2 Years After The Healing Begins…

I wanted to write a little bit on the last 2 years of my life and all the healing that has taken place.
When I started my recovery journey 2 years ago, I couldn’t even let anything about my birth mother come out of my mouth without sobbing like a new born baby. I was angry and I was hurt when it came to her. I was expected to keep quiet my whole life so when I finally was sitting around a group of women in my Step Study for Celebrate Recovery, and everyone was going around sharing about their life and all of a sudden it was my turn it was very emotional for me. I remember everyone looking at me, and I shared with them that I wrote a letter to my birth mother as a healing exercise and in that letter I expressed all the hurt and pain I have experienced from her making the decision to give me up for adoption, to strangers, and to a woman that couldn’t raise me. I was angry with her, and the letter shares all of my anger. All of these years my anger was flaring in every way imaginable, and I was happy to finally be able to have the tools to get to the root issue, dig up the root and lay it down at the cross.
This doesn’t mean I don’t hurt, because every day I struggle. It just means that God has given me the gift of forgiveness and because of this gift, I’m able to begin to heal and move forward with my life. Acceptance has been a key for me but the question is, what am I accepting? You can’t accept anything if the truth is being kept from you. My entire life, I was lied too, the truth was covered to protect me, but in the long run it has caused me more harm than good. This is not fair for adoptees and I will never stop speaking about something that has hurt me the most in life.
I prayed for grace, and God has given me grace. I was someone who was mad at the world, and when you are told your entire life that the feelings you have about your first family, no matter what kind of people they were should be that of non-existence but you want so badly to know who they are and where you come from it definitely plays some tricks on you. How can I learn to share feelings in life, but never speak of those who are a part of me, my own flesh and blood, and my biological roots.  I will never be FOR adoption because it has taken so much for me and caused me so much pain and at the same time I see the need in certain situations that adoption is necessary. I believe adoption needs massive reform and every adoptee on this earth deserves to know where they come from. I believe the lies, secrets, and all the hurt that comes from adoption are based on man’s decisions and people on this earth and an industry that is very corrupt has caused unthinkable pain for adoptees who have their identities locked in a filing cabinet, never to be discovered. Why should we have to fight for something that is already ours?
When I was able to receive every bit of what was already mine to begin with, is when my healing began. I had to search alone, and fine all of my biological family alone. No one supported me, and no one helped me. No matter what the outcome, searching and finding everyone and seeing their faces on my own has been my ticket to healing and freedom. Instead of believe what everyone had been telling me all these years, (which was lies) I was able to be filled with peace in seeing things on my own, and being able to form my own conclusion about my biological family members.  This has been critical to my healing.
If you look at my writings 2 years ago, you will see the anger. You can read the letter to my birth mother and feel my anger. You can read her letter I wished she wrote back to me and see there was healing in writing that. Next, I will be writing a letter in response to what I wished she wrote me. I had to do the work and uncover the truth, so I could work on my deep seeded emotional issues with abandonment and rejection before I could write the next letter or move forward with my life. This healing journey is a process, and I had to accept the fact that this pain may never go away, but processing my feelings like I need to are helping me and I pray that in time things get easier, most important I need to believe with my heart that it will get easier.
I will be 40 in about 6 weeks. I wish I could figure out how to be happy on my birthday. Don’t you know if I could I would? I’m learning that now I can cry, and talk about my feelings and that’s okay.  Does anyone really want to hear it? I honestly don’t think so and that’s why I write. This is a healing place for me. I feel like if only I would have gotten that letter from my birth mother, like she promised I could take it out on my birth day and read it and maybe it would make me feel better.  But instead, I have nothing. I wish everyone close to me would write me letters for my birthday, but I wonder if they will think I’m crazy for this one simple request?  I feel like if I ask, it won’t be sincere or true so no need to bother. If I could open up a basket or a box full of letters I think I would ball like a baby. No one on earth but God understands the depths of my pain in this area. I’m so thankful I can share it with my blog readers.
Every day in every way I am reminded of the loss of my first family. I’ve accepted the loss, and I have recently accepted the pain that may never go away. I’m so thankful that my healing started before my kids moved out of my house. I don’t think I could do this alone, or without them here to take my mind off of it on occasion. Mother duties call daily, and this gets my mind away from reality.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Learning the TRUTH is the ONLY way to healing and freedom.
Now, as I go get ready for church I feel great I got all this off my chest and I’m thankful for this place that is healing for me.
Thanks for reading!

The Power of a Letter…

 I waited 20+ years for a letter in the mail that was promised to me by my birth mother. Every day the mail man would come, and I would be hopeful that letter would be there. I just wanted one letter. She promised she would send it. I wanted to see what her writing was like, and I hoped she would write the words, “I Love You” somewhere at the bottom. I could keep it forever as a keepsake to take out and read or frame it so it would last forever. But, sadly I never received it nor did I ever hear the words “I Love You”. I started to hate to check the mail. It was a daily let down, and a sadness that no one could grasp. Through the years, I had hung onto hope that one day that letter would come, but then she passed away in 2010 so that hope died, along with her. I would give anything to have that one letter. 

Now it’s 2014 and God has put an elderly man in my life I have cared for over the years and he has a son that has been estranged from the family. Today, I helped him write his son a letter. He wrote “I think of you often and hope you are well, I Love you,-Pop” at the bottom. I can only hope that letter will bring his son much joy, just like the letter I hoped to receive from my birth mother would have brought me. Maybe just maybe, my experience in understanding the power of a letter will bring him some comfort knowing that even when they may not have the best relationship, he has that letter, from his Pop that says “I love you”. 

God is good, all the time… And all the time……

Somewhere Between Here & There, Accepting the Pain

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m at a place where I need to accept this lifetime of adoptee pain. I don’t understand how on earth society doesn’t understand there is so much more to adoption that a cute little baby to complete a family.
I’ve done everything I can think of to work on healing from the pain I experience daily. I ran for 26 years because the pain was too great. I numbed myself with drugs, alcohol, sex and things that were a threat to my life and soul. I didn’t understand the depths of my pain because I spent 37 years being told to be thankful and grateful for someone taking me in when my own mother and biological family didn’t want me.  It was beyond confusing to know this pain was coming from the same place I was expected to be grateful. And they wonder why I drank to cope. What else was I supposed to do? I saw counselors from the time I was 5 years old until I was an adult. Never once was my “Adoption” brought up or spoke about. The counselors swept these issues adoptees face under the rug, just like my adoptive family did. My feelings were never to exist, never to be spoken of. My history was gone just like that.
I was in and out of juvenile jail, in so many fights I can’t even begin to count, I was a teenager full of pain and no one would acknowledge my real root issue, where the trauma began. That was being separated from my biological mother at the beginning of life. I can’t help but wonder why the psychologists and counselors never acknowledged this to be a root issue or a trauma? Did they truly not know? Or were they fed the propaganda the rest of the world has been fed. Keep quiet, pretend and lies are okay, because were actually protecting the child? Little do they know that child will one day grow up and have questions and more questions? We will want answers and when we feel like we’ve been duped or like a rug has been pulled over our heads we will truly not feel like we are a part of any family. Some days I feel like I’m an alien and I don’t’ even belong on this planet. I can’t figure out where I fit in, perhaps it’s somewhere between here and there? I’ve accepted the fact that I don’t’ fit in anywhere and it will solve me a lot of heart ache and grief for the future to come.
As I have been on this healing journey, which started in 2011 so much has come to light for me. I knew I had a lot of feelings deep inside that needed to be acknowledged but as I began to write and uncover my feelings I was able to identify that my root issues to my low self-esteem, anger, rage, and feelings of abandonment and rejection stem back to being separated from my first family. The other side is my adoptive family pretending they didn’t exist and making me feel guilty for wanting to know them and love them, even if they didn’t want to know and love me. This has been heartbreaking! I started drinking at 12 years old and drank heavily my whole life because I didn’t want to face the pain. About a year into my healing journey I decided it was time to throw in the towel on my drinking habit and start a recovery program. The day before my “Birth”day (which feels like dooms day to me) I will celebrate 2 years of sobriety. This has been the hardest 2 years of my life. I keep waiting on something magical to happen. Okay, I got sober… NOW WHAT? I’ve been writing for 2 years, I’ve been mentoring and leading in a recovery ministry and I’ve been working really hard at identifying with my real adoptee feelings. I have stood up in front of approx. 100 people and read my testimony out loud which shares a lot of my adoptee experience which is a healing experience. I have worked on writing exercises and workbooks for adoptees. I help others search for their long lost family members because search and reunions will always have a special place in my heart.  I have been seeing a lay pastor for over a year about my life and my adoptee issues. I read adoptee books, I reach out to other adoptees online because they are the only ones that know how I feel and can relate. I wake up and pray daily and thank God for another day on earth with my kids. I pray and ask him to help me heal, to give me strength to get through another day. I ask God to help me find my purpose in this world. I go to work and take care of the elderly for a living and I absolutely love what I do. I surround myself with positive people and I’m very active in my church. I serve on the Emergency Response team and the Social Media Team. I’m in leadership in Celebrate Recovery, which is a ministry for those overcoming hurts, habits & hang-ups of any kind. I spend every moment I can with my kids.
Yet, My heart is broken, I am so sad deep down, and I just can’t seem to shake this feeling. I keep waiting and waiting, but perhaps it’s time I just accept this fate of the life I was given. Healing may be possible for certain areas for me. For instance, I have healed and forgiven my birth mother. I’m not mad at her anymore, but in order to heal from that I needed to discover the truth. I needed to know the truth about WHY she gave me up and WHY she decided not to tell my birth father about me. With my adoptive family holding these secrets from me and the rest of the world it was IMPOSSIBLE for me to heal. Now that I have fought tooth and nail and uncovering WHO I AM, I can move forward in certain areas.
I hear other adoptees say the pain never goes away, some much older than I. I am starting to believe this. I am a believer that GOD HEALS, but maybe the pain I’m experiencing is supposed to stay so I can fight and help other adoptees make it through what I have been through? So I can keep telling my story so maybe someone somewhere will realize that there I so much more to adoption than completing YOUR family. I’m almost 40 and the pain is so great now, even after I have found everyone and been in reunion some years. Now it’s heavy on my mind at what I missed with my siblings.
EVERY SINGLE HOUR OF EVER SINGLE DAY I THINK OF MY FIRST FAMILY AND HOW I WISH I WAS CLOSER TO THEM AND WHAT I MISSED.
I’m going to write a blog post about all the reminders I experience in a given day.
Accepting this pain is here to stay is something I’m working on and praying that God takes my pain and uses it for his gain. I am so sick and tired of feeling this way. I’m extremely thankful for all the adoptees at www.facebook.com/howdoesitfeeltobeadoptedI created this Facebook like page in October 2012 and it’s been the best healing tool yet. I can see that I’m not alone, and the other adoptees can see they aren’t alone. If only more adoptive parents would read and try to understand how it feels to be adopted, maybe their kids would have a better chance at healing early on in life vs. never being given that chance like so many of us. My right to heal was stolen along with my history. This has to change. We can’t accept anything if it’s being kept a secret from us.
Thanks for reading!