Another Day, Another Struggle

Over the last few days it’s been made apparent to me that there is still so much deep dark sadness deep in my heart from my adoptee issues. Is it ever going to go away? I truly don’t believe so. I believe the key for me is to work on coping skills as much as wishing they would go away. I remember hearing another adoptee state one time, “It feels like a life sentence”. I believe this statement sums it up the best for me.  Even as a God fearing Christian who is in a recovery program from these very issues I still have hard days, and rough patches and they seem to send me in a downward spiral into complete sadness and feelings of despair.
Let me make this clear that I am a truly blessed person. I am thankful for everything God has given me in my life, and for the fact that I have 3 amazing healthy children. I have an awesome career, a small handmade soap business on the side. I have an amazing church family, and a small circle of friends I wouldn’t trade for the world. I wake up daily and as soon as my eyes open I am thanking God for getting me to where I am today. From where I used to be I’ve come along way. I’m very thankful for my health, and for the few family members I do have contact with in both families, adoptive and biological. I’m generally a very upbeat, happy and positive person. I don’t sit around and feel sorry for myself or focus on the negative aspects in life. I focus on the future and what it’s going to be like when I have my future grand kids, and maybe a husband one day although that’s neither here nor there to me. I focus on my relationship with God, and that’s the most important relationship I have in my life. Then comes my relationships with my kids.
I can certainly say that if I didn’t have God or my kids I wouldn’t be here. I would have nothing to live for. I was hoping that my feelings of being less than, or inadequate were tapering off and going away but I believe they are still deep down there because I wouldn’t feel the way I do when I have this downward spiral of sadness that seems to come and go. It’s hard to build yourself up, and have feelings of self-worth when you have been through what adoptees go through. All adoptees are different and we are all at different stages of our journeys. We are always second class, second choice, we always have to worry about everyone else’s feelings more than our own. How do you think that makes us feel? We have to worry about what everyone will think about what we say about our journeys so we keep quiet to avoid ruffling anyone’s feathers. I find time and time again I have to defend my very feelings against people that have no clue of what it feels like to be adopted but they always seem to have an opinion or something to say. More than likely they blend in with the rest of society on how glorifying adoption is because they know someone that has adopted and believe its all rainbows. They never once taking into consideration of adoptees loose an entire family before they gain another one.  We are forced to suffer in silence because no one understands us.  We can never grieve the loss of our first families because our adopters deny us that right by telling us we should be grateful.
Finally at 39 I am grieving, all on my own. Because once again no one understands but other adoptees and I believe some birth mothers may understand to an extent but not fully. They lost a child; we lost a whole family and our very own mothers and fathers. Not that one is more or less than the other, because I know losing a child is traumatic and they too were more than likely denied to grieve the loss of that child but for us to have to pretend our whole lives that we should just be grateful is just flat out wrong and traumatizing. The loss of our mothers is traumatizing. Any time a mother and a child is separated a trauma occurs. This trauma needs grieving, and the proper healing to take place. Now how is that going to happen when adopters pretend it’s not even there?
I’m in a recovery program called Celebrate Recovery. It’s a Christ-centered recovery program. It’s to help everyone overcome their hurts, habits, & hang ups. I am certain God put I in this ministry to not only work on my adoptee issues but to help share the realities of the silenced side of adoption and that’s an adoptees voice. I have prayed for grace and peacefulness when I share my issues because again, I always have to worry about who I offend and whose feelings I might hurt. I give my testimony for the second time on April 3rd. I gave it this past September but I sort of sugar coated the depths of my adoptee issues, but I am spending the next 3 weeks rewriting it and I am focusing solely on my adoptee issues because I truly believe being adopted, and the impact it has had on me is the root of my dysfunctional behaviors and life style patterns. It’s why I always drank alcohol to cope. It’s why I always tried to cover the pain and hurt. It’s because that pain and hurt is so tremendous that it’s unbearable at times. I have been living a sober lifestyle since August 12, 2012. No alcohol and no drugs, no anything to numb the pain. I can tell you it’s the most difficult journey to walk and the emotions I’m processing are very real and some days I don’t even feel like going on. But I have to because my kids need me. I wake up, put on the sugar coated smile and appear to have it all together for everyone around me. But deep down it still hurts. I’m not sure if that will ever go away.

I wish sometimes I could record my thoughts about it. I was lying in bed last night with my mind racing, praying and asking God to just take it all way. Take away the sadness and pain. I was thinking about never really blending in with either of my families. I felt like an outsider in my birth family because we had no memories to speak of, no history to share. Its awkward building relationships with people you should be so close to but you are virtual strangers at ever extent. It’s even harder when they live far away. I have cut ties and let go of all my birth family accept my biological brother who is amazing. The rest of them have been too painful even down to the biological cousins. I pulled back and threw in the towel on all the rest of the relationships. I have wanted to go see my biological grandmother for the first time but at this point I’m thinking that may cause me more harm than good. How would you feel going to see your biological grandmother for the first time ever and knowing that was the only time you would ever see her so it would be your first and last time ever meeting her? Talk about emotional. Maybe if it would be better emotionally if I never went. I never opened that can of worms. Do you not realize how hard this is? I have to choose between seeing her one time or never at all. I shouldn’t have to choose this. It’s not fair. With my adoptive family, I don’t know what I would do without my cousins and my one brother I do have contact with. They have all been amazing, but sad to say it’s still not the same. We are close, some of us but we don’t share the same genetics and I always felt different and like I didn’t fit in with them either. It didn’t help growing up in a step family. So not only was I the adopted child, I was a step child also. My adoptive dad was awesome but he was also far away. We never were able to have a close relationship. But I love him dearly. IT WAS DIFFERENT! VERY DIFFERENT! I never felt like I belonged with either family. I’ve had to accept this.

I’m thankful today I have created my own life, with my own family whom are my children. This is what I wake up for every single day. My kids.

 I will continue to write about my journey and share it with the world.
Thanks for reading!

Open Hearts and Open Minds, Adoptive Parents

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

When I look in the mirror who do I see…

I think its safe to say that my whole life I never knew who I was, so when I looked in the mirror all I saw was someone that was lost, and didn’t have an identity because I didn’t have any idea who I looked like or who I was. This had some lifelong affects for me.

Now that I’m 37 years old, and I have completed my search and found my biological family I can tell you who I see when I look in the mirror. My birth father. We have some major similarities. When I see myself he is who I see. Everyday when I look in the mirror I think of him. Crazy how that works!

Now that my biological father has rejected me, it makes me sad to know that my own blood wants nothing to do with me. I don’t know if that’s something that I will just “Get over”.  But one thing I can rejoice on is now I know who I look like. I got to meet my biological father face to face two times. Some people go a lifetime never knowing, and never seeing the faces of those who created them. I don’t know what I would do if I never completed my puzzle. I know how I felt all those years not knowing, and now that I know who I am I feel at peace with that area. I’m so beyond thankful that God has made it all possible.

Now being able to talk about my feelings with being an adoptee I find it a healing tool and I feel like I have to share my adoption journey with others. God put these things in our lives for a reason, and we must share our experiences because I feel that’s what God intends for us all.

Of all the things I have been through, I am now learning that being given away at birth has had the most lifelong effects on me than anything else. When I started the healing process, I started working on feelings that went along with childhood sexual abuse brought on by a step brother. Then it went into being in abusive relationships my whole life, until I was 31.. Then I started working on my adoption and the issues I have had with being adopted. In the last 6-8 months I have been working on the root of some emotional issues I have carried around an entire lifetime, and I can honestly say I have never felt more FREE than I do today.  Who gets the credit? God. It’s as simple as that. He has given me the strength and courage to conquer each thing one by one. God has put certain people in my life to help me realize my true worth as well. Some situations harder than others, but each and every one I have learned so much from.

So now when I look in the mirror I know who I see. I love the person I am, and I know that no matter what happens in my life that my past is just that, my past. God doesn’t judge us by our past, so why should we judge ourselves or worry about what others think of us?

Who do you see when you look in the mirror?