had some years to think longer and harder about Him making this choice for my grandmother. It never settled well with my spirit, which is quite fierce by the way. People can make choices for themselves but I find it totally unfair when someone makes a choice for another person, only thinking of themselves. Does anyone who does this understand they are robbing other’s of memories that can never be replaced? This has caused me more grief & anger in my entire lifetime than you could imagine, not to mention the pain from THIS played a HUGE part in my addiction issues for 27 years of my life.

Perhaps this is why TIME is so important to me?

Time Spent is more valuable than anything.

Visiting my grandmother continued to nag at my spirit.

I have felt like all these years God was whispering, Just GO, Just GO“…

But FEAR.

Another attempt I was able to call my grandmother and speak to her about coming to visit her. She was okay with the idea, and I told her I would come around Easter 2014. I suspect my birth father stood in the way of that visit because she stopped answering my phone calls and the phone number ended up disconnected soon after. It’s hard to tell if he did it out of spite, or if it was when she had to move from independent living at her own apartment to assisted living. Either way my 2nd attempt had failed.

A few more years passed.

During this time I would check Google at least once a month, sometimes weekly to see if she was still alive all the while searching for her obituary. This is something many adoptees do, especially when we’ve been shut out.  My mind would wander about how I would respond if she had passed  away and I never got to meet her. I would visualize being really angry, filled with rage, crying and screaming, even falling into a deep depression.

CLOSED ADOPTION stood in the way of me knowing this woman who I shared DNA with. Not our choice, but the choice made for us by others.  I visualized myself having a complete mental and emotional breakdown if she had passed and I found her obituary on Google. My birth father didn’t even know I existed because of the lies my birth mother told- “FATHER UNKNOWN”. I was given up for adoption without my birth fathers consent and because of this my grandmother didn’t know I existed for most of my life.

Why should we be robbed of knowing one another because of other peoples actions?

LIES AND SECRETS ARE NEVER OKAY- EVEN IN ADOPTION

LIES HURT

THIS HURTING IS LIFELONG FOR ADOPTEES

I’m almost 43 and the pain continues.

See here- When a birthmother lies & keeps secrets.

Non-adoptees wouldn’t have a clue about understanding this.

Adoptees, I know you get it.

They always say the 3rd time is a charm, so here it is. After much praying, seeking advice and counsel from those close to me and from adoptees near and far I decided to make the trip to see and meet my grandmother for the first, and possibly last time. I knew if I didn’t just pick a date I would never do it so June 24, 2017 was the day I was driving to meet her and lay eyes on her.

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A Road Trip I Would Never Forget…

I must admit my fear was still so great. I need to share I work with elderly for a living and I have been working with them for 12+ years. I see how they sit and wait on their loved ones to come visit them. Most of them never get the visits they wait for, but they keep waiting. I knew in my heart of hearts I was going to bring nothing but love to my grandmother, but what if something more was waiting for me?

I drove to Iowa on June 23rd and was able to see and hang out with one of my favorite cousins from my adoptive family. She was definitely a light for me at this emotional time. She took me to her dads flower farm and he helped me hand pick a special bouquet of flowers to take to my grandmother the next morning. It was beautiful to be able to do this. As the evening of June 23rd hit and I was ready to go to sleep the racing increased and thoughts of “What if…” took over my mind. I actually ended up taking something to help me sleep because I knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t sleep at all. My mind was racing with thoughts like, “What if they have me on the block list and I can’t see her?” or “What if my birth father is there and he throws me out?”. The fear wasn’t from God. I know this but it took over and it was extremely difficult for me to move through the fear and do this anyway.

At 6:15AM on Saturday June 24th my alarm went off. 

Today was the day I had waited for for YEARS!

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I was all the way across the country and I was going to meet my biological grandmother for the first time. No, she didn’t know I was coming. I woke up and started to get ready. My anxiety was through the roof, and more fear was setting in. My stomach started to hurt and it felt like it was in knots.

The FEAR was so great at one point I almost said “Forget it”.  I almost didn’t go, even after I drove all the way to Iowa FOR THIS. This might sound crazy but it was like God was giving me the PUSH to just do it and push through my fear and go anyway. I seriously couldn’t have done it without God in my life.

My cousin said, “There is no way I would do what you are about to do!”.

“Her soul is fierce, her heart is brave, her mind is strong” – R.H. Sin

I continued on, packed up my car and left Iowa City, Iowa about 7:30AM. Leon, IA was 3 hours south of Iowa City< IA so I had another 3 hour drive to get to the nursing home my grandmother was at. That drive seemed like a 100 hour drive. My mind was racing on what I was going to do if my birth father was there, or another family member. Not one of them has been accepting to me. I’ve only received rejection from my birth fathers entire family so what would be different about my grandmother? Would she reject me too? Had my birth father ever talked to her about me? I actually talked to her on the phone 2x over the years and shared with her who I was but it’s hard to tell if she really understood what I was saying, but if I was to guess she received a pretty big clue I was her granddaughter.

The closer I got to Leon, Iowa the the more nervous I became. At one point I almost vomited when I stopped to use the restroom. The feeling I had is hard to describe but I was able to make a connection to this feeling is the same way I felt as a child when I was in and out of the hospital for stomach aches. SAME EXACT FEELING! I’ve heard lots of adoptees have had stomach issues! I was honestly taken back by this. The fear, anxiety and nervousness is the exact feeling I had growing up in my adoptive home which landed me in the hospital many times. I couldn’t believe that I was feeling this same way going to meet my grandmother. It was triggering to be feeling the feeling that took me back to my childhood but…

 I continued on.

I felt like God was saying “GO SEE HER! GO SEE HER!”

Lord knows I couldn’t do something like this on my own strength and will.

I was a HOT MESS!

I pulled up at the nursing home, I grabbed the items I was taking into her, hand picked

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Uncle Ed- Cardinal Flower Farm. Iowa City, IA

flowers, a card and a letter, a photo album with pictures of me all the way back to my baby years. I prepared these things because if I was turned away at least I would have something to leave her. I had been praying all morning, Jesus take the wheel of this dream of mine and guide my steps.

I walked to the doors which took me straight to the dining room. I was greeted by some nursing assistant aides as well as many of the residents. I asked politely if they could tell me which way Tenie James room was and they pointed down the hallway and off I went.

The closer I got to finding her room, the more anxious I felt.

What if my birth father was there? What if one of my uncles was there? What if they threw me out? What if she didn’t want to see me?

Mind Racing.

Nauseous.

Fear.

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I quickly found her room with her name on the door. There was no turning back now. I knocked softly, then I turned the door knob and slowly opened the door. I peeked my head inside and saw the sweetest little lady who was relaxing in her automated recliner. I smiled big, and she smiled back. She saw the flowers and my smile and I’m pretty sure it was a comfort to her. Lord knows, all I wanted to do was bring her peace, love and comfort. As I opened the door further, I realized she was all alone and no one else was in the room with her. All the fear that has tormented me all these years and up until this moment lifted off me, and God’s presence was all over that place. I continued to walk slowly towards her.  I shut the door behind me so we could have some privacy and let her know I brought her some flowers and wanted to introduce myself.

“Be the light for all to see”- Matthew 5:16

I got down on the floor so I could be close to her, I held her hand and I said, “Hi there, I wanted to introduce myself, I’m Pam- Jimmie’s daughter. (Jimmie is her son) I’m your granddaughter. I have always wanted to come meet you. I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long but distance has kept me far away. (reality the secrets and lies in adoption have kept me away!)  I hope you don’t mind but seeing you has always been a dream of mine. I was in Iowa and wanted to swing by to visit on my way back to Kentucky.”

She had a smile on her face, almost as if she couldn’t believe it was anyone’s DREAM to meet HER. I pulled out a small photo album which had pictures of me when I was a baby, up until now. One by one she began to look at the pictures. She didn’t turn them fast, she was taking her time. She smiled at many of them and when she made it to the last page, she said “Where is this?”.  The photo was of me sitting by a waterfall in Kentucky and I let her know I had to hike many miles to reach it and that it was a hobby of mine. She said, “I love to hike too!”…

I smiled really big and I said, “It must be in our DNA” and she said “You’re right, it must”. I asked her a few questions and shared some about myself. She was a hard working woman and raised her family all while living off the land to survive. All my biological family on her side are gamers and hunters and loved nature. This makes total sense to me as to why I’ve always loved being outdoors more than anything in this world.

I held my grandmother’s hand and we compared our fingers. I began to take note of her condition, her characteristics and features. Her vision was so good, she is still reading small print books. She didn’t have any hearing aides and could hear all the words I shared because her responses were accurate most of the time. She was using a walker to walk, and seemed fairly independent. She will be 98 years old on August 10th, 2017. My birthday is 3 days after hers. She showed me a quilt she was in the process of making, bright squares of all different patterns and colors. Can you believe she’s still quilting at 97?

As I got down beside her in her chair I knew that this might be the only time I get to see her in this lifetime. After all 97 years erased off the map because of other peoples decision for my life, other peoples decisions for our relationship. I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone in the adoption equation thinks about the long term impacts about adoption trauma, separation, loss, etc. Adoption impacts every area of the adoptees life, for their entire life. Some days the grief and loss has been so great I didn’t think I could continue on.

My grandmother received my visit, it was one of the most amazing happiest moments of this lifetime. She shared about her life, and I shared about mine. She was a bit tearful in parts of what she was sharing but I just held her hand and listened to her words.

Here I was, meeting my biological grandmother for the first and only time. I’m 43, and I can’t help but share that God has always known my deep desire to lay eyes on this woman at least one time. It’s always something that has nagged at my spirit and it’s never stopped. My greatest HOPE was also my greatest FEAR.

BUT GOD…

I would like to share with my fellow adoptees reading that God knows our hurts, he knows our hearts, and to never give up HOPE in finding your family. Be persistent and don’t give up in reaching the people and places you believe are so far away. The fact I was able to meet my grandmother is nothing short of a miracle and dream come true for me. I urge you to take your own steps and making your dreams come true because no matter how it turns out it’s up to me and you. Action must follow our desires, and God knows our hearts.

If he did it for me, he can do it for you…

Dreams really do come true…

WISH

DO

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Pamela A. Karanova

Adult Adoptee

The Sky & I

The Sky & I

We go way back you see.

I remember finding out I was adopted at 5 years old and my life would never be the same. I started to fantasize about this woman…

The woman that gave me life.

Who was she?

Where was she?

Fantasy turned to obsession.

I was told she “Loved Me So Much” she wanted me to have a better life, so she surrendered me to my adoptive parents. This in turn was the best gift they could have been given- they were parents now. My loss and my birth mothers loss was my adoptive parents gain.

How could I be sad when they were so happy?

Thoughts of my birth mother never left my mind.

I remember very vividly I would escape what was going on inside, which was usually a manic depressive episode brought on by my adoptive mom so I could be outside. I say escape because that’s what it felt like. I would ask my adoptive mom if I could go outside to play and she almost always had chores for me to do. Getting outside was something I had to sneak to do on most days. At my dads house it was different. He always let us play outside so we could be free.

If I was to sneak out and my adoptive mother would learn I was gone, usually not 5 minutes would pass and she would be hollering for me at the door to get back in the house. On a rare occasion she would give me 30 minutes to play, or maybe 15.

During my time outside, I remember feeling free. I didn’t understand it as a child, but I can look back and understand it now.

I HAD A TIE TO THE SKY…

It was like my baby blanket growing up. In some strange way it made me feel closer to my birth mother, although I had no idea who she was or where shes was I knew in my heart of hearts she was under the same sky I was.

I remember laying in the grass, looking up. Dazing off wondering about HER. I would see a cloud that looked like a tree, and I wondered if she saw the same cloud. I would see a falling star and I wondered if she saw the same falling star. I would see how bright the sun was and beautiful rainbows and I wondered if she saw them too. Rainbows were my favorite and every time I saw one I would think of her…

I always fantasized she was going to one day come back and get me, so the more time I spent outside the better chance she was going to have at finding me. I would sit outside on the front porch and wait…

LOOKING AT THE SKY…

I remember being in the country of Iowa, climbing trees all the way to the top. I was so high I couldn’t get any higher but I would reach up and put my hand towards the clouds in attempts to be closer to my birth mother…

After all I knew that she was under the same sky I was…

The sky was my comfort.

It was my hope that one day I would see her again.

Did she see what I saw in the sky?

The sky and I became very close.

As I walked out the front door as a child it was like the sky was hugging me. Bringing me peace and comfort that I didn’t experience elsewhere.

It was my greatest escape.

THE SKY WAS MY FIRST LOVE.

No one can take the sky away…

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Daydreaming about HER. What did she look like? What were her eyes like? Was she tall like me? Did she think of me like I was thinking of her? Was she looking for me like I was looking for her? Did she really love me like they said? If she loved me how did she give me away?

This must all be a big mistake…

She must be looking for me…

But until she comes the sky will comfort me.

Days turned into years and she never came.

By the time I was a pre-teen my hope faded but my love for the sky did not.

As an adult I still have the same love for the sky, but it’s much different now. I see sunrises and sunsets, rainbows and gorgeous clouds and I am in awe at God’s amazing beauty and creations. I believe God was the one comforting me through the sky the entire time as a child, and he is still doing this today. I’m constantly in AWE at God’s beauty, the hues, and colors and designs. It reminds me of HER. The mystery woman, my birth mother.

THE SKY & I

We will always have a special bond.

There isn’t much else on this earth that can comfort me like the sky does.

We go way back you see…

The sky + me = ❤

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

Left Out of the Obituary- Again

Adoption is Messy.

MORE THAN MESSY!

Inconsolable Grief Consumed Me…

The feelings overwhelmed me, and tears rolled down my face for hours. There was nothing that eased the pain I was feeling when I learned my brothers family left me out of His obituary.

His death was one thing.

Leaving me out of the obituary was another.

HEARTBROKEN

AGAIN, AGAIN, & AGAIN…

There are really no words to describe how this has felt to me. I experienced the same thing when my birth mother passed away. My birth sister asked me to come and said she needed me to be at the funeral so I went. Why did I have it in my mind that maybe, just maybe I would be listed in her obituary as her daughter? She rejected me. She didn’t want a relationship with me, yet I still had this HIDDEN HOPE that I would be in her obituary.

I guess adoptees are good at fantasizing & dreaming about who, what, when & where did I come from? From the moment we find out we’re adopted we start seeking and searching for our people. HIDDEN HOPE is something I always carried with me. Tucked away in my back pocket wishing and hoping things would change with my birth mother, that one day she would change her mind and want me in her life.

20 years passed and it never happened, yet I was supposed to be there for my birth sister to support her?

On November 7, 2010 I & experienced one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I sat in the front row of my birth mothers funeral service, along side of my sister- you know where the “VIP Family” sits? Yet, I glanced at the funeral service, and looked at the obituary and I was no where to be found.

So who the hell am I?

Am I invisible?

Do I not count for shit?

Am I a human being who has no feelings at all?

Again, inconsolable grief that grew to be larger than the grief of the loss in itself. Just heart-wrenching & I still tear up thinking about it. The pain was and is overwhelming.

So here we have it May 20, 2017- I’ve been working on building a relationship with my img_5247new found brother which I found in 2011. We’ve actually been working together to build that relationship. I had visited Texas multiple times with my kids, and my brother had come to Kentucky multiple times. We both made an effort. We talked on the phone every few weeks, and we text one another pictures of the sunrises and sunsets on occasion. The last time I heard form Him was Mother’s Day…

Sadly, I will never hear from Him again but our last words were happy, cheerful, fun and full of LOVE.

He was my brother.

When I read the obituary and saw I was not included, my heart dropped. I was at the park doing laps for some exercise and it stopped me in my tracks. Tears rolled down my face as I began to weep. Weeping turned into sobbing and there was nothing I could to to ease this pain. The truth is the truth. This hurt like hell. More than anything. It hurt.

I sobbed for hours that night… a few close to me could feel my pain by the tone of my voice, my sadness, my tears and for once in my life I wasn’t hiding it. THEY SAW IT. I sat in the dark of my living room for what seemed like hours. My dogs gave me comfort and one of my daughters stopped by to lend me some support. She hugged me, and held my hand and told me how sorry she was that happened.

What now? I text my brother’s sister and asked her “WHY” I was left out of the obituary. Oh it was a mistake, blah blah blah… Right. I wonder how many adoptees in the world have heard that same crap? Millions I’m sure. All I know is it showed me their true colors on how they really feel about me, but I can tell you one thing my brother didn’t feel that way about me. We have 6 years of amazing memories that no one can take. We had a great relationship that can’t be erased. This was the last photo we took together & a photo of Him and my kids on our first trip to Texas.

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Perhaps I set myself up for this pain? One thing I’ve always done is try to see the best in everyone, to look at things in a positive light, to pull out something good in every situation. There has to be a lesson here right? I mean isn’t there a lesson in everything?

For me the only lesson I can pull from this heartache is to stop investing in so many relationships because in the end, it’s always pain. It’s happened my entire life. I know my fellow adoptees get it, especially those in reunion… Reunion is rocky at times, it’s hard and it takes a lot of work especially when so much time has been missed. It’s hard to build relationships with people from afar when you have no shared history. It’s awkward, its overwhelming sadness of what was missed, it’s joy and fun at times. I’ve learned as time passes in my life less is good. The less people, less commitments, less ties to people, places & things the better for me. I love to be by myself, and that’s where I’m the happiest because it’s just God and I.

I must connect with someone extremely well before I make the choice to let them in. I know many adoptees experience the same. I think it’s natural for a not natural situation. I’m very cautious who I allow to enter my life, and at this point I’m extremely happy with the small group of friends I have, my children & very few family members. I have a special man in my life, he knows who he is. I’m also happy with a fairly wide circle of fellow adoptees. If any of you should read this, please know you are a safety net for me and so many others. When I disappear from social media,  or the world I know I don’t even have to explain it. You guys are right there to pick up where we left off when things circle back around. And they always circle back around.

No matter what I do in life, I still find myself processing the pain from adoption.

Praise God for this safe space where no one can interrupt me or shut me down from sharing how I feel. Those days are over. I will not make any apologies for how I feel nor will I deny how I feel to make other’s feel comfortable. Healing from this journey will take an entire lifetime, because so much was lost and there are so many dynamics to it. Thankfully I live a happy life aside from my adoptee issues. I have amazing kids, a great job I love, I have found myself in nature and searching for waterfalls. I’m free from running in circles at churches, and recovery meetings. I’m seeking God in all things but the rules and regulations brought on by man are things I’m no longer interested in in my life. Life is good. I’m happy generally speaking.

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Somehow adoption always has a way of creeping its head back up trying to take more of my joy. Many adoptees feel the same way, its not just me! It’s always something. The greatest part about sharing these feelings when they come is once I share them it takes the load off my shoulders and I release it so it’s not weighing me down. We have to share our hurts! If you are an adoptee reading this, please find someone safe you can talk to who will listen without judgement. If you are not an adoptee who might be reading this, please JUST LISTEN when adoptees share. Please listen with the intent to LEARN, not the intent to REPLY. Please understand that not all adoptees “Have a bad experience” because their pain doesn’t line up with the worldly views of how wonderful adoption is. Just because we have pain because of adoption, doesn’t mean we aren’t happy people.

So today, I am moving forward. I’m not getting stuck in this pain but I’m processing it in healthy ways as it comes. Today I’m not drinking, I’m writing. I’m living my life the way I see fit. If you want to know why I always seem happy and bubbly, I get my joy from those I’m close to and from the Lord! I’m resting in God’s hand and I’m pretty comfortable there.

Until Next Time…

❤ P.Karanova

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6 Years Gained, 47 Years Lost

Being an adoptee in a closed adoption, I had no idea I had a brother until 2010. The minute I found out about Him was the minute I began searching- AGAIN.  I was ecstatic about this, but where was he? What did he look like? Would he accept my children and I? Would I ever find Him?

All I knew is that I was going to dye trying. At all costs I was going to find Him. Almost a year to the date my long anticipation of waiting was over.

November 2011 I found my brother.

Greg
Greg ❤

We spoke on the phone for the first time comparing notes on our lives. My birth father was His father. After seeing a picture of Him I was amazed at all of our similarities we shared. Our skin tone was almost the same, we were both very tall with the same natural hair color and it appeared we had more resemblances than His siblings he grew up with and was raised with. After comparing some of our baby pictures we both just knew we were siblings.

There was no question about it.

For me this was an outstanding discovery but the best part is my new found brother not only mirrored me, but he accepted me. Not only did he accept me, he accepted my children. Do you have any idea how much this means when I have been rejected by both my biological parents and their families?

THIS HAS MEANT EVERYTHING TO ME!

I was on top of the world!

I told everyone about my brother and in a very short period of time in my eyes, he hung the moon! He planned a trip to spend Christmas with my kids and I in Kentucky and we met for the first time December 24, 2011. It was a dream come true for me. This would be the first holiday in my life I spent with biological family.  We sat at the table and talked for hours and hours. We both agreed we had a lot of making up to do.

I always told everyone He was the pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow for me and God always saves the best for last.

Greg will always be my pot of Gold & my TREASURE in my adoption journey!

My First Trip To Texas 2014
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Over the last 6 years we made many memories together. Greg flew to KY 2x to share Christmas with my children and I. We visited Texas 2x to attend His Annual Craw-fish Boil in 2014 and in 2015 I attended my very first Thanksgiving Dinner with Him. This was an amazing experience. Family gathering around to celebrate all things, especially one another. There aren’t enough words to express How wonderful Greg and His entire family has been to my children and I. I had 4 new found nieces & a nephew. I had a new sister and brother which were Greg’s siblings he grew up with.

In a blink of an eye I had a whole new family I could call my own.

Amazing.

Especially since so much has been lost in adoption.

Greg and I made a mutual attempt at having a relationship with one another from afar. It wasn’t easy but it seemed to come natural to both of us. We always looked forward to speaking to one another. He was in Texas and I was in Kentucky. He knew I loved the sunrises and sunsets so it was common for Him to send me early morning or evening pictures of the Texas sunset. This has always been a way to my heart because I see God in all things to do with nature and the sky. I looked forward to our long conversations on the phone catching up on how things have changed from the last time we spoke.  Greg was always a breath of fresh air in my life. He was a big brother who gave me advice when I needed it, and listened when he needed a listener. He was an awesome dad, and an outstanding human being who would have done anything for anyone. Our similarities were astonishing at times. We both loved nature and hiking. He gave me great advice on many areas including the best supplements to take, hiking safe, how to check for ticks (lol), and so much more. At the end of every conversation we never hesitated to tell one another we loved each other.

Until Next Time…

Greg, ” I love you, Sis!”

Me, ” I love you too! We will talk soon!”

You see as an adoptee, I don’t tell people “bye”.

I say “I’ll talk to you soon”.

I know my fellow adoptees get it.

May 21st 2017 I received some tragic information that Greg was in an early morning motorcycle accident. He was going 60MPH on a Texas road and hit a cow that was laying in the middle or the road. His brain damage was so sever he was put on life support and the doctors didn’t think he was going to make it. Greg fought for His life for the next 3 days and on May 24, 2017 He went home to be with the Lord.

My heart is broken.

Not many non-adoptees get it but my fellow adoptees can understand the pain associated with something like this. Waiting our entire lives to find our people, and the emotions attached to having to search for them daily our entire lives. The pain attached to our never ending journey of wanting to fit in somewhere with our people. The roller coaster ride that comes with reunions. I remember visiting Greg and going to the bedroom to cry many times because I was so ANGRY I missed so many years with my brother! The grief of missing so much of Him in my life was inconsolable at times! I tried my best to hide it from everyone, but it would overtake my mind and I just couldn’t shake it sometimes. It sent me into depression episodes many times over the years.

How could I have a brother so amazing SOMEWHERE OUT THERE IN THE WORLD and because of the secrets & lies in adoption I had no clue he existed and he had no clue I existed? I was given up for adoption in 1974 without my birth fathers consent as if he didn’t exist- bullshit! And it’s still happening today in 2017!  I’m not gonna lie, I’ve struggled with this and struggled a lot. As if anyone in the adoption “triad” doesn’t ever think of these things? Birth father’s have rights too! I would have known about my brother much sooner if it wasn’t for the secrets & lies in adoption!

ADOPTION IMPACTS ADOPTEES FOREVER!

IT NEVER GOES AWAY!

PLEASE BELIEVE IT!

Because we didn’t know about one another until 2011 I only got 6 amazing years with my brother. I’m crushed and most people that aren’t adopted simply don’t get all the dynamics of it all. Honestly, I’m thankful they don’t. Means they don’t know what this pain feels like. Please don’t mistake me sharing my feelings here as not being grateful for those 6 years! I’m extremely grateful!

May 24, 2017 I was given the gift of saying a final good-bye to my brother over the phone. He was in a coma,  and on life support. They had made the decision to remove his life support because of the brain damage he suffered.  Did he hear me? I will never know but they say that you should assume people hear you because a lot of the time they do.

I couldn’t believe this was happening. My brother I just found was the same brother I had to say a final good bye too? This was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.

I sobbed and sobbed and said, “Greg, I just wanted to tell you I LOVE YOU! I’m so so very sorry you were in the accident and you are in this situation! But I want to tell you it’s okay to let go because I know this might be too much for you to hang on. Please believe we will all be okay but we sure are gonna miss you!!!! I’ve had some of the best memories of my LIFE with you and I could never thank you enough for loving me and accepting my children and I. They love you and will miss you and I want you to know you will be so missed but I will see you in heaven one day! I love you Greg”

I hung up the phone and continued to sob.

That was it.

Within a few short hours he was gone.

Not enough words to express the sadness and emotions I am feeling.

Bottom line is we all experience grief & loss in our lives. We handle it be best way we know how. All the way back to 5 years old and I found out I was adopted I have been grieving the unknown. My life has been a long road of grief between searching for my way back home, searching for my birth parents, and being rejected by them both I have experienced this grief & loss my entire life. This was the main reason alcohol was my escape. It did the trick, but now almost 5 years into living a sober lifestyle I am not running from the pain. I’m feeling it.

It hurts and hurts like hell.

Not long before the passing of my brother I have been writing about finding myself in nature, outside the 4 walls of the church. I have finally found my happy place and I know in my heart of hearts my brother would want me to continue to explore the world and go hiking and watch the sunrises and sunsets. He loved all these things as well! He would want me to continue to try to find happiness in the world we live in. I’m going to do that but I will never forget the brother that came into my life for 6 short years who was my treasure in my adoption journey.

47 years lost

6 years found

I will always hate adoption because of so much it’s taken from me and other adoptees. But I will always be grateful for the 6 years with my brother that some adoptees will never get. My heart breaks for them, like it breaks for the loss of my brother.

Today, I’m thankful for the 6 amazing years and I have 6 years of memories to hang onto. Non-adoptees don’t get it. For adoptees, memories are EVERYTHING because almost always we have none to hang onto, this is why many of us clench the pain so tight. There is nothing else to put in its place when you have no memories with your people! This is why there should be no secrecy and lies in adoption- EVER.

 At this place in my life the less attachments and less people I have in my life, the less chance there is to lose them. I’m just tired. Tired of losing people. Tired of being rejected. Tired of being abandoned. Tired of the grief process. It’s taken a toll on me as it does all adoptees.

At least I’m not drinking to cope.

I’m writing.

Today, I will continue to live life because my brother would want that. Last time we spoke I told Him about my bucket list of visiting all the waterfalls in Kentucky and falling in love with hiking. He was proud of me for finding something I have a passion for. Every hike I take I will take in memory of my brother. I know he’s always with me and I know he’s shining down on us all from Heaven.

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I will never get to hear his voice again, but I have 6 years of amazing memories to clench onto. Thank God for those memories. There isn’t enough material items in this entire world that is worth those memories that no one can take from me. Praise God.

Thanks for reading. If you receive anything from this post please never leave a chance to tell someone you love them empty! You never know when it will be your last time. If you’re in the adoption triad please let my post ring true to your ears and understand that adoptees experience grief, trauma, loss, sadness, pain our entire lives. It never goes away. It’s a lifelong battle. Please don’t deny us the right to grieve our losses. This is why I’ve been grieving on my own my entire life, there was no place for it when I was growing up. I could go on forever, but I will stop here.

Thanks for reading.

Pamela Karanova

Adult Adoptee

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Adoptee Writing Prompt- Birth Mother/First Mother

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To participate in Writing Prompts all you have to do is be an adoptee and have the willingness to SHARE regarding your adoption experience in relation to the writing prompt.

There is no wright or wrong in what you share or don’t share.

The key is: SHARE! 🙂 

Sharing is healing

This will be a weekly event in which the changing topic inspires adoptees to share stories, ideas, memories and as much or as little that comes to their mind regarding the topic and their adoption journeys.

Although the world can read and learn from us, I would like to save this space for adoptee only sharing.

Please leave your comment here ❤

 

To: Prospective Adoptive Parents From: Adult Adoptees

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I asked the online adult adoptee community to share what they would express to Prospective Adoptive Parents BEFORE they adopted if they had the chance. They knew their responses were going to be posted anonymous for a blog post and were happy to contribute to bring awareness and enlightenment to the adoption community.

Here are their responses

  • We are not blank slates. Keep a therapist in reach that is seasoned in issues surrounding adoption. You WILL need them for your child but also for you. If you can’t speak nicely and lovingly towards the biological parents then don’t adopt. Don’t tell them they are your gift from God. God didn’t do that. Also, the term gift is demoralizing… We are not chattel. Join the fight for an adult adoptee to access their original birth records without exception. That will help them to know that their rights as humans matter.
  • Don’t adopt the child. Help the family. You can provide a safe home without changing records and removing someone from their family. If the mother and child/baby must be separated, provide every opportunity for visitation even if it has to be supervised. Remind the child that you are guardians and they have a mother and father. Most of these “crackhead whores” whom society has deemed unfit, have had a past where no one helped them. Something awful has to have happened to have made them turn to drugs. Now is your chance to help mother and baby. If you found yourself in temporary trouble, would you want someone to help themselves to your baby? Do unto others….don’t take their baby. Also, don’t take babies from another country to satisfy your desire to raise a baby. Help that country change their old views that shame women for having babies too young, or out of wedlock, or shame the baby for defects and abnormalities or because of their sex. Help countries adopt the model shown in Belgium and other Nordic countries that acknowledge the importance of the mother/baby bond and socially support all mothers to keep their babies. Babies believe they are one with mother for 9 months after birth. Separating them before that messes with the natural stages of development we are supposed to experience. Seems we have more respect for animals and their babies than we do for humans. Also, for the entire pregnancy and for at least 6 weeks post partum, mother’s hormones are raging. Discussing adoption and having them sign anything is ethically wrong. Once a mother had mothered her child for the first 6 weeks and mother has been assessed by her dr to ensure her hormones are back to normal, mother then can decide if she would like to make first contact with an adoption agency/lawyer. Any contact before that is ethically wrong on the part of the agency/lawyer.
  • I find it’s sick and twisted anyone, especially the Christian community and angelical leaders PRAY for a baby to be separated from it’s mother. They PRAY for this trauma to happen so they can SELFISHLY have a child to call their own. It disgusts me that any REAL Christian would do this. They need to be praying NO CHILD is ever separated from their mother and go adopt a child from the USA that is in foster care AND/OR help mothers and babies stay together. Why the need for a fresh womb infant? Selfishness IMHO.
  • You cannot raise an adopted child the same way you would raise a birth child. I’m adopted and have 2 adopted children. I know what my kids are going to go through when it comes to wanting to know where they come from and all of that. Adoption isn’t easy. Its not fun. Its messy and complicated and not something you can ever understand unless you live it.
  • Be aware that your child may exhibit characteristics not usually seen in “biological” children e.g. more than usual aggressiveness or shyness, unexplained fits of temper, sadness, depression, and more. Realize that it isn’t you. Your child has an innate knowledge of who they are even if they don’t know who they are. They know they aren’t who their new family frequently want them to believe they are. When they can understand more than simple concepts, tell them their story. Don’t sugar coat it, don’t belittle where they came from, just tell them their story. Someday they may want to seek out more information, or they may not. Don’t push one way or the other. If they seek their origins don’t feel sad or depressed, or angry, because this happened to them, not you. If you treated them well, raised them well, taught them well, they will love YOU, but you have to remember there is someone else out there that they have a physical connection to, indeed, a connection at the human soul level. Just be kind, thoughtful, and love them. At this point they need it.
  • No to adoption. Adoption should never be an option. I don’t care what the situation is, it never warrants adoption. All people have a right to know who they are, who their people are, what their place is. All people have a right to not have to pretend to be someone other than they are, which is what happens in adoption. For children who need care while parents get the help they need, guardianship, fostering and sponsoring only. Never ever adoption. Even if parents don’t seek help, still no to adoption. We are who we are. We should not be made change our name and be told these are your parents now when we already have parents and families.
  • I am an adoptee and I adopted a baby. I also have two biological children. My son and I share the challenges, sadness, happiness and hope of being adopted. I tell him his birth parents loved him so much and we talk about them whenever he wants. I also make sure he understands reunion can be painful, especially when secondary abandonment/rejection occurs. But, he knows I will help him search and we will never stop helping him whatever he decides to do. Respect, patience, love and compassion can help all adoptees. I was rejected after 20 years of reunion and he knows the entire story. He and I share so much because I want him to be educated and exposed to the good and bad so he is ready for whatever comes his way. Thanks for this sight.
  • I am not a gift. Yes, I am a gift from God as all babies are, but PLEASE DO NOT REFER TO ME AS A GIFT! It makes me feel like a piece of property with a hefty price tag attached. It makes me feel like I’m not even human. – From A Christian.
  • Don’t do it. Be a positive part of a child’s life without forcing them to address you with the fake title of Mom or Dad. Don’t take away someone’s name, heritage, or family for your own ego. Be a guardian to an older foster child, a volunteer with Big Brothers – Big Sisters, or a doting aunt or uncle. If you’re infertile, I’m sorry about that but adoption will not solve it. It causes more harm than you can imagine.
  • I am an adoptee, and while I have had a terrible experience I still see the beauty in it and don’t discount it. All children need to be cared for. If you are adopting to fill a void for yourself, please do not adopt. If you think adopting a child is going to fulfill a fantasy you already hold, please do not adopt. Emotional intelligence is KEY, but even more essential in the case of adoption. Codependency and family dysfunction are certainly NOT suitable conditions. Be prepared to assist and empathize with a child navigating an extreme amount of loss, rejection, grief, control and identity issues, otherwise you will be setting your child up for failure. When you decide to tell your child they are adopted, already be prepared in knowing what emotions and reactions are expected to arise, and have a plan in place for how you will help them cope with them. Parents should find many ways to openly acknowledge and honor the child’s feelings surrounding adoption and initiate healthy loving conversations. I think having “rituals” in place, where the parents can hold space for the child and honor the loss and feelings would be tremendously beneficial, that way the child can integrate their truth into reality and not repress it.
  • Deal with your infertility issues before you adopt. We are not your infertility counselors. I’m not interested in your Infertility, I’m interested in my real mother and my real father and my brothers and sisters. We will never share DNA, medical history, mirroring, and probably not athletic, music, and education choices. That does not make me defective. I may be rejected by your favorite relatives; will you choose them or me? Adoption has more losses for a child than infertility has for you. The losses are permanent. You can no more replace a mother than an adopted baby can replace your dream child. It’s a recipe for disaster. Adoption is not a one time event – it’s a daily reminder of a catastrophic loss for the adoptee. I personally will never love you more than my bio mother, but I can learn to love you – that’s up to you and how hard you are willing to work.
  • Don’t adopt the child with some pre-conceived idea of what that child should be. Don’t adopt that child if you don’t think you have it in you to love them just as if you were their biological parents. Don’t adopt them thinking they will complete you somehow, and then resent them when they don’t complete you. Do some serious soul searching. What are your goals and expectations from adoption? Also, learn about the child’s heritage and raise them with some knowledge of that and incorporate some of the traditions of their heritage into their upbringing.
  • Don’t take the identity off the child. Tell it as it really is from day one. None of our children are ours to keep or own they will all leave when they want to. But every child must have the same rights to knowledge, identity, genetics, original name even. You cannot make them into something there not. You are lying to yourself if you think you can. And if you cant have children then there is a message in that. Love them but set them free.
  • Why aren’t you adopting from Foster Care?
  • Dont Adopt. Why are you really doing it. To conform to society? To look the same as your friends? To fill a void? Help keep marriage together? Desperate for a Baby? That is the worst reason of all.
  • I would ask are you prepared to have a child that is grieving for someone that can never be you
  • Personally for me I never and still do not feel like I’m a part of their family. My advice would be only give a child to a couple who has no other bio child as u can never compete with that love. The next would be for the child to have access to a councilor while growing up to talk though the everyday things that come with being adopted. I had good parents growing up and since have had contact with my birth parents but the wounds of being adopted run deep.
  • Adoption as a last resort but if it’s necessary, complete honesty/openness, answer every question and become experts in separation trauma with appropriate expert therapists available as early as is required.
  • Consider what the worst case scenario you can imagine could happen and then take a long hard look at your life to make sure you could handle that or that you could find help handling that. Adopted kids don’t necessarily have more issues than other kids, but we do have different issues than other kids. You might consider seeking out a therapist that is well versed in adoption issues before you adopt so you can get some kind of idea before you go through the process.
  • Read the book primal wound.
  • Keep seeking advice from adult adoptees, we have lived it. We know more about adoption than anyone in the equation.
  • I would tell them to be aware and mindful of the challenges that will arise. Loving and raising a child as your own , as beautiful as it is, does not erase the trauma of being adopted. I would tell the parents to be open and as honest as possible when you and the child are ready for that conversation. I would also tell parents adopting a child to listen to understand instead of listening to respond. As an adoptee myself, I just wanted my parents ,who raised me from six months old to listen. That’s it. It is a challenging but rewarding journey if the necessary steps are taken to make sure that the child is taken care of physically, mentally and emotionally.
  • We aren’t “heroes”, we aren’t “chosen”, or “special”, you are not their savior, you are their parent. That’s all. Don’t treat us differently, be understanding, listen when they need to get their feelings out and allow them an outlet to do so. If they want to find their family, let them, support them and love them.
  • Know what issues an adopted children will face. Remember that they have lost their first family and make sure you reassure they are loved no matter what. Talk about both families. Never say how lucky or blest they are. Listen and listen some more
  • I am not your child…..I am a child in your care. I cannot and will not replace the child you wish came from your womb. I am not responsible from whence I came, and if I had a choice I would be with my own tribe. I can learn to love you with care that takes into consideration the trauma of my loss. As I grow I will have questions I have every right to have answered with the truth, the real truth, not the “Rose coloured glasses” truth. I am not perfect, I am not anymore blessed by adoption than you are by infertility. I am as important as any future children you may have, your own or someone else’s. I do not look like you and if we share any common traits, enjoy my uniqueness and don’t take credit for something you or I had no control over. I am special because I exist and you are special because you gave me a chance to be myself.
  • Do not adopt a baby/toddler because of your infertility problem or your selfishness to have a baby that is not yours. If you wish to help a child, foster older children in the foster care system until their families get themselves together to take care of Their child. I am an adoptee and the only place i belonged in this world was in my birth mother’s arms. No woman will ever replace a birth mother. You want to help, help the poor mother keep her baby.
  • Before bedtime : expect that challenging times hard difficult ones will always be there adoption is a trauma for the adopted children and will always be a part of their lives in 1 way or another.
  • Since most adoptions today are open ones an adoptive family would have to feel comfortable with sharing the child with their biological parent(s).
  • Adopt for the right reason.

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Love, Love

Pamela A. Karanova

Light at the End of the Tunnel

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It seems like this has been the hardest year of my life.

Probably because it has.

It’s amazing how things can change in just a blink of an eye.

For me, reality has set in in many areas of my life.

But today God has restored some of my hope that was lost along the way.

The Bible says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 ESV

To be honest, if I didn’t have God’s word and his promises to stand on I would not be here today! This world does not bring me HOPE but God does! Because of his word it gives me something to stand on and FIGHT WITH. The enemy thought he was going to take me out and even my children but he has had another thing coming.

IT’S BEEN WAR BUT THE BATTLE HAS ALREADY BEEN WON!

The Armor of God-

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-17

hope

I started seeing a new therapist yesterday. You can guess ADOPTEE ISSUES are a pretty heavy but I’m STILL working on healing. I’ve come to terms that this might last a lifetime! For some reason I was thinking after 4 years in recovery it would get better! It has NOT gotten better. It has gotten harder, heavier and worse! I keep praying for healing, closure, acceptance, answers, truth, and happiness within myself… If I give up on seeking these things what is the point of living? I mean I am not a quitter! I am not giving up!

I will say the last year some days I have felt like given up, actually if I’m honest MOST DAYS I HAVE FELT LIKE GIVING UP!.

BUT GOD!

I know he has a purpose for my life, as he does all of us.

SO I’m here.

I’ve moved on from the past nightmare relation SHIT I was in that ended a year ago. I’ve spent the last year healing from this relation SHIT which caused me a lot of heartache and grief as if I haven’t gone through enough in my life. Closing that door was the best thing I ever did because let’s just face it- SOME PEOPLE NEVER CHANGE!!!

What this relation SHIT taught me is that people lie, even grown people. Grown people even manipulate and deceive and make things up. I’ve learned I can’t control what other people do but I can control 110% who I have in my life. If someone is going to LIE to me I will not tolerate that crap. I’m a good  person and I deserve the BEST!

Why would I break free from a lifetime of dysfunction that I was born into and enter into more dysfunction?? I smell dysfunction a mile away and not that I have it all together but my struggles are internal, they don’t hurt other people!! I’m good to other people and try to be a good person.

Anyway.. I’ve been dealing with a few personal things with my children but things in that area are also starting to look better and I couldn’t be more thankful. I have had to put MYSELF (blog, and what not) on the back burner for a bit but I’m praying about blossoming back into the online world but not Facebook. I do believe I will put the “How Does it Feel To Be Adopted” Facebook page back up but monitor it from a dummy page this way I don’t gain the distraction of a personal Facebook page. I just can’t get sucked back into Facebook right now. THERE ARE HUGE TRIGGERS ON FACEBOOK TO ME!

And, as I see this new therapist we agreed since I love writing she’s going to pull that out of me by giving me some writing assignments. I believe I will share them here on my blog. This is my safe place. So stay tuned.

Today I have more hope and peace about things than I have in a long time! I give the glory to God! Thank you all for your prayers, for supporting me and for reaching out to me! It means the world. Please know me removing myself has nothing to do with anyone personally, I just had to do it for myself and to get closer to God. I’ve spent a long season doing this and it’s honestly all I have known to do in such a dark time of my life.

But the lights are back on. Hope is here. I’m moving forward.

God Gets the Glory! – Amen!

mystory

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