Adoptees, Why Did Your Adoptive Parents Adopt You?  

I write about the difficult dynamics in adoption, the ones no one wants to talk about. As I have emerged from the fog of adoption, I’ve learned that not all adoptees are adopted for the reasons most people think they are. So what was the reason your adoptive parents adopted you? What were you told, and did it align with the truth?

Society paints a picture that adoptees are taken in when their biological families don’t want them. Their adoptive parents have taken on this responsibility to parent another person’s child to provide a safe and loving home for the child. The adoptive parents are then seen as heroes and often take on the superior attitude of saving an unwanted child from a life of despair. White savior complex sits front and center on many occasions regarding adoptions today. There is an underbelly to these false realities.

However, this is the opposite contrast of what many adoptees feel while we navigate life on the other side of the coin. For many of us, over years of our lives, we learn the truth about why we were adopted, and it opens up a level of understanding for each of us. We’re told we were chosen, and most of the time, we believe it. It’s a cushion to soften the blow of the realities about adoption. The chosen baby theory makes people feel better, even when it’s not true.

I am here to share the truth that most of the time, when a baby is adopted, the reasons they were separated from their biological mothers isn’t usually a pretty story. We must share this reality to stop setting adoptees up for the life-altering disappointment when they discover the truth. The separation trauma is traumatic enough, and we don’t have to add more lies and secrecy to it by using the chosen baby theory. I will be writing more about the chosen baby theory soon.

It’s rare for someone to choose to take on the responsibility of parenting another person’s child, with it being the first option. People generally want to have their own biological children FIRST, before adoption is ever spoken of. This means adoption is likely the LAST option vs. the chosen one. If you think your adoptive parent’s hand-picked you out of a line of babies, I can guarantee you this is a false narrative spun by the adoption industry. It’s part of the propaganda they sell to dress adoption up and hide what it truthfully is. The truth is, they took the next baby in line.

My adoptive mom was infertile. She couldn’t have kids of her own. So instead of healing from this significant loss and accepting those were the cards she was dealt, she adopted! I carried the load of her struggles with infertility my entire life. Somehow I remember saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” more than anything. She never healed from the divorce or her infertility struggles. I was the prime target of her emotional and mental outbursts and my adopted sister. Our adoptive father divorced her, left us, and moved away even when he knew she couldn’t take care of us. It was no secret that she was mentally ill. From an early age, I was her caretaker. I rubbed her back, put lotion all over her body, cleaned her room, changed her bedding. I ran her bath water, brushed her hair, cut coupons for her, cleaned the whole house, and the list could go on.

I started to learn in my early teens that my adoptive mother had a fear of going to a nursing home in her older age. She talked about this in my childhood many times, and by my teen years, it was very apparent to me that she had significant issues with going to a nursing home. As I started to connect the dots on this, and I experienced a life of hell in this home, it is evident that she adopted 1. Because she couldn’t have offspring of her own. 2. She didn’t want to go to a nursing home in her old days. These reasons are far-fetched from wanting to provide a loving and caring home to a child in need.

Another highlight about this reality is that our relationship was very strained my whole life, especially as I grew into my adulthood. She tried to convince me to be her power of attorney when I was 38 years old. When I was 38 years old, I was the single parent of a new 18-year-old high school graduate. I also had twins that were in 9th grade. I had my hands full to take on this responsibility, and I declined. If we had a healthy relationship and if she wasn’t abusive my whole life, I might have considered it. However, she went straight for my fresh out of high school 18-year-old daughter when I declined.

My daughter was barely out of high school, yet when she asked her and pursued her to be her POA. She was applying to colleges and ready to start her life as an adult. So why would she want to dig her claws in my daughter in this way? Because her plan with me backfired. I cared for her and catered to her my entire life until I finally broke free in 2005. I packed up a UHaul, all my belongings, my kids and moved across the country to escape her. It was the hardest thing I ever did because when you are adopted, you then step into a space of having no family and, in this case, no mother. I didn’t have one anyway, but we started our life over. I had no place to live, no job, no money, no car, and no keys TO ANYTHING.

I did this not only for my kids to have a better life but also for myself. So I could start the healing process from all my adoption experience has caused. I have come to life little by little, and today I’m thriving. However, this doesn’t mean that I haven’t been hurt by the reality of why my adoptive mom adopted me, to begin with. I see right through her intentions. It would be easier to believe the fairytale narrative; however, my life’s experiences won’t allow me to believe this.

I am not saying that some adoptees aren’t adopted for pure reasons, but I know I am not the only one who has figured out I was adopted to fill the void a biological child would have brought to my adoptive mom and her adopting for her wants and needs. It’s almost like I feel like a pawn in a game I never agreed to play. Unfortunately, because of this and all the abuse and lies she inflicted on me my entire life, we were estranged for several years before she passed away.

I’m curious about the experiences of my fellow adoptees? Do you feel like your adoptive parents adopted for “the right reasons?” whatever that looks like to you? Or do you feel there was another reason or even several? How has this made you feel?

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!

Thanks for reading and listening,

Love, Love.

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

The Raw Resentment I Have Carried for Most Adoptive Parents and What Changed – An Adoptees Perspective

Yep, I’m going there. I write about the difficult dynamics in adoption, the ones no one wants to talk about.

But before I do, I’m not here to throw my adoptive parents under the bus for what they did or didn’t do wrong. At this point, that’s water under the bridge for me.

I’ve said for many years that Adoptive Parents aren’t my gift. They aren’t in my arena of life, and I have purposely set things up to keep most of them out of my space for mental health and self-care reasons.

I seem to clash with them, and I have carried great fury toward them over the years. Adoptive parents have been the hardest for me to manage out of all the people in the adoption constellation.

Why?

My experiences with most adoptive parents have been primarily online, and they haven’t been positive experiences. 99.9% of the time, they don’t have the willingness to want to learn or listen to what adoption feels like from an adult adoptee’s perspective. Online I’ve found them to be damaging, dismissive and emotionally abusive.

Anytime I have tried to share, they end up making it about them and why they adopted, to begin with, their infertility issues, and all they have sacrificed to adopt the child they have. So it’s always about them, and this saddens me.

If I’m being transparent, it MADDENS ME.

They don’t have to listen to me for me, but I think of all their adopted kids who could experience the pain I once did and that so many adoptees experience growing up. Unfortunately, the adoption agencies, adoption attorneys, and adoption officials aren’t telling them the truth. So if there were any way I could help the adoptive parents understand the adoptee’s experience more profoundly, I would be happy to do that when time permits.

I believe adopted adults hold the keys to understanding all the heartache and heartbreak adoptees experience after separation from their biological mother. We also understand life as the adoptee experience. A group of 10 adoptive parents can gather to talk about their adopted kids, but they will never understand the layers and complexities that an adult adoptee can share. We understand the grief, loss, and trauma because we’ve sat in it. We live it each day.

I need to be transparent. My motivation is more for the adoptee because they are the community I pour my heart and soul into. So with that, if networking with the adoptive parents will bring some healing and clarity, I will try, but only if they are willing to listen and learn.

I learned a hard lesson in 2015, about five years after coming out of the fog. When adoptive parents didn’t want to receive the message, I would insert my views, experiences, and words into conversations with adoptive parents online. Then, they would shut me down and silence me, and I would become worked up. I can’t even begin to describe the anguish and emotional triggering I put myself through because interactions online like this happened repeatedly. It seems easy, but it was excruciating when I put myself in these situations!

Until one day, I woke up. Then, I realized I had the power to excuse these frustrating interactions from my life altogether. I learned that the only way my message would be received was if the person was willing to receive the message I wanted to share! Wow, this was a game-changer for me. But, to be completely honest, this isn’t only in the adoption arena.

This is with every area of life.

Once I learned that a small number of adoptive parents wanted to hear from the adult adoptee’s perspective to understand their adoptive child better, things started to shift for me. The small number of adoptive parents I have had significant positive interactions with have given me the hope that some adoptive parents out there have the willingness in them to listen and learn. They genuinely want to try. Thank you for your willingness. I’m sure there are plenty of adoptive parents who want to listen and learn, I just haven’t met them. I actually wrote an article about this one time in 2014 called, Just Listen, That is All.

I realized I was selling myself short when communicating and speaking to adoptive parents. However, the small number of interactions I have had, mostly in real life, have been positive, meaningful, and life-changing. In addition, I have had 1 to 2 positive experiences online with adoptive parents who have reached out to me about advice that have been positive interactions.

While the positive experiences are far and few between, I have chosen to put my mental health first and no longer insert my opinion or experience to adoptive parents online unless they seek me out first. When they come with open hearts and minds, I will consider engaging. I wrote an article about this one time.

When Adoptive Parents Have the Willingness to Listen,

With this, I have been able to shift little by little regarding my feelings towards adoptive parents, and because of these positive experiences, I hope things are changing for the better, but we still have a long way to go. So today, I set boundaries and refuse to allow much of my time dedicated to APs because it takes time away from my commitment to adoptees. Wasting time with anyone who doesn’t have the willingness to listen and learn is something I will no longer do. So, I took my power back. If this article resonates with you, I encourage you to do the same.

If you are an adoptive parent, do you have the willingness to have hard, yet truthful conversations with adult adoptees? Do you feel they hold a special value to the adoptee experience? If you have had conversations with adult adoptees, what has that experience been like for you?

If you are an adoptee reading this, what has your experience been like with communicating with adoptive parents? Have you had mainly positive experiences, or have they been similar to mine?

Why do you think adoptive parents are so triggering to many adoptees? If they have been triggering to you, as they have me, is there been anything that helps you navigate these experiences?

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!

Thanks for reading,

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

The Hypocrisy of Classifying All Biological Mothers as Relinquishers – An Adoptee’s Perspective

I don’t like anyone telling me what to call my biological mother, and when they try, it grinds my gears in a wild ass way! I had a fellow adoptee DEMAND I call my biological mother, MOTHER. If I didn’t, she insisted I was feeding into the adoption industry propaganda and that I wasn’t being honest because she was, in fact, my mother! I get what she was trying to say; however, no one gets to tell me what to do or how to refer to my biological mother. 

I will never try to tell anyone how to refer to their BIOLOGICAL MOTHER, FIRST MOTHER, or BIRTH MOTHER. I couldn’t call her mother because she didn’t earn the right to gain that title. I will share more about that in a few. 

I have had biological mothers jump my ass in online settings for using BM (birth mother or bowel movement) when describing my biological mother. I let them know I can use BM because it’s easier to describe biological mothers in adoption spaces, and most people know what BM means.

Now that I have been on a healing and growth journey, I try to be sympathetic to this. Not because I have to, but because I want to.

For anyone to tell another person how they should refer to anyone in their life is something I can’t entirely agree with. Of course, we are all free to refer to our biological mothers or anyone else as we wish, but that’s not what this article is about. It’s about using a blanket statement calling ALL biological mothers relinquishers. Many individuals call the entire category of biological mothers RELINQUISHERS for those unaware of it.

Over a decade, I have been in the adoptee community and longer than that in online adoptee spaces, better known as ADOPTEELAND. While several years ago, I since retired from Adopteeland altogether, gladly passing the baton over to those who are better equipped to handle the complexities that come with it. There have been many situations where I learned that all biological mothers are referred to as relinquishers, and I have some thoughts on this. 

Relinquish – voluntarily cease to keep or claim; give up. 

Voluntary – done, given, or acting of one’s own free will.

This is a loaded topic, and I am only sharing from my perspective because I see an issue with ALL biological mothers being classified as relinquishers. 

Here’s why. 

When we refer to ALL biological mothers as relinquishers, we classify them ALL as voluntarily, of their own free will,  giving up their babies for adoption. However, we admit that adoption agencies, adoption officials, churches, evangelicals, the pro-life movement, and adoption advocates have particular ways to manipulate and coerce mothers before they give their babies up for adoption.

In that case, we have to consider this when classifying them ALL as relinquishers. We can not know this and rightfully call all biological mothers relinquishers because many of them had no choice. 

Most of us are aware that adoption is a multi-billion dollar unregulated business and that there is a lot of money to be made in this arena. We also know that the coercion tactics used on mothers are very sly and cunning. The exploitation runs deep and raw.

I had the experience of reading The Girls That Went Away, a remarkable book that recounts the experiences of biological mothers through the baby scoop era. They share feelings associated with the lifelong trauma of their babies being separated from their existence.  Many of them would have kept their babies if they could. However, they had no choice or options between the era they were in and a lack of support. Many were conditioned to believe their babies would be better off without them, and sadly many believed it. Sadly, this still happens today.

Many of us recognize and acknowledge that not all adoptees have the beginnings of their life, which means they don’t know the truth about their beginnings. We can not assume that all international adoptees or domestic adoptees weren’t stolen. We must acknowledge that many adoptees are stolen and sold on the black market and in other awful ways. When we know this, we can’t assume that the biological mothers relinquished their babies, yet many of them were legitimately stolen from them. 

How can anyone call all biological mothers relinquishers when they know this is a part of adoption? Once again, If you know this, and you are still calling ALL biological mothers relinquishers, I believe you are just being cruel and mean. This usually always occurs on the internet because most people don’t dare to be this mean in real life. 

There are many adoptees who are referring to themselves as “relinquishee” instead of “adoptee.” I wrote an article about that called, “My Views on Adoptee vs. Relinquishee.” While I sometimes use the term relinquishee, it fits my story but it doesn’t fit everyone’s story. Some adopted people are uncertain if they were stolen or relinquished which are two very significant differrences. I will be writing about this soon.

This topic is quite personal to me due to an exceptional individual in my life who was brave enough to share their story with me, who happens to be a biological mother. She was pregnant in the baby scoop era at 15 years old, and like many other unwed mothers, she was swept away to a mother/baby home to prepare for the surrender of her baby. But unfortunately, her parents wouldn’t support her, and at 15, she had no options. 

When her daughter turned 18, she had already found her and sat at her high school graduation from afar, watching the baby she gave birth to 18 years earlier walk across the stage. She slipped out, never to be noticed by anyone. Not long after, she pursued reuniting and a relationship with her daughter, and she had an existing one until her dying days. On her deathbed, she still wept tears from the loss of her daughter. 

Even in the hospital, she whispered to her many years later as tears wept down her face, “I wish I would have taken you and ran; I’m so sorry I didn’t.”  Even with all the cards stacked against her, she carried the pain of the separation from her daughter to her last breath in her last words. 

Knowing that she experienced this, and so many other biological mothers, to put them in a category labeled RELINQUISHERS is something I can’t agree with. But, this is one story of countless that I have been willing to listen to and learn from. 

Now, my biological mother, on the other hand, might be able to slide her into the category of relinquisher because I genuinely feel she was old enough to know what she was doing. She made a clear and conscious choice as a grown adult, and even when in 1974, things were significantly different than today. She could have kept me and parented me. 

The circumstances around her decision are based on the fact that she had an affair with a married man, and I was conceived as a product of this affair. He was a close family friend, and she kept the whole pregnancy a secret, even from my biological father. I don’t call her a relinquisher because I feel it has a vile tone and a mean connotation attached to the way the word is used. Instead, I choose the word biological mother or birth mother for the woman who gave birth to me because that fits my story and what feels comfortable to me. 

I feel it’s exceptionally hypocritical to use a blanket statement calling all biological mothers relinquishers when we know these realities exist and that every single separation from our biological mother is different from the next.

Call your biological mother a relinquisher if you wish! But I feel when anyone refers to ALL biological mothers as relinquishers, it’s fueled by anger and spite resulting from unresolved trauma wounds.  As we all know, anytime a mother and a child are separated, a trauma occurs, so every adopted person and their biological mothers carry trauma with them whether they understand it or not. 

I don’t refer to all birth mothers as relinquishers, nor do I refer to ANY birth mothers as relinquishers. Part of my journey has allowed me the opportunity to have many one-on-one, heart-to-heart online and in-person conversations with biological mothers. I have been willing to try to understand the depths of their experiences. Everyone has said it was a traumatic experience, and almost all said they had no choice. I’m not saying this is the case for every story because I know it’s not. 

Kindness and compassion go a long way. However, being a mean human being isn’t cool at all. When someone is mean, rude, or disrespectful on the internet, or if they have bullying tendencies, I completely tune them out and turn them off. They get no airtime in my world. I encourage you to do the same! 

Let’s try to do better and reconsider when we think about using blanket statements by calling all biological mothers relinquishers and let’s handle each experience as its individual own. Let’s take accountability that we legitimately know not all birth mothers have or had a choice. Let’s grow in our journeys to have more kindness and compassion for others. 

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!

Thanks for reading, 

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

Being Found VS. No One Looking – An Adoptees Perspective

The thoughts coming to life in this article are reflections I have had brewing for a very long time. My perspective is from the natural lens of an adopted adult who unfortunately had no one from my natural family looking for me, not in this lifetime anyway. 

What do I mean by “I had no one looking for me?”

Many adoptees, myself included, have formed this fantasy that our biological parents made a big mistake, and they are coming to find us! Every day in my childhood, I dreamed of the day that my birth mother would reappear and take me back home to live with her. When we are told she “loved us so much,” it’s easy to attach all kinds of fantasies to this scenario. Dreams, fantasies, and wishes are endless and limitless. Sometimes I feel like my whole life was built on a fantasy, a dream, and a wish. But instead of dreaming about a husband, an amazing career, children, and a fancy car and house like most people, it was all about HER.

The biggest dream, fantasy, and wishes were always centered around my birth mother coming back to get me or me finding her. Year after year passed, and I hit my teen years, and reality set in. She wasn’t coming back, and as I reached adulthood, my fantasy was shattered and destroyed.

Here’s why – my birth mother was never looking for me, and she never wanted to be found. (These are two separate things) It’s hard to put into words the depths of pain this reality has caused me, but it’s shifted every part of my being to be disappointed and rejected in such a profound way, buy the woman that should love me the most. The high hopes in a happy reunion story came crashing down, and I have found myself picking up shattered pieces of my heart, step by step, trying to put the pieces together again. While I have healed at great lengths, I have accepted the pain is here to stay.

Not running from it has been the key to healing for me.

My biological father didn’t know I existed, and I was adopted without his consent. So it would be ludicrous for me to think he was looking for me. However, before I learned that he knew nothing of my existence, I had hoped he was trying to find me—more fantasies at their finest.

I am 12 years into coming out of the fog and navigating my healing journey, and things are much better today. I made a choice to leave alcohol alone and decided to feel the feelings of rejection, abandonment, and the primal wound, aka relinquishment trauma.

However, over the 12 years, there were many times the pain and REALITY of my truth were just too much to carry, and I wanted out. I had plans to leave the earth many times and I thought I would die from a broken heart. I don’t share that lightly.

But here I am, alive to share my story. The future seems to have developed into a more peaceful existence. Of all the time and energy I have spent on healing, I will never forget how it has felt to have not one person on this earth looking for me after spending a lifetime thinking they were.

It’s a sad feeling, dark and hallow at times like I wasn’t worth finding. It feels like I shouldn’t exist in a world where my own biological family could care less if I lived or died. To show up and exist in this world with these dynamics at the root of my very existence has been a never ending challenge most will never understand.

Thankfully, even when no one wanted to find me, I wanted to find me, but it doesn’t take 47 years of the pain away.

My desire to find myself, who I am, and who I am not is something that has taken me 47 years to experience. I have pondered what it might feel like if someone was searching for me, and I can imagine it would be the best feeling in the world. 

Unfortunately, I will never know. 

The adopted adults who have the experience of a biological family searching for them can hang onto that experience, so they will likely never know what it feels like for NO ONE to be searching for them.

However, I suppose that they could experience the maternal side OR the paternal side searching for them, which would give them a glimpse of what it feels like for one side to search for them, and another side not to search for them. Regardless of how it all plays out in each adopted person’s story, our very existence on earth comes with so much weight to carry. It’s painful no matter how you slice it.

But to carry the weight of NO ONE searching…

It hurts, and there isn’t much in the world that has topped this type of pain off. It’s primal, and it’s deep-rooted. But, the most significant part is that if we sit with the pain long enough, it starts to heal. I have sat in it for over 9.5 years without using alcohol to numb the pain, and it’s getting more manageable. Still, I can completely understand how some adoptees choose not to go on because the pain can be that difficult to navigate. That was once me.

Suppose a biological mother, biological father, or friends and family of an adopted person are weighing in the dynamic to search or not to search. In that case, I hope this article sheds some light for you in making your decision. This article is on a dynamic on how it feels when NO ONE is searching for you. On top of the pain and trauma from relinquishment, we also deal with this dynamic of no one looking for us that no one wants to talk about, yet it’s the reality for so many adopted people.

We must also take into consideration that some adoptees don’t want to be found. I can chime in and say, that they rightfully should be respected in this wish, however, how will you ever know unless you try to reach out to them? They deserve to get the choice in the matter. This means that even if you make the choice to search for an adoptee, the adoptee ultimately gets to decide if they want to open that door or not. We are all different and no two adoptee journeys are the same but I would think it would count for something if one of our biological relatives at least tried! I know it would have meant EVERYTHING to me that at least one of them tried.

It’s a tough pill to swallow. My heart aches for adoptees who stepped into a space where no one was searching for them and for those who stepped into a space where their biological parents don’t want to be found. I see you, hear you, and my heart is with you. You are not alone.

For adoptees, what has your experience searching for your biological family members?

Are you one of the adoptees who had no search for you?

Were your maternal or paternal biological parents or family searching for you?

Did they embrace a reunion, or did they not want to be found? 

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!

Thank you for reading.

Healing through writing, one article at a time.

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

About Your Happy Adoption Story 

Something that continuously feels like a kick in the teeth is the need for anyone to proclaim how their adoption story was a wonderful one, in the midst of an adopted adult sharing how our experiences have surfaced grief, loss, trauma, abuse, abandonment, and rejection. 

Why does anyone feel the need to do this? 

Do they know it’s harmful and hurtful to the validation of your experience and the pain you carry within that experience? I can’t help but try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but this topic is noteworthy of an article because I deal with it all the time. And this means many of my fellow adoptees likely do as well!

It usually goes something like this – 

Adopted Adult: “I’m having a hard time processing the rejection of my birth mother, and my birth father passed away before I could ever meet him. I would have given anything to meet them both at least one time. I am really sad about it all. My adoption story has caused me separation trauma and adoption trauma that impacts me in every way. I will be working towards healing from these wounds for the rest of my life.” 

Responses we get a lot of the time – 

Birth Mother: “Sorry, your adoption experience has been such a painful one. I wish everybody had an adoption story like mine because it’s a beautiful one. Most adoptions aren’t like yours.” 

Adoptive Parent: “You are basing your option on your experience, but not everyone has your experience. Our adoption has been the biggest blessing of our family, not just for us but our adopted son. God has a plan, and he never makes mistakes!” 

Friend of the Family: “I’m sorry you had a bad experience. Can you imagine how your life would have been if you weren’t adopted? You must be so thankful that someone wanted you when your own biological family didn’t. Aren’t you grateful for the better life?” 

NEWSFLASH PEOPLE – When someone shares heartache and pain, it is not okay to swoop in and share that your experience is so much better. Unfortunately, the adoptee is the one singled out, being labeled as someone who “just has a bad adoption story and experience!”

NEWSFLASH NUMBER TWO: Every single adoption begins with TRAUMA FIRST which constitutes a bad experience for every single adopted person. The loss of our biological mother is nothing to be celebrated, and if we are all being truthful and transparent, that very important piece must never be left out when speaking about adoption. To gloss over this piece is pretending as if it doesn’t exist.

I have also seen adoptees (who are usually in the fog) do this to fellow adoptees. It’s not okay, and it’s never going to be okay.

Let’s change things up a bit so people realize how fucking awful they sound. 

Rape Victim: “I have been traumatized by my experience with John Doe. He forced himself on me, and even after I said “NO,” he took what he wanted to take and forced me to have sex with him, and I did not give consent!” 

If someone responded to the rape victim like they do when adopted adults share their feelings, it might go something like this  – 

Friend of the Rapist “I’m sorry John Doe violated you in some way, but I need to share that I have been his friend for 15 years, and he has never once violated me in that way. I think you just had a bad experience with him. Not everyone has that experience who knows and loves John!” 

Family Member of the Rapist “I have known John since birth, and he wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’s well-loved and supported in our family. You are the only person with a negative experience with John. I feel bad that you had a bad experience with John, and I hope one day you can move past it and move on with your life. and always remember, God doesn’t give us any more than we can handle!” 

Friend of Person Raped “I am mortified that John raped you! Are you sure you remember things correctly? Because this is a serious crime and John D. has never been accused of hurting someone like this before? Can you try to think positively about this? Of all the years I have known you, you are strong, and I know you will overcome this! One day, you will choose to move on!”

One more example – 

Victim of Racial Discrimination: “Mr. Wilson called me out at work, in front of everyone, and he really embarrassed me and made me feel discriminated against. I was the only person of color, and he asked me to share the history of slavery in America and details about my history with racism. It made me really uncomfortable, and even when he could see I was uncomfortable, I told him I was uncomfortable, he pressed on and made me share anyway.” 

White Co-Worker of Victim“I’m sorry Mr. Wilson made you uncomfortable, but if anyone is supposed to teach us the realities of Slavery in America, don’t you think it should be you? You have the most knowledge!” 

White Friend of Victim“I hate this happened to you, but you are strong. If anyone can handle it, you can! I always want chances to learn about race, and if African Americans can’t teach us, who can?” 

White HR Department Manager of Victim“Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will look into this, and hopefully, it won’t happen again. For the record, Mr. Wilson is well-loved around here, and we support him to the fullest. He’s been around 32 years and will be retiring soon!” 

One last example – 

Victim of Religious Trauma Syndrom“I am down in a dark space because all the things I was taught as a child about God go against how I am feeling. My experience with God and church has caused me damage, and I need to find a therapist experienced in religious trauma to help navigate things. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like reaching out to my Christian friends. They will just tell me I am backsliding and the devil is controlling me!” 

Friend of Victim – “ This isn’t my experience. You need to pray and ask God to clarify things for you. Then, get alone, and keep praying. Maybe even fast for a few days. God will reveal the truth and if you don’t hear him, try harder!” 

Family Member of Victim“I think you are confused, and you are focusing more on the negative instead of giving it to God and trusting him with your life! The enemy is trying to take control of your thoughts, and I will pray for you! We all need to pray! You are not praying enough! PROVERBS 18:21!”

ATTENTION: These are hypothetical but sadly at times can ring true for these victims of abuse and these things happen like this all the time. In no way am I minimizing the experiences of those who have been treated this way, yet I am shining light on the ignorance that surrounds statements like this.

Do you see how awful these responses are and invalidating? Well, you wouldn’t say these idiotic statements to the victims of Rape, the victims of racial discrimination, or victims of Religious Trauma Syndrome, would you?

So I am asking you to stop saying these things to adopted adults. Anytime someone is sharing from a space of heartache and pain, they do NOT need you to glorify your amazing happy adoption story at the same time! So please consider stopping this as you are causing harm if you don’t. 

Also, remember while you might be a birth mother or an adoptive parent, you can’t speak for the feelings of an adoptee! Please do not speak for us.

While you glorify your experience with adoption as being wonderful, they have possibly not reached adulthood yet, so they can enter a space of developing their own feelings. And no harm intended but they likely wouldn’t share their feelings with you! My adoptive parents are the last people on earth I have ever shared my real true feelings with!

This goes for anything in life. People need to be heard, validated, and supported when sharing pain, and that is IT! Just because YOU have a happy and positive adoption story, it doesn’t negate my sad, traumatic and hurtful one! When someone has to put a positive spin on someone else sharing their pain, it’s a dynamic of toxic positivity that is so invalidating to so many. Maybe after reading this article, people will see how they sound and make changes. We can only hope.

How many of you have experienced this type of treatment for my fellow adoptees? Has it been in public, online, or in your relationships? I would love to hear about your experiences! How do you handle them?

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!

Thanks for reading.

Love, Love

Dear Perpetual Adopted Children and Everyone Who Knows and Loves Them

Per-pet-u-alNever ending or changing, continuing forever.

Depending on where you live, most people gain the legal status of being an adult between 18 and 21 years of age. 

For all the “Adopted Children”  between the ages of newborn and 21 years old, I hope by the time you might stumble across this article and reach the legal age of adulthood, things have shifted concerning the topic of this article. I hope those who know you and love you will allow you the space to grow up and stop confining you to the box of being a perpetual child. This article is for you and those who love you!

For all the “Perpetual Adopted Children” who are 18+ to 110+ years old, I’m writing this article for you and those who know and love you as well! 

Recently, I have been in several conversations where I have been referred to as “The Adopted Child,” or I have witnessed one of my fellow ADULT adoptees referred to as an “Adopted Child.”  Each time, this strikes my nerves and grinds my gears in a way that has been so significant that it’s sparked me to want to write an article about it. 

My goal is to validate the experiences of my fellow adoptees who are well into adulthood, even some being seniors (over 65) who are still being referred to as “THE ADOPTED CHILD.”  

This article is also to help our loved ones understand that the time is OVER when it comes to speaking for adopted adults and referring to them as “ADOPTED CHILDREN or THE ADOPTED CHILD.” I want to explain why this is damaging and hurtful to the adult adopted people who are no longer in a state of childhood.

If we are being authentic, adoption has deceived, manipulated, and bamboozled many people. We have groups of people who are convinced removing babies from their mothers is “God’s Will.” We have groups of people who PRAY for trauma to happen to a mother and a child, which is the trauma that occurs when a mother and a child are separated, and they believe when it happens, it’s “GOD’S WILL.” We have groups of people who think paying $27,000.00 for a white newborn infant or $7000.00 for a black newborn infant isn’t legalized human trafficking. We have groups of people who assume that adoption provides a better life. We have groups of people who think adoption is always a blessing, and if the adoptee feels anything less than positive feelings, they are labeled ungrateful and even tossed out of wills and disowned.

I could go on and on, but today I want to highlight individuals who continue to refer to ADULT ADOPTED INDIVIDUALS as ADOPTED CHILDREN and THE ADOPTED CHILD. 

In 1974, I was a newborn entering the world and immediately experienced a traumatic experience by losing my biological mother. On August 13, 1992, I became a legal adult in this game we call “Life.”

I entered into a space where I have fought like hell from the beginning to find my truth, heal, and find happiness and wholeness within myself. Spending 47 years on earth, I am at a place where I have spent a lot of time learning, sharing, healing, recovering from ALL THINGS ADOPTION and life in general. Somewhere along the lines of life, I have put my big girl panties on and gotten authentic with myself. It has taken a lot of willpower and determination to do this.

Aside from adoption, I have given birth to three human beings, all adults now. I raised them as a single mother. I fought through the stigma and did the best I could based on the tools I had present at the time. I have a whole career in the healthcare field, and I also founded a national nonprofit organization. I have walked through the recovery journey and experienced the highs and lows of that process. Finally, I am currently living an alcohol-free lifestyle, and I now share my journey from a space of being RECOVERED.  I have put in the blood, sweat, and tears and will soon CELEBRATE 10 years alcohol-free. 

Let me be as honest as I can, I grew the FUCK UP, and it wasn’t easy. I have many scars to prove it. But, I have the knowledge and a drive most people never experience in their lifetimes. A significant portion of my knowledge comes from lived experiences, which fills my tank up when stepping into a space of ADULTHOOD. I have earned the right to remove the mindset that I am a perpetual child in the eyes of those who view “THE ADOPTED CHILD” as never growing up. I am sure most of my fellow adoptees over 18 years of age would say the same. 

Why has society not grasped the TRUTH that I am no longer a child? I haven’t been a CHILD since 1992 when I turned 18 years old. And even then, I was a teenager, growing into my own person. To be continuously referred to as a perpetual child my whole life has caused damage to my personal experience and self-esteem. It has belittled and invalidated my feelings and emotions as if I currently respond from a child’s space. It also gives the impression I am immature and inexperienced in life.

It’s an INSULT in its most profound form. 

I would love the world to put some respect on my journey and put some respect on the adoptee journey altogether. I realize wholeheartedly that society at large has been conditioned with this perpetual child mindset when it comes to adopted children. Still, I am here to challenge anyone reading this article to ponder your beliefs and consider changing the words you use when speaking about any adopted person.

I try to give people the benefit of the doubt on topics like this. However, maybe people genuinely don’t understand how their words impact adopted people. For those people, I ask you to open up to the willingness to learn that it’s never been okay to refer to adopted adults as “ADOPTED CHILDREN,” and it’s never going to be okay.

This is because so many of us rightfully take offense to it, and we will start calling people out on it, even people we are close to whom we have relationships with who we know and love. So from this day forward, I am standing up for myself to anyone who refers to me or any other adopted adult I know as a perpetual child.

In truth and wisdom, I am coming for you!

Hopefully, anyone who has made it this far has gained some knowledge and understanding of the damage that comes from this line of thinking, and maybe they will make the conscious choice to choose their words wiser. 

Additionally, I hope any adopted adults reading can gain validation that they aren’t alone when they are continuously faced with this reality of being looked at like a perpetual child in our adoption journeys.

Once we know better, we do better, and we have to do better. 

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!

Thanks for reading. 

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

Being Adopted and The Significance of the Black Hole

Before sharing specifics, I need to bring Seasonal Affective Disorder to light. I suffer from this each year as fall approaches until early spring. Because of this, I feel what I describe as the “black hole” is much more prevalent in my life during that time frame. One of the dynamics of my healing journey is that idol time has proven to be a struggle for me. I have more idol time during the fall and winter months because I hate the cold, and can’t enjoy my number one escape, nature. When I’m trapped in the house, I experience a part of me that makes me feel guilty for resting, or when I’m not busy, a part of me feels dysfunctional. But, on the other hand, part of me always feels like I need to constantly be productive, active, doing something. 

Another part of me flourishes in a unique aliveness and sweet natural essence. I can see beauty in everyday life, and I find happiness within myself and my surroundings. The sunshine fuels my passion to be alive, and I strive to be active and never miss a moment to make a memory. Sometimes I run off into nature alone, and sometimes I take friends or family.

And then, there is a part of me that is missing; it’s hallowed and empty in that space that I call the black hole.

The black hole wants to be filled up, but it has no ending and depths. It goes on forever and ever, hallow. Sometimes I don’t think about it being there, especially in the summer and spring months. Other times in the fall and winter months, it’s screaming for attention. I describe it as an itch or a void. I have identified it’s significantly different from the black cloud that used to follow me everywhere I went, from all the sorrow I felt from adoption.  

I do my best to cover the defective parts and let happiness soar, but deep down, hidden from the world is a different story.  

Sometimes it feels like something inside is broken that created the black hole, and no matter what I try to fill it with, it never fills up. I filled it with alcohol for 27 years, but 9.5 years ago, I stopped that habit. Drinking alcohol kept me from noticing the black hole most of the time. The black hole has been screaming to be filled ever since. Sometimes its scream is more potent than others. 

How did this black hole come about? 

It used to feel like the black hole was in my heart because my heart was deeply saddened and sorrowful from my adoption experience. I always thought I would die from a broken heart, but I have learned over the years that it was grief and loss that were trying to come out. The broken heart feeling hung on day in and day out, never leaving. I have spent 10+ years working towards healing, and my heart feels better most of the time. 

Finally, around August of 2021, the sorrow and sadness I always carried deep down lifted, and I can’t quite explain it yet. Other than working towards healing for over 12 years,  I freed myself from an awful and unhealthy 9-month toxic relation-shit in my life, which is possibly one of my best decisions for my emotional and mental well-being. After this fake connection was severed, I have felt exceptionally FREE because it just wasn’t a good fit. 

I am finding a distinct difference between the broken heart feeling and the black hole feeling. It’s at the center of me, and it reaches the deepest parts of my mind, body, and soul. Most of the time, it doesn’t hurt. It’s just there, but it has a nagging and itching desire to be filled up.

It doesn’t want to be empty.

Can it ever be repaired? 

I suspect the black hole was created when the natural bonding process with my biological mother was interrupted, and the separation from her has left a black hole that can never be repaired. Acceptance of this reality has been a KEY component of my healing. 

Do all adoptees carry this? 

I constantly find myself trying to fill it up, but the most significant thing has happened. I can identify when I’m trying to fill the unfillable black hole with unhealthy choices. 

What are the unhealthy ways I try to fill the black hole up? 

  • Sweets
  • Unhealthy food
  • Over-eating
  • Dating
  • Overextending myself
  • Trying to “save” others
  • Wanting to move
  • Starting a new job
  • Not setting boundaries with people
  • Creating a project adding more responsibility to my plate
  • Finding something new to fill the hole.
  • Buying material things I don’t need
  • Temporary satisfaction with unhealthy things
  • Making commitments, I don’t want to make
  • People-pleasing aka fawning
  • “Treating myself” with unnecessary things 
  • Creating a new “bad habit.”
  • Being impulsive
  • Over-planning
  • Filling the void with people, places and things
  • Acting on other peoples ideas and plans for my life before I think thoroughly if that is something I want to do
  • Being lazy, giving the black hole what it wants
  • Acting on obsessive thoughts and feelings 
  • Not spending enough time to think about things before I act on them
  • Avoidance from dealing with reality

One day I might try to fill the black hole with food where I overdose on sweets and food that I know isn’t good for me. One day I maybe have the itch to start a new project that I know I don’t have time for. Another day I might be searching for a new job I don’t need or a hobby that I like, that causes me to spend money I don’t need to spend. Another day, I might be trying to create something unique that no one has ever done before adding an unnecessary responsibility to my life.

I spent a lifetime trying to fill the black hole with Jesus, but that didn’t work permanently. It did work short-term, as long as I avoided the reality of the black hole. It only left me feeling like I was ashamed and defective even more because Jesus is supposed to cure it all. But I am the exception. I gave up on him, and I am glad. That was like running a never-ending rat race, always falling flat on my face in the end. Pretending that the hole didn’t exist or praying it away caused more harm than good. It was a constant war, and it was a game I decided I didn’t want to play anymore.

I won’t lie; it’s not easy to soothe the black hole. When I think about things thoroughly, and I walk away from an unhealthy choice or sporadic decision that attempts to fill the black hole, it sometimes feels like walking away from a drug I have been strung out on for a very long time. Sometimes it feels like death. I recognize that giving into filling the black hole will fix the empty feeling it carries, but only temporarily. A little time passes, then I am faced with something new that will temporarily “fix” the black hole. But, of course, it never goes away, but I can soothe it by choosing healthy things, or I can take a hit of the unhealthy choice, and it also temporarily fixes it. 

Everything changed when I started to look INSIDE MYSELF for the answers, instead of looking for things outside myself in other people, places and, things.

I’ve accepted that something is always going to be missing from my life, due to separation trauma compacted by adoption trauma.

The most amazing thing has happened in the last few months, but it’s not been easy to discover. Finally, I have IDENTIFIED when I have unhealthy feelings and thoughts that directly fill the black hole! Recognizing this is the first step, and I am thankful that I am at a healing space in my journey where I can acknowledge this and RECOGNIZE IT. Some people go to their graves, never making it to this point. While I had alcohol in my life almost daily for 27 years, it wasn’t possible to even identify this dynamic, let alone dissect it, acknowledge it and, work on it. Alcohol blocked me from tuning into my true self and stood in the way of me truly feeling my feelings.

Some people might say, “How do you know this is directly related to the separation from your birth mother?” 

From deconditioning and coming out of the fog regarding my adoption experience, it has opened up 12+ years of research on the topic of adoption. In learning to navigate all of the emotions and feelings that I have stuffed my whole life, I have learned that the primal wound, aka the mother wound compacted by separation trauma and adoption trauma, can impact every area of an adopted person’s life. Sometimes it’s more intensified for each of us, and some adoptees seem to be more well adjusted and they don’t have very many issues. 

Everyone responds to trauma differently. We must learn to recognize that mothers aren’t interchangeable. The void and trauma damage that happens from the separation of our biological mothers can and does leave lasting imprints on an adopted person that can last a lifetime. 

For me, adoption has always bothered me to my core, and I have done everything under the sun imaginable to fill the void. However, I am now learning that the void adoption has left created a black hole that I keep trying to fill. Conclusion: The reality that I can not fill this hole has been life-changing for me. Now that I can distinguish this dynamic, I can ask myself, “Do I really want to do this, or am I just trying to fill the unfillable black hole?” I make a conscious choice to do my best to choose the healthiest option for me, but I fall short all the time and that’s okay. I am a work in progress like we all are.

What that looks like for me is making myself wait on making decisions and giving myself time to sit with them and process them thoroughly before I act. Sometimes this takes me a while, and people don’t always understand that. Why is she taking so long to process? 

Well, that’s actually because I am PROCESSING trying to make the best decision possible for myself, instead of reacting and acting from a DYING place to fill the black hole. The most significant piece to the black hole is acknowledging it, learning more about it, and not running away from it. So I am opening up about it and having conversations about it. I recognize it’s not present all the time, although it is always there. 

I suspect non-adopted people have this black hole feeling, but maybe they don’t describe it this way. I think the black holes can come from different traumatic events in life or things that have always been missing. Our mothers and fathers missing or absent would likely be at the top of the list for many people. I think abuse of any kind can provoke a black hole, as well as accidents or situations that spark C-PTSD and PTSD. Abandonment and rejection of any kind can spark a black hole feeling. 

Self-awareness has been vital and learning to listen to my mind, body, and spirit when it comes to how I’m feeling. Tuning into how other people make me feel when I am around them and acknowledging how I feel by myself has been instrumental in my healing and growth journey. Even when others might pressure me to move faster or respond quicker, I take my time. 

Today, I welcome the black hole, and I realize that it’s something that might be here for the rest of my life. I’m learning to replace it with positive aspects and to be easy on myself if I fail. I am not numbing it with substances; I’m not running from it. I do not deny it’s there. But, I’m learning to make friends with it, which helps us understand one another more profoundly. I am also celebrating the fact that today, I AM FEELING. So many people stuff these holes with drugs and alcohol, and I am doing none of that.

This alone is a cause to celebrate! 

For my fellow adoptees – have you ever experienced a feeling that feels like a black hole?

Does it come and go?

How would you describe it, and where do you think it comes from?

How do you handle it and deal with it?

Biological mothers – Does losing your child feel like a black hole or would you describe it another way?

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!

Thank you for reading,

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

Adoptees, You Are Not Your Abandonment and Rejection

I know the title of this article is so much easier said than felt, but man, I have to share a few things about the experiences and wounds that many of us carry that I describe as very deep-rooted abandonment & rejection wounds. When we think of these wounds, we tend to believe that they began after we were born, but I suggest they could have started before birth due to the research I have done over the last 10 years. Just what we need, more cards stacked up against us. But knowledge is power, and it also promotes healing. 

I have lived with this wound for 47 years in addition to my time in utero, so I understand how it can manifest in an adoptee’s life and how we can try to hide it and cover it up or act like it doesn’t exist. Sometimes many of us don’t understand this is even a thing. But no matter what we do, abandonment and rejection issues always seem to circle back around and rear their ugly heads. 

I am not sure if you have thought about this or not, but many of us experienced our very first feelings of rejection while we were still in the womb of our birth mothers. I share this because I have researched prenatal bonding and prenatal psychology to try to understand my wound better.  

We are all supposed to grow a strong bond with our biological mothers while still in the womb; however, that bond doesn’t always happen for adoptees. Research shows that biological mothers can and do bond with their babies while in utero, so it’s only safe to say that they can also disconnect and not connect with the baby during pregnancy. I learned we all have a critical process of development before birth, and it’s possible to be born with psychological issues due to a lack of bonding and connection with our biological mothers. This would only add to separation trauma, compacted by adoption trauma. 

To help me understand the bond I should have had with my birth mother during conception,  I read many books and articles that helped me understand how important this bond was because then I understood what I was missing if I didn’t have this bond with my biological mother. I also learned how this had impacted me throughout my life into adulthood. 

A few of the books I read are, Babies Remember Birth, The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, Pre-Parenting – Nurturing Your Child From Conception, and Windows to the Womb – Revealing the Conscious Baby from Conception to Birth

However, many times when an adoptee is going to be relinquished for adoption, our biological mothers purposely try not to bond with the baby growing inside their bellies for nine months. Why? Without a strong mother bond to us, it’s said to be easier to relinquish when the time comes. With this, sometimes, our biological mothers can purposefully try to block any emotions or feelings that come with bonding to the baby they are carrying for nine months. As a result, we feel this rejection back to the beginning for many of us before we were ever born. Sometimes it takes us a lifetime to connect the dots and make sense of it all. And sometimes adoptees go to their grave, never really understanding that the abandonment and rejection we feel aren’t who we are; it’s something that happened to us. It’s sometimes next to impossible to weigh these dynamics out, let alone heal from them. 

It’s impossible to heal a wound by denying it’s there, so I wanted to write about this wound many of us carry that is no fault of our own. While researching conception and how babies can and do tune into their mother’s emotions during these nine months, even if our biological mothers aren’t purposely trying to not bond with us, their feelings of us are felt by us and can be carried in our subconscious memories. It’s no wonder many of us don’t understand the complexities of this wound because no one is teaching us or telling us that it exists. 

Once we know more, we can heal more. 

For me, my desire to HEAL was SO GREAT. I wanted to research the entire scope of pregnancy and pre-birth for myself, so I could try to get a better idea of my beginnings and how it all went down with my birth mother. Some of these discoveries I have learned were hard to grasp, but they have helped me understand from a more profound level, which helps me understand myself better. In return, I am learning to have empathy and compassion for myself and my birth mother. Every little clue to my beginnings has helped me heal, and I hope my fellow adoptees explore this dynamic so they can try to understand themselves better. 

While reading an article on the Integrative Psychiatry Institute website that is called “How Prenatal and Birth Imprints Set the Stage for Adult Behaviors HPP15,” I learned: 

“From a prenatal psychology perspective, the development in the womb and the birth process can have a huge impact on who we are as adults and the behaviors that we default to.” 

This alone inspires me to learn as much as possible about my prenatal life and to learn all the information that I can about my birth story. As adoptees, we’re usually always considered blank slates; when we enter into the contractual agreement, we don’t sigh; we call this adoption. 

While society and our adoptive parents at large spark our stories beginning with our adoptive parents, the adoptee community is circling around to let the world know that our stories didn’t start at adoption. They started long before then, and our stories before adoption matter, and they are essential to each of us. 

While I began to fight the world for my truth, I learned many things about my biological mother that helped me understand her decision to relinquish me for adoption. So I wanted to step into her shoes to learn more about her life as a child, her life growing up and her life when she conceived me, the days up to my delivery, and her life after. I wrote about this before in an article titled “My Birth Mother’s Shoes.” In understanding her journey better, I understood my life better. 

I learned I was conceived out of a one-night stand with a married man. He was a close friend of the family, ten years older than my biological mother. The pregnancy with me was hidden from him and everyone around. It was a secret, and no one was supposed to know at all costs. I can only imagine how my birth mother felt during that time. Maybe she didn’t feel at all because I learned she drank every day through the entire pregnancy with me. I genuinely believe she rejected the pregnancy while she was pregnant with me, and even when I could have bonded with her because I was connected to her, she was not bonded with me and even likely fought this connection off. By learning about her alcohol abuse, I am left to speculate. I learned she worked up until the day she had me and went back to work the very next day. She checked into the hospital under an alias.

 I think she felt “bad” for being pregnant by a married man, and one of the feelings I have carried my whole life is the feeling of being BAD. Read, “She’s Bad.” The feelings of secrecy and shame likely consumed her, which makes it no secret I have had to work hard to remove the way she felt from my life because it has always felt like I was born with that shame, secrecy, and badness. I have felt sad and lonely for most of my life, and I believe this was also the feelings my birth mother felt during her pregnancy and the days leading up to my birth. In many ways, for many years, it defined who I am because that is all I have known. However, I am not those things, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t felt like them for most of my life. Learning to separate them has helped me tremendously.  

David Chamberlain, Ph.D. states in his book, Babies Remember Birth: 

“A bad birth can be like a thorn in the flesh, which keeps getting inflamed.” 

We can all guarantee that any child relinquished for adoption can be equated with an inhumane and bad birth/experience. It’s one of the most significant traumas we will ever experience, yet society continues to turn a blind eye and act as if it doesn’t exist. 

In Babies Remember Birth, if you skip to page 134, you will find chapter 10, titled PITFALLS. If you decide to read on, you will learn of many individuals who experienced separation trauma and what that felt like as they participated in hypnosis in therapy and tap into their preverbal consciousness. 

One person even said, “It was like a funeral at birth.” 

David Chamberlain, Ph.D. also states in his book, Babies Remember Birth: 

“Things said during pregnancy can leave harmful imprints, “birthmarks” that are psychological rather than physical. But, even inside the womb, babies can learn to cope with unhappy parents.” 

I am sharing these dynamics in this article because I hope all my fellow adoptees understand that the wounds of abandonment and rejection they carry are valid, legit, and so very real. They can and do go back to our preverbal and prenatal lives. For each of our individual lives, it helps by investigating further by asking more questions and not giving up or taking “no” for an answer. 

The argument can be raised from the adoptee’s perspective that we need our truth to gain this reality of our beginnings, and they are correct. This is why I will always side with my fellow adoptees learning their truth because everyone deserves to know who they are and where they come from. I fought the moment I came out of the womb and likely while in the womb. I even wrote about it one time in an article titled “The Fight of My Life – Revised.” I have fought like so many of my fellow adoptees have to learn our truth when it seems like the whole world is up against us. 

I was never giving up, but I almost died trying many times over. 

One of the many discoveries I have learned is that although I feel abandoned and rejected by my birth mother, she didn’t know me to reject me. Instead, she rejected the unresolved wounds that she had never processed due to her alcohol dependency. She rejected her decision, the outcome of my adoptive parents divorcing when I was one, and that her decision didn’t create a better life for me, only a different one. I acknowledged her alcohol abuse was a focus of her life way before I was born. She had a hard life and a challenging childhood. I heard many stories, and every little clue helped me understand better and begin healing in return. 

Separation trauma can impact adoptees significantly, and everyone reacts differently to trauma. However, one of the most significant dynamics for adoptees is that we often suffer in silence because our adoptive parents and the world celebrate adoption. In return, they celebrate our trauma. They leave no room for our sorrow or sadness. Our conception and preconception stories, and birth stories are a part of our history. Even when we’re considered blank slates, what happens during these times matters to adoptees. 

While abandonment and rejection from our adoption experiences can and does impact each of us significantly, and sometimes the wounds last a lifetime, the more we learn about our [His]-Story and [Her]-Story, the more we learn about ourselves. So it’s essential to separate the differences between the things we have control over and the things we don’t. We had no control over what happened to us as babies, but we can fight like hell for our truth. I always try to remember I am not how abandonment and rejection from adoption has made me feel. I am not the pain and heartbreak. Yes, it’s been a part of my life and always will be, but we are all so much more than how adoption has made us feel. We have a purpose, and we all have many countless reasons that the universe brought us together. 

Being adopted, it’s sometimes hard to feel like anyone cares about you. But I am here to share that you won’t feel others care about you until you put yourself first and learn to care about yourself FIRST. For me, that meant letting go of the feelings of being misunderstood. My fellow adoptees get me, and that’s good enough for me. But, unfortunately, other people can’t get me because they aren’t walking in my shoes. 

So much of what adoptees experience and endure along our journeys aren’t our fault. The feelings of abandonment and rejection aren’t our faults either. I hope you know that you are so much more than how adoption makes you feel wherever you are in your healing journey. You are NOT how abandonment and rejection make you feel. Trauma doesn’t have a healing time frame, so be easy on yourself and allow yourself to feel the feelings when they surface. Then, allow yourself the space to seek healing and guidance by adoptee-competent trauma specialists.

Research all of the dynamics of the wounds you carry as an adoptee and, if possible, go back to previous generations. You can bet that your biological mother’s decision didn’t start with her. Consider reading the book “It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle.” 

It’s not your fault, and you didn’t deserve the pain adoption has caused you. You are not your abandonment and rejection. You are more valuable, and your story is of utmost importance, back to the very beginning. 

Never stop fighting for your truth; you deserve it. Never stop researching and learning about the wounds we carry. Understand, most of society won’t acknowledge them, so it’s up to YOU to do the work. But, acknowledging these realities is the first step.

I hope this article helps one of my fellow adoptees out there.

 For those who have made it this far, have you been able to gain any information on your biological mother to help form a conclusion of what your preverbal and prenatal lives might have been like? 

Have you made the connection that the way she felt during pregnancy could very well be impacting you to this day? 

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 PK 

*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

Why I Have A Blazing Passion to Share My Story and What It Cost Me to Tell It

“Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” – Janis Joplin.

When an adoptee is adopted, we are immediately put in a position where we are expected to forget our former selves and carry on with life as if our pre-adoption life never existed. 

When we grow up and start to develop internal feelings about this, these feelings often manifest outside ourselves in many different ways. Some of us use unhealthy coping mechanisms like using substances or alcohol. Some of us are perfectionists and overachievers. Some of us are workaholics. Some are addicted to food and spending money. Some of us are rage-filled and angry as hell. Some have healthy coping mechanisms like working out, exercising, hiking, running, bike riding, jogging, volunteering, writing, etc. 

But it’s no secret that when we start to tap into our real feelings and begin to express them verbally, we are walking a thin line here, and we feel every bit of it. I could possibly describe it as modern-day blackmail.  

Blackmail-  “To cheat, deceive or defraud someone for personal gain. A fraudulent scheme or ruse.”

What does this even mean? Many of us have a lot to lose, and we live in fear and intimidation that if we upset our adoptive families, we could have terrifying outcomes. Many of us have similar feelings regarding our biological families, so we remain silent because the risk we take sharing our emotions is too consequential. 

If our adoptive parents love us and take care of us when our biological parents didn’t want us, we must be thankful, grateful and we damn sure aren’t supposed to share any feelings that don’t line up with this narrative. It feels like blackmail, and it constantly hangs over our heads. 

We give you love if you pretend everything is perfect. 

Thoughts like, “If they knew how I feel, would they still love me?” or “If I share my feelings publicly, I will be disowned?” So much of the time, the adoptee can’t share their feelings, even if they want to. Our biological and adoptive families don’t have to say anything; we just know it! We feel it in our souls. Our compliance in keeping quiet is usually in exchange for being included in the family dynamics and receiving the love that’s conditional from the beginning. Trust me, the adopted children that grow up are the first to be left out of wills and shunned or excluded in the family dynamics. If we speak privately or publicly, we take the chance of losing it all!  

So most of the time, adoptees might have online roles or share pieces of their story. Still, they often use pen names to write.  I don’t see many adoptees sharing particular details about their birth parents and adoptive parents publicly because of these reasons. I’m not saying they don’t write about the adoptee experience; I’m saying they are sometimes afraid to share anything that doesn’t line up with the fairytale narrative.

I also see adoptees write or share about their adoption experience, and they feel as if they ALWAYS have to include, “My adoptive family was wonderful or I am thankful my parents chose me.” They don’t feel they can be real and raw without saying these things before, or after they say the truth that adoption has impacted them negatively.

As a result, I sometimes describe our experiences in a way that others can understand, and I call it the “Adoptee Whammy Effect.” 

This is based on having four parents: one adoptive mom, one adoptive dad, one biological mother, and one biological father. In addition, of course, many of us have step-parents or parental roles, which would add layers to this example. 

Let’s also not forget to recognize that some adoptees adopted internationally have not had the opportunity to find biological families, and some adoptees adopted domestically haven’t searched for various reasons. 

This example assumes that the adopted person has two adoptive parents and two biological parents they have attempted to reunite with over their lifetimes. Let’s also accept and acknowledge that before every person is adopted, they experience separation trauma from being removed from their biological mother. This should never be viewed as a positive experience; it’s traumatic. I have learned from other adoptees that even when they have the “Assumed Picture Perfect Adoption Experience” and they have ZERO WHAMMYS, they still have separation trauma that haunts them, and it impacts them in every way throughout life. That alone is enough for an adoptee to feel completely wrecked by adoption. Adding the whammy’s to it, only magnifies the grief, loss, pain and, trauma. Research separation trauma and the primal wound and learn so you can see for yourself.

When I share “Ideal and Fulfilling” relationships with our parents, I mean the adoptee’s relationships with the specific parent (bio mom, bio dad, adoptive mom & adoptive dad) have been generally a loving and healthy one. 

What’s Assumed in Adoption – Every adoptee has an ideal and fulfilling relationship with both adoptive parents. After searching for their biological family, both biological parents receive, love, and accept the adoptee. But, unfortunately, this is the fairytale narrative that most people believe happens in most adoptions. 

What Really Happens to Multiply Our Grief, Loss, Separation Trauma & Adoption Trauma:

A Single Whammy – This is when we don’t have good experiences with one of the two adoptive parents OR one of two of the biological parents 

A Double Whammy – We don’t have good experiences with two of our parents. It could be one adoptive parent and one biological parent, OR both adoptive parents OR both biological parents. 

A Triple Whammy – We don’t have good experiences with three of our four parents. It could be one adoptive parent and both biological parents, OR both adoptive parents and one biological parent. 

A Quadruple Whammy – We don’t have good experiences with all four of our parents, both adoptive parents and both biological parents. 

I try to leave it up to the adoptees to describe what they consider a “Good Experience” when it comes to each of our individual maternal and paternal parents and each of our adoptive parents because no one else should define that for us. 

In my case, I am hands down A Quadruple Whammy and some EXTRA ISH! 

I am not going into all the grimy details on WHY I have a quadruple whammy, but I will share briefly that I was estranged from my adoptive mom before her passing and have no relationship with my adoptive dad. In addition, both biological parents rejected a relationship with me after meeting them each one time. Finally, I have an adoptive step-monster who essentially doesn’t exist in my life for various reasons I’m not going to make public. 

As a result, I don’t feel connected to or a part of any family except the three adult kids I birthed myself. I have accepted this, and I’m at peace with it at this stage of my life, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t lost so much in the process. It still impacts me (and my kids) until this day, and grief and loss are something I will be processing for the rest of my life. This doesn’t mean I am not thankful for what I have, because I am. My kids are the reason I keep living.

What does it cost for me to share my story? I can’t list everything, but I will highlight the main areas that come to mind. 

  • I have lost three shots at having a nurturing, loving, and caring mother. Three chances and I struck out all three times. I will never know what a loving relationship looks like from a mother other than seeing it in other people and their mothers. I have no mother to call, and I never really have. With this, I have never felt a mother’s unconditional love and support. There is no wound on earth quite like the mother wound. When you have it x3 as I do, it only magnifies it. 
  • I have lost the chance to know and grow up with and have relationships with my biological siblings. This is unforgivable, and the pain will echo for a lifetime. I have a lost/missing sister somewhere out there, and I have a half biological sister who resents me because I was adopted, and she wasn’t. She, too, bought into the fairy tale narrative that adoption is rainbows and unicorns, and it’s always a better life. She relinquished her baby for adoption just like my birth mother did. Giving your baby away runs in the family!  She thinks I should be grateful, and I am NOT. She knows nothing about the trauma I experienced in my life, nor has she tried to understand that I might have had a different life than her, but it damn sure hasn’t been a better one. Because of our differences on the issue, we have no relationship today. 
  • I have lost a sense of self because I have had severe identity struggles from childhood to adulthood. Only until I fought like hell for my truth have I been able to come to a place of internal peace in the last five years. That’s a lot of time lost!
  • I have lost a normal childhood; while most kids are frolicking in the fields, I was obsessed with finding my birth mother. It never left my mind. Read “The Sky and I.” I was also consumed with being the caretaker for my sick adoptive mom. I was traumatized over and over again by her manic depressive episodes.
  • I can’t connect with celebrating or even embracing a culture. I didn’t find out my ethnicity until I was 40 years old, and now I don’t even know how to tap into something that has been null and void my whole life.    
  • The dream I had of how much my birth parents “Loved Me So Much” was nothing more than a pacifier statement and a myth to stall my healing, and it stood in the way of me knowing the truth. No truth = no healing. The truth is, not all birth mothers love their children, and not all of them want to be found. My birth mother is one of them. Being told she loved me so much shattered me once I saw her, and she rejected a relationship. Please stop saying this to adoptees! 
  • I have lost the ability to understand what love even is. Your mother is supposed to be your ride or die and the one who fights until the end of the earth for you. So when your mother “Loves you so much” she gives you away to strangers, it’s a significant mental mind fuck. I am still making sense of it, and I am not sure I will ever understand why I was told this in this way? Did they know this would forever manipulate my view of what love is? This “lesson” has caused catastrophic consequences in my lifetime. 
  • I don’t know what it’s like to be a part of a real family, aside from my own three adult kids.  Being adopted to me feels like I’m still an orphan because I never felt like I fit in with my adoptive family. I always knew I was the second choice.  But, I am FOREVER grateful for MY FAMILY WITH MY KIDS. Without them, I would not be here. 
  • I have taken on an impending sense of deep-rooted sadness that will be with me until I leave this earth, for the fact that me being adopted IMPACTS MY KIDS, in every way! The trauma from relinquishment and adoption is generational, and I see my kids experiencing some of the things I did because of my adoption story. I will always hate adoption because of this. I can handle how it makes ME feel, but because it impacts my innocent children in such a profound way, I will never be able to forgive adoption. It will also impact my future grandkids, and their kids. Fuck adoption. 
  • I have lost the ability to trust because I learned early on from my adoptive mother that life and love are based on conditions. I have lived my life feeling like everyone wants something from me. Love is like a carrot, dangling over my head my whole life. The love will be snatched away if I say or do the wrong thing. Well, I’m an adult now, and I don’t want that conditional love anymore. I am learning to trust a few people, and I appreciate small circles.   
  • It’s taken me 47 years on earth to feel complete within myself, finally. The hell I had to go through to get here has consumed every part of my life. Because of this, I feel like I missed out on many moments of my kids being younger and the ability to find beauty in everyday life because most of my 47 years have been spent recovering from separation trauma compacted by adoption trauma. I resent this, and this is one of the reasons I don’t want to waste any more time and I am very selective on what I use my time on. 
  • I have lost every chance at having a father in my life. My biological father didn’t know of my existence, and he didn’t sign any adoption paperwork. However, once found, he still doesn’t want a relationship. My adoptive dad divorced my adoptive mom a year after adopting two daughters; (even when he knew she couldn’t care for us, he left anyway!); he moved over an hour away and remarried. He raised three stepsons as his own, and I honestly feel I don’t even know him. He’s always been far away, and he’s only visited Kentucky 3 times that I can remember,  in over 30 years of me being here. On the other hand, I have been back to Iowa at least 20+ times. No father/daughter dance or date, ever. No one-on-one time, not even an hour. Ever. 
  • Trust –  I have lost the ability to trust the people who are supposed to love me the most. They kept my truth from me for their gain. They paid a cash price for me. They said whatever they had to say to soothe my deep-rooted desire to find my biological family. I don’t just give trust away; people have to earn it in time. 
  • Missing Memories – I have lost all memories I should have made with my biological family’s maternal and paternal sides. This has been one of the most complex parts for me to fathom. I will never know any grandparents or aunts and uncles. I have met a few biological cousins, but we have no shared history. It’s hard building relationships from scratch. To much time is missing. The grief has knocked me down so many times over in my life. It’s consumed me so profoundly; some days and seasons in my life, I didn’t even want to go on with living. The sadness has been that great. 
  • Judgment – When people learn of me, maybe in a professional setting or even in the dating world, I am always putting myself at risk for pre-judgment because people can read my whole life story on my website before they get to know me real life. This impacts me significantly in life, and I am still sharing my story with my fellow adoptees, but it doesn’t come without a considerable cost! It’s a HUGE PRICE TO PAY!
  • People assume I am stuck – When I am still writing about adoption, many people think I am stuck in the places I am writing about. However, the truth is that I am not stuck. I have been stuck in the past; however, I have moved on in my life, I have accepted adoption for what it is, I have healed and continue to heal. It has always been the most significant thing in my life that has hurt me the most. I am sharing my feelings with the world, specifically my fellow adoptees because people need to know they have been sold a lie when it comes to adoption. I share so my fellow adoptees know they aren’t alone and aren’t crazy about their feelings. I am also sharing because it helps me heal, and non-adopted individuals can learn from an adoptee’s lens. They are why I keep writing, but I have happiness and wholeness in my personal life, and I am no longer stuck. However, that doesn’t stop people from making assumptions. The great thing is, I could care less what people think. 

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. 

As you can see, I have nothing to lose by sharing my story – I have already lost everything. When any adoptee shares their story, even if it’s in small pieces or micro-doses, please understand that sometimes that might be the very first time they ever let these feelings come to light. Sometimes it takes us an entire lifetime for adoptee feelings to come out of our mouths. So please listen without judgment and understand that to share our stories, especially publicly, we have A LOT TO LOSE! Be kind, be compassionate, and most of all, have the willingness to understand that there is much more to adoption than what society has been sold. 

In sharing my story and being a lifeline to my fellow adoptees, because I have nothing to lose, I can share from depths that many others can’t. When I share from these spaces, I heal a little more each and every time I release feelings that have been inside for 47 years. Because of these reasons, I keep sharing.

For my fellow adoptees, do you have the fairytale narrative that’s assumed by society? 

Or do you fit into the Single, Double, Triple, or Quadruple Whammy Effect?

How has this impacted your short term and long term?

What has helped you heal? 

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!

Thank you for reading, 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

She Said I Would See Her In Heaven One Day, So I Decided I Didn’t Want to Go.

Disclosure Statement: If you are someone who considers yourself a Christian, Jesus Follower, Church Goer, Religious Guru, Or if you believe your way of spirituality is the only way, I am asking you to save your comments, judgments, and opinions and share them on other platforms as there are many churches, online platforms and religious circles that would love to use the glory in your story to promote their church and religion. Please don’t come here to use your story to discredit mine. This page and article isn’t for you. We are all free to have our personal spiritual beliefs and journeys. My space’s boundary is not allowing others to use their personal stories to belittle mine.

Pieces of my childhood: bible stores, devotionals, prayers, using scripture to let me know I was going to hell from a very young age for dating outside my race. Being forced to sign covenants that I wouldn’t have sex before marriage or ever drink alcohol at 12 years old. Being cursed to hell for using the “lord’s name in vain.” I learned all gay people were going to hell. Being manipulated to believe like my adoptive mom, and scriptures being used as a way to control me starting at a very young age.

Back to the beginning, my whole life has been chosen for me, especially all the heartbreaking parts. The loss of my biological mother, the loss of my biological father. The loss of genetic connections and a sense of wholeness. I lost my medical history and learning what my ethnicity was. I was a secret up until the very moment of birth, swept away and forgotten about as if I never existed. But then, she walked away and went back to work the next day signing her rights over ever to see, hear or speak to me again as long as she lived. I never agreed to keep her secret.

 But none of us get to pick our beginnings, right? 

True, but most people’s beginnings don’t start with a traumatic experience on the first breath you take entering the world, and most people don’t start their first breath with their story being built on a bed of lies. 

In adoption, others make this decision for you because they want you to have a “better life.” However, this one decision can and does impact an adoptee’s life forever. 

 If people knew the depths of separation trauma, would they still make this choice for another human being? If they knew that basing one’s life on pretending, secrecy, and lies would destroy me from the inside out, would they still pick this choice? 

Probably. Because an infertile adoptive parent’s desire to have a child is more significant than their desire to give a flying fuck about the separation trauma that child will experience being separated from their biological mother and being forced to bond with strangers. 

Either way, for me and my story, the damage is done. We don’t get do-overs or a rewind button. 

So what’s the point? 

The point is, I get to choose now. I get to write my story. I didn’t get to choose back at the beginning, but I get to decide now.

If you have read my articles, you would know I was adopted by a woman who suffered from severe mental illness issues. While I have empathy that she had a side to her that was kind and loving, I rarely felt it or saw it, but others did. Some of her mental health issues were possibly being treated, and some weren’t. My entire childhood was filled with her emotional and mental outbursts. I tried to articulate this experience in an article I wrote called “The Narcissistic Adoptive Mom.”  

I do remember pills everywhere, all the time, but how would I know she’s addicted to prescription drugs?  I remember her sleeping all the time when “normal” parents would be up. Getting up for school, setting the alarm, and getting myself ready every morning was a pretty regular routine. As a child, I had no idea that this behavior was abnormal or her outbursts were signs of mania and depression. I was a child. I had no fucking clue I was knee-deep in disfunction. This disfunction was all I knew. 

As if my biological mother passing me over to strangers wasn’t enough, I never bonded with my adoptive mom, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t forced to try. That was traumatic in its way, and I have yet to be able to describe how that’s made me feel. I started to be repulsed by her presence when I was a child. This only increased as I grew up. 

Some of her emotional outbursts consisted of her threatening to overdose and commit suicide while running to her bedroom with all her pills in a shoebox, taking the phone, shutting us out, and locking her bedroom door, telling us she wanted to die. We would be left outside her bedroom door screaming, crying, hysterical because we thought she was going to die, sometimes for hours. This happened over and over again. She even had a manic episode and ran out of our 3rd store apartment and laid in the middle of the street while we watched, because she was going to kill herself in front of us.

Abuse comes in all forms. 

I feel these episodes caused me C-PTSD as a child.

I remember always saying, “I’m sorry, Mommy, I’m sorry” my entire childhood. At some point, during one of her millions of episodes, I took the blame that it was all my fault and at every attempt, I tried to console her but the endless manic episodes seemed to be inconsolable. But I never stopped trying. Somehow, as a child in elementary school, I did something “bad” to drive her over the edge continuously. While doing inner child work a few years ago, I named my 5-year-old self, I’m sorry. After doing much healing and self-work, I understand that was a trauma response. 

It’s no doubt that this woman who adopted me didn’t bring security into my life, but instead, she traumatized me; while she may have had some good and positive qualities, the trauma always comes to my mind when I think about her. I don’t have loving and caring memories of her. She might have loved me in her own way, but her real reason for adopting me is that she didn’t want to go to a nursing home, and she wanted a caretaker. I will be writing more about this soon. 

How do I know this? Because she never stopped talking about not wanting to go to a nursing home, and she started priming me for this when I was in elementary school. While my entire childhood was filled with caring for her as a mini servant, other kids were out playing with friends, having sleepovers, and running free in nature. Not me, I had a chore chart a mile long, and I was groomed to rub her back and body giving her massages all the time, and to do many other disgusting things I do not want to share. I was responsible for cleaning my room and cleaning her room also. I ran her bathwater, bathed her, scrubbed her back, put lotion all over her body. I brushed her hair, put her makeup on her. Weird fucking shit, right? Again, I can’t share some because it’s too disgusting. I was adopted to fulfill her needs. 

But, eventually, I grew up. 

When I had my kids, this new level of fear took over me that she would get custody of my kids if something ever happened to me. This haunted me! Thinking about this sometimes took my breath away. Then, as my kids got older, I started noticing some things she started doing with my kids, as she did me as a child. This was when I decided to pack up a 22-foot Uhaul and move across the country to Kentucky, far, far away.

This was what I call “The Great Escape.”  

She visited Kentucky on occasion, and it was always catastrophic drama when she showed up. Even after setting some very firm essential boundaries with her,  one time, she threatened to sleep in her car on the side of the road, so my kids felt bad for her. She would talk negatively about me, in my own home to my kids behind my back. I could go on forever at the drama she showed up with and the trouble she caused in my life. I started my alcohol-free journey on August 13, 2012, and she has always been the most significant trigger I have ever had. Putting my recovery and sobriety first, spending 30+ years tolerating her inappropriate behavior, finally, letting her know she’s never welcome to come to my home again. And she never came into my house after this. 

I always felt like she had her claws in my kids, and her motive was to put a wedge between us so that they would feel sorry for her, and then they would be the ones next in line to take care of her. My intuitions were correct because when my oldest daughter, 27, turned 18, my adoptive mom asked her to be her Power of Attorney. I had previously refused, and our relationship was non-existent, so my kids were the next best thing. I have had nightmares off and on since having my kids that she would take them from me, and in the dream, I felt the horror of how a mother feels when their children are removed from their care. But then, I would wake up, feeling like this was always her plan.  

However, I could always see right through her mind games and manipulation, and finally, I was able to set more firm boundaries and remove this toxic person from my life once and for all. 

Her plan didn’t work; it backfired on her. But, after setting a no-contact boundary, I will never forget one of the last conversations we had. 

She said, “You don’t have to talk to me here on earth, but you will be seeing me again in heaven one day!”

Did she threaten me with heaven?

It was like a punch in the gut. This is something I never thought about until she said it.  I will never forget how this made me feel. I was sick at the thought of having to see this woman in heaven one day. 

Would we be on excellent terms in heaven? 

Would she be a normal mom in heaven? 

Would I be pretending she didn’t traumatize me my whole life in heaven?

All these questions began to swim around in my brain. My conclusion is, if she was going to be in heaven, that’s damn sure a place I never want to go.

Hell to the no-no. 

And, I didn’t sign any adoption paperwork.

While coming out of the fog about adoption for 10+ years, I have also been coming out of the fog about religion. While adoption is celebrated worldwide, so is Christianity and religion. My views don’t stop with this one experience. They go far beyond and are endless on why I can no longer support Christianity and the Bible. But I respect you do! It’s been just as difficult as coming out of the fog about adoption, and I’ve found it to be a lonely and isolating journey. To conclude, everything you had always been told in life was a lie can be difficult to step into, especially when you enter this space many times in a lifetime. But, the flip side is that today I am walking in freedom, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

It has been exceptionally liberating to step into a space of making my mind up about what I believe and why I believe it without others cramming it down my throat. Also, the fact that the only way I will ever be forced to see my adoptive mom again in heaven is ONLY if I believe in the shenanigans, to begin with, which is refreshing.

Regardless of what I believe in or don’t believe in, hopefully, if you are someone that reads this, you can save space for others who believe nothing like you without trying to “prove them wrong” or “prove a point” on why your beliefs trump another’s beliefs.

I can say from a personal standpoint; I don’t care what you believe. I care what kind of person you are and how you treat people. I care about integrity, compassion, and empathy. I’ve seen people claim to believe in a higher power and be rotten to the core deep down and treat others like shit. I’m sure we’ve all seen different variations in our lives, but my goal is to learn from others and offer a judgment-free perspective if someone inquires about my input. At this point in my life, if I had to attach my beliefs to a label I would say my personal views align closest to Agnostic.

While I’ve been told I was going to hell from a very early age for dating outside of my race, the truth is – I didn’t even know what “race” I was until I was 40 fucking years old. Adoption prohibited me from knowing my ethnicity, so I never had a culture to celebrate, study or feel like I was a part of.  Did it ever occur to anyone that the possibility exists that I dated “outside of my race” because I knew that person wasn’t a blood cousin or blood brother? It is more profound than just wanting to be rebellious and a rotten teenager. Now that I am out of the fog about religion, I can confidently say that if this is what the bible is about, you can miss me with it. 

Many adoptees have this feeling of “badness” attached to them just for being born. I wrote an article to express my feelings about it one time called “She’s Bad.” Then you add that with my religious upbringing, being told I am going to hell, and constantly feeling “BAD” because I internalized this because of my adoptive mom’s mental illness and outbursts. It’s no wonder I started acting BAD my teen years and then got tossed in the school for the “BAD KIDS.” I didn’t do well in public school constantly because my childhood didn’t allow me the capabilities to be able to learn well with the life I was dealing with at home. Being in and out of detention, on probation, in group homes, a teen runaway (the list could go on), and you see why this feeling of badness has been so strong? Now, add religion to the mix. They convince you that you are born a sinner, and your flesh will steer you in the wrong direction every time if you listen to it, so you are conditioned to feel like you are BAD when you fail and follow your fleshly desires over God’s plan for your life. They teach you your flesh (intuition) can not be trusted, and in return, you can’t trust yourself. 

Talk about a big bag of trash!

That’s putting it as politely as I can. 

Do you not see the cards stacked against me as an adoptee and so many others? It’s taken me 47 years to see the light and to be able to call BULLSHIT on all of it. I tell myself daily; I am not bad; I wasn’t born bad, I wasn’t born a sinner, I am NOT going to heaven or hell because I don’t believe they exist. I want to organically be good and offer the world the genuine me because that’s who I am. Not because I’m trying to stay on God’s good side so I don’t go to hell. I’m so thankful the lights have come on so I can deconstruct in a more graceful and profound way. The only way I can genuinely save myself is to get REAL with myself. No more fucking pretending. That shit is for the birds. 

Let me be completely transparent, I want to live my life NOW. I don’t want to wait to live until I’m dead. I want to spend time with those I love while I’m here, alive and well on earth. We live every day, we only die ONCE. I’m determined to make it count.

 Have you ever known anyone to “threaten” another human being with seeing them in heaven? Have you ever had someone threaten that you were going to hell for your actions?

Dear Adoptive mom, I’m sorry, but you will not be seeing me in heaven, and even when you cursed me to go to hell, I won’t be showing up there either. Today I am finally able to look myself in the mirror and love who’s looking back at me without the profoundly ingrained feelings of badness adoption, you and your religion ingrained into me. 

The thoughts of heaven and hell are traumatic for me, so on top of deconstructing Christianity, I am deconstructing from the notion that I will never be good enough, and heaven and hell will NOT be the deciding factors on what happens to me after I’m dead. 

I’m good enough now, and I was good enough when I came out of the womb. The world’s conditioning and others’ beliefs made me feel otherwise, but I see the truth and the light today. I have joy in my heart that I’m following the path that seems real to me and not full of secrets, lies, and half-truths. Not to mention made-up stories, used against me to try to make me BE GOOD.

I am good all by my damn self.

Today I am free.

P.S. I am NOT Powerless, and I never have been!

I AM POWERFUL

Religious Trauma Syndrome is a real thing.

To learn more visit www.journeyfree.org

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Thank you for reading, 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

100 Heartfelt Adoptee Quotes that Honor the Truth of Adoption

You have come to the right place if you are looking for the best adoption quotes from the adoptee’s perspective. This article shares 100 Heartfelt Adoptee Quotes that Honor’s the Truth of Adoption from the adult adoptee perspective. As we enter 2022, I decided to call my fellow adoptees to help collaborate and share quotes from the heart, reflecting the voices almost always overlooked in the adoption constellation. So, 100 of us came together to capture some of the feelings and experiences adoptees go through during their lifetimes.

While you read these quotes, we ask you to remain with an open heart and mind and enter the possibility that we all have a lot to learn from one another. We must recognize that adopted children grow up, reach adulthood, and consume the rollercoaster journey that adoption brings. We are mothers, fathers, sisters, cousins, doctors, nurses, teachers, public speakers, advocates, writers, authors, D.J’s, lawyers, homemakers, students, etc. As we grow up, we host lifelong experiences, and every experience holds value to our lives and stories.

By sharing 100 Adoptee Quotes with the world, we hope that a new level of awareness will arise that there is so much more to adoption than what society recognizes. Maybe perhaps love isn’t enough or a house full of stuff? Perhaps we should start talking about relinquishment trauma as soon as possible? Maybe adoption hurts more than we would ever know?

Again, we ask for open hearts and open minds.

Thank you to each adoptee who shared their heart here. While you read this article, you will receive validation that you are not alone. We’re in this together, and our voices are valuable and worthy.

We are stronger together.

100 Adoptee Quotes

1. “Adoption very well might have kept me alive, but it taught me to hate and despise my authentic self, until the age of 64 when I learned my truth.” – Mary Constance Mansfield

2. “Adoption changed who I was and made me who I didn’t want to be. Then, I was forced to change who I became in order to love who I am! Adoption Sucks!” – Ofir Alzate

3. “I used to think it was delightful to hear my birth story until one day; I realized that my story sounded quite different than that of my biologically born siblings. Mine had holes, missing pictures, and name stories and included zero features traced back to mom, dad, aunties, or grandparents. The story of adoptees, as told by those outside the triad, is never quite on the mark and often rings like a fairy tale. That’s why today I tell my own story using all the bits I’ve gathered along the way through writing and art in a way that is authentic, and in a way that says my story matters too.” – Lynne Rachell

4. “I miss my home, my culture, my country. I miss my mom.” – Margit

5. “Once I gathered my thoughts and suffered the pain from the betrayal and no family support after discovering late that I was adopted, things started to become clear. The healing process began, and I realized how lucky I was because all of the abuse and trauma came from a family I was nothing like. It all made sense to me, and I started to embrace my uniqueness, and I’m glad I wasn’t their blood after all.” – AnnMarie Serpe

6. “My adoptive parents didn’t know how to meet my needs. I never felt “enough.” Even though I was loved and raised in a better situation, I still grieved for the family I lost. One had nothing to do with the other.” – Andrea Burke

7. “I was never the true person I was supposed to be. I was born into being someone else’s fantasy. I never fit in and never belonged anywhere. My life adopted was a struggle to just be the real me. Even though it’s touch and go, until I met my biological family, I felt out of touch with me. At least now I have landed somewhere, right? – Ellen Ular-Olson

8. “Through all the emotional abuse, I never fit your puzzle in a family. I don’t belong. I can stay in a broken adoption cycle full of shame, pain, and blame, or I can rise and be the best I can be while removing the toxicity and pain; that is what my family brought me.” – S.M.

9. “Adoption may have given me a better lifestyle, but it destroyed my self-worth.” – Kate Kendall

10. “Society needs to stop using the term “adopted” when referencing to animals. It’s dismissive to humans who are adopted. Instead, use the term “rescue.” Unlike us, these animals are actually chosen, whereas we adoptees are merely the next available. Please stop equating our adopted experiences to those of shelter animals. – Cindy Olson McQuay

11. “My “adoption trauma” is the government denying me access to my own records.” – Marci Purcell

12. “Even if your adoption reunion goes well, adoptees often feel like they are on the outside looking in at their birth/first families.” – Daryn Watson

13. “My conception MADE ME; it didn’t make ME. I am not my conception.” – Jeannette Mantilla

14. “I was adopted. But I was not raised in adoption. I was raised in deception.” – Kris Rao

15. “As an adoptee, I am the bridge between two worlds, hanging on by my fingertips!” – Daryl Fuller

16. “Trauma hides who we are like a cloud blocking out the sun. It doesn’t diminish our radiant brilliance.” – Simon Benn

17. “For 50 years, I pretended to be “your” child. You always told me I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up until I told you I wanted to be who I was “born” to be.” – Virginia Miller

18. “It’s clear to me I’m an unwanted intrusion into her healed existence. My letter was not welcomed and was rebuffed firmly with kind words. An iron fist in a velvet glove that has punched me so hard I can’t breathe for a while.” – Nick Mabey

19. “Being adopted is like being stuck in some sort of senseless protective custody from your truth and DNA: Forever hostage in the trap of a triangle that no one else sees. I’m surrounded by constant reminders of how much pain was felt by the two families I am caught between in order to exist in the life I have. How could I not feel that being born was the crime I am paying for?” – Kristen Steinhilber

20. “What I’ve learned from deconstructing my thoughts and feelings on my Adoption story is that the grief I hold for my family that I never had the chance to be – for the biological siblings I never go to know or meet – that the longing for my roots doesn’t undermine the family I was raised in. Humans have a great capacity for love. I can hold space for both my first and adoptive family. I can now finally do that without feeling guilty.” – Allison H.

21. “Part of the lived experience for intercountry adoptees in the USA is being told by all of society, as children, that we can never be the president of the United States. This is an aspect of intercountry adoption to the US that is seldom talked about but has weighed on my mind for as long as I can remember.” – Meggin Nam Holtz

22. “Finding my voice as an adoptee has been a lifelong pursuit & finally, I am at a place where I welcome connection with others who have gone down this road as well. Together we stand strong and invite others to join us on this journey of self-identity.” – Abby Jacobson

23. “Your Mother is the one person in this world who is supposed to love you, no matter what. Mine didn’t.” – Stephenie King

24. “And where is the adoption trauma you speak of? It is the expression of an infant’s rage at being torn from its Mother. This is experienced as a life and death moment by the infant/child. We are dealing with the normal and expected response to a premature infant/maternal separation. This pre-verbal trauma is stored within the body and, when recalled (not remembered), is experienced as an emotional flashback. This is the biological base upon which the child’s infancy and childhood is precariously placed.” – Michael Grenfell

25. “Voice of the Adoptee Child – Please, do not love me “as if” I was your own. Love me because it is inevitable to love a child. Take my hand and come to know my heart – my Mother and father’s share with me. They are part of my fabric. Do not try to rip them away, just because their pattern does not fit your décor.” – Copyright, Shirley MacKenzie

26. “Sending heaven-bound love to the mother who gave birth to me, loved me and was brave enough to let me go to a better life than she could provide; and to the mother who raised me as her own and who gave me a true mother’s love and guidance.” – Judi Euritt

27. “The hardest parts of being adopted: Society celebrating your adoption without acknowledging what you have lost!” – Maria Roach

28. “I was a foundling, discovered naked in a beer box, adopted shortly after. I was told to feel grateful and to live as if it never happened as if my story started in that box. The fact that I was there and yet can never remember how my life began haunts me as I carry that weight of pre-verbal trauma every day. I want to rip the flesh from my bones and dig down to see if the truth is buried there.” – Baby Lilac

29. “My adoptive parents want to pretend I wasn’t a baby taken; my biological parents want to pretend I wasn’t a baby given. Imagine your very existence being uncomfortable for everyone.” – Jennifer Harris

30. “I am one of the lucky ones. I speak to my first Mother on my birthday, the adoptee’s eternal day of dread. She sends me a card, thoughtful gifts, and we chat about life. Still, this “birth” day consumes me with unrelenting sadness that lingers in for weeks and takes hold of my very soul. It weakens my spirit and my bones. I suppose it always will.” – Susan London

31. “Being an adoptee is living in a world of unknowns while simultaneously trying to create a world you have control over.” – Jullian Drzewoszewski

32. “An adoptee experiences their first death, at birth, let the grieving begin.” – Robbin Lee

33. “Always on the outside looking through frosted windows.” – K. Henson

34. “I want the world to know that Adoption = a lifetime of fighting to learn my truth that I deserved from day one.” – Cynthia Dort

35. “Living with strangers, confused and detached. Not fitting their script, hearts felt split.” – J.Q.

36. “When I had my own child, it was the first time I saw myself. As she grew, I knew her. I realized I have been in survival mode since birth. And it is okay to be me so that she can be herself.” – K.B.

37. “I may have been “chosen” by one family (if you even subscribe to that “chosen adoptee” bullshit to begin with), but in order to be chosen by one family, I had to be rejected/abandoned by the family/lies that brought me into this world. Rejection is real. It hurts.” – Laureen Pittman

38. “Space is a difficult concept for Adoptees who are often clingy and want to solve any conflict right then and there. We are afraid that whoever needs space from us will never come back.” – Kirk Andrews

39. “It doesn’t matter to me” feels like “you don’t matter to me.” – K.B.

40. “Being an adoptee doesn’t solely define me. However, being an adoptee is a lifelong experience!” – Jane A.

41. “Adoption isn’t a better life. It’s a different life that started with loss and grief. Reunion is often seen as a Hallmark moment and thought to heal everything, but it only showed me all that I had lost. Being an adoptee is a life of overcoming obstacles that normally wouldn’t be there.” – Lorah Gerald @theadoptedchameleon

42. “Adoption has affected every aspect of my life.” – Tonya Jean Nunnally

43. “Perfectly in order with God’s plan. Blessed with the full spectrum of emotion. Particularly gratitude. To see how much He’s cared for me and blessed me in a myriad of ways.” – Christopher Thomas Wilson

44. “Ripped from our Mother’s womb. No bonding time. Who are we? We are the ones who create ourselves. Lost, but hopefully, found.” – Willetta Hill Calvin

45. “In any context other than adoption, the expectation of instant love, trust, attachment, loyalty, and gratitude to a complete stranger would be seen for what it is: evidence of a personality disorder. Society needs to stop pathologizing adoptees for reacting normally to narcissistic abuse and put the blame where it belongs: on the adults who expect traumatized children to adjust to their world being altered in every imaginable way, including a new identity forced on them by new caregivers.” – Jodi Moore

46. “As an adoptee, so many pieces of my identity were a mystery. I’ve spent so much time trying to figure out who I am and what my purpose is. Going through the reunification process shifted all of my identity work. Now I live my life balancing two deeply conflicting feelings: infinite gratitude for who I am as part of my Adoptive family and an infinite longing for who I would’ve been as a part of my Biological family.” – Ellie Rosen

47. “As an infant closed adoption adoptee, I have had not just an overwhelming sense of loss my whole life but fear and dread of it. For most of my life, I was pro-life. Partially because of being adopted. In just the past few years, I now wish I was aborted because of the lifelong pain in my soul that seems to get worse and not better. Many of us decide we no longer want to live with it and put an end to it ourselves.” – Tony Sanderell

48. “My parents always made me feel special, so I grew up proud to be adopted. I am still very proud. I just wanted to let my biological parents know that I had a wonderful life, and I was very loved. When I found my biological father, I told him he could not have hand-picked better parents to raise his son. He was very happy to hear my life was as wonderful as he hoped.” – Joseph M. Zinni Jr.

49. “Adoptees share the unique experience of carrying the rejection of relinquishment while also trying to balance the natural human need to be loved and known for who we are. Very little people and spaces can feel safe for us. I have done an immense amount of healing through the building of relationships with other adoptees who understand this experience innately.” – Laura Summers @lauraisalot

50. “I cried for her as if crying for God to be with me, to know someone who can never be known, someone who is known by their absolute absence.” – Kevin Barhydt

51. “I was robbed of the person I was supposed to be. I don’t fit in anywhere – Not with my adoptive family, not with my biological family. I’m like a puzzle piece that was cut apart to fit into a puzzle it didn’t belong to. You can put it in the new puzzle, but it doesn’t look right. It no longer works in the original puzzle because it’s been altered. It will fit in the space, but the picture will never look as intended. The damage was done. That’s what adoption has done to me.” – Jewel Kingsley

52. “Growing up as an adoptee, I was always jealous of my friends that could look in the mirror every day and know where their genetic makeup came from. For me, all I ever saw was a person that I didn’t really know where he came from or where he fits in.” – Robert Knotts

53. “Thru the eyes of an adoptee… We were born as ourselves. Then our identity was taken away, and tried to be made as someone else. We are neither; we are both, plus the person we have become. This is who we are.” – H. Carter

54. “Two moms are not easy to have. Both assumed I would be A-OK with the “adoption plan.” I guess in the end, they both lose out on my true self – which is tragically sad for all three of us. In order for me to be free, I had to grieve them both, even though they are both alive. It’s the toughest thing I ever had to do to be me.” – Jennifer Vroon

55. “Adoption made me a stranger to myself.” – Jessica R.

56. “Adoption robbed me of my living my heritage. I don’t fit in anywhere, and not one “immediate” really knows or cares how I feel, even if I try and express my hurt, pain, and loss.” – Julie Blanchard

57. “My whole life, I have mourned the loss of my original Mother. I don’t know anything different. Yet, I search for beauty and love in the present. Sometimes I find it.” – Paul Kimball

58. “I wish I was aborted all those years ago.” – Dawna Unsell

59. “Adopted people are some of the most incredible humans I’ve ever known. My hope is that adoptees, who have worked on healing and have the fortitude necessary, will start to tell their whole truth about adoption. Let’s not perpetuate the adoption tropes we see in popular culture and media. Let’s be the ones who say the truth: family separation is traumatic and lifelong.” – Haley Radke

60. “Adoption is the beginning of a never-ending search for oneself. We live in the land of loss. We are lost. Maybe forever?” – Sara G.

61. “I’m a stranger that everyone knows, but I don’t know how to explain my reality.” – Lawrence P.

62. “Warning – I’m Adopted.” – Fiona Georgie Myles

63. “Adoption is a form of human trafficking. It’s critical to see it as part of the fastest-growing multi-billion dollar criminal industry in the world. Adoption trafficking has led to generational trauma, suicide, and murder of human lives. In order to bring about the necessary paradigm shift based on the need to save lives, we all have to take responsibility in understanding and accepting this truth. ” – Moses Farrow, LMFT

64. “I have found myself reflecting more about my adoption as an adult. I am grateful that I have had the chance to connect with my roots and learn about the life that I would have had in a very culturally different community. I love to learn more about my birth identity, but I also have such an appreciation for my life now.” – Yael Adler @fromgypsytojersey

65. “I am a cultural Frankenstein caught between two distinct cultures neither one wanted to take me in. I have learnt to accept that I am stuck in no man’s land, neither British nor East Asian, just me.’ – Lucy Chau Lai-Tuen

66. “The joy and tragedy coexist for me as a multi-ethnic adoptee. It is a complex existence to wake up and begin again every day at ground zero, not knowing where I come from because it’s being hidden from me, despite asking for years on repeat kindly and urgently, by the birth mother (her Mother and birth counselor) and the ones who chose to adopt me. Adoptees are not replacements for the voids within adoptive or birth parents, nor are we supposed to be the embodiment of the dream that our adopters pressure us to be. This high level of feigned ignorance mixed with an extreme level of master-manipulation of not only my reality but also my ancestry (past) and my human narrative, which informs my present/future is selfish and unbecoming of any human being looking to live truthfully and love in truth.” – Doux

67. “Adoption feels like a very long rocky road of sadness and rejection but can end up in a smooth and beautiful journey of self-love and acceptance with the right support.” – Michelle @babybebrave_

68. “We’ve heard it all for centuries in the adoption community, “Love is all you need!” I’m here to tell you that love isn’t enough or a house full of stuff. I needed my truth because there is no healing from secrecy, lies, and half-truths. And even after I have the truth, the trauma, grief, and loss will remain lifelong visitors. I feel robbed of what normal people have like I’m marked. Acceptance is key, and acknowledging adoption has stolen 47 years from me. I’m doing a life sentence for a crime I didn’t commit but I moved across the country and abandoned them all. No more tug-of-war split between many families, never really belonging to any .” – Pamela A. Karanova

69. “Starting an adoptee’s story with adoption is like picking up a book and jumping straight to chapter 4. You’ll figure out some things somewhat, but never fully like having those first three chapters.” – Lee McLamb

70. “My true identity will never be. It was thoughtlessly taken away from me. Leaving me longing for answers no one else understood to see. My life as an adoptee has been both complicated and lonely.” – Pamela Lovell Guerin

71. “Adoption is like having an aerial view of a stagnant labyrinth, you can see the twists and turns, but there is no flow from one section to the next. Following the path with constant and unforgiving dead ends, you are left alone and starving. This labyrinth becomes your home where you are forced to exist lost and forgotten, even by yourself.” – Maura Nicholson

72. “Adoption caused me to be stripped of my biological origins and live in an emotionally abusive, alternative reality. I felt like a mistake, with no right to be born. I needed to know how I got here, who and where I came from. It took 50 years to find my answers and enjoy living authentically me.” Barb R.

73. “Being adopted means searching for yourself in the faces and names of strangers and wishing everyone would just take a DNA test so you could get back to your tribe. It also means even after you search and find biological family, you will still probably feel like you don’t belong to anyone.” – Sophi Hamovitz-Richman Fletcher

74. “I came into the world alone; a discarded, relinquished, innocent baby. I had waited 9 long months to meet a woman who I would not actually meet until 32 years after my birth. It wasn’t until I met her face-to-face that I realized how deep this primal wound really is, and finally, I began to come out of the fog. The memory of being one with my Mother is frozen in the year 1981.” – Kimberly R. Weeks, LCSW, CADC I

75. “Now that I have my entire adoption file and original birth certificate, I am still left wondering who I really am. I have been listed as No Name K, Mother’s Name’s Baby, Baby Girl K, Sharon Louise K, and Wendy Kay J, all in the span of 6 weeks. It’s no wonder adoptees struggle with their identity.” – WKJ

76. “I am not a toaster, so why can I readily access more about my toaster than I can about my time as a sentient being?” – Anonymous Adoptee

77. “The best thing adoptive parents can do for their children is allowing them to be different. They will have physical differences, different talents and skills, and different weaknesses. Don’t attempt to mold them in your image, and celebrate the things that make them unique. Be careful not to allow their differences to make them feel ostracized.” – @amamelmarr / Reddit

78. “Please don’t ask why I’m adopted because it will end the conversation faster than saying I’m friends with Prince Andrew.” – @oranges_and_lemmings / Reddit

79. “RELINQUISHED; It’s not that you couldn’t hold on. It’s the fact that you let go.” – Anonymous Adoptee

80. “I think the biggest struggle is finding where I fit into my own world, not anyone else’s. I can be whoever anyone needs me to be, but when it comes to myself, I still feel like the child waiting for that one person I depended on to lead me to success, but my arm is left extended.” – Lexie

81. “I always knew I was adopted. My parents never sat me down and had a formal conversation with me. That wasn’t necessary because mine was an “open adoption.” I was in contact with my biological parents and siblings from the beginning. My parents felt it was important for me to be close to my oldest sister, and she spent nearly every weekend at our house and would even go on vacation with us. I loved spending time with her. It was very painful when she eventually moved away the summer after fifth grade. It had a really negative effect on me, and I felt lost and became withdrawn from my peers. Sometimes I wonder if it would have been less confusing and painful if I didn’t meet my biological family until I was an adult.” – Tia

82. “Embrace culture and change; never be ashamed of your roots. I was adopted at 1 year old from Vietnam and brought to the U.S. My adoptive parents never embraced my culture, and I was put into a predominantly white school until I was 18. I always felt ashamed for being Asian and looking different. It took me years to appreciate my ethnic background, but I am so glad my perspective has changed.” – @Rough-Philosopher-34 / Reddit

83. “All adoptees experience trauma and deserve someone taking the time to address that trauma and help them heal. Also, there is nothing like getting to know your heritage when you never knew where you came from. Finally, to adoptive parents – please let them get to know their biological brothers and sisters if that’s an option because it means so much to know your biological siblings and you find out you have so much in common; every adoptee should experience it if possible.” – Louis

84. “Just because I was raised in a good family doesn’t mean I don’t deserve and yearn to know my beginning story.” – Gina Durham

85. “I am a 60+-year-old woman where I just found out my birth mother lives in The Villages, Florida. The most Trump-centric place on earth. I had search angels guiding me through DNA, etc. All of them say I should contact them, as I have known I was adopted since I was 3. But although this is what I always wanted, I do not think at this stage of my life I want to get involved with a Trump person. Is it horrible that I don’t want to get involved? Btw, I found my bio dad. His family has been wonderful.” – Randi C.  

86. “I see you, I hear you, I feel you, said no one.” – Rebecca Leqve

87. “Only adopted people know the experience of your loving ‘family’ and community expecting you to forget your Mother and father, ignore who you are and where you’re from. Requiring a state of voluntary permanent amnesia in which you’re criticized for wanting to recover.” – Kimberly S. Worden-Poledna

88. “Adoptees never experience unconditional love. They are taught that love must be earned again every day. They must demonstrate gratitude every day. It’s a horrible existence.” – Rebecca C.

89. “When I first admitted to being adopted, it started to feel normal to me for the first time. When I internalized that I have more than one root, I realized my strength. Now my adoption is a part of me that makes me who I am. If I hadn’t been adopted, I wouldn’t be who I am today.” – Gamze Bilir-Seyhan @birevlatedinilmehikayesi

90. “Relinquishment severed my soul and my spirit. Adoption and religion didn’t save me. It fractured me.” – Xiomara R.

91. “When I was on the inside, I was one with you. When I was born, you disappeared. Ever since then, I have been stuck in survival mode. And nothing, I mean nothing, numbs the pain. The purchased baby spends their lifetime paying the price.” – Veronica Collins

92. “My adoption story is the fuel that drives everything in my life. I am bigger than the box that holds my story. My voice will NOT be silenced, and if I can get up, I will show up.” – Ms. Ereka Howard MS Certified Life Coach

93. “Not applicable; adopted; do not know my history. Just words filled out for decades onto doctor forms. Now that I know. I am giddy with the knowledge that everyone else takes for granted.” – Meg Cullum

94. “Adoptees were born to do hard things, starting from birth.” – Zinta K.

95. “At that age, she did not know how to miss them, and now she does not know how to remember them.” – Lori Mier

96. “Purchased to heal a wound that was not my responsibility to heal. Identity: stolen, hidden and refused.” – Michelle M.

97. “Dear adoptive parents, our lives didn’t start with you.” – Cam Lee Small, MS, LPCC

98. “The way adoption has impacted my life is that every relationship, every situation is filtered through the prism of the trauma. I have found healing through connection with other adoptees, but it is about living with being adopted and knowing we are like an alien species in this world. We are the voices of the primally dispossessed, and we are beginning to be heard, but it is slowly, slowly, drip by drip. I believe that change will come based on the lived experience of the adoptees who share their stories.” – Julia Richardson

99. “I don’t want to be an island. I crave community, belonging, and reciprocal love  – but fear that I’ll only ever be accessible by boat.” – Shantu

100. “Being pulled in every direction trying to keep everyone happy, which leads to self-neglect and poor mental health…and the never-ending cycle continues.” – Harley-Jade E.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read quotes from 100 adoptees. Please share this article in your online communities. Our hope is that we raise a brighter light around adoptee voices and bring the truth to light, one story, quote, and click at a time.

If you are an adoptee, what quotes spoke to you the most? Could you relate to any of your fellow adoptee’s quotes?

Maybe you are an adoptee and missed the call to be included in this 100, we still want to hear from you! If you are an adoptee who has a quote to share, please drop them in the comment section below.

If you are not an adoptee, but you have been impacted by this article in some way, we would love to hear your thoughts as well.

Once again, a special thank you to all 100 adoptees who took the time to share your quote with me, and in return collaborated with one of the most important articles we can share. 100 of us coming TOGETHER to share our truth is a powerful initiative.

XOXO P.K.

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!

Big Adoptee Feelings, Learning to Feel the Feels While Coming Out of the Fog

I remember back to the earlier days of my life, particularly in my pre-teen years, and I was so angry about my birth mother never coming back to get me; I just wanted to die. I hated the world and, I hated everyone in it. And most of all, I hated myself. For me, this means my self-love was non-existent. Nothing could console me and I didn’t feel connected to anyone or anything.

I was a trainwreck.

During the beginning of my life, I developed the fantasy that she was coming back. I dreamed and fantasized of the day that she would change her mind and decide her love for me was so great, she decided to come back and get me. After all, I dreamed she wanted me back because who could actually give their baby away and genuinely mean it?

During my teen years and childhood, as many times as I saw therapists ( I saw a lot!), adoption was never addressed or discussed. Because of this, I didn’t start working on any adoptee-related problems or issues I was holding deep down until the later part of my 30’s which is when I consider the beginning of my process of coming out of the fog about adoption.

In the years that passed, adoption-related thoughts plagued my mind, but there was no help for me. I learned to keep things tucked inside, never sharing my thoughts with the world for fear. Fear of what? Fear of shattering my adoptive mother’s dream come true to be a mother. Fear of upsetting her or being abandoned once again. I never talked about it, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about it. It honestly never left my mind. I was obsessed with finding HER, my biological mother.

Who would have ever known that my internal dialog with myself was one of ultimate torture? What adults in my life would have understood this dynamic played out as an adopted child? I wasn’t acting out until I was in my pre-teens.

But even then, once I started acting out, no one ever acknowledged that being adopted could play a role in my behaviors. Even running away, locked in drug and alcohol treatment, being in group homes, detention, breaking the law, fighting, stealing, unplanned pregnancy, and even a burglary at 15 – Not even my adoptive parents. So I am here to tell you that not one person in all the contact I had with adults, made the connection that “Wow, this girl is adopted. Maybe that brings some root issues for her we need to bring to the table?”

Once I reached my 30’s I lived many years as an everyday drinker, trying to raise three kids as a single mom, work, pay the bills, and not think about my adoptee reality. Alcohol was the escape, so was partying. I didn’t know how to process the pain from relinquishment, nor did I ever make the connection that my drinking was a symptom of a much bigger cause – ADOPTION TRAUMA AND RELINQUISHMENT TRAUMA.

Once I learned that I have always had every reason to act out and be angry, the fog began to lift. It’s taken over 10+ years working on myself. I have learned that my feelings were so EXTREME and SEVERE because not only was I keeping things tucked inside, but sharing my real feelings about my adoption experience was IMPOSSIBLE because I had never done it.

Not only had I not shared feelings, but I was emotionally abused and gaslit my entire life that adoption was a wonderful thing. I made my adoptive parent’s dreams come true to be parents. I was also told that my birth mother loved me so much; she wanted me to have a better life with a loving two-parent home that she couldn’t provide. Too bad my adoptive parents divorced a year later, and I was raised in an abusive home with a mentally ill and narcissistic adoptive mother I never bonded with!

From a very young age, I learned that I must put everyone’s feelings ahead of my own and that my feelings weren’t significant compared to everyone else’s. Of course, I internalized this, and it only magnified my feelings of grief, loss, anger, rage, and self-hate. I was also forced to pretend that my adoptive parents were my only parents. I knew they were not, but I had to go along with the fantasy because I didn’t know who my biological parents were or how to find them. I was forbidden that information, and it was kept a secret from me.

No Truth, No Healing

The reality that I have made it out of this complete nightmare is nothing short of a miracle. This is why I keep sharing my story because it’s a miracle I am alive to do it. The reason I am saying this is because my issues were so deep. I spent the majority of my youth wanting to die. I tried several times to take my own life (no one even noticed), and I would entice others in hopes that they would kill me. Sounds ludicrous, right? Well, it is, but that’s how dark my sorrow and sadness were. I just wanted out of my misery, and at that time, I was hopeless I would ever “feel alive.” So it’s easy for me to understand why so many adoptees choose to leave the world.

The world has failed adoptees.

When I hit 2010, I found my first adoptee online via the Twitter platform named Jessenia Arias. Jessenia is now Jessenia Arias Parmer, and her website is I Am Adopted. I will never forget this beautiful soul, who I consider one of the most amazing lights to adoptees and anyone in the adoption world. I love you, Jessenia! I remember like it was yesterday, reading her tweets and how so many of them resonated with me.

After spending 2010 and 2011 trying to heal from adoption and relinquishment trauma with alcohol in my everyday life, I finally decided that I could not heal while using substances. Instead, it made my problems worse because I wasn’t genuinely feeling my feelings, I was mixing alcohol with raw emotions, and it was indeed a recipe for disaster!

On my earthly birthday, August 13, 2012, I decided to throw in the towel on my drinking, and this was the last day I ever drank alcohol. Why? Because I desperately wanted to heal, and I wanted my kids to have a better mom than what I had. Even when I was in shambles on the inside, I wanted to get better for my kids. And eventually, for myself. Removing alcohol from my life, I had to get honest with myself. Then, all the feelings I had been running from my whole life showed up at my front door.

BIG ADOPTEE FEELINGS!

Frankly, adoptee feelings have been the biggest and most complex feelings I’ve ever had, even experiencing other traumatic events. Slowly, I started sharing my feelings online, but I was scared to my core that if anyone knew how I felt, something terrible would happen. So I began to write online under an alias, and I wasn’t strong enough to share my feelings from my true authentic self. This was when Adoptee in Recovery was born. It protected me.

I wrote many years under this alias, but one day into my healing journey, the lights flipped on, and I realized I was coming out of the fog, but I wasn’t being true to myself in the process. I wrote under an alias, making me feel phony and not legit. So I stepped into a new phase around 2015 of welcoming the real true me into my website and online adoptee world. This was a liberating experience, but it took years to get up enough courage and strength to get here. I finally didn’t feel invisible. I felt more real than I ever had. I was strong and ready to share my story with the world, from the real true me and not just a piece of me.

 ALL OF ME.

No more hiding behind an alias, but it was lifesaving for a time in my life where I was operating out of paralyzing fear. Adoptees have a lot to lose when they share their real feelings. For me, it was worth the risk, especially knowing I could validate the sentiments of my fellow adoptees if I poured my heart and soul out into my articles.

We must recognize that every person who experiences separation trauma from their biological mother has trauma memories stored in their subconscious memory. This trauma can cause many issues that might not be brought to light. They come out later in life, and adoptees usually have to learn about this independently by experiencing triggers.

While many adoptees feel conditioned to be thankful from the beginning of life, we learn to internalize our thoughts and feelings about our adoption experiences. We go most of our childhood for some of us without ever letting the words from our emotions come out of our mouths. However, just because you don’t hear an adoptee sharing heartbreak or sadness doesn’t mean it’s not there. Most of the time, if they know the whole truth of their adoption, it’s there.

I will never forget the first time I started to share feelings about my birth mother. After 27 years of a love affair with alcohol (so I didn’t have to feel), I stopped drinking alcohol in 2012 at 38 years old and made my way to Celebrate Recovery. I was sitting in a circle of women, and I started sharing about my birth mother, and tears started to flow. I began to cry; my cry turned into a sob. The next thing I knew, I started whaling with my cry and tears, snot started slanging. Suddenly, I realized this was the very first time in my whole life I had shared about the loss of my birth mother. I was 38 years old at the time. 38!!!! Suddenly, an adoptive mom interrupted me, who was in the group. She said, “I’m sorry, but you don’t know adoption like I know adoption! I adopted two kids from foster care, and the experience those kids had gone through before we adopted them has been a nightmare!”

Of course, I was silenced. I shut down. I couldn’t even finish my sentence. How many adoptees who are reading have gotten this sort of treatment in your life?

I got up, and I left…

I walked out of Celebrate Recovery, and that was the moment that I knew if adoptees wanted to heal from a space like this, that is supposed to be safe to share, we would have to create our adoptee centric space because I knew we would be silenced if we didn’t! This was when I knew Adoptees Connect, Inc. was so needed!

So you see, the one time I get up enough courage to share my real feelings, I get silenced and shut down. So I left, and I was hopeless after this. To be transparent, if I were suicidal at this time, I would have taken my own life. I needed and wanted help so desperately, but there was no place I could even share my adoptee feelings freely without being silenced. By this time, I had given up therapy. I couldn’t bear to therapy another therapist.

News Flash: This is the treatment most adoptees get in life! We aren’t only silenced and shut down; we are emotionally and mentally abused and gaslit regularly. Yet, we choose to keep our feelings to ourselves for fear of more emotional abuse.

When I started to come out of the fog and share my truth, I feared that my adoptive family would read my feelings? What if my biological family reads my feelings? Will they all leave me too? Will they stop talking to me? Will they be mad at me?

Despite all these internal fears, I stepped out, and I started to share anyway. After a while, I learned to put myself first and not care what anyone thinks. Finally, after a lifetime of being silenced,  being true to myself and sharing my truth loudly became a priority. Unfortunately, many adoptees never get to this point. Instead, they internalize things so long that they lose the battle at life.

They choose not to go on.

I want those reading that aren’t adopted to consider acknowledging and understanding that their role in an adopted person’s life could potentially be a role that sends an adoptee over the edge. What they say to us is a significant piece of our journey. Do you realize I will never forget the way this adoptive mom treated me and how she silenced me?

Let me share that this experience has been the launching pad for everything I have done for adoptees in creating adoptee-centric spaces all over the world? Unfortunately, not all adoptees will have this courage and strength because we are simply tired! We can’t take more gaslighting and abuse from the world that celebrates our trauma. (adoption) We are tired of being treated like second-class citizens to everyone else’s feelings.

If I ever have the opportunity to speak to an adoptive parent, I always share that the sooner the truth is revealed to the adoptee, the better. I would seek emotional support and therapy from an ADOPTEE competent therapist to know when to share the truth, specifically at age-appropriate times. If I had started to identify with grief, loss, and sadness early on, my healing would have started earlier. I might not have depended on alcohol to numb my pain for 27 years of my life.

The thing about adoptees being young and healing are that we need our adoptive parents, counselors, therapists, and adults in our lives to help us find the words to identify the feelings and also spark conversations that will help create a dialogue. As kids, we don’t know how to do this without help.

Before any adopted child begins to share feelings about being adopted, we need our adoptive parents to research and learn as much as possible and acknowledge and accept that adoption always begins with loss. And we need them to recognize that anytime a mother and a child is separated, a trauma occurs. Once they come to a place of acceptance that their adopted child could struggle with these things, then they can know how to hold space for difficult conversations to be sparked at age-appropriate times.

It’s taken me 10+ years to learn how to process my adoptee feelings in healthy ways, and I am 47 years old. My life is over half over if I’m lucky. Adoption has stolen so much from my fellow adoptees and me, but it doesn’t have to keep stealing so much.

Today, I take my time to respond to uncomfortable feelings, and I have learned that all my emotions are valid and legitimate. If no one has ever told you, so are yours! I sit with them when they come, and I am no longer numbing myself with substances, so I don’t have to feel. My tears have gone from being hard as a rock to flowing freely. Now, I have cried so much the last 10+ years as an attempt to feel and heal that my tears are finally starting to dry up.

This is what I call getting honest with myself, and sitting with my sorrow and sadness, and learning that it’s okay to feel these ways. I remember days when I couldn’t feel at all!

 I have also accepted the pain is here to stay, which was one of the most prominent healing dynamics of my journey and life. I spent so much time trying to be completely healed in my past! But after running many rat races, I learned that it was all a hoax, and this pain is here to stay. I’m not saying I won’t heal because I am healing daily, but adoption’s painful parts will always revisit. I will never be completely whole, and that’s okay. I have accepted it, and it’s easier for me to believe this than run a rat race for 100 years TRYING TO BE FULLY HEALED. This reality in itself has helped me tremendously. They will revisit future generations and my children when they aren’t revisiting me. The key is not running from it but embracing it, sharing it, and feeling it.

Today, I am thankful for the ability to feel because I remember when I was a teenager, my heart, soul, and entire being felt so hallow, dark, and empty inside. Because of all the blood, sweat, and tears, I’ve put into my journey, not today.

Today I am full of life, and I have joy in the little things. I hope the same for my fellow adoptees.

Adoptees, What has the process been like to identify with your adoptee feelings? Have you struggled with this? Do you have any advice for your fellow adoptees or tips and tricks you recommend when it comes to processing and feeling adoptee feelings? Have your adoptee feelings been the biggest feelings you’ve ever had? How has your healing journey been? What helped you the most?

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!

Thank you for reading,

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

My Friend Has an Adopted Child, and They Don’t Have Any Issues With Being Adopted

“Well, Joan is a close friend of mine from church, and she adopted two daughters from overseas in the 1980s, and they don’t seem to have any of the issues you are speaking about. On the contrary, they seem pretty thankful and happy that they are adopted.”

I can’t even express how many times I’ve heard this in my life from people who likely mean well. But, unfortunately, it’s usually when I share something that is not in alignment with the popular narrative of how adoption is viewed, and/or I share some of the heartache and pain many adoptees (including myself) experience in their journey.

Before every adoption takes place, the separation from one’s biological mother is a traumatic experience, and it goes unrecognized most of the time. But, unfortunately, this is sometimes the most significant trauma of the adopted person’s life, and it can and does impact us for our entire lifetimes. So, how can an adoptee heal when our trauma is celebrated worldwide?

 Once adopted, those layers only add to the layer of trauma from maternal separation from our biological mothers. I feel confident in sharing that I genuinely think most people have no idea about the impacts of maternal separation and how the complexities can echo in the adopted individual’s life for years to come. It not only impacts the adoptee’s life for years to come, but it impacts future generations as well. But once you know the truth, you can’t unknow the truth. Of course, you can choose to ignore it, but that has long-term consequences for the adopted individuals in your life.

When someone knows of a “well-rounded” adoptee, they feel the need to speak up and share that they know ONE adoptee who doesn’t have any issues with being adopted. I look at this type of comment as a silencer statement. In other words, when someone says this to an adoptee or about an adoptee, they know I feel their knowledge sharing is meant to trump whatever painful piece to the adoptee experience I am sharing.

I will be candid. I can’t speak for all adoptees, but I can say that by building relationships with hundreds, if not thousands of adoptees worldwide for 10+ years, I have yet to meet an adopted adult who has ZERO issues with being adopted. They are why I keep writing and why I keep sharing, it’s for them.

Most of the time, when I communicate with adoptees, they share that they have never let their adoptive parents or family know how they truly feel because the risk is too consequential. However, we also have to consider that if the adopted person is a child or someone who’s not “out of the fog,” the information shared on their behalf isn’t necessarily accurate. Children can’t tap into sharing feelings about separation trauma, and they don’t know how to articulate feelings they are having that are so complex. They need the adults in their life to help them, but that is an impossible feat as long as all the adults in their life are convinced “Little Johnny and Jane are fine, just fine with being adopted.”

Adults in contact with the adopted child are responsible for researching separation trauma and coming to a space of acceptance that it exists. This is the ONLY way the adopted child will express feelings of grief, loss, and sadness. I have said for many years that every adoptive parent should become a specialist in how to help children process grief, and I recommend the grief recovery method. Why? Because the sooner we start to process the grief from all of the loss of our biological connections and history, the sooner we begin to heal. The only way this will happen is if every adoptive parent chooses to step out of denial that maybe “Johnny and Jane aren’t fine, just fine.” I completely recognize how difficult this might be as a parent; however, if you want to save your adopted child’s life, you will start to learn more about helping them grieve before it’s too late. Trust me when I tell you, I know so many adoptees who have spent their lives just wanting to DIE because they don’t have a way to process the pain; the world won’t listen. They think dying would be easier than living with the neverending doom of sadness that separation trauma, compacted by adoption trauma, brings.

One of the first things I recommend is that all parties do extensive research on how important the bond is between a biological mother and her child. Then, read, read and read more. Look up attachment disruption and learn as much as you can. This has helped me understand what I lost and what has always been missing from my life.

Without this knowledge, I would have never known. One of the books that helped me understand how impactful the bond between a mother and a baby is Babies Remember Birth by David Chamberlain.

Searching the internet, you can find many articles about attachment disruption and the consequences that follow that have lifelong implications. For example, read The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier.

But, let me also share, you cannot guarantee that a child will attach and bond with the adoptive mother. I know hundreds of adoptees who have never bonded with their adoptive mothers, and the mother wound x2 causes immeasurable damage to the adopted person and lasts a lifetime.

We must recognize that the separation trauma exists, whether the adopted person “seems like they are fine, just fine” or not. Unfortunately, one of the most horrendous things that the adoption agencies and adoption officials have done is normalize maternal separation as if the trauma of this life-altering event doesn’t even exist. Not only are they ignoring it exists, but they aren’t providing the adoptive parents with resources on how to navigate the waters. It’s honestly offensive and monstrous because these agencies and adoption officials are often familiar with these dynamics. Still, they choose to turn a blind eye because they profit from separating mothers and babies.

For all those who continue to share the narrative that “My Friend Has an Adopted Child, and They Don’t Have Any Issues With Being Adopted,” I ask you to please get to know more adult adoptees. (not adopted children)

Please attempt to sit down with them and listen to their stories. Consider that your friend’s adopted child likely wouldn’t tell their adoptive parents how they feel. Ponder that a child can’t usually find the complex language that aligns with the multi-faceted layers of the adoptee experience. Think about the very nature of them being adopted and how it is celebrated worldwide. How could they tap into real feelings when they have been conditioned to be grateful they were adopted?

And how many adoptees do you know that seem to have no issues with it? One or two, you say? Well, I suggest you try to hear the stories from anywhere from five to ten adoptees, and then let’s see if you have the same opinions. As I already shared, I’ve gotten to know adoptees personally all over the world, and not one of them has said they are “fine, just fine” with being adopted.

It’s not even as much about the one adoptee who’s “fine just fine” with being adopted as society at large does not know how to acknowledge and accept the fact that they have been sold an award-winning LIE when it comes to adoption. That’s where people get uncomfortable.  

Well, let me make a declaration for 2022 and share that we’re tired of hearing you say, “your friend adopted a child, and they are fine, just fine.” It minimizes the real adoptee experience, and let’s be completely honest. You have no idea what that adoptee feels, so please stop saying these things to adoptees you meet in life. It’s harmful, and it’s hurtful. If you insist on speaking for adoptees, at least consider putting in the work and sitting down and having a real heart to heart and hearing the absolute truth from an adult adoptee and not just one or two. Talk to many. Learn to be comfortable with difficult conversations. Then and maybe then will you have a truthful opinion that might be valid to share?

Thank you for reading.

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!

*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

Dear Non-Adopted Friends & Family Members

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

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

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

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

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

If the answer is “YES,” Please continue. 

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

Your time will be wasted. 

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

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

Adoptees are DYING!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Like the meme says, LISTEN BEFORE ITS TOO LATE! 

How hard is it? 

TOO HARD FOR SOME PEOPLE! 

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

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

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

Family or not, they have to go.

Put yourself first, and set firm boundaries.  

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

Love, Love. 

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

Bridging the Gap Between InterCountry Adoptees and Professionals

I spent 47 years of my life in and out of therapist’s offices back to five years old. I remember each time I was seeing a new therapist, the concept and idea of adoption was never brought to light or to the surface. EVER. 

As I emerged out of the fog in my 30’s I was still seeking therapy and direction on how to process my adoptee reality and was always left with absolutely nothing. Once I learned the deeper dynamics of relinquishment trauma compacted by adoption trauma, things became even more real. 

Even in my 40’s, seeking out therapy once again, I found myself therapying the therapist and exhausted in that process. While it’s been evident my entire life that there is a noticeable gap between not just mental health professionals but all professionals when it comes to the multilayered complexities of the adoptee experience and understanding that experience. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to help someone navigate their journey if you don’t understand the complexities. 

As I’ve spent a significant amount of time contemplating and trying to understand where things have gone wrong, and why have adoptees been failed so miserably? How are adoptees 4x more likely to attempt suicide, and our prisons, jails, mental health facilities, and treatment facilities are over-populated with adopted people. Yet, this reality isn’t a shocking testimonial that something in adoption is gravely wrong. Instead, adoptees are dying at the expense of this failed experiment called adoption. 

Knowing this gap is present, I have found that seeking help from professionals was a continuous letdown, so I stopped seeking understanding or healing from them. I had given up hope which is a bad thing. Thankfully, even though they couldn’t help me, I had enough strength to help ME when the world failed me. So I decided the next best thing was to create Adoptees Connect, Inc., or I likely wouldn’t be here writing this article.  

The fantastic news I have to share today and my reason for writing this article is to share an exciting new resource with my followers. I was contacted by my friend and fellow adoptee, Lynelle Long, the founding director of ICAV – InterCountry Adoptee Voices. Lynelle shared with me that she has created a new adoptee-led educational video resource for professionals designed to assist doctors, teachers, and mental health professionals to better understand the adoptee experience for intercountry adoptees. This project took many months, and a wide range of individuals helped pull it off. Click the link below to learn more. 

Lynelle Long, Founding Director – ICAV InterCountry Adoptee Voices

Video Resource for Professionals

This project from Lynelle and ICAV is a fantastic step in the right direction at bridging the gap with the communities that are designed to help adoptees but have been lacking the resources to understand the complexities of the adoptee experience themselves. In all my years of being in adoption and adoptee circles, this is the first I have seen that tackle such essential topics in this way, from the adoptee’s perspective. 

When I received Lynelle’s email, I was overjoyed for the adoptee community, and I can’t lie. I got a little teary-eyed about it. So many lost adoptees, so many locked up adoptees, so many adoptees who feel so misunderstood and invalidated. So many adoptees deported, and hurting. Finally, the resources we have needed all along are coming to life because of Lynelle and organizations like ICAV. It is a massive milestone in the adoptee community, and I couldn’t wait to share it with my followers.  

I want to share a special message of gratitude to Lynelle for being such an extraordinary force in the adoption community and for pouring her life out to create such valuable resources that have otherwise been unavailable. Another special thank you to everyone involved in this project. You all are changing the narrative and shifting a community that has needed this resource for far too long. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. 

To learn more about ICAV and all the other resources Lynelle’s organization provides, please take a little time on the ICAV – Intercountry Adoptee Voices website. 

To visit the new resource for professionals, click here – Video Resource for Professionals

Please be sure to share these valuable and life saving resources in your communities, you might be saving an adoptees life. Together we are changing the narration of adoption.

Much 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