I remember finding out I was adopted at 5 years old and my life would never be the same. I started to fantasize about this woman…
The woman that gave me life.
Who was she?
Where was she?
Fantasy turned to obsession.
I was told she “Loved Me So Much” she wanted me to have a better life, so she surrendered me to my adoptive parents. This in turn was the best gift they could have been given- they were parents now. My loss and my birth mothers loss was my adoptive parents gain.
How could I be sad when they were so happy?
Thoughts of my birth mother never left my mind.
I remember very vividly I would escape what was going on inside, which was usually a manic depressive episode brought on by my adoptive mom so I could be outside. I say escape because that’s what it felt like. I would ask my adoptive mom if I could go outside to play and she almost always had chores for me to do. Getting outside was something I had to sneak to do on most days. At my dads house it was different. He always let us play outside so we could be free.
If I was to sneak out and my adoptive mother would learn I was gone, usually not 5 minutes would pass and she would be hollering for me at the door to get back in the house. On a rare occasion she would give me 30 minutes to play, or maybe 15.
During my time outside, I remember feeling free. I didn’t understand it as a child, but I can look back and understand it now.
I HAD A TIE TO THE SKY…
It was like my baby blanket growing up. In some strange way it made me feel closer to my birth mother, although I had no idea who she was or where shes was I knew in my heart of hearts she was under the same sky I was.
I remember laying in the grass, looking up. Dazing off wondering about HER. I would see a cloud that looked like a tree, and I wondered if she saw the same cloud. I would see a falling star and I wondered if she saw the same falling star. I would see how bright the sun was and beautiful rainbows and I wondered if she saw them too. Rainbows were my favorite and every time I saw one I would think of her…
I always fantasized she was going to one day come back and get me, so the more time I spent outside the better chance she was going to have at finding me. I would sit outside on the front porch and wait…
LOOKING AT THE SKY…
I remember being in the country of Iowa, climbing trees all the way to the top. I was so high I couldn’t get any higher but I would reach up and put my hand towards the clouds in attempts to be closer to my birth mother…
After all I knew that she was under the same sky I was…
The sky was my comfort.
It was my hope that one day I would see her again.
Did she see what I saw in the sky?
The sky and I became very close.
As I walked out the front door as a child it was like the sky was hugging me. Bringing me peace and comfort that I didn’t experience elsewhere.
It was my greatest escape.
THE SKY WAS MY FIRST LOVE.
No one can take the sky away…
Daydreaming about HER. What did she look like? What were her eyes like? Was she tall like me? Did she think of me like I was thinking of her? Was she looking for me like I was looking for her? Did she really love me like they said? If she loved me how did she give me away?
This must all be a big mistake…
She must be looking for me…
But until she comes the sky will comfort me.
Days turned into years and she never came.
By the time I was a pre-teen my hope faded but my love for the sky did not.
As an adult I still have the same love for the sky, but it’s much different now. I see sunrises and sunsets, rainbows and gorgeous clouds and I am in awe at God’s amazing beauty and creations. I believe God was the one comforting me through the sky the entire time as a child, and he is still doing this today. I’m constantly in AWE at God’s beauty, the hues, and colors and designs. It reminds me of HER. The mystery woman, my birth mother.
THE SKY & I
We will always have a special bond.
There isn’t much else on this earth that can comfort me like the sky does.
Just because I’m not a fan of Mother’s Day doesn’t mean I’m not going to live my life. I’m not sitting around on the pitty potty depressed, sad, mad or angry. There was a time for that and my healing process was filled with those seasons of grief & loss. I’m not saying I still don’t have those moments but I’m moving forward and living my life in a pretty magical way I would say. I did need to share my feelings about Mother’s Day but make no mistakes-
I’m MOVING ON!
I’m outside the box.
Looking for adventure.
The sky is the limit.
Finally I’ve found my HAPPY PLACE!
Hiking, Nature & Waterfalls.
God is so close to me in nature, more so than any church I have ever stepped foot into.
I like to be free.
Free to be me, happily.
No strings attached.
Wandering in the woods.
How could I have missed this for so long?
Today I’m thankful I’ve found what makes me happy.
Well, I certainly can’t speak for all adoptees but I can speak for myself.
Mother’s Day & the days leading up to it, is a time of mourning for me.
How do you mourn what never was?
Just like mourning what was, I mourn what never was. But usually what was has some memories for someone to hang on to.
Mourning what never was is a much deeper grief & loss…
For me anyway…
I’m writing about it!
Remember I’m only speaking for myself.
To celebrate Mother’s Day is a difficult task not only for me but for many people on earth. Many people didn’t get the mother’s they deserved or maybe they did and their mother’s have passed away and left them feeling hallow and empty with a loss they might never recover from. We are each able to process our pain as we see fit.
Today I’m not drinking!
It’s a mixed bag for me. I’ve tried to celebrate the fact that I’m a mother and I hope and pray I have been a better mother to my kids than what I was given in that area. For many reasons I don’t feel like I have given my kids what they have deserved because how can I give them something I don’t have? Something that was never given to me?
Everyday, I try.
But parts of me are hollow inside.
I’m just floating through life doing the best I can with what I have.
I think most of us do that don’t we?
We make lemons out of lemonade and do the best we can with the cards we are dealt.
Deep down “Mother’s Day” is the 2nd most painful holiday aside from my “Birth Day”. From an adoptee perspective who was dealt a crap shot not only once in the mother area but twice I have nothing to celebrate on that day. If I’m completely honest I wish it never existed.
I hate it.
Oh I already said that didn’t I?
I just want it to be over!
Oh I have but because of Mother’s Day it never goes away!
It’s like digging up the dead!
I don’t have a happy picture to put on my Facebook profile of my “Mother” and I. I don’t have a happy story to tell. I am sharing my story here, and then I will be moving on with my life.
One day at a time.
One foot ahead of the other.
I will always have that aching piece inside of me yearning for MY MOTHER.
But she’s not coming back.
She’s nevercoming back.
“Why are you so negative?”
I’m just keeping it real!
This is my reality!
Inside my head every single day!
**Smile for the camera!**
**Smile for the world**
Everyday I cry inside wishing I had my mother.
Maybe I will write her a letter and let her know how her leaving has hurt me so.
“Look on the bright side”- The World Says So!
Oh, of course.
THE BRIGHT SIDE.
I am a mother to 3 amazing children.
They are my life.
THEY ARE THE REASON I’M ALIVE!
What an honor it is to be a mother to them!
Do you not understand how hard it is to be a mother when you never had a mother?
Does anyone ever think of that?
I hope I’m half the mother they deserve.
I will let them celebrate “ME” because that’s what I’m supposed to do.
I have some women in my life who are mother figures to me. I adore them to heaven and back again.
The weekend of April 21st & 22nd I had the honor of going to my first ever adoptee conference. It was an experience of a lifetime for me and I enjoyed so much of it. My favorite part was meeting my fellow adoptees near and far.
Other parts were simply overwhelming. Emotions I had stuffed for years came flooding back. It was tough on many aspects.
I left the conference with a ton of emotions way up at the surface. I didn’t quite know how to process it all. My plan was to come home and spend some time writing about it in the days to come.
That plan was halted by some news…
Within a few short hours of being back in Kentucky from the conference I found out my adoptive mother had passed away some time over the weekend.
It could hardly believe it.
I took all things I was feeling regarding the conference and put them on the shelf. (a safe space I will return to deal with later.) The emotions and feelings associated with my adoptive mother’s passing had taken over me.
My cell phone rang and on the other line it was my adoptive father whom never calls me for anything unless its sad news or a health issue. I had been working a double shift that Monday April 24th. I was at the tail end of the last shift when I got the call.
Adoptive Father- “Hi Pam- How are you?”
Me- “I’m good Daddy, at work. How are you?”
Adoptive Father- “I have some sad news for you. Your mother has died at some point over the weekend”.
Me- “Wow I don’t really know what to say. What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to do something?”
Adoptive Father- “No, I don’t think anyone wants you to do anything.”
Me- “I just wish she was different and things were different but at least she’s at peace now and hopefully she will finally be happy. I know for certain she was never happy here on earth.
Daddy- “Well your sister is taking it pretty hard. (Haven’t had contact with her in many years)
Me- “Well she still had a relationship with Her, I didn’t so that would make sense I suppose. I had to let go for my own sanity but thank you for sharing the news. I appreciate it”.
My mind was racing a mile a minute. What would they want from me? What would my responsibilities be in this thing? Would I have to travel back to Iowa? Would I be expected to DO SOMETHING? I was a mess thinking of all these things. I just wanted to run and hide.
Interesting that I was not able to process losing my “Mother” because I have done that every single day for the last 42 years. How was this any different?
You see, back in 2012 when I decided to get sober a lot of things changed for me. I learned that to fully live in recovery I had to get honest about all areas of my life. During that process and over the last 5 years I realized that I was forced to be in this family with dysfunction but as I got sober I learned I could make my own choices in all areas. In that time, I had discontinued my relationship with my adoptive mom because of the toxicity she brings to my life. I had accepted the fact that I will never have a mother because she has never been one. I was always the one taking care of her, not her taking care of me. I tried to set boundaries and she wouldn’t abide by any of them.
For my own mental health, sanity and recovery I had to close the door and keep it closed. I had learned in 42 years if I even cracked the door a tiny bit her toxicity impacted me in negative ways and I didn’t want anything to do with that anymore.
It’s awesome when we figure out that YES, we have that choice!
NO MATTER WHO IT IS!
My entire life I have been petrified about what is she going to do next? What area of my life is she going to come back and haunt me. She’s tried hard to use my kids as a manipulation tool and it infuriated me. Aren’t the horrible memories of her trying to commit suicide by laying in the street enough? Or the memories of her tying us to chairs as kids? The manic-depressive episodes- they weren’t enough?
Fear was always on my mind when it came to HER. Fighting off bad memories from my childhood has been a daily struggle. Thank GOD, I have God in my life or I wouldn’t be here! I have forgiven her but I have also closed the door and moved on with my life.
So now what?
I struggled with feeling inhumane for not FEELING LIKE I LOST A MOTHER WHEN SHE DIED. I felt guilty for not feeling any sorrow like someone should feel when their mother dies.
One more thing adoption has stolen from me. Not only 2 entire families but my mother too! If I had a good mother would things be different for me?
I will never know.
I came to the realization I DIDN’T LOSE A MOTHER WHEN SHE DIED. She was never a mother to me. She took more than anyone could ever imagine.
If I was to weigh the pain of losing my first mother and being rejected by her later in life to the pain of my adoptive mother passing there is no comparison at all. What I am trying to say is that the pain I have felt every single day of my life is the worst pain I have ever felt and that’s because I lost my birth mother at the beginning of life. It’s because I’ve lost 2 entire families because of adoption.
I have accepted THIS.
But it still hurts.
If you aren’t adopted, we are triggered by essentially EVERYTHING IN LIFE!
My adoptive mother dying has no comparison to me. I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh but I am being transparent here. What I did feel was a sadness and sorrow for her that she never found happiness or wholeness here on earth. I felt sorry for her she was in addiction, had gone her entire life never being diagnosed with mental illness therefor she tore through people’s lives like a destructive tornado and she never relented. If it wasn’t a family member (who almost all cut her off) it was someone where she worked, where she lived and her own children. I felt sorry for her that the adoption industry set her up for a fairy tale and I was never the daughter she wanted or needed.
Our adoption story is a flat our disaster!
I was her caretaker.
She was never mine.
Until I turned 31 and packed up a 22 foot U-Haul and moved myself and my kids across the country. I have never felt freedom before like I have sense I moved.
YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD IT WAS!! I HAD NO HELP & NO SUPPORT aside from my best friend. I had 3 small kids and was a single mother making this decision.
IT WAS THE HARDEST YET BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE.
I had to do this not only for myself, my mental health and sanity but for my children! When I saw her doing some of the same things with my kids I knew it was time to go. GOD KNEW!
Life has never been more peaceful for me because I moved far away. Now it was time to recovery from the first 31 years of life! I tried to have a long-distance relationship with her but that didn’t work either. She would come visit and it was like the devil himself was showing up at my door step. I had to put an end to it. There comes a time when we must put ourselves FIRST.
I was unsettled on how this was going to play out. For some reason, I thought they were going to need something from me or I was going to have to go back to Iowa to clean her apartment out. I was petrified! Given the circumstances I had dreaded this more than anything in the world and the scene played over and over in my mind all these years. I had visions of this day coming. FEAR! Fear of facing something I ran from tormented me all these years.
I just wanted the nightmare to end and for it all to go away.
It was like a dark cloud hanging over my head.
I certainly didn’t expect it to happen within 24 hours of connecting with my fellow adoptees in real life. I hadn’t even been able to process the conference yet!
After my conversation with my adoptive father (him and adoptive mother divorced when I was 1) He asked me to call my adoptive sister. I hadn’t spoken to her in years and years. I believe my adoptive mom used triangulation tactics our entire lives and played us both against each other. We never stood a chance at being sisters because of her.
Now I was supposed to call her?
All I wanted to do was the right thing considering the circumstances.
I called. We spoke about 5 minutes. She was tearful and crying. I was the opposite = Emotionless. She hadn’t let go yet, and I had many years earlier. I didn’t make my decision lightly. I prayed and contemplated and received some guidance from people I’m close to. I felt sorry for my adoptive sister but I know she will be okay.
It comes down to this. If you don’t bring happiness and positivity into my life you must go. I am not making any apologies these days for cutting toxic people, places or things out of my life. Neither should you.
Do I feel any regret for making this decision? No I don’t. I prayerfully made this decision and many tears were involved for along time. I had to do what I had to do to survive. I had to put my recovery and mental health first for once. I didn’t regret moving across the country and I don’t regret cutting her off with this unhealthy tie legally attaching me to this toxicity. It was a strange feeling at the end of her life being someone who had to sign her cremation paperwork.
As if the beginning was an adoption transaction.
The end was a cremation transaction.
I didn’t sign any adoption paperwork.
But I had to sign her cremation paperwork.
There is supposed to be a memorial at a later date. I decided it would not be in my best interest to go back to Iowa to help with her apartment. I experienced massive anxiety and fear even contemplating it. I didn’t have peace about it at all and peace comes from God. This spoke to me. I helped with some of the cremation costs and will be sending more money asap to go towards expenses my sister has had to face regarding this manner. Neither of us asked to be in this situation. It’s certainly not all her fault. I will not attend a memorial at this point unless my children want to attend. Being an adoptee loosing 2 entire families with no funerals, no nothing I’ve learned to say good-bye without funerals!
I know my kids are sad and I can respect and understand that because they are in a different position than I am. They didn’t experience what I did and I never want them too- THANK GOD! I respect the need for them to process the grief and loss they might be experiencing. After all, legally she was their grandmother.
Out of every darkness in life God will turn around and use it for His good. I am content knowing that even when my adoptive mom brought so much darkness to my life she’s in a happier place now. I know she believed in God and I know her mental illness was left untreated. I know she’s in heaven healed, happy and whole. Finally, she’s in a place where she could receive all God has for her and it wasn’t here on earth. Heaven isn’t 2nd place you know! Her infertility and not being able to have her own children haunted her and I was adopted to fix the problem. What a heavy burden to carry. I’ve forgiven her. She was sick. I am sad she lived such a miserable life.
John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Today I choose to live life & live it more abundantly. I am excited to move forward to receive all God has in store for me. I’m looking forward to taking back all the enemy has stolen from me as the days move forward in life. I have a bucket list now and I’m moving forward with those people in my life who love me for me and are real, true, genuine and sincere.
I still haven’t even processed the conference yet. I don’t know if I will ever be able to do that but hopefully I will be able to write about it soon. It was tough on many levels. My favorite part was meeting all my fellow adoptees who GET IT!
I love you all.
Say a prayer for me and I’ll say a prayer for you too!
From this day forward I am only allowing myself to be around a small circle of people. Chances are they will be different circles of people. Such as work & personal. I know a lot of people at work. I’ve been at the same job for 11+ years. But that doesn’t mean I’m close to all of those people nor do I want to have them close to me. I keep them at a distance. If you are an acquaintance of mine chances are you know it, and feel it. If you are a friend of mine you will hear from me on occasion. If you aren’t a friend of mine you won’t hear from me.
I mean no harm in sharing these things. Just being honest at where I’m at in my life. I think it’s wisdom to be cautious of who we allow in our lives. I’ve spent my entire life opening up to people. Back in my party days I was always “Party Pam”. Party Pam always went over and above for everyone because I have always been that type of person. I have always loved people. I always took pride in having a wide circle of friends. Were they quality friends? About a 1/4 of them, if that. To this day I have maybe 2 still in my life.
After my Party Pam days I started making friends at church. I’ve realized over time that was all a bunch of shenanigans. More than I want to share here, at this time anyway. God told me when I started my “Recovery Life” he was going to give me new friends. I was in fear of the old me leaving and WHO WAS THIS NEW PERSON GOD CREATED ME TO BE? I honestly had no flipping clue! Still after all these years I’m figuring out what most adoptees struggle with- WHO AM I? Crazy part is, when I hit this phase I certainly have figured out I was nothing like my biological family or my adoptive family! NOTHING LIKE ANY OF THEM.
As I began the journey of recovery I was starting a new church. Feb of 2012 things were all new at this church. I quickly became sucked into many activities, ministries, and areas of this church where God was using me for His good. I remember him specifically saying “More, More, More”. He was going to weed out my old friends, and bring me new friends. I trusted this process and will always be thankful for it. However, I was served an illusion on a silver platter by this church all while making some of the most amazing friends I have ever had. You can see there would be pros and cons to this as there is in ever area of life. There are always risks involved in everything.
By the time I started recovery in August 2012 I had new friends. I had Celebrate Recovery which changed my life. This is where things got real. I was surrounded by imperfect people who knew that in order to live in recovery WE HAD TO KEEP IT REAL. WE HAD TO BE HONEST. WE HAD TO SHARE OUR ISSUES WITH OTHERS. TRANSPARENCY WAS KEY.
EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN EVER SINGLE CHURCH SHOULD WORK THIS MINISTRY! IF THEY DID, AND GOT TO THEIR ROOT ISSUES EVERY CHURCH WOULD BE A MUCH BETTER PLACE ESPECIALLY REGARDING THE LEADERSHIP!
During the fight of my life, finding out who my birth family was and perusing them with everything I had in me only to have them slam the door in my face, all the way to making new friends at this church I was attending I can honestly say I have always been someone who keeps it real. Knowing how much the truth matters, and how much HURT comes from people NOT BEING TRUTHFUL one thing about me is I will always tell the truth. NO MATTER WHAT.
As I grew in this church, thank God He was there and he was present. I am more than thankful for that. I grew to have this wide circle of friends. Back to Popular Pam. I loved everyone and they loved me, or so I thought. I went into this place with a pure heart, pure intentions. God showed up and showed out. I underwent a major reconstruction phase of my life. It was hard. 2012-2016 was a very heavy time because I finally started working on my adoptee issues and so much more! There were a small handful of people from that church who supported me. VERY SMALL. Let’s be honest, adoption is glorified worldwide. “She just had a bad story” is what I was labeled. I learned who I could talk to about this, and who I couldn’t. It was simple. I still wouldn’t change anything about this journey! It’s part of my story!
Over time I learned that all these “Relationships” of “MORE” really weren’t real true genuine relationships at all. They were forged relationships bombed by the “Love Team” “Love bombing is an extreme example of something that turns out to be relatively common—something I call “toxic affection.” If affection is the expression of love and fondness, then toxic affection is any such expression that has an ulterior motive.” by people who probably had good intentions. This is NOT REAL PEOPLE! It’s very deceptive! I learned that most of these relationships only took place as I passed these people by while inside the doors of the church. I learned that they actually were only REAL if I go to the same church as them. I learned that inside the church is just as dysfunctional and toxic as all the situations I have fought to leave in my life.
So many people have said – IT’S NOT ALL CHURCHES!
IT’S THAT CHURCH!
(I will not reveal the name. I have more respect for them than they have for me or or my family!!)
I know “THAT CHURCH” served a purpose in our lives for a time being. To be honest we planned on staying there forever. You can only see and know about so much dysfunction and toxicity and not take action when people are getting hurt IN THE CHURCH. Take action meaning walk out the door for me and my family. ESPECIALLY AFTER MY KIDS ARE BEING SHUNNED AND HURT. You can play with me all day, but play with my kids it’s a different story.
Over the last year the big circle of “Family of Choice” is what they called it began to shrink and shrink. My kids apparently weren’t fitting inside the “Box” this church wanted to put them in. My kids are great kids and have always been great kids. But the moment the wouldn’t conform to be how the leaders in this church wanted them to be they were tossed out, literally. I have seen this church use a person as a mastermind manipulator to deceive the congregation into thinking they are getting “Lay Counseling Services” for FREE but this service isn’t by a legal counselor, nor is it kept confidential like others think it is. After requesting my file, they have denied me the right to my very personal information they had no permission to retrieve from me in the first place.
Who needs the drama?
Not me. Not my kids.
I am not giving up on getting my file and I’m going to request it one more time before I decide on taking legal action. I have confronted this church in an 8 page email and received one phone call by one person, it was ignored by all else involved. I shared very valid concerns and was ignored! Is that the “CHRIST-LIKE” AKA CHRISTIAN WAY TO DO THINGS? Last I knew they should have wanted to make things right. Or is that just THIS CHURCH? So building this “Family of Choice” -(marketing tactic) all these years is only “Family of Choice” if you are doing things their way. Bringing a legitimate issue to them and you are ignored, and cast aside. Your labeled with a big fat red stamper on your forehead “SPIRIT OF OFFENSE!” and they toss you to pit. They label it as a “Spiritual Attack” yet fail to acknowledge the TRUTH in all aspects of what is really going on? I have seen no accountability at all!
You can mess with me all day, but messing with my kids is another story!
So there you have it. Small circle filled with real true genuine friends & GOD! I prefer my friends to be there for me when I’m down and out AND when I’m on top of the world. Not just sometime friends who I only see when I walk through the doors of the church. I don’t need friends who expect me to fit in their box. Sorry, I’m not ever going to fit inside anyone’s box. I am not like anyone! I am unique and set aside who God created me to be. I think so much hurt in my life by UNTRUTH has helped me realize how THE TRUTH is so important. Recovery has taught me we have to confront the truth and NOT IGNORE IT! It’s not going anywhere and I am not going anywhere!
FYI: When people leave YOUR CHURCH and you tell them “Good-Bye” I question that. If you spent all that time building a REAL RELATIONSHIP with them why would you tell them good-bye? F A K E ! !
I have so many eye openers God has helped me reveal about people and healthy and unhealthy church! THANK GOD FOR HIM! I will keep writing. My motto, people should really think about the way they treat you if they expect you to write warmly about them! My intentions are not to hurt anyone, only to share the TRUTH!
BIG CIRCLES ARE OVERRATED!
THIS IS LIFE!
Thank you God for helping me see things for what they really are! Thank you for blessing me with the real true friendships I have. Thank you for helping my family with the healing process from so much hurt! Amen.
*I know churches are full of imperfect people. I know there are no perfect churches. I know the difference.