Join Us in Celebrating the Launch of the Adoptee Remembrance Day Website Powered by Adoptees Connect, Inc.

We are eager and enthusiastic to unveil the Adoptee Remembrance Day website with you! As the very first Annual Adoptee Remembrance Day launched in 2020, it’s created a firestorm of activities across the globe that take part in this day. Such a symbolic day for the adoptee community needed its very own space to share upcoming news, events, articles, and all things – Adoptee Remembrance Day.

What is Adoptee Remembrance Day?

Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th serves several purposes.

It raises public awareness of crimes against adoptees by adoptive parents, an action that current media does not recognize. It also allows us to publicly mourn and honor the lives of our brothers and sisters who we have lost who might otherwise be forgotten. It raises awareness about adoptee suicide, shining a light on a difficult topic. Through these actions, we express love and respect for the adoptee community. Adoptee Remembrance Day reminds others that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends, and lovers. Adoptee Remembrance Day gives our allies a chance to step forward with us, memorializing those who have died too soon, and it also recognizing the loss all adopted people experience, before they’re actually adopted.

While this topic remains sensitive in nature, adoptees who are murdered by their adoptive parents is increasing around the world. It is a time to honor their legacy by setting aside a day just for them. While those who have passed away before us, are no longer able to speak and share their stories or voices, there are many adoptees today who are paving the way for the voiceless to become strong enough to share their voices and stories. We are the voice of the voiceless.

We also recognize that there are international adoptees who are living without citizenship and/or have been deported due to mistakes by adoptive parents, adoption agencies, attorneys, and ultimately, the U.S. adoption system. Some international adoptees must survive abuse and neglect, including in regards to their citizenship, from their adoptive parents. We honor the adoptees who did not survive or are struggling to survive their deportations to countries they left as children where they have no support network and limited access to support services, including mental health care, clothing, food, and shelter. Lack of citizenship is a tragic and often unacknowledged issue facing the adoptee community. Please visit Adoptees for Justice to learn more.

This is what Adoptee Remembrance Day is all about.

While our first annual Adoptee Remembrance Day in 2020 was a day that was echoed all around the world, it is evident that it was only the beginning. As the years pass, our hope is this day grows larger and continues to expand across the globe. We hope that the truth about relinquishment trauma is recognized, acknowledged, and addressed as a critical component before any adoption ever takes place. We want to raise awareness of the complexities that adopted people experience by hearing the voices of those who have the lived experiences, the adopted individuals themselves. We want to honor those adoptees we have lost from suicide and at the hands of their adoptive parents by setting a day aside to recognize them and the loss we feel without them.

We are honored to share the first story on the new Adoptee Remembrance Day website by the highly thought of Sara Graves. Sara has agreed to share her story publicly, and we couldn’t be more proud of her and honored to share it as we unveil the new website. We admire her willingness to share her story and applaud her strength in this process. To help us celebrate Sara and her story, please visit the Adoptee Remembrance Day website and leave her a message of support and love. You can view Sara’s story by clicking here.

Don’t forget to follow the Adoptee Remembrance Day website and the Facebook page. You can RSVP to the next Adoptee Remembrance Day by clicking here. Have an idea for the next Adoptee Remembrance Day? Please submit it here.

To everyone who has participated on this day, thank you. We’re sending love and light around the world, and as adoptees share their truth, our voices get stronger together. Adoptee Remembrance Day 2021 is only a few months away. Please reach out to us if you would like to get involved by sending us a message here. – Pamela Karanova, Adoptees Connect, Inc.

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The Difference in Today, Feeling the Feels

I’ve come to a recent discovery after doing some self-reflection that I am someone that takes longer than your average person to process feelings, especially ones that are considered heavy or disheartening. I’m naturally a BIG feeler and a deep thinker.

While discovering this, it has been said that this is a “hang-up” or a “bad thing.” As I ask myself, “am I defective for taking so long to process things?” or “is something wrong with me for taking so long to process things?” I’ve been trying to process why I am this way, and I had an epiphany this morning.

I take longer than the average person to process things, because I’m feeling the feelings and processing them. I’m not side stepping or avoiding truly feeling and processing feelings. I’m doing the work, I’m evaluating my part, and caring enough about myself to not rush the process. This is self-care. This is self-love. This is putting myself first, and in return I can show up for others in a more grounded way. I spent 27 years drinking alcohol to numb my reality, to escape.

While running, I didn’t have to put in the work to feel the feelings and process the pain. I jumped from one shit storm to another for 27 years. I didn’t show up but a shell of me did. Avoidance worked until I decided I wanted to get real with myself, and all the problems I had been running from for 27+ years showed up at my front doorstep. I could only run for so long… 27 years is ALONG TIME!

The difference in today…

Today, I’m no longer running home to drink so I don’t have to feel. A shell of me is no longer showing up, but all of me is, along with my imperfections. As I approach a 9-year milestone in my recovery and alcohol-free journey (8/13/12) I am taking note of the way things are for me now, verses the way things used to be. I’m no longer depending on alcohol to take the pain away; I’m depending on myself to put in the work to do that.

This takes a while.

I’m not a robot.

While others might say this is a negative thing, or something they can’t live with or tolerate, I can say I’m proud of myself and how far I’ve come. It’s taken a lot of self-work, blood sweat and tears to learn how to process real and raw feelings after spending 27 years escaping them. No one has shown me how to do this, I have no mother, father, siblings, aunts, or uncles pouring into me. I have figured it out on my own.

Let me add, responding after a trauma response is triggered, is a whole new beast. Acknowledging the problem is half the battle. Admitting and committing to help is another piece of the battle. I’m a work in progress as we all are but I’m not sitting in denial. I have work to do.

It’s all a part of the growth process, I think. As we grow and move forward in life, we discover new things about ourselves. Some of them will make us pick our face up off the floor, and some we ease right on into depending on the circumstances. We’re all a work in progress, and we’ve all adapted to life’s circumstances using survival skills, some healthy and some unhealthy. It’s up to each of us to put in the time, work, and effort to figure out new ways to work things out, especially when the old ways don’t necessarily serve us a great purpose.

Sharing because if I’m ever late to the party, likely I’m over here processing and feeling the feels just so I can show up at all. But when I show up, I will show up with all of me. Not fragments or broken up pieces of me like I did for 27 years. I won’t show up avoiding my reality, masking my feelings with alcohol. I call it self-loyalty and being true to me. It’s not for everyone to accept and not everyone will understand this. That’s okay. I’ve accepted I’m not for everyone.

My main focus is on being true to me. Then, I can show up genuinely for others in a more well rounded way. Wherever you are in your healing and processing journey, be easy on yourself. You are right where you need to be. 💛

Pamela A. Karanova

2021 – A New Year, A New Chapter

It’s time to turn the page

We’re winding up 2020, which could very well be the worst year of many of our lives. It’s been so weird, in so many ways, that most of the time, I don’t even have the right words to share how this year has made me feel. Today I will do my best to try.

It’s been a year of feeling for me. It’s been a year of independence, growth, and prioritizing commitments. It’s been a year of pruning relationships out that no longer serve a purpose. It’s been a year to focus on being true to myself. It’s been a year to set boundaries and to bring visions to life. It’s been a year of isolation and aloneness. This year has been so complicated and filled with a million layers. I’ve experienced highs and lows and just about every emotion in between, as I’m sure many of us have.

But if you’re reading this, you made it, and I made it. We’ve survived. But I never want to forget all the people who didn’t. So many people have lost so much, and my heart truly aches for them and their families.

One of the things I can share is that this year, personally, hasn’t been a year that was much different for me than most years when it comes to feeling alone and isolated. I’ve been feeling that way my entire life, from adoption. I’ve talked to many adoptees, and they feel the same way. We’re the kings and queens of adaption. We’ve handled it like a camp, just blending in, in the background. Other’s of us completely lost our sh*t. I’ve experienced a mixture of both.

While this new transition has rocked the world of many, it’s not new for many of my fellow adoptees and me. I’ve learned to adapt to this way of life from as far back as I can remember. My adoptee experience is described as being alone on an island, and it’s just the way it is because it’s the way it’s been for my entire life.

While 2021 is right around the corner, I have several new topics I plan to write about this year. I’ve been slacking on writing on my website, but only because I have so many other things going on with Adoptees Connect, Inc. It’s hard to find the time, but writing is one of the most therapeutic healing tools I have yet to find, so I am making a recommitment to myself to pick back up on writing as a healing tool for myself.  

Some topics I hope to write about:

  • Religious Trauma Syndrome
  • Open Adoptions being Closed by AP’S
  • Religion & Adoption
  • Relinquishee vs. Adoptee
  • Adoptee in Recovery/AA/NA/Celebrate Recovery
  • Dual Mother Wounds for Adoptees
  • Healing Tools for the Mother Wound
  • Adoptees & Mental Health
  • Deconversion & Religion
  • Articles to Birth Parents & Adoptive Parents
  • Mother Nature AKA Mother Earth & Healing Adoptee Pain
  • Adoptee Attachment vs. Adoptee Connection
  • Generational Relinquishment & Adoption Trauma
  • Being Brave – Sharing Your Adoptee Story

These are just a few things that come to my mind. I’ve never written about some of these topics, yet only shared my feelings with a small circle of close friends. It’s taken me years of self-reflection and processing to get to a space where I feel comfortable sharing some of my feelings associated with these topics.

Adoption isn’t the only thing in life we come out of the fog about.

When adoptees come to a place in their journeys where they embrace a journey of sharing their voices, it’s so important the adoption community come together to support them. Getting to this space can take a lifetime for many of us.

This year has been one of the most challenging years of many of our lives, and I hope we exit out of 2020 with a newfound hope that 2021 has to be better. I haven’t set myself up for the false hope that as soon as midnight hits on 12/31/20 like a magic wand, everything will be back to “normal.” I don’t think the normal as we once knew it will ever return.

However, hope is on the horizon that things will be better. At least that’s what I’m hanging onto, a sliver of hope I’ve found among the fear, heartache, and pain I’ve experienced this year.

What are you looking forward to this year?

For me, I’m hopeful that in the early spring, our Adoptees Connect – Lexington, KY group will be back at meeting in person again.  I’m confident that I will have many more outdoor adventures, and my soul will be filled with the great outdoors, which brings me great joy. I’m hopeful love will continue to knock on my door, and be an experience that I’ve never had before. More memories with my kids will be made, and I feel I will cherish my health more, and I will continuously be consciously aware of what I consume, and put in my body. I will focus on my health, and happiness and not just what everyone sees on the outside either. I will continue to set hella boundaries, and I will stop explaining these boundaries to others, as well as stop explaining myself and my reasoning when most of the time, people could care less. I will take my time in responding, being on time and accurate because I can allow myself grace to make mistakes. I will tap the breaks when new people come into my life, so I can learn them before I make a decision to just let them in my life.

Not everyone deserves to be in our lives.

I feel the sorrow we’ve experienced in 2020 will linger on for a lifetime, however a new day will bring new joys. A new year will bring new goals. New people will bring new memories. Turning the page will allow us to embrace new challenges, new fears and new hopes for 2021. As you see, I’ve accepted that it might not be all rainbows and unicorns, and things won’t likely ever get back to “normal” however, I’ve also accepted that I have many things to look forward too and that’s where I hang my hat. Hope 2021 will be better than 2020.

I hope the same for you!

If you’ve made it this far, I thank you for taking the time to read my article. I wish you and your family a peaceful transition as we roll into 2021. A special THANK YOU to each of you who support my work, writings, and missions. Without you, I wouldn’t be here because your support means everything!