Boundaries | Adoptionland | Minimizing | Into The Wild: KY | 2020

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Boundaries, Boundaries & More Boundaries

What is Adoptionland to me?  – The online adoption community. 

Rolling into 2020 I continue to set boundaries for myself, in my personal and professional life.

What do these boundaries look like? 

I’m no longer opening up my personal facebook to Adoptionland like I always have. As I continue to get dozens of friend requests weekly, I apologize in advance to the adoptees who send me friend requests that I don’t accept, or I deny. I know how sensitive adoptees can be, and I totally understand why many of us have that sensitivity.

 I live with it everyday. 

However, I have to put the safety of myself and my family first. If you had seen what I have seen in the last 2 years in Adoptionland, you would understand a bit more why I have set these boundaries. I have shared some articles on my website so if you are keeping up with me, you already have some ideas about why I’ve made this choice. If you are close to me, you are aware. The dynamics of my online experience has shifted significantly, and because of this, I need to protect my space. 

Let me take a moment to recap my Adoptionland experience for you. 

When I came out of the fog approx 10 years ago, Adoptionland was a space of refugee. It was a space where adoptees were on deck to help one another by extending a hand of grace, walking with you out of the deep dark waters of being in adoption fog. It was a safe space and I have connected with adoptee friends online near and far, all around the world. I cherish many of these friendships, and always will. We’re still waking it out together. 

I had adoptees that lead the way for me and so many others like Deanna Doss Shrodes, Jessenia Arias, and Rebecca Hawks. These ladies will never understand how much their kindness, compassion and dedication to the adoption community has helped so many adoptees. Once I emerged out of the fog, I made a commitment to do everything in my power to give back to Adoptionland in hopes to help other adoptees to give back to a community that had so freely given to me. 

Like many adoptees, I poured my heart and soul into this mission and I’ve spent many years now not only transforming my life, but in that process I’ve been able to help others which has also helped me. 

I wouldn’t change a thing about my journey. But things have changed in Adoptionland and they are no longer what they used to be. 

This has created a significant upset in Adoptionland and I’ve been clear all the way back to the article I wrote in January 2018, I’m Not Co-Signing for Online Bullying & Harassment. That was a year ago, and things have only gotten significantly worse. 

What I’ve seen is the supportive adoptees that created the community that was once safe, only to be taken over by trolls, cyber bullies, and impostors who conceal their identities, spew evil, hate and rage throughout the online adoption community aka Adoptionland. They feel it’s perfectly okay to publicly shame, call out, and attack anyone that doesn’t fit into the mold they’ve created. This could be adoptees, adoptive parents and biological parents, or anyone for that matter. They hold no bars on who they attack, vilify and cyber bully. I could list a HUGE list of names, but that’s not my style. They know who they are. 

It’s become a common theme that these trolls believe they are “Educating Adoptionland” but they have no remorse of the hate and evil they are spilling or the way they are doing it is actually causing more harm to adoption than they could ever truly understand. It’s ABUSE in every form. I’ve seen with my own eyes, these trolls create so many online identities that they talk to themselves and carry on conversations with their different online personas. Yes, I said that right! I’ve seen them create so many identities that their goals is to get on your Facebook page, so they can steal your information and create Adoptionland drama, stir the pot and set you up to be cyber attacked. They are professionals at twisting words, being deceptive by acting like they are your “friend” and then throwing you out to the wolves while their followers rip you to shreds. While they hide behind the pseudonym name, they reveal the true identities of people, which can cause a real safety concern, not to mention the damage and hurt they are doing to the specific person they are cyber targeting. 

I KNOW ADOPTEES WHO HAVE BEEN SO DEVASTATED BY BEING TARGETED AND TREATED THIS WAY THEY HAVE BEEN DRIVEN TO CONTEMPLATE SUICIDE, AND EVEN ATTEMPT IT. SOME ARE FRIENDS OF MINE.  

I’ve seen these trolls set targeted attacks on individuals, and use their entire following to cyber mob a person. Many of these individuals that have been targeted are personal friends of mine. I’ve seen them take confidential conversations that someone shared in private, and screen shot them and make them public to “call out” this person all in the name of “Educating in Adoption”. 

Whatever side of adoption you are on, no matter how you feel about it – this behavior is NEVER okay. It is not okay to treat people this way and if you are on the side of thinking this behavior is okay, have fun in your misery. Most of the time, I’ve learned that these are the adoptees who are stuck. I was once stuck and I have much compassion for adoptees who are stuck, however I didn’t use my valuable time tearing other adoptees down, cyber attacking or cyber mobbing them. But beware, these individuals are the very first to say you are gaslighting them, tone policing them, and holding them accountable for their delivery which they use as a full time defense for their abusive online behavior. Reality is, many of them are narcissists, and every time you feed into their toxicity, you fuel their fire.   I’ve never seen such disrespect, abuse and toxicity in my life. 

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There is so much more to “educating” someone about adoption, than sitting behind a computer screen hiding behind a pseudonym name while attacking and targeting others who have the strength and poise to share their real true identities. You can dish out the BS, but you can’t take the heat when it comes back full circle which is why you hide behind a fake name… I literally have no time for it, and I will not engage on any platforms or with people that aren’t legit, real true individuals. Aside from the platforms I manage, admin and moderate that I know are safe, I’m 100% done with Adoptionland. My time is way to valuable, and yours is too! 

WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN YOUR COMMUNITY ON THE GROUND TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE? 

A huge part of why Adoptees Connect, Inc. was created was to counteract with what Adoptionland has become. Our goal is to take our online relationships offline, and create grassroots connections in our very own communities- in real life. This cuts out all of the cyber attacks, cyber bullying/mobbing and interaction with trolls in Adoptionland. 

What does this mean for Adoptionland in my world? 

I can only make changes and control my own life in attempts to create the safest space possible for MYSELF. In 2020 I’m making more changes to protect my space. One of the steps I’m taking is moving 99.9% of my Adoptionland interactions to LinkedIn. I haven’t seen the trolls on LinkedIn like I’ve seen them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I’m not saying they aren’t there, but I’m saying I feel LinkedIn is a safer space, based on it being rooted and grounded in us creating a professional network. I’m also not adding anyone to my LinkedIn who I don’t personally know. Under no circumstances am I adding anyone just because we have mutual friends. 

Those days are over. Adoptionland isn’t safe at all anymore and we all must protect our spaces, at all costs. For me, Adoptionland has always been about being a light for my fellow adoptees, no matter what space they are at I have always tried to embrace them, and walk with them out of the darkness into the light. Now, the tides are turning and I’m more interested in continuing this advocacy, but I prefer to pour my time and energy into the relationships I’ve built in my city, via my Adoptees Connect – Lexington, KY group and those within the Adoptees Connect community where the connections are centered around real, true and genuine meetings and getting to know one another IN REAL LIFE. I no longer have the time or energy to pour into dozens of online conversations when Adoptionland has been consumed by trolls, and evil individuals who have no remorse for who they hurt, or how they do it. 

Let’s take Adoptionland and Adoption out of the equation for a moment and talk about being a kind human being. This behavior that’s increased online isn’t okay in any fashion. No matter what you are advocating for, if you aren’t trying to educate in a way that doesn’t hurt others, you should hang up your hat and go spend some time to work on some of your own pain before you continue to inflict your rage onto others. Reevaluate the way you are delivering your message, and consider making some changes where you are advocating for the truth in adoption, but you aren’t hurting people in the process. It can be done. 

FYI: YOU AREN’T EDUCATING IN THE NAME OF ADOPTION WHEN YOU ARE HURTING PEOPLE IN THE PROCESS!

If you’re an online troll, with one or multiple identities, who thinks it’s okay to set up cyber mobbing attacks, call others out, bully, and be hateful to others, I challenge you to make some changes in 2020. If you are someone who sits back and watches this type of behavior happen, I challenge you to rethink your approach in Adoptionland. Maybe you are someone who chimes in, and eggs this behavior on? You don’t set up these attacks, you just comment on them and like/love them on social media? 

Whatever your role is, in whatever communities you spend time online, I ask you to be kind to others. If you are creating a space in Adoptionland where only YOUR WAY or YOUR BELIEFS are allowed, you truly aren’t teaching anyone. You are creating a community of people who believe like you, leaving NO ROOM for teachable moments. The minute your RAGE flips into action, rooted from YOUR OWN PAIN – you are turning people away from receiving your message. You have LOST what could have been a wonderful message received by someone who truly wants to learn from others. I challenge you to get off the internet, stop spreading hate and pain and go work on yourself to get UNSTUCK before you continue to hurt others online and your personal life. 

Being adopted doesn’t give you a free pass to treat people like shit, and to dish out your rage filled hate in an abusive way while hurting others in the process. I revoke your free pass and call you on your BS, Narcissistic behavior and toxicity! 

We all come from different experiences, and none of them are exactly the same. We all deserve to be heard, without being attacked, no matter what our stance in adoption is. If you disagree with someone or what their role is in the adoption community, have a trustworthy conversation with them, creating a safe dialogue in private over calling them out on social media, setting them up to be cyber mobbed. This is horrible behavior, and let me just tell you if you participate in it at all, YOUR TIME WILL COME. Wait until you get treated this way, or someone you love and you will rethink your approach. 

As I continue to set boundaries and back away from Adoptionland, I would love to encourage any of my followers to find me on LinkedIn, send me a message introducing yourself, and we can go from there. If you don’t have LinkedIn and you are an adoptee, or anyone in Adoptionland I encourage you to set up a LinkedIn profile, and start networking in a professional way. I truly feel this is the only way to continue to make connections online in the adoption community in a safer way. 

Wherever you are in your personal journey, I hope you set healthy boundaries for yourself in 2020 and in this process you find healthy online activities. You are the only one who can make these changes for YOURSELF.  

INTO THE WILD: KY

388f964a-8e76-4e5b-a234-8afed1e38e51For 2020 I’m not only setting these boundaries, but I’m focusing on spending less time online, less time on my cell phone, and electronics, and spending more time making plans to spend quality time with the small circle of people/friends/family who I feel close too. I’m working at setting boundaries for myself so my time isn’t so consumed in things at a level I’m not enjoying my life. 

We LIVE EVERYDAY, but we have to clear space in our personal lives, professional lives and everyday lives to make room for living life. I plan to spend 2020 minimizing to less THINGS, and upgrading by having more ADVENTURES. I want to spend more time in the wilderness and having more Into The Wild: KY – Kentucky Wilderness & Waterfall Adventures. I want to take my close friends, my kids and others who are interested in exploring nature because wilderness wellness is at the top of my self care toolbox. 

Time is something that can be more meaningful for adoptees than your average person.img_0073  Time is something I cherish, because when it’s all said and done it’s all I have and I don’t want to lose more TIME, when so much has already been lost because of ADOPTION. I’m 45 years old, and so much TIME has already gone, and I could possibly be at the halfway mark of my life here on earth, do I really want to use all my time up fighting with trolls on the internet? Or being consumed by social media?  I want to make wonderful memories with others, and I will not sacrifice five minutes of the most valuable thing I have for internet trolls, and cyber bullies. They will not get any airtime on my platforms, nor will those who support them. 

Some of my boundaries regarding social media/email/cell that will bring me quality of life starting January 2020 are: 

  • I am no longer using Facebook messenger on my cell and  I don’t have it on my phone. I will only check it occasionally from my laptop once or maybe twice a week.  
  • I’m going to try to start calling my friends more. Text has taken over the world and starting in January 2020 – I’m calling you! 
  • I’m no longer accepting friend requests on Facebook from people I don’t personally know, even if we have mutual friends. The internet has gotten extremely toxic and I will not chance allowing anyone into my space that I don’t know. Please know this isn’t personal, but boundaries I’m setting for myself. However, You can follow me on my public page at Pamela Karanova.
  • I don’t use inboxes on Twitter or Instagram for communications, nor will I be checking them. It takes up too much time, and I’m not giving more time to these inboxes. Email is a better way for me to communicate. 
  • I will consider adding people to my LinkedIn but only if they send me a direct message introducing themselves. Somebody’s momma always said don’t talk to strangers, yet the internet has ruined that. I’m always happy to have a discussion with someone, but introduce yourself first, please have some manners. 
  • I’m only checking email first thing in the morning, MON-FRI. I removed email apps from my cell, and I am no longer refreshing them 100x a day to see whos emailed me. 
  • If you text me, I will respond when I can but let’s work together to talk on the phone sometimes.  I’m going to be working on doing this as well. Maybe we can set up a time to talk via text? Let’s meet in the middle. 
  • I will not respond to drama on the internet. I’ve removed myself from ALL DRAMA ZONES FOR A MILLION VERY GOOD REASONS. Please don’t pull me into any messes and consider removing yourself from these spaces as well. 
  • I’m not on call for Adoptees Connect, Inc. As it grows, there is still only one me. Please direct all questions or concerns to the exclusive group on Facebook or email: adopteesconnect@gmail.com Please allow for appropriate time for me to get back to you. This is 100% volunteer and I have a MORE THAN FULL TIME CAREER that I’m on call for 24/7. 

 Let me be just completely honest. I’m not happy with the way everyone has become so disconnected with the real meaning of life, me included. True relationships that meet in real life and spending time with those you love is what I crave. Authentic organic connections are ones I enjoy the most. I’ve been working for some years to restore this piece of what so many have lost and moving into 2020 I will continue to work on this. 

 I always say the things I need in life, money can’t buy. Honesty, Truth, Transparency, Connection, Time, Adventure, Wilderness, Compassion, Kindness, and the list could go on. 

In attempts to create the life I would like, I have to make these changes and set these boundaries for myself. The greatest gift I have to give anyone is my time, because it’s something I can never give back. In 2020 I’m putting a focus on these things, along with people who mean the world to me. 

I hope you all continue to follow your hearts as we enter into a new year. We have a  new chance to rewrite our stories and a new 365 days to add some magic to our lives. I encourage you to make as many changes as you need to make to create the life you desire and deserve. Cheers to all we have learned in 2019 and all the lessons we’ve experienced along the way. Cheers to many more! 

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Love, Love. 

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Disclosure Statement: Online bullying, threats and personal attacks aren’t going to make Adoption any better. Usually it does the opposite. I continue to unfollow and block ALL accounts that endorse this content. I challenge you to do the same. 

8-13-13 —-> Happy “LIFE” Day to me!

About a week ago I got some super awesome news, and I am so excited to share it with you all!

If you don’t know by now, I am pretty vocal on my adoption views and have expressed in my blog much of my view point because I finally feel like I have a voice in my world. A voice of an adult adoptee. This voice has been an amazing healing tool for me. Finally I am figuring out who I am, and what I stand for, but this didn’t take place before 37 years of loss of identity and total chaos and confusion took place. Why? Because I’m adopted. Adoption is loss. Adoption is pain. Adoption is hurt. Adoption is lies.

In the last year, I have met many other adult adoptees via the Internet, and made some very special friends in the process. We share a bond that no one else can share. It has helped me in so many ways. I am not alone in feeling the way I feel. Sense discovering this, I have also discovered the Adoptee Rights Coalition. They are a group of amazing adopted individuals that stand for adoptees having equal rights like non adopted people. The meet each year at a certain destination and protest in a peaceful demonstration that Adoptees deserve to have access to their original birth certificates. It’s unfair treatment and laws that are taking place when a small handful of states allow this, and the rest don’t. Only very few states in the U.S. allow adoptees to gain access to their original birth certificates, the rest aren’t so fortunate. For an adult adoptee, this is a critical piece of our lives to find out who we REALLY are, and where we REALLY come from. If you aren’t adopted it might never cross your mind that almost all adopted individuals have a falsified birth certificate which makes us feel like our lives are based on lies. These falsified birth certificates are not real, they are not really who we are, and this is a huge injustice to us because we can’t truly know WHO WE ARE, until we know the TRUTH. Some adult adoptees go to their grave with never knowing who they really are. They never piece together their puzzle, for whatever reason. Some scared of rejection, or some because of lack of identifying information to complete the search. Whatever the reason, and there are a million. We all deserve to know where we come from, and to see our original birth certificates.

This realization taking place in my life has helped me understand a few things. I need to get active with The Adoptee Rights Coalition. I need to be there for the 2013 Demonstration because for me, this means so much! If you haven’t read my previous post about my falsified birth certificate, please check it out. But my birth certificate is falsified, and it is nothing more than a piece of lies to me. The dates don’t match up, and I have been told lies over the years but I do feel I deserve to see my original birth certificate because WE as adoptees deserve equal rights!

After deciding that no matter what happens I am going to be at the ARC -Adoptee Rights Coalition for the 2013 Demonstration I also decided a few other things in my life. One is that I am no longer celebrating my “birth” day. It is such a hard time and month in my life. I experience heart wrenching grief from all the thoughts that come with my “birth” day, and me being given away on that day. I have another post titled “Blue August Birthday” if you want to learn more about these feelings of grief. So deciding I’m not celebrating my birthday is one thing, but I know in my heart of hearts I must replace this day with another day, but I will call it my “HAPPY LIFE DAY”. I just hadn’t figured out when this day would be. I have done a lot of praying about all these things, and asking God to show me the way.

Another thing that has changed is me deciding I am no longer going to drink alcohol, and I have joined a 12 step program and Celebrate Recovery to help me do this. Sense finding my biological parents, and them both being alcoholics, I feel very strong that if I don’t stop drinking all the way, I am going to die like my birth mother. In a house that should have been condemned, all alone. She was a horrible alcoholic, and she smoked, had COPD, and was on oxygen. Her house was in horrific conditions. I know that if I don’t stop drinking I am going to end up like her. So I have made the decision to seek help, and guidance from Alcoholics Anonymous, and Celebrate Recovery. Today is 23 days sober. I can’t wait until I get to 30 days. Then 60..

My whole life has revolved around drinking. I started drinking alcohol sense I was 12. Stopped drinking the day before my 38th birthday. August 12, 2012 was my last drink of alcohol. For me to stop drinking is so much more to me than just “STOPPING DRINKING”. You see, to me it’s the beginning of my LIFE. The life that God intended for me to live. I sit and look over my life, and how many terrible choices I made where alcohol was related, and I just get sick with myself. I know that growing up with a total loss of “SELF” not knowing who I was, or where I came from caused me great grief from the time I found out I was adopted. Alcohol mad the pain go away, but only until I got sober, and then I would have to drink again. Alcohol distorted my life in so many ways I can’t even begin to tell you. But one thing I know now, TODAY is alcohol is no longer in my life. I can say I couldn’t do it alone. I need support from other alcoholics that can give me guidance, support and advice when I need it. Abusive relationships have been the head of my life, along with alcohol from the ages of 13-31. At 31 I was brave enough to get out of the last relationship, and it has taken me years to get to where I am today.The root of my issues with alcohol partly stem to my step brother molesting me when I was little, I would drink to numb the memories I have from him when I was intimate with whatever boyfriend I had at the time. This has gone on my entire life. I am sure I need consoling for this, but at this time I am working through these things with God as my guide, and other support from those who are close to me, and healing through writing of course. The abusive relationships play over and over in my head, like flashes of the memories. They never seem to go away, but I am not going to let those things define me anymore. I cant be the VICTIM and live in VICTORY. It’s impossible. I am so ready to live in victory it’s insane. As long as alcohol is in my life, it will take me back to being the victim, and block my blessings, and halt me from being the person God wants me to be.

So my reason for expressing all of these things is to get to some AMAZING SUPER AWESOME NEWS! As I stated before I am going replace my “birth”date with a different very special day called My Happy “Life” Day. I have made the decision to make this day on August 12, 2013 because that is the one year sobriety birthday and it will honestly be the one year celebration of me living the life God intended for me to live. August 12, 2013 is one day before the day I was born into this world which for me is a very tragic day. (Aug 13, 1974).
I am so excited about this I can’t even express how much this is going to mean to me, and this is why I say drinking alcohol is “LIFE OR DEATH” to me. If I drink, I can’t celebrate my one year sobriety birthday at all. It will not count. It will be disqualified to nothing. I won’t have a “birth” day, or a “Life” day or a sobriety “birth”day.. I will have nothing. So AUGUST 12, 2013 is HUGE for me.. But wait until you hear the rest!!!!!!!!!!!
I found out about a week ago that The Adoptee Rights Coalitions demonstration is in Atlanta next year and GUESS WHAT DAY IT’S ON?????????????????????????????????????????
AUGUST 12, 2013!!!!!!!!!!
I honestly don’t know when I have been so excited in my life!!! This is going to be HUGE for me,and you honestly can’t tell me GOD isn’t doing his thing with this one! I am in complete AWE at the amazing work he is doing in my life. He knows how important this date is to me. He knows how bad I wanted to be at The Adoptee Rights Coalition Demonstration in 2013! He knows how important my sobriety is to me. THIS DATE IS HUGE!!! Aside from the births of my kids, at this point in my life this is going to be the most important thing to date in my life’s history. I have such a passion for adoptees and the right for us to be able to obtain our original birth certificates. Now I will have a whole new focus on my depressing, sad, and horrific “birth”date. I will have a whole new day to celebrate.!
LIFE—SOBRIETY—ADOPTEE RIGHTS
CHEERS TO AUGUST 12, 2013!! 
GOD GETS THE GLORY!!!
If anyone in my area is interested in attending or getting to know a fellow adoptee contact me! Lexington, Ky