This post was created for all the adoptees who might feel alone or isolated in how they feel and in their journeys. I am here to tell you that you are NOT alone and there… More
We’ve heard it all for centuries, especially in the adoption community.
“ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE”
Well I’m here to express my desire to not only have love but my truth. Love wasn’t all I needed.
I needed my truth
THE TRUTH MEANS NOTHING HIDDEN
Yes, you guessed it. I’m an adult adoptee who has grown into my own woman. I have developed my own opinion, and I have been on a healing journey for 3 years now, attempting to heal from the lifelong struggles being adopted have brought my way. When I was growing up you weren’t supposed to talk about it. The less adoptive parents talked about it the better. Well, that was probably the worst advice that could have ever been given to adoptive parents.
I don’t have to be quiet, because it’s not a secret anymore. It might have been in the 1970’s but those days are over.
John 8:32 Says, “We shall know our TRUTH, and our TRUTH shall set us free”.
This scripture is what I stand on for all adoptees all over the world that are fighting to find their truths.
Love is good. Love is great. Love isn’t everything. Love definitely wins. But Love isn’t all I needed.
I believe all adoptees are different. Some are perfectly content with not knowing who they look like or where they come from. They don’t need to know their answers. A lot of times adoptive parents come to me and say, “Jonny is fine with being adopted, I ask him how he feels and he says “Fine”, and he never brings it up. He appears to be happy.”
I think parents, adopted or not naturally want to protect their kids. I find this to come natural as a parent of 3 children. I would never want my poor kid’s hearts broken, but the truth is when you adopt a child, you adopt their broken, tainted, tore history while you adopt them. You also adopt the beautiful history some of us have. It’s a part of them. I believe when you adopt a child, you have to accept this as a part of the child, and learn that there will be a day that child will start asking questions about their first family. They deserve to know their truth.
If LOVE was all I needed I would have been in great shape growing up. I believe with my entire heart that my adoptive parents and family LOVED me with everything they knew how. I have always been closer to my adoptive dad, yet he has always been so far away. But he’s been amazing. His wife, my step mother of over 35 years has also loved me the best way she knew how. We’ve all had a roller coaster ride over the years, but at the end of the day I know they have loved me, and they haven’t lied to me to gain anything. I respect them for that.
I still needed all the answers to my history. I needed my truth. I needed to know who my siblings were. I wanted to meet my biological grandparents. I have searched for every clue to WHO I AM and learned that I’m not like anyone of them! I’m the child God created me to be, but I needed to know and see this for myself. I needed to make the choices on my own, without everyone telling me and making the choice for me.
Saying “Love is all we need” is like putting a band-aide on our wounds. They are still deep down there and will surface as root issues later on in life.
THE TRUTH HAS HURT MORE THAN ANYTHING ON THIS PLANET.
I experienced failed reunions and rejection from both birth parents, yet I am happy every day I got one AMAZING brother out of the deal, and his AWESOME siblings have accepted me as their own. I will always be grateful for them, and their relationships. ALTHOUGH THE TRUTH HURT, I WOULD RATHER KNOW IT, ACCEPT IT, AND BE ABLE TO HEAL THROUGH JESUS AND MOVE FORWARD WITH MY LIFE!!!!
We can’t heal if we don’t know our truth.
If I can share something with all my fellow adoptees out there, I would like to say to never give up hope in finding your truth and as much as it hurts to say, be prepared for anything. Most of the time relinquishment isn’t a “Pretty Story”. I most certainly don’t want to discourage anyone from searching, but reach out to another adoptee that can pray for you, or help walk you through the emotions of the reunion and search experience.
My reunion doesn’t define me. My biological parents don’t define me. My adoptive parents don’t define me. My history doesn’t define me.
They are indeed a part of my Her [Story] – History!
WHO I AM IN JESUS DEFINES ME!
I learned I’m really not like anyone, yet God made me (and YOU) special and unique in his own way. After learning what I know about my birth parents, TODAY I’m extremely thankful I’m not like any of them. The difference is, I know JESUS and neither of them did/do. I have his peace. I don’t have to drink today to handle these emotions, and the pain that goes along with this journey. Being adopted is a lifelong thing, it doesn’t just go away. This is something I will be working through for the rest of my life.
LOVE IS GREAT & LOVE WINS
But LOVE isn’t all I needed.
I needed my TRUTH
I thank GOD today, I’m no longer fighting for my truth.
How do my fellow adoptees feel? Is love all you needed?
Did you need your truth?
Pamela A. Karanova, Adult Adoptee Reunited
Please read “About” section of both pages
Twitter: @freesimplyme <– FOLLOW ME!
Photo By: Salvatore Vuono @freedigitalphoto.net
I asked the online adult adoptee community to share what they would express to Prospective Adoptive Parents BEFORE they adopted if they had the chance. They knew their responses were going to be posted anonymous for a blog post and were happy to contribute to bring awareness and enlightenment to the adoption community.
Here are their responses
- We are not blank slates. Keep a therapist in reach that is seasoned in issues surrounding adoption. You WILL need them for your child but also for you. If you can’t speak nicely and lovingly towards the biological parents then don’t adopt. Don’t tell them they are your gift from God. God didn’t do that. Also, the term gift is demoralizing… We are not chattel. Join the fight for an adult adoptee to access their original birth records without exception. That will help them to know that their rights as humans matter.
- Don’t adopt the child. Help the family. You can provide a safe home without changing records and removing someone from their family. If the mother and child/baby must be separated, provide every opportunity for visitation even if it has to be supervised. Remind the child that you are guardians and they have a mother and father. Most of these “crackhead whores” whom society has deemed unfit, have had a past where no one helped them. Something awful has to have happened to have made them turn to drugs. Now is your chance to help mother and baby. If you found yourself in temporary trouble, would you want someone to help themselves to your baby? Do unto others….don’t take their baby. Also, don’t take babies from another country to satisfy your desire to raise a baby. Help that country change their old views that shame women for having babies too young, or out of wedlock, or shame the baby for defects and abnormalities or because of their sex. Help countries adopt the model shown in Belgium and other Nordic countries that acknowledge the importance of the mother/baby bond and socially support all mothers to keep their babies. Babies believe they are one with mother for 9 months after birth. Separating them before that messes with the natural stages of development we are supposed to experience. Seems we have more respect for animals and their babies than we do for humans. Also, for the entire pregnancy and for at least 6 weeks post partum, mother’s hormones are raging. Discussing adoption and having them sign anything is ethically wrong. Once a mother had mothered her child for the first 6 weeks and mother has been assessed by her dr to ensure her hormones are back to normal, mother then can decide if she would like to make first contact with an adoption agency/lawyer. Any contact before that is ethically wrong on the part of the agency/lawyer.
- I find it’s sick and twisted anyone, especially the Christian community and angelical leaders PRAY for a baby to be separated from it’s mother. They PRAY for this trauma to happen so they can SELFISHLY have a child to call their own. It disgusts me that any REAL Christian would do this. They need to be praying NO CHILD is ever separated from their mother and go adopt a child from the USA that is in foster care AND/OR help mothers and babies stay together. Why the need for a fresh womb infant? Selfishness IMHO.
- You cannot raise an adopted child the same way you would raise a birth child. I’m adopted and have 2 adopted children. I know what my kids are going to go through when it comes to wanting to know where they come from and all of that. Adoption isn’t easy. Its not fun. Its messy and complicated and not something you can ever understand unless you live it.
- Be aware that your child may exhibit characteristics not usually seen in “biological” children e.g. more than usual aggressiveness or shyness, unexplained fits of temper, sadness, depression, and more. Realize that it isn’t you. Your child has an innate knowledge of who they are even if they don’t know who they are. They know they aren’t who their new family frequently want them to believe they are. When they can understand more than simple concepts, tell them their story. Don’t sugar coat it, don’t belittle where they came from, just tell them their story. Someday they may want to seek out more information, or they may not. Don’t push one way or the other. If they seek their origins don’t feel sad or depressed, or angry, because this happened to them, not you. If you treated them well, raised them well, taught them well, they will love YOU, but you have to remember there is someone else out there that they have a physical connection to, indeed, a connection at the human soul level. Just be kind, thoughtful, and love them. At this point they need it.
- No to adoption. Adoption should never be an option. I don’t care what the situation is, it never warrants adoption. All people have a right to know who they are, who their people are, what their place is. All people have a right to not have to pretend to be someone other than they are, which is what happens in adoption. For children who need care while parents get the help they need, guardianship, fostering and sponsoring only. Never ever adoption. Even if parents don’t seek help, still no to adoption. We are who we are. We should not be made change our name and be told these are your parents now when we already have parents and families.
- I am an adoptee and I adopted a baby. I also have two biological children. My son and I share the challenges, sadness, happiness and hope of being adopted. I tell him his birth parents loved him so much and we talk about them whenever he wants. I also make sure he understands reunion can be painful, especially when secondary abandonment/rejection occurs. But, he knows I will help him search and we will never stop helping him whatever he decides to do. Respect, patience, love and compassion can help all adoptees. I was rejected after 20 years of reunion and he knows the entire story. He and I share so much because I want him to be educated and exposed to the good and bad so he is ready for whatever comes his way. Thanks for this sight.
- I am not a gift. Yes, I am a gift from God as all babies are, but PLEASE DO NOT REFER TO ME AS A GIFT! It makes me feel like a piece of property with a hefty price tag attached. It makes me feel like I’m not even human. – From A Christian.
- Don’t do it. Be a positive part of a child’s life without forcing them to address you with the fake title of Mom or Dad. Don’t take away someone’s name, heritage, or family for your own ego. Be a guardian to an older foster child, a volunteer with Big Brothers – Big Sisters, or a doting aunt or uncle. If you’re infertile, I’m sorry about that but adoption will not solve it. It causes more harm than you can imagine.
- I am an adoptee, and while I have had a terrible experience I still see the beauty in it and don’t discount it. All children need to be cared for. If you are adopting to fill a void for yourself, please do not adopt. If you think adopting a child is going to fulfill a fantasy you already hold, please do not adopt. Emotional intelligence is KEY, but even more essential in the case of adoption. Codependency and family dysfunction are certainly NOT suitable conditions. Be prepared to assist and empathize with a child navigating an extreme amount of loss, rejection, grief, control and identity issues, otherwise you will be setting your child up for failure. When you decide to tell your child they are adopted, already be prepared in knowing what emotions and reactions are expected to arise, and have a plan in place for how you will help them cope with them. Parents should find many ways to openly acknowledge and honor the child’s feelings surrounding adoption and initiate healthy loving conversations. I think having “rituals” in place, where the parents can hold space for the child and honor the loss and feelings would be tremendously beneficial, that way the child can integrate their truth into reality and not repress it.
- Deal with your infertility issues before you adopt. We are not your infertility counselors. I’m not interested in your Infertility, I’m interested in my real mother and my real father and my brothers and sisters. We will never share DNA, medical history, mirroring, and probably not athletic, music, and education choices. That does not make me defective. I may be rejected by your favorite relatives; will you choose them or me? Adoption has more losses for a child than infertility has for you. The losses are permanent. You can no more replace a mother than an adopted baby can replace your dream child. It’s a recipe for disaster. Adoption is not a one time event – it’s a daily reminder of a catastrophic loss for the adoptee. I personally will never love you more than my bio mother, but I can learn to love you – that’s up to you and how hard you are willing to work.
- Don’t adopt the child with some pre-conceived idea of what that child should be. Don’t adopt that child if you don’t think you have it in you to love them just as if you were their biological parents. Don’t adopt them thinking they will complete you somehow, and then resent them when they don’t complete you. Do some serious soul searching. What are your goals and expectations from adoption? Also, learn about the child’s heritage and raise them with some knowledge of that and incorporate some of the traditions of their heritage into their upbringing.
- Don’t take the identity off the child. Tell it as it really is from day one. None of our children are ours to keep or own they will all leave when they want to. But every child must have the same rights to knowledge, identity, genetics, original name even. You cannot make them into something there not. You are lying to yourself if you think you can. And if you cant have children then there is a message in that. Love them but set them free.
- Why aren’t you adopting from Foster Care?
- Dont Adopt. Why are you really doing it. To conform to society? To look the same as your friends? To fill a void? Help keep marriage together? Desperate for a Baby? That is the worst reason of all.
- I would ask are you prepared to have a child that is grieving for someone that can never be you
- Personally for me I never and still do not feel like I’m a part of their family. My advice would be only give a child to a couple who has no other bio child as u can never compete with that love. The next would be for the child to have access to a councilor while growing up to talk though the everyday things that come with being adopted. I had good parents growing up and since have had contact with my birth parents but the wounds of being adopted run deep.
- Adoption as a last resort but if it’s necessary, complete honesty/openness, answer every question and become experts in separation trauma with appropriate expert therapists available as early as is required.
- Consider what the worst case scenario you can imagine could happen and then take a long hard look at your life to make sure you could handle that or that you could find help handling that. Adopted kids don’t necessarily have more issues than other kids, but we do have different issues than other kids. You might consider seeking out a therapist that is well versed in adoption issues before you adopt so you can get some kind of idea before you go through the process.
- Read the book primal wound.
- Keep seeking advice from adult adoptees, we have lived it. We know more about adoption than anyone in the equation.
- I would tell them to be aware and mindful of the challenges that will arise. Loving and raising a child as your own , as beautiful as it is, does not erase the trauma of being adopted. I would tell the parents to be open and as honest as possible when you and the child are ready for that conversation. I would also tell parents adopting a child to listen to understand instead of listening to respond. As an adoptee myself, I just wanted my parents ,who raised me from six months old to listen. That’s it. It is a challenging but rewarding journey if the necessary steps are taken to make sure that the child is taken care of physically, mentally and emotionally.
- We aren’t “heroes”, we aren’t “chosen”, or “special”, you are not their savior, you are their parent. That’s all. Don’t treat us differently, be understanding, listen when they need to get their feelings out and allow them an outlet to do so. If they want to find their family, let them, support them and love them.
- Know what issues an adopted children will face. Remember that they have lost their first family and make sure you reassure they are loved no matter what. Talk about both families. Never say how lucky or blest they are. Listen and listen some more
- I am not your child…..I am a child in your care. I cannot and will not replace the child you wish came from your womb. I am not responsible from whence I came, and if I had a choice I would be with my own tribe. I can learn to love you with care that takes into consideration the trauma of my loss. As I grow I will have questions I have every right to have answered with the truth, the real truth, not the “Rose coloured glasses” truth. I am not perfect, I am not anymore blessed by adoption than you are by infertility. I am as important as any future children you may have, your own or someone else’s. I do not look like you and if we share any common traits, enjoy my uniqueness and don’t take credit for something you or I had no control over. I am special because I exist and you are special because you gave me a chance to be myself.
- Do not adopt a baby/toddler because of your infertility problem or your selfishness to have a baby that is not yours. If you wish to help a child, foster older children in the foster care system until their families get themselves together to take care of Their child. I am an adoptee and the only place i belonged in this world was in my birth mother’s arms. No woman will ever replace a birth mother. You want to help, help the poor mother keep her baby.
- Before bedtime : expect that challenging times hard difficult ones will always be there adoption is a trauma for the adopted children and will always be a part of their lives in 1 way or another.
- Since most adoptions today are open ones an adoptive family would have to feel comfortable with sharing the child with their biological parent(s).
- Adopt for the right reason.
If you would like to add to this collaboration please email email@example.com OR leave your comment here.
Do you have any comments? Please Leave Them Here.
Haley Radke is an adult adoptee experiencing a healthy reunion relationship with her biological father as well as secondary rejection from her biological mother. She desires to connect with fellow adoptees and share their stories. Haley believes that having deep and meaningful conversations with adoptees will help to spread the truth about the adoption experience.
I was born in 1983 and relinquished immediately. I was placed with my adoptive parents ten days after birth and grew up as an only child. My adoptive parents were elementary school teachers, and struggled with infertility. They adopted me at a later age in life and I became their sole focus. Everyone did their best, but my adoption wasn’t talked about frequently and I often fantasized about my birth mother coming back for me.
I struggled with many of the classic adoptee issues: rejection, abandonment, fear of intimacy, trust issues, struggling to understand my identity, becoming a chameleon as a way of being accepted, low self-esteem, compliance and people pleasing, depression, suicidal thoughts. Growing up, I never related these to being adopted, I just assumed I was broken and thought many times, “no wonder she didn’t want me”.
My desire to know where I came from was overwhelming all through my teen years, and once I turned 18 I applied for my non-identifying information. Not long after, the Alberta government opened up adoption records, allowing me to at last have the adoption documents and paperwork that revealed my given name at birth as Ashley Amber. I finally came to know who my mother and father were.
I found my birthmother when I was 22; we had a brief reunion that lasted about four months. She cut off contact with me. Our reunion brought up many painful memories for her and I’ve always thought it became overwhelming for her and that’s why she decided to end our relationship. I’ve had the full range of emotions with regards to this secondary rejection. Denial, anger, sorrow, and now I’ve come to a place of compassion for her, yet I still have an intense reluctance to let the possibility of this relationship go. I desperately want a connection with her, even after the pain of losing her a second time. We have so many similarities, I would love to get to know her deeply. I’ve reached out multiple times, sending flowers, letters, cards…I don’t know if she will ever allow me into her life again. I hold out hope for that day of reconnection.
I was 27 when on a whim I searched for my biological father on facebook. Reunion with my Dad has been one of the most rewarding and absolutely hardest things I’ve ever done. We have hit the highs and had some equally low points, including a time when I considered ending the relationship. There was quite a lot of pain to deal with and it was difficult. With the help of a skilled therapist (who had a great deal of experience with adoption), we worked hard to build a healthy relationship, which we still enjoy today.
My Dad’s wife is exceptional, and she has been an absolute treasure for me to build a relationship with. We share a deep faith in Jesus and that has helped solidify our unique relationship. She’s become a close friend and also holds a place in my heart as another mother figure. In reunion with my Dad, I also gained three siblings. A brother and two sisters. My (half-)siblings have gone from a place of complete shock, in discovering my existence, to a place of including me as their full sister. It’s been a beautiful gift, and though I cherish the time with them, I certainly mourn the loss of their first years-when I didn’t know they existed.
Reunion has been excruciating. Painful and healing and ugly and restorative. There’s no way to describe it to someone who hasn’t experienced it. Now knowing the fragility of even a biological bond, I treasure it all the more.
Adoptee issues are real, and they stem from a deep wound of rejection. Having my birthmother reject me from the moment she found out she was pregnant impacted my spirit with a deep wound. I believed I was unwanted, and therefore unworthy of love or acceptance. All of this deep-rooted self-hatred could not be made up for with love, attention, money, opportunities…any of the promises that the adoption machine has made.
I have been suicidal twice in my life, once when I was 12 and again when I was 19. I literally believed I was unlovable, and not worthy of living. If you believe those things about yourself, they are lies. Lies that have taken hold in a deep place, and that are extremely hard to break. I have had four or five different counselors, therapists and psychologists over the last dozen years of my life. However, I only discovered my deep woundedness (from adoption) in the last few years. There are many different healing tools offered to me, here are my most helpful suggestions for you.
- Reading – You’re already doing this! Adoptee memoirs, books, and blogs alike have so much wisdom available to you. Read what others’ have gone through, are going through, and what they’ve found helpful. You’ll always be able to pick up tips and advice from these sources.
- Writing – Journalling has never been a good fit for me, but I have found much relief in writing letters to those in my adoption triad with my feelings of rejection (to my birthparents), or lack of understanding (to my adoptive parents) and admitting self-hatred (to myself). Write letters where you pour out your heart, and every deep feeling that you could never ever say out loud, all the ugliness and darkness that you’ve kept inside. Write it, get it out of yourself… and then shred or burn or destroy those letters. These are not meant to share, so don’t hold back.
- Sharing – Sharing our stories is immensely powerful. Find another adoptee to share your story with. Someone who understands the things you’re going through. I have had many deep conversations with friends over the years about my adoptee issues and no one can understand you quite like a fellow adoptee.
- Listening – Hearing other adoptees on this journey has helped me to say, “me too!”. Nothing can be more validating than knowing you aren’t alone. Do share your own story, but also listen for others’ stories. You will find great healing in listening. Don’t know any adoptees? (Insert shameless plug here!) Listen to my podcast, Adoptees On. You will hear some amazing stories and find some insight, I promise. Get online, get onto facebook, on twitter, and find an adoptee community and listen. It is imperative!
- Do. The. Work. Make yourself a priority, and get into therapy. Find someone who understands adoptee issues (and if there’s no one in your area that does, you can be the first to educate them!) and get to work. You’ve got wounds and along with those come some bad habits. Nasty self-talk, self-sabotage, people-pleasing, perfectionism… you know what they are. Do the work to talk about these issues and deal with them. We may be wounded, but do not stay stuck! We’re adults now, and it’s time to do the hard things.
- Healing Prayer – (If you are a not a Christian, this may not be your cup of tea, just skip ahead!) I’ve done multiple sessions of healing prayer which has involved forgiving my biological parents for rejecting me, and having Jesus speak into particularly painful moments. I will never forget the vision I received during one of these sessions. I was asked, “where was Jesus when you were alone in the hospital, waiting to be adopted?”. I closed my eyes and began to weep. I saw myself as an infant in a cold, sterile bassinet. I’m tiny, helpless and I have no voice. But Jesus. Jesus is there, beside me. He’s standing beside me, with one hand on mine, gentle and loving. And He is calling the nurses, summoning them to me whenever He knows that I’m in need of their attention. At last, I knew that though I was unplanned, unwanted and subsequently rejected by my biological mother and father, I wasn’t alone. If you’d like more information about Healing Prayer, send me a message and I’d be pleased to direct you to where you can find this ministry.
I’ll admit I am completely in love with podcasts and have been an avid listener for many years. Earlier this year I was inspired to create my own podcast, featuring fellow adoptees. Podcasts are such an amazing platform to share our stories, because it’s such an intimate medium. As you listen, you can feel included in the discussion. Our adoptee voices are most often left out of the adoption conversation. Listening to another adoptee share their story, including their innermost pains, ups and downs in their search, reunion and sometimes secondary rejection…it’s an amazing opportunity to feel both understood and connected. I encourage you to listen and it’s also a great non-threatening way to share with the people in your life who may not understand your perspective as an adoptee.
As adoptees, we may be wounded, but we’re resilient. Stay strong, do the hard work, and find someone who understands your situation. You’re not alone, we’re in this together.
I’ve been on a healing journey for 5 years.
I should be DEAD right now!
A good friend sang this song at church today, and it blew me away!
Listen Up. It’s for you too!
“You thought I was worth saving, You came and changed my life. You thought I was worth keeping, You cleaned me up inside. You thought I was to die for, So you sacrificed your life so I could be FREE, so I could be whole, so I could tell everyone I know!” -Anthony Brown
I’m telling everyone I know God get’s the GLORY!
Over that 5 year period little by little tools that have helped me heal have been brought to my attention. I have yet to find a place where many of them are listed in one space for easy accessibility.
What am I healing from? Abandonment, rejection, grief, loss & trauma from my adoption experience and from LIFE. With little to no resources available for adoptees I was on my own in finding healing tools that would work for me. I decided I would share the tools I have found to help me in hopes these tools can enlighten and help other adoptees somewhere out there. I have come into contact with hundreds of adoptees all over the world who are seeking HEALING & FREEDOM. I ask them all the time, “What has helped you heal?” Sadly most of the time I hear, “Nothing!” Some are completely hopeless but I am here to give you a message of HOPE.I find it takes HOURS for me to share all the resources and most of the time I never can share them ALL. Now they are in one spot in hopes to sharing with MORE adoptees.
I will share by stating the tool used and how it helped me. I will also share the link where you can find this information when applicable. Please share with your fellow adoptees and in your online communities. Please note I am not speaking for all adoptees as a whole. I say “Many of us” to eliminate categorizing all adoptees as having struggles. Some of us do and some don’t. It’s that simple. I’m sharing these healing tools for those adoptees that do struggle. I will also share, this is a lot. Please take your time and know that what has worked for me might not work for you.
To my fellow hurting adoptees-
This post is dedicated to you!❤
We all deserve healing and freedom & Its available to each and every one of us!
I realize not all those who might read this will have the same spiritual Christian beliefs I do and that’s okay. I love you all the same. ❤
Last but not least, if you are NOT an adoptee and you come across this page, feel free to apply these suggestions to any area of your life where applicable.These resources are definitely not limited to adoptees only. Please share with your communities because there are adopted people everywhere who could benefit. I know this is A LOT of information. Take baby steps. One at a time. Be easy on yourself.
Blessings & Love,
- First Thing First- You are STRONG! Please believe and know in your heart of hearts. I am here to tell you that YOU ARE STRONG. There is not one adoptee on the planet that isn’t a strong person. What we have experienced in life is nothing that a sissy could handle. IJS! I’m so serious about this. Write it down, put it all over your house. “I AM STRONG”. Repeat, Repeat, REPEAT.❤🙂
- You are NOT Alone!- I hear this from adoptees from almost every single one that crosses my path. I felt this way most of my life. I am here to tell you today that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. That is one of the enemys # 1 tactics to make people feel alone. Well it is a lie. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly”. There are an army of adoptees out here to support you! You just hadn’t found them yet. We are here. We aren’t going anywhere. Please believe you are not alone. Start using hashtage #adoptee and you will see. We are here, and God is ALWAYS with you!❤ Which brings me to my next point.
- God- God and His word have been the biggest and greatest healing tool I have yet to discover. He get’s the #1 spot in my world and he always will. This means I believe GOD is who He say’s He is, and He’s going to do what He said He was going to do. Why you might ask? Let me share a little of what it costs to me ME. If you only knew all the places I’ve been in life.
By looking at me now, YOU WOULD NEVER BELIEVE IT!I was abandoned by my birth mother when I was born, I was kept as her dirty little secret even from my own birth father. SHAME & REGRETI was raised in a home where I witnessed my adoptive mother trying to commit suicide in front of me multiple times. More TraumaShe also tied us to chairs with dish towels, just to make us “behave”. Prescription pain pill addiction plagued this home. My adoptive mother had manic depressive episodes and deep rooted depression that resulted in me being mother-less even when I was adopted. My needs were never met, I was her caretaker my entire life. Until I escaped in 2005.This resulted in feeling like the mother daughter bond was always broken, because it was. I had no security or safe place. I was stuck in this home with no way out. I was angry, rage filled as a teenager and many of my adult years. Sexually abused when I visited my adoptive dad every other weekend by a older step brother. I was raped as a teenager. I ran away as a teenager, was in and out of alcohol and drug rehab, in group homes and learned very destructive patters at a very young age by being in the streets. I fought A LOT. Went to juvenile jail A LOT. I lost a baby at 15 because of the abusive relationship I was in. I was in many physically abusive relationships as an adult because I had no self love. I had a fractured chest bone, black eyes, a broken nose, stitches between my eyes, all from men. As an adult I was in jail for assault for fighting, I got a DUI and I was in the streets. I experimented with many drugs in my life, but alcohol was my thing. That DUI cost me $355.00 a drink that night! I hated the world and everyone in it. I hurt people and people hurt me. I depended on alcohol to take all the pain away for 26 years of my life. Partying was the only escape for me. [Only sharing because I want you to see I HAVE BEEN PLACES! DARK PLACES!]BUT GOD- God saved me! He has RESTORED ME! HEALED MY HURT! ERASED MY PAST! I live a brand new life now. 2 Cor 5:17 He wants the same for YOU!❤ I’ve been living a SOBER LIFE on August 13, 2012. I have made the choice to receive my Hope and Faith from God and the Holy Spirit and HIS WORD. God has changed my life, forever! I gave my life to Christ in 2009 and it was the best decision I have ever made. That was the first most important step. Many of us have baggage from past life’s hurts. It’s critical to HEAL those hurts, no matter what they are BEFORE we will ever be able to live the happy prosperous life God has for all of us! We can put a band-aid on it but that’s a temporary fix. It always creeps back. Healing takes HARD WORK and DEDICATION. You have to go THROUGH the pain again but God can help you do this. The only way to receive this help is by believing in Him and receiving Him today. If you would like to receive Christ to live in your heart it’s the best decision you will have ever made. Healing and HOPE is possible. This is the ONLY way Healing is possible in my humble opinion. After this decision, God placed other tools, and resources available for me to work on my issues but receiving Him as my Lord & Savior is the #1 tool to move towards healing. It’s not about the religion, it’s about the RELATIONSHIP.
If you are interested in receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior please reach out to me! Here is a helpful link with some great information in taking that very important step. Prayer of Salvation
- God’s Word– The Bible has been an amazing tool for me in my healing process. I know I mentioned it above, but aside from my relationship with Jesus Christ the word of God is something I have stood on. It’s brought me great healing knowing that God knows my hurt, my pain and my tears. It gives me Faith and Hope that in His word he says we will all be healed and made whole AND he knows our pain. When we believe His word we must RECEIVE His word. This means everything in the Bible is true. I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried EVERYTHING this world has to offer to fill the void, ease the pain, numb my soul. Sex, drugs, alcohol, people, places and things; NOTHING has been fulfilling aside from God and His word. The more you dive into the word, even when you don’t understand it the more you will begin to understand it. Here is a link to purchase a Bible that I have found to understand the best- The Message Version. The Message Bible The other GREAT thing, You can find this same version for FREE on the Bible App. Here is the link. The Bible App They even have audio!🙂
- Prayer- Prayer is simple. It’s communication with God. Sometimes pictures are painted where you have to pray a certain place and a certain way but God wants a relationship with you SO BAD, he will take prayer any way any time of day. Prayer is very important. We must give God thanks through our prayers, share our hearts desires, what we are believing for and pray for others and our world. There really is no right or wrong way. Prayer has been a major healing tool for me and IT WORKS! Here is an article I found extremely helpful and it’s from the legendary Billy Graham. This will give you some more details on how to communicate with God. How Do I Talk To God?
- Church Home- One of the most amazing healing tools I have found so far aside from the 3 listed above is my church. My church is a safe place for me. I am not a religious person, nor do I participate in any denomination.
I believe religion separates and divides, that is not of God. IMHOMy church is a place filled with love and most importantly God and the Holy Spirit. If you aren’t at a church where you have the presence of the Holy Spirit I am here to tell you that you are missing out on something more than wonderful! I don’t attend church for anyone other than God because I want to honor Him, and grow closer to Him and receive His word. I love my Pastor Marion Dalton and because of all His sermons I have finally been able to see things in a different light than what I ever have before. I am so thankful for my church and my pastor! If you don’t have a church home, I truly believe it will be an amazing healing place for you. It only takes some action on your part. I used to be one of the lukewarm Christians and I said, “Oh, I don’t need to go to church to have a relationship with God!” I am here to say it’s almost impossible to have a growing relationship with God and flourish in his Kingdom if we don’t find a church and attend and learn and grow. The Bible says the Church is the Bride of Christ so I KNOW the CHURCH is very important to God. We must go to honor Him and get planted so we can grow. The alternative is to become stagnant and not be rooted anywhere. When the crap hits the fan the devil will have a field day with us. So IMHO Church is extremely important and it’s a Hospital for the hurting people. IT IS A HEALING PLACE! We’re ALL hurting people!❤
- Church Family- I know, I know.. All this churchy Christian advice. I promised I would tell you what has worked for me. ALL OF IT. So this is what has worked for me. These things have brought me healing. If you have never had a real true church family I promise you that you are really missing out. My church family is a VERY important part of my life and my kids lives. I promise I wouldn’t lie to you. I have spiritual mothers and father and spiritual brothers and sisters. They have been there when the crap hits the fan and came through when no one else was anywhere in sight. They have prayed relentlessly when crisis’s come and I have been able to build some of the most amazing life long relationships with them and that’s a GOD SEND. A church family is CRITICAL to healing. What’s your experience with a church family? Are you searching? What kind of church are you looking for?
- Ask for Prayer from Spiritual Warriors & Elders in Your Church- It took me years to do this. I was living in a great deal of FEAR. I guess I liked living in the pain too much? I don’t know but finally when my misery outweighed my FEAR I reached out to my spiritual momma. Deanie Cinnamon prayed over me that the spirit of unwantedness & shame be removed from my body. I had to BELIEVE this prayer was going to work. I had to RECEIVE IT. And it worked. Another time I was expressing an agony about a situation regarding my adoptive mom. She prayed the spirit of TORMENT be removed from my body. I had to believe it and it worked! When I went forward to receive prayer from my pastor I had to BELIEVE IT AND RECEIVE IT. I had to go forward, God was not going to chase me down. I share this because God gives us tools in the Bible and we all have the availability to use these tools to help hurting people! We all have the choice to go find our spiritual warriors and spiritual family and ask them to pray for us! Healing is POSSIBLE to those who believe. I believed it and it’s brought me GREAT HEALING! It can do the same for you!
- Praise & Worship- This might be way out of the field for some people, and that’s okay. Remember, I’m just sharing what has worked for me. I have my praise and worship music on 24/7 where ever I am at making the CHOICE to tune into the Holy Spirit. It is never turned off. Every room I am in, driving my car and even at work I listen to my Spotify Praise & Worship Playlist. It keeps the enemy at bay and he doesn’t stand a chance at getting into my thoughts as much as he would otherwise. This is a HUGE part of my life. I even play it when I go to sleep at night.
Keeps bad dreams away.I promise you it has brought me LOTS of healing, and it works!
- Willingness & Surrender- If you truly want to heal you will have the WILLINGNESS to do whatever it takes to embark on a journey of healing. You will have the willingness to say “Okay God, I can’t do this on my own and I need your HELP! I surrender!”. We must all have the willingness or healing is not possible. For me, my pain became so great that I was desperate to do whatever it took to heal. I didn’t want to live with a broken heart my whole life. I didn’t want to be sad forever. I didn’t want to be angry. So I had the WILLINGNESS to do whatever God put in my path and I started asking for help. Then God put more tools in my life. In order to heal the pain we have to feel the pain. This is for every hurt, habit or hang-up in life. Are you ready for that? Is your misery that bad? Mine was! I am not ashamed. I needed HELP! Are you willing to do ANYTHING to heal? Is your pain that great?
- Faith- What is Faith? “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” – Hebrews 11:1. Ephesians 2:8-9 makes it clear that faith is a gift from God, not because we deserve it, have earned it, or are worthy to have it. It is not from ourselves; it is from God. We must have Faith that God can and will heal our hurts. If we believe it we will receive it. If you are at a place with no faith, I am here to tell you I have faith for you and I will stand in the gap for you until you are at a place of Faith. I believe we can all receive God’s healing. But Faith is a pivotal step in this process. How’s your faith these days?
- Forgiveness- This is a major healing part of our journeys. I was angry at my birth mother, my adoptive mother and I absolutely despised 99% of adoptive parents I came into contact with. I had a deep seeded resentment against them. Why? For many reasons I won’t get into here. See Adoptees, Why Are You So Angry? for a look at why I and other adoptees might feel this way. I’m being TRANSPARENT here because I know there are other adoptees that struggle with some if not all of these things. I HATED ADOPTION and THE ADOPTION INDUSTRY. I still struggle with much of this today. Hey, I’m working on it and at least I can be transparent here. I never said I was perfect, only moving daily towards making progress. I am in recovery and healing for the rest of my life. I do know forgiveness has been a HUGE key factor in my healing. WE HAVE TO FORGIVE! Have you read the links where unforgiveness and bitterness is linked to CANCER and SICKNESS? Read This: The Deadly Consequences of Unforgiveness Not to mention the Bible commands us to forgive others as Christ has forgiven us. WE MUST FORGIVE. Here is an EXCELLENT and highly recommended article on Forgiveness and what it means.
- Acceptance- Have you accepted LIFE on LIFE’S terms? When we can’t accept things for what they are, we don’t truly process the emotions that go along with whatever it is we need to accept. In order to TRULY FEEL IT TO HEAL IT. I had to accept it. It HURT but this was a KEY STEP in my healing process. No matter what happened in the past I can’t change the fact that I was adopted, or anything else for that matter. I would give anything to be NOT adopted but that’s impossible. I spent most of my life HATING it and being ANGRY and still feel that way sometimes.But my hate was/is only hurting myself and I didn’t want to carry that burden anymore. Adoption is rooted and grounded in LOSS then comes GRIEF and TRAUMA. It happened. The sooner we can accept it is a part of our lives and there is NOTHING we can do to change it the sooner we can move forward to heal from the pain adoption has caused. This promotes healing. Where are you on this topic?
- Putting it on the SHELF- What in the world could this mean? LOL Well… I have a analogy I use. When something comes my way and I have no control over it and I can’t change it I take it and I visually put it up on the shelf. I do this daily, sometimes hourly! It’s an imaginary shelf
don’t judge me! but for whatever reason the visualization of doing this HELPS ME A LOT. Why a shelf? Well the shelf is me giving it to God. I put it up there, it never gets filled up but it keeps going higher and higher and higher. I put “things” on the shelf ALL THE TIME! Things meaning issues, people, hurt feelings, decisions I can’t make, things out of my control, other peoples problems, etc. Maybe another analogy will work better for you? I needed an action step behind praying and giving things to God. This has been great healing for me. You should try it! Do whatever works for you? Kick it in the closet? Throw it out the window? Put it in the dresser drawer? We are not designed to carry burdens without God helping us. Giving things to God has helped me tremendously.
- Turning Anger into Something Positive- Anger is a natural response to many things in life. Grief, Loss, Trauma, Hurt, Pain can all cause anger.
If you are quick to label an adoptee as an “Angry Adoptee” please stop. Many of us are hurting and we don’t know of the tools to heal or have resources available. Try being understanding and listening without judgement. You just might learn something.Many people think anger is a negative force, but I must share I believe it to be a negative force when we respond to anger in a negative way. We all have a choice on what we do with this emotion. It can be a very motivating force to create change, promote healing and to push towards goals and fixing problems in our lives. We must understand that anger isn’t always bad, as long as its used for a positive purpose. I was angery most of my life, and still do sometimes but I also never had anyone pouring into me trying to HELP ME use it for God’s glory. TODAY things are different. I had to pray and ask God to help me do something positive with this anger. Many things were birthed because of this prayer and step in my life. We must find out what God wants to do to turn our anger into something positive. It’s critical to our healing process.
- DNA Testing- The next time someone says “What do you want for your birthday or Christmas?” tell them a DNA kit from Ancestry DNA. I am telling you so many adoptees are finding out so many truths with DNA testing. I highly recommend it and found this to be an amazing avenue towards healing. I lived my entire life not knowing my nationality. I never knew my medical history. I had no DNA connections to anyone.Getting my DNA tested provided me with the answers my heart always desired. After you get your DNA testing done, you can download your raw data and upload it to Promethease and obtain a genetic testing report for $5. That’s IT! $5 can get you answers you have waited your entire life for. This brings major healing to find out our truth.
- Transparency- Being adoptees, many of us are groomed by society in general that we shouldn’t be sad or upset about our adoption experiences. Some of us are in denial. For many of us, there is no room for our grief, loss and sadness. Deep down many of us feel a deep unshakable sadness and a longing to know who we are and where we come from. As we reach our adult lives, many things can trigger us. Some adoptees aren’t bothered a bit, and some
like meare bothered a lot. I have seen all variations. Holding things in and not sharing how you really feel is not healthy at all. Honesty and transparency on how we feel is critical to the healing process. Jeremiah 6:14 says “You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there!” Please believe this is true. You are not alone in your feelings and being transparent is the ONLY way you will be able to heal.
- Celebrate Recovery- Celebrate Recovery is the World’s leading Christ-centered Recovery Ministry and it’s designed to assist someone in overcoming life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups. This means abandonment, rejection, physical, sexual, emotional abuse, co-dependency, anger, rage, divorce, sexual issues, drugs, alcohol, control, self-esteem and any other issue big or small you can imagine. This means this ministry is an umbrella ministry that works miracles for everyone. I learned that abandonment, rejection and abuse of any kind are the root issues for peoples dysfunctional lifestyle habits and behaviors. For me, being adopted was one of my root sources of pain, alcohol use was just a symptom of that pain. The difference between Celebrate Recovery (CR) and many other recovery outlets available is CR names their higher power, Jesus Christ. CR is rooted and grounded in prayer. This ministry literally saved my life! It helped me with the tools I needed to be able to work on my issues and met me with love, compassion and acceptance and understanding. You can find a Celebrate Recovery ministry near you by clicking this link. Celebrate Recovery Locator
- Blogging/Writing/Journaling- This has been a major healing tool for me and I hope and desire it will be a healing outlet for you as well. We all need a “Safe Place” to share our feelings on how it feels to be adopted. We need our OWN space. It can be a notebook, a private online blog, a public blog, writing a book or a memoir. I highly recommend blogging. What has blogging done for me? It’s created a healing place where I can read back in time and see how far I’ve grown. I can share it with other adoptees and they will know they aren’t alone. I will see I’m not alone. It’s a space where no one can tell me how to feel
this is important to adoptees!and they can’t interrupt me. They can’t silence me with silencer statements. It’s a place of control for me which is another topic many adoptees struggle with. I can control all things that go in and out of my blog and what I share and don’t share. I actually use all 3 blogging, writing and journaling as healing tools. I recommend WordPress as a FREE online blogging source and it also has a wonderful APP that is easy to use from your cell phone. Templates are easy. Please consider setting up your own blog. I also have a blog/journal that’s my communication with God. This is one of my most healing and freeing places. WE MUST WRITE! It’s a major healing source for many of us. See the Adoptee Blog Roll here on my page. I have listed over 6o adult adoptee bloggers and adding daily! You aren’t alone!
- Please Understand that If Someone Isn’t Adopted, They Don’t Understand Us- The quicker we can come to a place of acceptance of this the easier things will become. I remember back when I started my healing recovery journey. I was so frustrated that I would share my experience, pain, sadness, grief and loss and all I got from those around me was silencer statements like “Aren’t you thankful you weren’t aborted?” or “Aren’t you thankful she chose life?”. Adoptees understand this is adding insult to injury and avoiding the fact that we are TRYING to share a deep part of our lives but non-adoptees have no clue how they are hurting us. What’s a symptom of grief & loss? Anger, if the grief and loss aren’t acknowledged then it can come out in anger and rage. That said; if someone isn’t adopted they can’t understand us because there are too many dynamics and without the experience it’s impossible. Therapist that have years and years of training can’t truly understand us unless they are adopted. Adoptive parents or Birth Parents who “THINK” they know all there is to know about adoption can’t understand us. I am not saying they can’t TRY because there are some that TRY to sympathize and TRY to understand us. To fully understand us they would have to be one of us. I get great comfort in knowing that GOD understands us and knows our pain. It’s helped me be content with other’s not knowing or understanding. This brought me healing. Most people (not all) honestly don’t know what to say to us. They have been groomed by society that adoption is a wonderful thing
and sometimes it can be but what they fail to acknowledge is that it is rooted and grounded in loss. Many non-adoptees don’t know what to say or what to do. People want us to feel better so without understanding they are hurting us further by not just listening, but offering unsolicited advice from a topic they simply can’t relate too they try to “FIX” us. I gave up many moons ago to try to get a non-adoptee to try to understand me UNLESS they are interested and WILLING to learn. There are very few! It’s sort of like me not knowing what its like to be divorced, because I have never been divorced. I have accepted this and forgiven them in advance. It was only hurting me to try to get them to understand, and acceptance they never possibly can has brought me healing.
- Back to the Womb Ministries- OMG OMG OMG! I can’t even begin to express how AMAZING this healing exercise was for me! My spiritual momma Deanie Cinnamon came to my aide one day in 2015. I was in a state of misery. I was seriously suffering from a GREAT mother wound and a HUGE broken heart regarding my adoption experience. I had this huge feeling of wishing I was never born and being angry I was, wishing I was aborted. THE PAIN WAS THAT GREAT! I had a feeling of unwantedness attached to me that I was born with due to my birth mother not wanting me, rejecting the pregnancy and handing me over to strangers to raise. I lived with this most of my life. I obsessed with wondering if my birth mother ever held me when I was born, what was the room like that day and if she named me. I wondered if she cried or if she was happy to get it over with. I know adoptees get it. Non-adoptees can’t possible understand. To them it’s just a “CHOICE” we choose to feel this way and ponder on the negative and past. In all honesty when traumas happen some people have to go through extensive therapy to work toward healing so until that happens for many people (not just adoptees) we feel like we are at a dead end and healing isn’t possible. Depression and Anxiety can set in ESPECIALLY when we don’t have any tools or the right ones that work for us. Nonetheless this HEALING TOOL was the most amazing experience. Ms. Deanie happened to get back from a training conference for 2 Hours to Freedom by Dr. Charles Kraft. She shared all the enlightening information with me about 2 Hours to Freedom and when I told her my feelings of the deep mother wound and I just couldn’t get out of this deep dark pit I was in she shared an exercise with me. This exercise is about 15 minutes long and I kid you not, after this exercise my life was changed! I don’t want to give it all away but I am sharing the link with you because hope and PRAY you are able to get the same healing as I did. Here is the link. Back to the Womb I also recommend purchasing Dr. Charles Krafts Books Here. He’s amazing and works a lot with healing. Please let me know if you watch the video and if it impacted you even a little bit. How did it make you feel? I will write about my experience soon in a blog post.
- How Does It Feel To Be Adopted Community- I will never forget a moment in October 2012 where I was in a small group setting and it was the very first time in my life I spoke out loud about my birth mother. As I let the words “Birth Mother” come out of my mouth I immediately began to weep and cry. Before you know it snot was slinging and I was a hot mess. I had never shared with other people how it felt being adopted and my heart break for the loss of my birth mother. Before I could finish saying what I was going to say an adoptive mom interrupted me and said loudly “YOU DON’T KNOW ADOPTION LIKE I KNOW ADOPTION!” I was floored. I was not in any shape to battle or even discuss things any further. I shut down and never said another word. I left in tears. Distraught because it seemed to me all the equations in the adoption “triangle” seem to be able to share their voice EXCEPT the ADOPTEE. Our voice is silenced, shut down, and not welcomed and we are labeled “Angry” or “An adoptee that just had a “BAD EXPERIENCE“.We are treated like perpetual children in the world for many reasons. Although this experience was extremely difficult for me it sparked me to create a safe place for adoptees to share how it feels to be adopted. This community has grown to close to 4000 “Likes” and its a very active online community. The unique thing about “How Does it Feel to Be Adopted” is that its a “ALL ADOPTEE COMMENTING ZONE” meaning adoptees are the only ones welcome to comment because we are the only ones who know how it feels to be adopted. The world can see and read our comments and how we feel which helps them LEARN from us, but they are no allowed to comment. This is the only setting I am aware of that is set up this way. It’s an open dialog for adoptees to ask other adoptees for support regarding certain topics regarding our adoptee journeys. It’s been a MAJOR source of healing and networking for adoptees all over the world. I know this because I have received countless amounts of messages, emails and communication with adoptees and they tell me how much this community means to them and how it’s helped them heal. The more we band together with those who “Get It” the more we understand we aren’t alone. If you haven’t joined this community yet PLEASE do so today!
- Share Your Story on the How Does It Feel To Be Adopted Blog- We have a blog just for YOU! I created this blog because there are places adoptees have to share their stories, but there are guidelines or some are turned away. I have felt many times that being turned away was rejection and I know that hits pretty hard for adoptees. I decided to create the How Does it Feel to Be Adopted? – Blog so no adoptee is turned away. Click that link and it will take you to the about section. You will find a few very minor guidelines and what I would need. The next step is to get to writing. Your story matters and you matter. This page is set up for YOU!
- The Primal Wound- Understanding the Adopted Child by Nancy Newton Verrier- This book is a MUST READ for adoptees. Really anyone impacted by adoption in anyway will greatly benefit but especially adoptees. I will never forget reading this book and all the “Aha” moments I had as I turned the pages. It was the first time in my life where everything finally made sense. It made so much sense I had to put the book back down and pick it back up many times because I was so overwhelmed in a good way. When you spend your entire life not even understanding all the dynamics yourself it is extremely moving to finally have some understanding and clarity. It brought me a HUGE amount of healing. You can purchase this book on Amazon for under $10 used here: The Primal Wound- Understanding the Adopted Child
- Adoptee Books & Memoirs- As a suggestion consider making an investment in starting a collection of adoptee books and memoirs. I have done this and not only am I supporting my fellow adoptees but I am also reading each one, understanding and absorbing each one. Every single story I have read so far I can resonate with much of it. It helped me realize I’m not alone, I’m not crazy for feeling the way I do and it gave me a broader perspective of what many other adoptees experience, not just myself. Lots of healing doing this. Soon I will have Adoptee Books & Memoirs listed here.
- Use Your Experience to Help Non-Adoptees Who Seek Advice from Adoptees at “Ask An Adoptee”– I created Ask An Adoptee after How Does it Feel to be Adopted. This page was ignited because we have a small population of non-adoptees who WANT TO LEARN FROM US. What better way to use our pain than to help adoptive parents and birth parents understand our perspective? We separated the 2 pages because questions from non-adoptees can be triggering to some adoptees. To create a safe place for adoptees this is also an “All Adoptee Commenting Zone”. Please check it out and read the “About Section” to learn more. If you are a non-adoptee reading please feel free to inbox us your questions. We are here to help. Sharing our feelings and offering support to those who need it is part of the healing process. Here is the link to this page.Ask An Adoptee
- Therapy- I highly suggest therapy from a therapist who understands complicated grief, loss and trauma and disenfranchised grief. Reach out to Nancy Verrier and she’s quick to get back to you in reference to adoptee therapists in your area.
- Find Someone Who Will Listen Without Silencing You- I have found that through my journey most people who aren’t adopted can’t understand it nor comprehend it so when we share about it they don’t know what to say. That said, the quickest way to get out of the conversation is to either shut us down and most the time they don’t even realize they are doing it or they change the subject, or use silencer statements. THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME! But we all need that ONE PERSON or that ONE FRIEND that will listen without judgement. I had to research “Active Listener” because I came to a place where I desperately needed someone in my life who would JUST LISTEN! We don’t need anyone to try to FIX US. I’ve found many people listen with the intent to reply and we really need them to listen with the intent to learn. It’s so frustrating for adoptees because no one wants to talk about uncomfortable topics so we shut down and keep everything inside. When that happens we feel extreme feelings that are not good. Sadness, anger, rage, low self esteem because we feel we aren’t important and our pain doesn’t matter. Anxiety and depression can set it. PLEASE TRY TO FIND THAT ONE PERSON, THAT ONE FRIEND that will let you SHARE your heart without judgement. Ask someone if they will be your accountability partner regarding this topic. Of course if you could find an adoptee you would be winning all the way across the board, but sometimes that’s not possible.
- Twitter & Social Media- I have a list on my Twitter of over 500 Adoptees. Why? Because we MUST connect with those who understand us and can relate to our journeys Click Here= 500+ Adoptee List Every time I connect with another adoptee I am able to tell them”YOU AREN’T ALONE!” I was alone for most of my life in this journey and I don’t wish it on my worst enemy. The first adoptee I ever connected with online was Jessenia Arias You can find her on Twitter at @iamadopted I can’t even express how much it meant for me to find another living human being that GOT IT. She brought me out of my deep hidden shell and taught me it’s okay to feel the way I do. We all must do this for one another. Now, I am returning the Gift God has given me in finding Jessenia and reaching out to other adoptees all over the world. You can use hashtag #adoptee #adopted #adoption and connect with adoptees everywhere. You can find me on Instagram under @howdoesitfeeltobeadopted OR @pwishes. Social Media, especially Twitter are great places to connect with your fellow adoptees. Connecting with those who “Get It” is HEALING.
- Start A Support Group- You notice I say “Start A Support Group” vs. “Find A Support Group”. This is because adoptee support groups are very rare to find. I have searched all over my area and there are none. I haven’t even found any in my state. We have got to change this. God has given me a vision and I am in the process of activating it. He told me over a year ago that I was not only going to have an online ministry reaching out to adoptees all over the world, I was going to reach out to them right here in my own community. Adoptees Connect-Lexington, KY is in the process of being rooted right here on my own comunity. You don’t need any qualifications to do it. Being adopted in itself is enough. You understand things that no one else understands. Read this over and over and consider starting an all adoptee support group in your city. If I can do it, so can you! I believe in you!
- Paul Sunderland- Lecture on Adoption & Addiction- This lecture blew me away when I first watched it and continues to do so each time. It is a major eye awakening video and a must see by everyone who is impacted by adoption. Learning is healing. Here is the lecture: Lecture on Adoption & Addiction
- Searching for Birth Families- This can be a frightening process for some adoptees. I could go on forever about this topic, but I wanted to share that every single person on this earth deserves to know who they are and where they come from. There are resources available to HELP YOU search for FREE. Never EVER EVER pay ANYONE TO HELP YOU SEARCH! Not even any adoptees. There are FREE resources available. Please reach out to Priscilla Stone- Sharp on Facebook AND Join Search Squad on Facebook. I will get a link together for some more search resources because there are too many for this space. Never give up HOPE in finding your family. In order to heal we must know our TRUTH.
- Understanding or Circumstances- I made the choice to start researching what birth mothers, first mothers went through in the baby scoop era and the years moving past it. WHY? Because I wanted to understand WHY? Why did my birth mother make this choice? Why did she reject me after meeting her? Many of us spend our entire lives living in the unknown and many of us never have been given the TRUTH as to WHY. By researching adoption as a whole I was able to gain a better understanding. I was able to put myself in my birth mothers shoes to have compassion for her and the decision she mad way back in 1974. The book The Girls Who Went Away was a wonderful healing tool for me. It takes you through countless stories of birth mothers and the era, and how they felt relinquishing their babies. Many were stolen. Another site I recommend is [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum Healing happens when we are able to understand better.
- Adoptees On- My great friend, fellow adoptee AND sister in Christ Haley Radke started her very own podcast called Adoptees On. This podcast is truly a gift to the adoptee/adoption community. Consider reaching out to Haley and sharing your story. Also, listen to your fellow adoptees podcasts. Yours truly will be aired sometime in November. Remember, Sharing is healing. We must share our stories. Your story matters and you deserve to be heard.
- Write Letters to Your Birth Parents- This is a great healing exercise. Some of us don’t even know who our birth parents are, yet this exercise can still bring us healing. Share in the letter how their decision has impacted you and how you feel about it. Share your feelings no matter what they are, good or bad. You can share this letter with an accountability person, a close friend or family member you trust or a therapist. Generally, most adoptees don’t send the letters but it does do wonders just to get the feelings off our chest. I wrote one to my birth mother years ago. The emotions were overwhelming but that’s a good thing. Remember, in order to heal it we must feel it.
- Research Abandonment PTSD- Again, in order to heal I wanted to learn as much as possible of the impact on a baby when a mother leaves us. Please check both these articles out. I am sure there are many more. Abandonment from our birth mothers is a real live trauma. The more we understand it’s impacts the more we can heal. PTSD of Abandonment Part 1 AND PTSD of Abandonment Part 2 I’m positive there are more resources out there so RESEARCH Abandonment & PTSD! This is REAL for MANY ADOPTEES.
- Research Attachment Theory & RAD- Many adoptees experience both or one or the other. It’s pretty complicating but there are resources available to help you understand better and learn. Learning about these things can bring healing in understanding WHY we are the way we are.
- Process Grief & Loss- I wrote a blog post about this one time. Here it is. Grief, Loss & Adoptees This is an extreme critical part of our healing process. The hardest part for many adoptees is society doesn’t acknowledge we should even go through this process. WHY? Because the world only has room for the glorifying adoption stories. The fact is, that we have lost A LOT. We ALL need to grieve those losses. What ever that looks like to you. Everyone is different. It’s a process and it doesn’t have a time frame. If someone lost a husband or a wife in a car wreck or to a horrible disease we wouldn’t tell them “Okay, it’s time you get over that and move on!”. But people say it to adoptees ALL THE TIME, or label us as dwelling on the past. Let me tell you something no one ever told me. We lost not one ENTIRE FAMILY but TWO. Our maternal side and our paternal side. THAT’S A LOT OF LOSS AND A LOT OF PEOPLE! Take your time, be easy on yourself and know that it’s all a process and things will get easier. But remember, WE HAVE TO FEEL IT IN ORDER TO HEAL IT. What has the healing process looked like to me? Writing, Crying, Crying and more CRYING. Talking to those who care to listen, more writing and more crying. The key is not getting STUCK. The enemy has tried his hardest to keep me stuck but he’s a lier and I refuse to spend the rest of my life grieving my losses. It’s a PROCESS. I can’t say it enough. We move through it. Read my blog post I shared above. Research the grief and loss process. IT WILL HELP YOUR HEALING.
- Identify Your Triggers- This is something I’m working on as we speak in therapy. Not just identifying them but working on them. This is a must. It’s better when we have a better understanding of all the things I have listed in this post. When we have an understanding of WHY we are the way we are, the triggers don’t seem so bad. We are actually NORMAL for having these triggers considering what we have experienced by being abandoned & rejected. Identifying triggers is a great part of the healing process, working on them brings more healing. I suggest this for everyone.
- Get Involved in Adoptee Rights- Be an activist! We all deserve our OBC’s and we all should be on board for equal access for all adoptees all over to be able to have their OBC. Visit The American Adoption Congress and The Adoption ALARM Network to keep up to date with what’s going on. I know there are more sites out there. These just come to the top of my mind. GET INVOLVED. Use your pain for God’s GOOD.
- Purchase Dr. Dan Siegel – The Developing Mind- Dan covers neurobiological reasons that early trauma affects our behavior, emotional responses, and neurological connections. It is hard for adoptees to know that we have suffered a trauma, when that trauma happened so early in our lives, and most of the world doesn’t recognize that trauma. This book was an eye opener for me. It also touched on nature vs. nurture topic. Please purchase a used copy for under $5 here. The Developing Mind- Dr. Dan Siegel. Understanding brings healing.
- Adoption News & Events- This is a very informative page that shares national and international adoption news and events. It’s wonderful to get educated and learn all the things going on around the world on adoption. They share tons of helpful information. Please “Like” their Facebook page today. Adoption News & Events
- Being Adopted is A Piece of Who We Are, But Not All Of It- Its so easy to get consumed with “Adoptee Land”. It’s critical to our healing, peace of mind and our overall happiness that we can pull away from our adoptee lives sometimes. Yes, we will always be adopted but God has also called us to LIVE LIFE and live it abundantly. We have to learn to be on our healing journey but also take time away for our families, for our selves and those close to us. I am 110% guilty and I’ve had to learn that adoption is just a piece of who I am, not all of me.Pulling away is sometimes a healthy thing and we must all do it.
- Understand the Way You Feel is Normal for a Not Normal Situation- I remember the first time someone shared this with me, I was like “WOW!” So here I am sharing it with you. That’s right, being separated from our first families is NOT NORMAL. Our responses and how we feel are perfectly normal for experiencing such a trauma. Please believe this and be easy on yourself.
- Purchase Baby’s Remember Birth- I remember hearing about this book and taking a leap of purchase. I was happy I did. I learned many things regarding being born and how babies store our memories in our subconscious memory and much more. I had a deep desire to put all the pieces together all the way back to before I was born. I wanted to learn everything possible about the mother and baby bonding and what happens when that bond is interrupted. Click here to order it used for $4.00 on Amazon. Baby’s Remember Birth by Dr. David Chamberland
- Purchase The Secret Life of the Unborn Child- This book shares how mothers can give their babies wonderful lives in utero even before they are born. So what happens when our birth mothers mentally prepare to surrender the baby? When she mentally rejects the pregnancy? All of these things I wanted too research. I NEEDED TO KNOW all the details. This book helped me heal. I hope it helps you also. Click this link to purchase on Amazon used for $4. The Secret Life of the Unborn Child
- Live Your Life- It’s so easy to get caught up in causes, our hurts, our pain. It’s easy to consume our lives with our struggles. I know first hand because I am in recovery and there is always work to be done on SELF! It’s a non stop journey of moving forward and improving ones self. I truly understand. I now look at my life as a pie. Why? Because I view my adoption experience as just a piece of the pie. For MANY years it was the entire pie. Why? Because I was in deep grief and loss processing through things I had never even touched before. That was a GOOD thing to go THROUGH it because remember we have to feel it to heal it. Do you see the letter “through” is KEY! I spent 4 years in that process and it’s 4 years I can never get back. I don’t regret it, WE ALL NEED TO DO IT in some form or fashion. It might take you 3 weeks but it took me 4 years. But God, he has shared with me recently that he’s ready for me to LIVE MY LIFE HE HAD INTENDED FOR ME ALL ALONG. The life he has intended for each of us. I will always be in recovery. I will always be healing. But it’s time for me to MOVE FORWARD and KEEP MOVING FORWARD. My Pastor & Spiritual Father Marion Dalton confirmed what God had put on my heart about a month ago. I went up to the altar for prayer and he prayed over me. He said many things but one of the things that stood out the most was, “God said the next PATH of your life is going to be NOTHING like the first part. NOTHING! It’s going to be a much easier path!” At that moment God gave me a vision of a beautiful path. This path was long and each side was filled with beautiful flowers in a bunch of greenery. Colors and green everywhere. It was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. I could see it very vivid. He continued to pray “YOUR BREAKING GENERATIONAL CURSES FROM FAMILY YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW!!!!” It was AMAZING at the word I got that night. I am sharing this with you because 1 week after this prayer I went to a park, on a walk. I turned the corner and you will never believe what I saw….
Unbelievable because this is the exact path I saw in the vision God gave me. SO at this point I have 2 choices. I receive the word or I reject it. WHO WOULD REJECT SUCH A GREAT GOD GIVEN WORD? Not me. Living 42 years with pain, agony, sadness, depression, fear, anger, hate and unwantedness from LIFE and ADOPTION, I am here to tell you I am ready to move forward with my life. I WANT TO LIVE MY LIFE and ENJOY the GIFT GOD HAS GIVEN ME IN MY LIFE. No person reading this is excluded from receiving the great Gift God has for you. Reach out to me. It’s time to go LIVE YOUR LIFE.
I LOVE YOU!❤
Please come back and share with me what has worked for you and what is familiar to you about these tools. Have any of them helped you?
What is Adoptee Limelight?
Launching Fall 2016
It’s a space dedicated to hearing the healing stories of adoptees from all around the world. It’s a space they can share their story, pain, hope and healing regarding their adoption journey. It’s a space where we can come together and read, share and learn from other adoptee experiences. It’s a space where non-adoptees can read and learn from those who understand exactly what it feels like to be adopted, the adoptee. Adoptee Limelight is dedicated to share a place of hope and empowerment for adoptees so they can know there is something more out there for us, far beyond our adoptee status. We will recognize what it’s taken for us to get to that place of healing and hope and share it with the world.
Our first guest will be the amazing…
I’ve learned through this journey the more adoptee stories I read and hear and learn about the more I feel complete. The more I feel like I’m not alone or crazy in this world. The more I feel validated. I desire this for every one of my fellow adoptees out there so I decided to ignite “Adoptee Limelight” as a way to SHARE SHARE SHARE! I know different healing tools have worked for all of us, and none have worked for some of us. My God given vision is we all come to a place where we share our healing tools via “Adoptee Limelight” so we can enlighten our fellow adoptees with the possibility that healing is possible for them. We all come from different backgrounds, place and beliefs and what works for some might not work for another. This is a place for adoptees to share.
Click here to be redirected to the official “Adoptee Limelight” page on my blog.
All entries will be featured for 3-4 weeks and be posted on the blog to be shared.
There are a few guidelines to be introduced before submission of your story. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
It’s hard to believe it has been 4 years since I’ve been on this recovery journey!
WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?
It’s amazing when I think about where I was 4 years ago. I had found out a few years earlier that both my birth parents were alcoholics, and drinking alcohol was something I did for an entire lifetime. WHY?
Because the pain….
The pain of the realities of my adoption were just too great. I couldn’t handle them. I couldn’t process them. The pain from my childhood growing up and earlier years in life, were huge and alcohol seemed to be the only thing available to ease the heartache. Due to this lifestyle I attribute it to many other things that happened as a result of MY CHOICES! I could sit and play the blame game here, but I learned real quick in recovery I have to take responsibility for my actions, choices, etc. I have done that. I don’t blame anyone for my choices.
Back on Aug 13, 2013 it was not only my birthday but it was the day I decided to throw in the towel on my drinking habit. I was scared, all alone and pretty frightened on how I was going to do this. I was praying and God kept giving me the word “MULTIPLY MULTIPLY MULTIPLY“. What did this mean? He told me he was going to remove all the toxic people, relationships and things that weren’t his plan for my life, but if I just held onto HOPE- HIS HOPE he was going to multiply my life in every area possible. Friends, Finances, Spiritually, Emotionally, Etc.
It seemed I was about to transition from an OLD LIFE to a NEW LIFE. The NEW LIFE GOD had planned for me All along.
No one told me I was about to grieve the loss of the old life. I figured this out on my own. Old ways, old habits, old friends, and all the things that were familiar to me for the first 37 years of life!
So here I go…. This process was frightening at first…
I continued to go to church and I started attending the most amazing ministry ever, Celebrate Recovery. This ministry is not for sissies! I always say adoptees aren’t sissies, we are some of the strongest people on the planet! We couldn’t handle this journey if we weren’t strong! ALL OF US, even if you don’t feel that way!
YOU ARE STRONG!
Over the last 4 years I have grieved my losses regarding my adoption experience. I have cried, I have been sad, I have been depressed, I have been heartbroken, I have been filled with hopelessness, fear and unbelief. I have gone through just about every emotion and feeling known to man regarding this journey, and my hopes in going THROUGH IT IS SO I WOULD HEAL IT! God knows my purpose in sharing my pain is to offer HOPE to someone else, another adoptee out there who might be feeling this way. I have always kept God in my life, sharing where he is who has given me hope and strength.
I am certain without my relationship with God I wouldn’t even be alive today! He gets the glory!
As 4 years have passed, I have gone all the way back to my childhood, pulled out ever skeleton in my closet, and with the tools from Celebrate Recovery I have set those things on the table, identified my root issues, and asked God to come into my life and do a mighty work on me. Abandonment & Rejection from adoption are the ROOT of my issues.
With these issues being so deep rooted, I have found to have triggers all over. I am in therapy now to work on triggers. I have to do what is best for me so I can be a happier healthier mother for my kids, and be of more support for my fellow adoptees, and so I can be a better friend, sister, and person.
I have had to make these choices for myself as well as the choice to move forward out of all the darkness the enemy has held me captive in for far too long! We all have this choice!
During the last 4 years, I was not able to celebrate a birthday. When I was not in recovery it was easy, I drank to drown out the realities of what happened that day. It was simple. I wasn’t present. I was out of my mind. The last 4 years as my birthday approaches it’s been like dooms day, terrible and its impossible for me to describe it to non-adoptees. Most of my fellow adoptees get it. The visions I have of that day are gloomy, sad, and dark. It’s the day I lost my biological mother and family. It’s never a happy day to me, only sad. Deep dark sadness.
Well I have learned that is not from God. Yes, I have spent the last 4 years feeling that way, hiding my sadness form those around because I don’t want to hurt them by them seeing me hurt. I don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable. God has been working on me and the last 2-3 months many things have changed for me. My spiritual Mom, Ms. Deanie Cinnamon has prayed for me and I felt her prayers break some things off of me. Slowly God has pulled me out of this sadness and darkness adoption has caused me. He’s been working on restoring my thinking, the way I feel about myself and life in general. He’s helped me realize that YES, the beginning of my life was tragic, brutal, heartbreaking and filled with extreme loss , grief, trauma and sadness…
BUT THE REST OF MY LIFE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE LIKE THAT!
ONLY IF I CHOOSE FOR IT TO BE!
Every single person on this planet has a choice. We can sit and wallow in the pain, or we can move through the pain and get to the other side of healing and true freedom. This is the same healing and freedom God has for all his children. YES I AM TALKING TO YOU! Yes, it’s important we feel the pain, because we have to feel it to heal it. I have spend the last 4 years feeling it and healing it. You can tell by my blog, the roller coaster of emotions, experiences, feelings that have followed me through this journey. I feel it’s this place has been a huge factor to my healing! A space all mine to share my heart.
This year as my birth day approaches something was different. It was like God was telling me, “YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SIT AROUND AND BE SAD THIS YEAR! YOU ARE GOING TO CELEBRATE YOUR LIFE BECAUSE YOUR LIFE DESERVES A CELEBRATION!”
So for the first time in 4 years I planned a birthday dinner. Who did I invite? All the people I hold very close to my heart. The people God promised me he was going to MULTIPLY my life with, happier, healthier, amazing friends that I call family. A few old relationships, but mostly new. My amazing kids, and I can’t even express to you how excited and happy I am that God has put some amazing people in my life! He did what he said he was going to do, He MULTIPLIED! He’s still multiplying!
I had a step study sister say one time, “I try to remember God is who he says he is, He’s going to do what he said he’s going to do and I am who he says I am!”. Talk about POWERFUL! I try to remind myself of this daily and I want to ask you to remind yourself of this daily! We aren’t what we were born into. We aren’t what the world says we are. We aren’t what past relationships have said about us. WE ARE WHO GOD SAYS WE ARE!
That should put a smile on your face. I learned in the last 4 year I am not like my birth family, I am not like my adoptive family. NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT.
I AM WHO GOD CREATED ME TO BE!
SO ARE YOU!
The day before my birthday my adoptive cousin sent me a link to a song. I truly believe God was behind this because I don’t think my cousin even knew it was my birthday and she didn’t know the feelings I was having regarding my birth father, him not responding to my letters after I sent Him DNA proof I was His only daughter. I was feeling all kinds of ways, but behind it all God has given me a peace about it I have never had. The night before my birthday I played this song over and over but I applied “Mother and Father” to it and “All People Are Broken”…. I really want to ask you to take a moment and listen because as I laid in my bed and allowed myself the room to cry and go through the emotions the day before my birthday it left me with a space to grieve once again my losses that adoption has brought. I needed this for myself so I could put on a TRUE smiling face for my birthday and actually enjoy the people God has blessed me with!
Please listen to this song! It has changed some things for me and allowed me to look at things from a different perspective. It’s allowed me to have a compassion for my birth parents and adoptive parents I never had before. I hope it can do the same for you!
Here are some pictures from my birthday celebration. Sending much love to my amazing kids, my friends and those who came to hang out with me and support me! The letters you all wrote touched my heart and the photos we took I will cherish forever! I am so blessed and thankful to have some amazing people in my life! GOD DID IT! HE MULTIPLIED!
I’m so thankful! I’m excited to see what the next chapter is! God knows my heart and he knows my passion for helping hurting adoptees! I’m praying he use me to share his love with each of them. I had to experience this life to be able to have this passion. It’s God’s plan for my life to use my pain for His Glory! He has this plan for all of us!
To my fellow adoptees who might be reading, God knows your tears, your pain and your heart! He says in His word he can and he will heal it! We have to allow ourselves the space to FEEL IT! Please know you are not on this journey alone and I am here for you if you need me! Find a safe place to share your feelings, start a blog, share your story! REACH OUT TO ME! I have a message of HOPE FOR YOU! God is HOPE! He is TRUTH! He is LOVE! I love you all!
Blessings! Here are some of my birthday photos!