The weekend of April 21st & 22nd I had the honor of going to my first ever adoptee conference. It was an experience of a lifetime for me and I enjoyed so much of it. My favorite part was meeting my fellow adoptees near and far.
Other parts were simply overwhelming. Emotions I had stuffed for years came flooding back. It was tough on many aspects.
I left the conference with a ton of emotions way up at the surface. I didn’t quite know how to process it all. My plan was to come home and spend some time writing about it in the days to come.
That plan was halted by some news…
Within a few short hours of being back in Kentucky from the conference I found out my adoptive mother had passed away some time over the weekend.
It could hardly believe it.
I took all things I was feeling regarding the conference and put them on the shelf. (a safe space I will return to deal with later.) The emotions and feelings associated with my adoptive mother’s passing had taken over me.
My cell phone rang and on the other line it was my adoptive father whom never calls me for anything unless its sad news or a health issue. I had been working a double shift that Monday April 24th. I was at the tail end of the last shift when I got the call.
Adoptive Father- “Hi Pam- How are you?”
Me- “I’m good Daddy, at work. How are you?”
Adoptive Father- “I have some sad news for you. Your mother has died at some point over the weekend”.
Me- “Wow I don’t really know what to say. What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to do something?”
Adoptive Father- “No, I don’t think anyone wants you to do anything.”
Me- “I just wish she was different and things were different but at least she’s at peace now and hopefully she will finally be happy. I know for certain she was never happy here on earth.
Daddy- “Well your sister is taking it pretty hard. (Haven’t had contact with her in many years)
Me- “Well she still had a relationship with Her, I didn’t so that would make sense I suppose. I had to let go for my own sanity but thank you for sharing the news. I appreciate it”.
My mind was racing a mile a minute. What would they want from me? What would my responsibilities be in this thing? Would I have to travel back to Iowa? Would I be expected to DO SOMETHING? I was a mess thinking of all these things. I just wanted to run and hide.
Interesting that I was not able to process losing my “Mother” because I have done that every single day for the last 42 years. How was this any different?
You see, back in 2012 when I decided to get sober a lot of things changed for me. I learned that to fully live in recovery I had to get honest about all areas of my life. During that process and over the last 5 years I realized that I was forced to be in this family with dysfunction but as I got sober I learned I could make my own choices in all areas. In that time, I had discontinued my relationship with my adoptive mom because of the toxicity she brings to my life. I had accepted the fact that I will never have a mother because she has never been one. I was always the one taking care of her, not her taking care of me. I tried to set boundaries and she wouldn’t abide by any of them.
For my own mental health, sanity and recovery I had to close the door and keep it closed. I had learned in 42 years if I even cracked the door a tiny bit her toxicity impacted me in negative ways and I didn’t want anything to do with that anymore.
It’s awesome when we figure out that YES, we have that choice!
NO MATTER WHO IT IS!
My entire life I have been petrified about what is she going to do next? What area of my life is she going to come back and haunt me. She’s tried hard to use my kids as a manipulation tool and it infuriated me. Aren’t the horrible memories of her trying to commit suicide by laying in the street enough? Or the memories of her tying us to chairs as kids? The manic-depressive episodes- they weren’t enough?
Fear was always on my mind when it came to HER. Fighting off bad memories from my childhood has been a daily struggle. Thank GOD, I have God in my life or I wouldn’t be here! I have forgiven her but I have also closed the door and moved on with my life.
So now what?
I struggled with feeling inhumane for not FEELING LIKE I LOST A MOTHER WHEN SHE DIED. I felt guilty for not feeling any sorrow like someone should feel when their mother dies.
One more thing adoption has stolen from me. Not only 2 entire families but my mother too! If I had a good mother would things be different for me?
I will never know.
I came to the realization I DIDN’T LOSE A MOTHER WHEN SHE DIED. She was never a mother to me. She took more than anyone could ever imagine.
If I was to weigh the pain of losing my first mother and being rejected by her later in life to the pain of my adoptive mother passing there is no comparison at all. What I am trying to say is that the pain I have felt every single day of my life is the worst pain I have ever felt and that’s because I lost my birth mother at the beginning of life. It’s because I’ve lost 2 entire families because of adoption.
I have accepted THIS.
But it still hurts.
If you aren’t adopted, we are triggered by essentially EVERYTHING IN LIFE!
My adoptive mother dying has no comparison to me. I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh but I am being transparent here. What I did feel was a sadness and sorrow for her that she never found happiness or wholeness here on earth. I felt sorry for her she was in addiction, had gone her entire life never being diagnosed with mental illness therefor she tore through people’s lives like a destructive tornado and she never relented. If it wasn’t a family member (who almost all cut her off) it was someone where she worked, where she lived and her own children. I felt sorry for her that the adoption industry set her up for a fairy tale and I was never the daughter she wanted or needed.
Our adoption story is a flat our disaster!
I was her caretaker.
She was never mine.
Until I turned 31 and packed up a 22 foot U-Haul and moved myself and my kids across the country. I have never felt freedom before like I have sense I moved.
YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD IT WAS!! I HAD NO HELP & NO SUPPORT aside from my best friend. I had 3 small kids and was a single mother making this decision.
IT WAS THE HARDEST YET BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE.
I had to do this not only for myself, my mental health and sanity but for my children! When I saw her doing some of the same things with my kids I knew it was time to go. GOD KNEW!
Life has never been more peaceful for me because I moved far away.
Now it was time to recovery from the first 31 years of life! I tried to have a long-distance relationship with her but that didn’t work either. She would come visit and it was like the devil himself was showing up at my door step. I had to put an end to it. There comes a time when we must put ourselves FIRST.
I was unsettled on how this was going to play out. For some reason, I thought they were going to need something from me or I was going to have to go back to Iowa to clean her apartment out. I was petrified! Given the circumstances I had dreaded this more than anything in the world and the scene played over and over in my mind all these years. I had visions of this day coming. FEAR! Fear of facing something I ran from tormented me all these years.
I just wanted the nightmare to end and for it all to go away.
It was like a dark cloud hanging over my head.
I certainly didn’t expect it to happen within 24 hours of connecting with my fellow adoptees in real life. I hadn’t even been able to process the conference yet!
After my conversation with my adoptive father (him and adoptive mother divorced when I was 1) He asked me to call my adoptive sister. I hadn’t spoken to her in years and years. I believe my adoptive mom used triangulation tactics our entire lives and played us both against each other. We never stood a chance at being sisters because of her.
Now I was supposed to call her?
All I wanted to do was the right thing considering the circumstances.
I called. We spoke about 5 minutes. She was tearful and crying. I was the opposite = Emotionless. She hadn’t let go yet, and I had many years earlier. I didn’t make my decision lightly. I prayed and contemplated and received some guidance from people I’m close to. I felt sorry for my adoptive sister but I know she will be okay.
It comes down to this. If you don’t bring happiness and positivity into my life you must go. I am not making any apologies these days for cutting toxic people, places or things out of my life. Neither should you.
Do I feel any regret for making this decision? No I don’t. I prayerfully made this decision and many tears were involved for along time. I had to do what I had to do to survive. I had to put my recovery and mental health first for once. I didn’t regret moving across the country and I don’t regret cutting her off with this unhealthy tie legally attaching me to this toxicity. It was a strange feeling at the end of her life being someone who had to sign her cremation paperwork.
As if the beginning was an adoption transaction.
The end was a cremation transaction.
I didn’t sign any adoption paperwork.
But I had to sign her cremation paperwork.
There is supposed to be a memorial at a later date. I decided it would not be in my best interest to go back to Iowa to help with her apartment. I experienced massive anxiety and fear even contemplating it. I didn’t have peace about it at all and peace comes from God. This spoke to me. I helped with some of the cremation costs and will be sending more money asap to go towards expenses my sister has had to face regarding this manner. Neither of us asked to be in this situation. It’s certainly not all her fault. I will not attend a memorial at this point unless my children want to attend. Being an adoptee loosing 2 entire families with no funerals, no nothing I’ve learned to say good-bye without funerals!
I know my kids are sad and I can respect and understand that because they are in a different position than I am. They didn’t experience what I did and I never want them too- THANK GOD! I respect the need for them to process the grief and loss they might be experiencing. After all, legally she was their grandmother.
Out of every darkness in life God will turn around and use it for His good. I am content knowing that even when my adoptive mom brought so much darkness to my life she’s in a happier place now. I know she believed in God and I know her mental illness was left untreated. I know she’s in heaven healed, happy and whole. Finally, she’s in a place where she could receive all God has for her and it wasn’t here on earth. Heaven isn’t 2nd place you know! Her infertility and not being able to have her own children haunted her and I was adopted to fix the problem. What a heavy burden to carry. I’ve forgiven her. She was sick. I am sad she lived such a miserable life.
John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Today I choose to live life & live it more abundantly. I am excited to move forward to receive all God has in store for me. I’m looking forward to taking back all the enemy has stolen from me as the days move forward in life. I have a bucket list now and I’m moving forward with those people in my life who love me for me and are real, true, genuine and sincere.
I still haven’t even processed the conference yet. I don’t know if I will ever be able to do that but hopefully I will be able to write about it soon. It was tough on many levels. My favorite part was meeting all my fellow adoptees who GET IT!
I love you all.
Say a prayer for me and I’ll say a prayer for you too!
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