Pamela A. Karanova found out she was adopted when she was 5 years old. She spent 20 years searching for her biological parents. Her first post is an open letter to her birth mother, in which she describes dreaming of their blissful reunion and how that contrasted with reality. This soul-baring post lays the groundwork for the other content on her blog.
Anytime something like this happens it’s a encouragement to me to KEEP SHARING! I’ve been gone from adoptee land for many months but I’m working on creating the balance between living the life I have missed out on living and also continuing to share my adoptee journey. Let me just be honest- I MADE IT AND I AM ALIVE!!! I have so much to share about how I got to where I am. GOD GET’S THE GOLRY- AMEN!
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL MY FELLOW ADOPTEES WHO ALSO MADE THE LIST! YOU GUYS ROCK!
ADOPTEES: KEEP Sharing! If you haven’t already shared your story at How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? please send me a message!
This is what Healthline had to say:
“We’ve carefully selected these blogs because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information. If you would like to tell us about a blog, nominate them by emailing us at email@example.com!
The state of Massachusetts passed the nation’s first adoption law in 1851. Since then, the rules and regulations — not to mention the cultural significance — of adoption have changed dramatically in the United States.
Today, roughly 135,000 children are adopted in the United States every year. Even though the term “adoption” carries less stigma than it did 40 or 50 years ago, many children who are adopted carry a litany of emotions as a result. While not all adoptees feel this way, many face feelings of abandonment and unworthiness that can persist for years, if not a lifetime.
Often the cultural narrative of adoption is told almost exclusively from the side of the adoptive parent — not the adoptees themselves. The blogs we’ve listed are changing that. They include a diverse range of voices shining a light on the issues, concerns, and experiences of the adoptee community.”
I am honored to be a recipient of this award and I am blessed to be a positive light and resource for the adoption community worldwide!
I don’t think I’ve ever felt more “FREE” in my life.
I’ve spent a lot of time lately walking away from people, places and things that no longer serve God’s purpose for my life. It’s an amazing time for sure!
I’m walking away. I’m moving forward. I’m letting go. I’m leaving all those things behind that are no longer designed to benefit me or progress me in life. I must say things have changed drastically over the last few years but even more so the last few months.
GOD IS IN CONTROL.
I TRUST HIM!
I’ve learned I’m more content this way. I’m not so “Out there” trying to belong in places I will never fit in at. I spent so many years trying to fit in when God hasn’t designed me, (or YOU) to ever fit in. I’m happier on the outside far away from all the drama and craziness. That life is overrated in my humble opinion. I’ve seen a lot in my life. I’ve experienced so many highs and lows you wouldn’t even believe it all if I told you. One thing I know is I’m a survivor- ALL ADOPTEE’S ARE SURVIVORS! Even if we spend most of our lives feeling abandon & rejected the fact that we are alive is HUGE! We must give ourselves some credit when it’s due!
I’m going to start writing about my life from some other dynamics, not just an adoptee in recovery dynamic. I have other things to share like how it’s been being a single parent for 23+ years, what it was like being extremely involved in a church and then feeling like I had to walk away to protect my kids & more. I’ve seen how people can become co-dependent on the church so much they don’t even know who they are outside of the church. This was me for 4 years! I want to share what my life is like now that I’m not in a recovery program or ministry and how my recovery journey is at this point. I want to share how life is after pulling back from “Adoptee Land” for the last few months. I want to share what it’s like with all my kids adults now. I want to share how it is that I hear God in the midst of all of these transitions. Don’t think I’ve walked away without God by my side- He’s been with me the entire way!
For now, I will share that walking away for me is gaining peacefulness like I have ever known. The less people, places and things in my life the better. The smaller my circle the better. Life’s circumstances have made me this way and I don’t feel it’s a heartbreaking thing-I feel it’s a remarkable thing. It’s taken me awhile to get to this conclusion but trusting God has been key to keep my sanity.
All the way back to around 5 years old I was DREAMING about Finding my birth family.
My mind was so consumed with THIS. There was no room for regular dreaming. As a little girl I was obsessed with finding THEM. My birth mother, my birth father, any siblings I might have. MY FAMILY. My dreaming followed me everywhere I went. Fantasizing took over my mind. I thought about them morning, noon and night and I was in La-La Land more often than not. Sometimes I would say it was more of a haunting than a dream. When people speak about dreams sometimes they are speaking of dreams in your sleep, or dreaming about particular things to happen in the future. It seems we don’t dream of the negative as dreams are usually more rounded with happy positive vibes. But this dreaming of my biological family never ended and it took the place of what a normal little girl would be dreaming of. I don’t even know what dreaming like a normal little girl looks like but what I do know is what other people share. This followed me to my pre-teen years and through my entire life.
From learning from others, little girls dream about what they want to do in life. Places they want to visit, who they want to be when they grow up. They dream about having kids and how many and what they want to name them. They dream about a husband, a wedding and where they want to live. They dream of goals, and make plans in their dreams of things they want to do in life.
I MISSED IT.
I never dreamed about anything other than my birth family, who they were, where they were and were then looking for me. Lord knows I was searching for them everywhere I went.
The other thing that took the place of DREAMS in my lifetime is PAIN. The pain I experienced in all my life from abandonment, rejection and trauma has taken over most of my days here on earth. Non-Adoptees would never understand THIS. They just can’t. But I know my fellow adoptees get it. I feel like I’ve missed SO MUCH in life because of the pain and the obsession of wondering, wishing, dreaming and searching…
The outcome of my experience has been a broken heart, or more so a shattered heart. All the way around the search, reunion, and post reunion and back again. From the dreams, hopes, fantasies, longing to know them has turned into sadness, loss, grief, and nothing but heartache. Does this change the fact that I searched? No, now at least I have my truth. While the first part of my life was obsessed with finding the truth, the last part has been sorting through the trauma of what the truth was. I will never regret searching. I’ve been working on healing for 4 years now, and stopped running to alcohol to numb the pain.
Reality hit me like a ton of bricks and smacked me right in the middle of my face.
4 years into healing I am learning all the dynamics of what I missed because I was left to process all of the above on my own. Just now at 42 years old trying to find a dream. Why? Because God says it’s time! I’m going to be honest.
How does someone start dreaming at 42? I’m praying about it. At this stage in my life, I really feel I’m only here to do what God has called me to do but I also know that he calls us to enjoy our lives, and live life to the fullest. Have fun and dream! Let me be clear, I enjoy my career, my amazing kids, and what I do in my life. But dreaming has been null and void. At this point I’ve started to navigate creating a bucket list. It’s really the only thing I’ve thought of over the last few years living in recovery. I have no dreams for myself, other than being a happy healthy mother for my kids, and future grand-kids. Living my life to make memories with them, which is something I never had in my life with my biological family.
Another thing that comes to my mind is the fact that without knowing my truth I didn’t know who I was as a person. I was clueless when I looked in the mirror as to what or who I was looking at. The truth, no matter how hard it was has helped me find ME. It’s given me the chance to see who I’m like, or who I’m not like rather. It’s helped me understand I’m working on being who GOD created me to be and it’s nothing like any of my biological or adoptive families. It’s like God. It seems I might be right where I need to be I suppose. I mean, it’s impossible to dream when you don’t even know who you are to form or focus on dreaming. Can I get an AMEN from my fellow adoptees?
I was asked in a training group for a job recently what country I would want to visit. Honestly I never thought about visiting any other country. My dreams only took me as far as finding my birth family, when shattered my dreaming stopped and was replaced with a shattered heart. So I made something up. I said “Hawaii”. Although I wouldn’t mind visiting Hawaii I really have never thought about it. I’ve been too busy sorting through adoptee mess.
My point in sharing this post is to ask my fellow adoptees if any of you can relate to this? And to share that at 42 years old God has guided me to pull back from navigating so many windows open in my life so I can figure out my dreams. He’s instructed me to close some windows so he can do some amazing things. Not only with my kids, but for me in my life. I’m not sure what it is yet. I honestly don’t even know what dreams I have at this stage in my life but as I listen to what God says I plan to figure it out.
Now that I’ve come full circle in my life, before search, after search and working on healing I’ve decided I need to start living life and living it more abundantly. John 10:10 says:
IT’S TIME WE START DREAMING!
Now for my bucket list. Here are some things I have so far.
I will visit churches by taking road trips to visit them all over the U.S.A. Starting with Elevation Church in Charlotte, N.C.
I will visit waterfalls in Kentucky.
I will take my kids to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
I will write my memoir.
I will go to the park and fly kites.
I willclimb a tree again. [This was the #1 place I would dream about my birth mother]
I will go camping with good people.
I will go to Yogi Bear Park and stay with my kids. [Great childhood memory with my adoptive dad]
I will take my kids to Gatlinburg, TN and stay in the cabins.
I will visit Truittsville, KY which was founded by my ancestors. [ Located in Greenup, KY]
I will visit Linda in Oregon. She’s a cousin I found via DNA. We’ve never met, YET!
I WILL visit CANADA to see my friend, fellow adoptee & sister in Christ, Haley Radke! 😀
That’s about all I have so far. Hopefully as I move forward in my life I will think of more things I want to do. As for actual dreams, I really don’t have any but a bucket list is a start.
I would like to ask my fellow adoptees if you’ve taken the time to dream for yourself? Has your adoption experience stood in the way of this? Have you found ways to work around it? Did you dream as a child? What were your dreams? Can you relate to any of this post?
I hope you are all doing well and the New Year is treating you right!
As some of you know I’ve decided to back away from much of “Adoption Land” and the “Adoptee Arena”. If you didn’t know I’m sorry. I’m not disappearing but I have found I have pull back on some areas of my life for my own sanity as I know many of my fellow adoptees can relate to making this move. From what I thought might be a temporary break has seemed to turn into more of a long term event.
In 2012 I created the “How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? community on Facebook. In 4 years it’s grown to over 4000 “likes” and thousands of active adoptees. This page has reached adoptees all over the world. It’s been my honor to have been in touch with so many of you over the years, to build relationships with so many of you and to be a hopefully positive person for support. Not long after Ask An Adoptee was created in a little over a year it has over 800 “Likes”. If you would like to know details about these pages please visit the “About” section of both. I had no idea how big both of these pages would get, but I knew they were helping people, specifically my fellow adoptees. They were created for you all, yet impacting the entire adoptee arena. Finally a safe space for us to share our feelings, where no one else from the adoption equation could tell us how to feel.
Over the last 4 years I’ve rode through the highs and lows of life, navigating through the valleys all while managing these pages on my own. I loved being able to come up with such a healing place for my fellow adoptees. I’ve grown in so many ways just by being able to read so many similarities and bond with so many fellow adoptees near and far. I have thoroughly enjoyed so much of this. For some time now I’ve struggled with healing in my own journey with so much of my life spread out all over the place. It was clear to me that I was doing to much.
As I’ve posted before Facebook has become a huge non-stop trigger to me and has for quiet some time. As an adopted person who had to move across the country just to provide my children with some normalcy, away from all “family” it’s sombering. It’s hard to see everyone post about holidays, mother’s day, father’s day, family reunions, etc. It adds salt to the very real wounds that are still present today. I’ve found Facebook to be a breeding place for fake relationships. I’m not saying I don’t have relationships with many of you. I’m saying I want real true genuine relationships in my life. Not those who think they know me, but have no idea what’s really going on in my life because they base knowing me by what I post on Facebook. I’ve just grown to dislike it in every way. I deactivated my page a few months ago and I feel a HUGE weight lifted. We are all in control of our own lives. If something or someone isn’t serving is properly we must make changes to make things better. In recovery I’ve learned to avoid triggers. Being adopted, triggers are everywhere every day. Navigating what to “Let go of” vs. “What to work through” has been challenging at times. I know my fellow adoptees understand much of this.
I want to pick back up writing my memoir “Adoptee in Recovery- One Adoptees Journey from Heartbreak to Hope & Healing”. I have a story to tell and I want to share it with you all. This memoir will take readers on a journey of hope & healing, and focus on other areas of my life. I will still be managing the How Does It Feel To Be Adopted Website where adoptees will be sharing their stories with the world. I will still be blogging here on my page. I still have twitter although I have a new name. Feel free to follow me! @therealpwishesI’m not totally dropping of the radar! Promise!
If you haven’t shared your story yet, please visit the page! You deserve to be heard!
A few months ago I feel God has put it on my heart to release my Facebook like pages to someone else, and my time was up in managing them. I gave it 4 years, which is a long time. I have felt sad about it because I feel like I’m letting so many adoptees down. I feel guilty for this. It’s either feeling guilty of letting my fellow adoptees down or the burden of carrying something God has clearly told me to let go of. The voice of God is something I have to put ahead of all things, even my own feelings, needs and wants. My heart was set on finding someone to manage them, who had a heart like me but the question was: WHO WOULD WANT THIS TASK?
I began to pray about it.
Well God seems to always have a plan! The key is to TRUST HIM to reveal and see us through. As I prayerfully awaited for God to move with this situation my fellow adoptee and sister in Christ Haley Radke reached out to me as she often does, to check in. She’s one of my favorite people on the earth! Over time we’ve built a special friendship and can relate to each other on so many levels. I would have never dreamed of asking her because she has her hands beyond full with her podcast AdopteesOn. My hope was to touch base with her and see if she had any ideas for me of who would be a good candidate to ask about taking over the pages.
After spending a little time talking to Haley I am here to announce to you today she has the willingness to manage the pages and take them over from here forward! Can you say EXCITING??? What a blessing for this! I never would have thought she would be interested due to her previous commitments, not to mention she’s a mommy and a wife, and has a busy life of her own.
I wanted to share this with the page readers so they are aware of the change, and aware that the pages are in the amazing hands of my friend, sister in Christ, & fellow adoptee- HALEY RADKE!!!
Haley, the adoptee community welcome’s you and we are honored to transfer these pages to such a sweet, amazing, warm and caring person such as yourself. THANK YOU for having the willingness to fit this task in your busy life to keep the legacy of the pages going for your fellow adoptees. Healing is so important and I can’t wait to see what God is going to do through you while you use Him to manage these pages! You are AMAZING!
Thank you siSTAR!
If anyone needs to reach me, feel free to tweet me, message me here or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“The miracle of midnight is not that you just made it through 2016, ITS HOW YOU MADE IT THROUGH. IT’S THAT YOU MAKE SOMETHING OF IT! If you’ve come to a place where you’ve made it through a few midnight moments (dark moments), you see it coming and you wave at it. GOOD MORNING MIDNIGHT! Maybe we need to wave GOOD MORNING to our MIDNIGHT? Maybe the only difference between the two is how you choose to see it?”
– Pastor Furtick
WOW WOW WOW!
Pastor Steven Furtick is ON FIRE!
3 Key points he shared:
I changed GOOD to GREAT in this blog post because good negates great! So why not say GREAT instead of GOOD?
Oh my gosh I absolutely love his preaching style! In my life I’ve experienced multiple pastors preach, and I’ve noticed some I can tune into and some are hard to tune into. I think this is similar for everyone. Well he’s ON POINT and I understood him 110%. This sermon was filled with fire! Fire meaning GOD’S GOODNESS & TRUTH! I’m so excited I was able to tune in!
Pastor Steven described MIDNIGHT as our dark times. He explained [which I agree with] that we run from the hustle and bustle of each day and when midnight hits, our head hits the pillow and all the background noise from LIFE comes flooding in. Many times our MIDNIGHT is filled with tough thoughts! We all have a choice how we respond to these thoughts.
Over the last week or so, I’ve been reflecting on 2016. For some reason automatically I start thinking of all the bad things that happened, [ midnight? ] and moment after moment is highlighted in my mind. The sad, bad, negative, heartbreaking and depressing things. I’ll just be honest, lots of times my mind is plagued with these THINGS! Day in and day out. Pastor Steven mentioned how we can easily remember the bad things about someone as if our brains are stuck with that memory that plays over and over and over in our minds!
MEMORIZE. I started to think of my life. I have these negative thoughts, experiences and emotions MEMORIZED in my brain. Many of them go all the way back to my younger years. Some are new and fresh. They play over and over like a broken record. I will just admit, 99% of them are adoptee related. Adoptee grief, loss, trauma, abandonment, disconnect, etc, etc, etc. It’s like a mental torture over and over and over.
MASTER YOUR MEMORY!
DON’T LET IT MASTER YOU!
“I’m not memorizing my pain this year! I’m making a movie this year but I’m skipping some scenes! It’s my memory & I’m remembering it WRONG! The way I respond has to do with the way I remember! First you have to MEMORIZE then you have to MOBILIZE! The magic isn’t what happens AT midnight! It’s what happens AFTER midnight!
NEW YEAR=NEW BEGINNING=NEW SITUATION!”
– Pastor Steven Furtick
MOBILIZE: Over the last year many things have happened. If I choose look at the entire piece of the pie, not just a piece of it there are many many things that are great that happened. Of course some not so great things happened. Sometimes I wonder how life would be if everything was perfect all the time and people never had any struggles. What good would that person be to the kingdom of God in being able to reach other’s that can relate to their situation? I know all bad things that have happened to me have added a layer of toughness and strength to my core being. I’m not easily shaken! I’m tough! I’m a fighter! I know this! If I hadn’t experienced anything in life I would blow over and fall down over the smallest things that come my way. With these storms, I’ve made the choice to mobilize moving forward as they come. I’m not gonna lie, some days it’s easier than others. Some days I can barely function in day to day living. Some days I feel stuck. Some days I feel HIGH ON LIFE! Naturally, of course!
I have the choice to sit and wallow in my “midnight” [ hard times ] or I can tell my midnight’s; GOOD MORNING.
But I’m trying here!
“God’s going to use the very one that wounded you to heal your wounds and serve you dinner! Watch God work! WORK YOUR WINDOW! I’m coming out of this year! I have some battle scars! I made it! I’m coming into 2017 full of JOY & EXPECTATION!” – Pastor Furtick
MAXIMIZE: This sermon filled with wisdom and truth really helped me open my eyes and try to do my best to MAXIMIZE in all areas. What does this mean for me? Try to re-remember all the GREAT things God has done in my life this year! To try to remember all the hard times that God has brought me through. PRAISE HIM in His Goodness and when things aren’t going as planned. Try to find the blessing in all things, yet acknowledge my hurt and process it at the same time. Be TRUE to myself and share how I really feel with no holding back but also try to evaluate what my GOOD MORNING IS in ALL SITUATIONS.
I’m believing 2017 is going to be the best year yet! I’m claiming it not only for me, but I’m claiming it for you too! This doesn’t mean we won’t have any bad days. This doesn’t mean we won’t still have challenges in life.
It means I’m going to do my best to re-examine my memories and make the choice to mobilize each of them and use them for maximizing God’s Glory. I plan to continue to share the TRUTH about where I have been and what God has brought me through!
My prayer for all my followers and fellow adoptees, friends and family near and far is that you have the blessed 2017 possible and you live your life filled with God’s greatness and trust HIM through all valleys of your life!