Best Adoptee Blogs 2017

adopteeBADGE

Adoptee in Recovery

Adoptee in RecoveryPamela 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.
It’s an honor that I was a winner for a spot on healthline.com- Best Adoptee Blogs 2017 !!
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 bestblogs@healthline.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!

THANK YOU HEALTHLINE!

THIS IS AN HONOR! ❤

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Pamela Karanova

Passing A Blessing

Hi everyone,

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! @therealpwishes  I’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.

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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: pamelakaranova@gmail.com 

Love & Blessings, 

Pamela Karanova

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Adoptee Limelight Presenting Haley Radke

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haley-radke

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.

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Find Haley Radke on twitter @haleyradke or listen to the Adoptees On podcast www.adopteeson.com or connect on twitter @adopteeson or instagram @adopteeson

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