The Girl in the Grocery Store

I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to write about this but it’s been on my mind pretty heavy dd3b937b1788b74f542f5891f1128b73--drawings-of-eyes-crying-sad-face-drawing-sketchesso I decided to get it off my chest. I’m also curious if any of my fellow adoptees have experienced anything similar?

Let me share, I’m a 43 year old adult adoptee. I’ve been single for many years, I’ve raised my kids as a single mom. I’ve had a lot of alone time and I’ve embraced it and I actually love to be alone because it seems to be the safest space for me. After many years I recently ventured out into the dating world and I’m currently seeing someone. As we’ve gotten to know one another over the last few months, I have shared a little of my adoption experience with Him. He’s listened and taken in what I have shared, but he doesn’t seem to have much to say in response which seems to be the norm for most non-adoptees. I can dig it because what is there to say? Usually one has to be able to relate to an extent so a conversation dialog is created and there the conversation goes.

In all honesty I haven’t shared all the dynamics of what it’s like to date an adopted person, me specifically. I have only shared with him a few details and some of the things on my list of “Special Needs”. O_O

One of the main things is COMMUNICATION. I made sure in the beginning I let him know how important communication is to me because areas of UNKNOWN are a area of FEAR for me. Maybe I didn’t say “Communicate with me at all times because if you don’t I start to freak out inside and my mind goes haywire and I need you to communicate with me!”… But chances are I said similar, but in a nicer way that said “Hey, communication is important to me so please communicate with me as much as possible”.

Do you have any idea how daunting it is to explain to someone all your adoptee issues? The great thing about this handsome man is I haven’t even had to tell Him all of these issues and one by one they seem to play themselves out. I want to be honest with him, yet what is too much especially in the beginning of a dating relationship? Again, FEAR of sharing too much is always at the forefront and wondering if he will leave like everyone else has, is on my mind so not saying much at all until the situation arises seems safer?

I think in time things reveal themselves so the need for me to vomit all my adoptee issues all over his lap is not necessary. I must say I’m rather sad and somewhat depressed I can’t seem to just forget all about this adoptee crap and get on with my life. As soon as I feel like I’m on top of the world, boom I crash and fall. If you read my blog years back you will see I have done the work! I have tried EVERYTHING! The highs and lows from this adoption thing seem to follow me all over and chances are they will follow me for the rest of my life.

It’s sad and depressing to me.

When I get to this “Space” all I want to do is sleep. I lose my MOJO and go into what I call a “FUNK”.

I never know when the sadness is going to rear it’s ugly head. All I know is when it comes I have to embrace it and KNOW that my response to current situations that might happen are based on the little girl that was abandoned as a baby and child. A non-adoptee reading might have no clue what I’m taking about and might just think I need to check myself into a mental ward, which might not be a bad idea. BUT I promise you if you do the research like I have, and understand that many of our responses to current situations are based on unprocessed stored memories from the beginning of conception and on, you will see that my responses as well as many adoptees aren’t all that “OFF” for the situation at hand.

I know this is A LOT.

Being adopted is A LOT

I hate being adopted.

“Well why are you so negative and why can’t you find the good in being adopted?”

I will save that answer for a totally different blog post because I’m not trying to go off today.  Stay tuned.

Back to the girl in the grocery store…

I turned into a little girl in the grocery store!

Laugh while you can!

It was humiliating!

I went with my guy to the grocery and I had to use the rest room. He was just getting a few things and we walked to the back of the store and found the rest room. I said “I’ll be right back” and walked on in. A few minutes later I came back out and I didn’t see Him. Where did he go? I just knew he had to be right around the corner. I walked a few steps and didn’t see him. I walked a few more steps and didn’t see him.

WHERE WAS HE AND WHY DID HE LEAVE ME HERE?

I TOLD HIM I WOULD BE RIGHT BACK.

My heart starts to do some flips because now I know he’s gone. I didn’t see Him anywhere. My mind starts racing and I started to walk up and down the isles and as I passed each isle, my panic button was being triggered more and more. Every step I took where I couldn’t see Him my fear increased. I felt like I was split in two. The real me KNEW he had to be there somewhere, but the little girl in me knew I was lost. The FEAR from the little girl was much MUCH stronger than the reality of Him being there somewhere.  I was in a full blown panic episode at 43 years old in the damn grocery store!

I walked to the front of the store, and even looked out the front window and thought, “Maybe he went to the car and he’s waiting on me?” or “Maybe he’s hiding around one of these corners trying to play a trick on me?”.

Up and down the isles, faster and faster, searching… I was so upset that he left me. I got tears in my eyes, and I kept looking for Him. In my mind he left me. I continued to search, but I hated the way I was feeling. As I walked all the way to the opposite side of the store I got tears in my eyes. I kept searching. I was frantic.

After many minutes and a dissecting the store in search of HIM I finally laid eyes on Him. A sigh of relief came over me.

He’s here after all and he didn’t leave me…

By this time my mind was mentally and emotionally exhausted. I’m pretty sure I was pouting as I got closer to Him and my eyes were tearful. I’m pretty sure if I said what I was feeling he would have been totally taken back by my reality and considerably shook at my revelations.

I remember saying, “Why did you leave me?” He said, “I told you I was going to find the milk and chicken”. Obviously I didn’t hear that part.  I’m pretty sure he could tell I was visibly upset. I told him I didn’t hear him.  I’ve been beating myself up ever sense then and I am still upset about it because I feel like as far as I am on my healing journey I should have been able to flip the switch on that one.

He said, “Do you really think I would leave you?”. I just looked at Him. I couldn’t even say anything after that because me feeling what I felt at that moment I felt LEFT & LOST. Knowing he would never leave me in the grocery was at a parallel ends of the spectrum of how I was feeling at that moment.   I  had the feeling like I had been abandoned in the grocery at 43 years old by my BOO! WTF! At that time, I either wanted 1 of 2 things to happen. I wanted Him to hug me tight and tell me he’s never gonna abandon me or leave me in the grocery store or ever for that matter, OR I wanted to go crawl in my bed and pull the covers up and never come out again.

I couldn’t do either. I had to just pretend that this episode didn’t happen and I didn’t share with him my feelings about it because I thought it would be just too much for anyone to take in. I do love to communicate and I would like to share it with Him. This is one of the many “Special Needs” that many adoptees might face that our significant others need to know about so they know how to help us and handle us better.

REALITY= I was at the grocery store in the town where I live. I knew where I was. I wasn’t lost but that isn’t how I felt.  I felt abandoned and lost, like the little girl I always was searching for her birth mother.

My thing is who the hell wants to deal with this crap? Seriously? It’s something so small to so many but to me it was a huge deal. I’m disappointed and I’m sad in myself for responding this way, although I feel had no control over it. It was a much deeper psychological episode than I felt I could control. I’ve been working on triggers and how to respond when I have them which is ALL THE TIME but this one swooped up on me and I felt helpless in my response. It was almost like the feeling of coming down on a drug, terrible terrible feeling.

I would rather DIE than feel this way!

I’m not freaking kidding either!

 

THE DREAM

 I was about 5 years old around the time I found out I was adopted.

After this I had a reoccurring dream as a little girl and through much of my life. I was in a hospital around 5 years old wearing a hospital gown. I remember the long hallways going on forever and ever and I was running up and down the hallways looking for my birth mother. I could very vividly remember being frantic, running and pulling the curtains back on each hospital room searching for HER. It went on forever, and I never did find her in the dream. Again, I had this dream over and over through out my life.

This searching FEAR is the exact same way I felt in the grocery when I felt like I was LEFT & LOST.

I’ve always been triggered by feeling lost, and I definitely associate this to adoption. If I can’t find my car parked coming out of the grocery store and I have to walk all over looking for it, I feel lost and I start to panic inside and get tears in my eyes. Worst feeling ever.

The feeling of your mother abandoning you and never coming back, ever. A deep homesick feeling and nothing or no one can help it.

That’s how it feels.

Let’s turn the coin and talk about living real life searching for my biological mother everywhere I went my entire life. Most adoptees can relate 100%. This isn’t a dream. This is real life. I mean today, September 7, 2017 I know where my birth mother is.

She’s dead.

I no longer search for her  but these episodes sparked by FEAR of being abandoned and rejected, LEFT & LOST take me back to the unresolved emotional wounds that are under the surface from being an adoptee.

It’s scary!

It’s complicated.

Adoption is complicated.

All adoptees are different.

Not all adoptees can sympathize with this type of issue, yet some can.

It seriously messed me up and I still haven’t gotten myself back right yet.

I want to tell my guy, but I don’t want to burden him or anyone else with my issues so I have shared it here instead. Maybe one day I’ll get up enough courage to share this blog post with him, until then I will keep it to myself for fear of……

To me, this is one example of so many I could share how adoptees are tormented by emotional and psychological issues we carry regarding being adopted. It might seem small to some, but this type of thing happens daily for many adoptees, and sometimes hourly and more. It’s a constant mental struggle and it’s exhausting just to be alive most days.

Adoption is a permanent solution to what is most of the time a temporary problem and adoptees are the ones doing the life sentence. We pay the price for life, while the rest of the world glorifies how they think we should feel, gratefulness.

I’m sick of adoption. Because of all the real true dynamics, I know and feel and live regarding all the pain, grief, loss and trauma that happens when a child is adopted is why I am deeply saddened anytime a child is adopted and separated from their first families. I am me alone, yet I see and hear the pain and heartache from hundreds of adoptees all over the world that I’m acquainted with. Please believe I am not singing this tune all alone. We create our own army and support one another and validate one another.

If you are an adoptive parent and you have made it this far I commend you for reading. I appreciate it. It takes courage to make the choice to try to learn from adult adoptees. Please look up my tab that says “Adoptee Blogs” and save it as a favorite and you will have never ending knowledge based on real TRUE experience from those who know adoption the most- The Adoptee.

Adoptees, can you relate?

Have you ever had anything like this happen?

How did you diffuse out of it?

Thanks for reading,

img_9360
Pamela A Karanova

145b6685af5cb74ee058a1befdada4b6--dope-quotes-confidence-quotes

 

Advertisements

The Gift of a Grandmother

“And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears” – Mark Anthony

I wonder if anyone who has their grandmother in their life ever wonders what it’s like to never have one? Are they thankful for her? Same for a grandfather…

I’ve lived with many types of fear in my life, as we all have but I’ve also been working at freeing myself from fear so I can live a happier more prosperous life. Some people say FEAR stands for “FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL” but my reasons for FEAR are real.

There has been nothing false about them.

FEARan unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

I always had a dream of meeting my biological grandmother who resides in Leon, Iowa. I found out she was alive and well in 2010 and during that time my mind has been tormented on wishing I could go see her and meet her at least one time.

I have never met a biological grandparent and she is the only one who is still living. I made 2 attempts to go see her in the past and both failed at the hands of my biological father.  He made the choice for himself to reject me after 2 meetings. At one point he promised me he would take me to meet her in 2011. I drove all the way to Leon, Iowa from Kentucky and arrived only for Him to tell me he changed His mind. He said he thought it would “Kill Her”. I was crushed, and the words “Kill Her” stuck with me all these years which has kept me away from trying to meet her on my own accord. Reality is, he didn’t want his secret from 1974 of infidelity to his wife to get out. He was ashamed and it was easier for him to reject me than face His mistakes. He wasn’t letting the cat out of the bag. I was still a dirty little secret. After all I was conceived out of an affair while he was married.

After this huge disappointment in my life I had some years to think longer and harder about Him making this choice for my grandmother. It never settled well with my spirit, which is quite fierce by the way. People can make choices for themselves but I find it totally unfair when someone makes a choice for another person, only thinking of themselves. Does anyone who does this understand they are robbing other’s of memories that can never be replaced? This has caused me more grief & anger in my entire lifetime than you could imagine, not to mention the pain from THIS played a HUGE part in my addiction issues for 27 years of my life.

Perhaps this is why TIME is so important to me?

Time Spent is more valuable than anything.

Visiting my grandmother continued to nag at my spirit.

I have felt like all these years God was whispering, Just GO, Just GO“…

But FEAR.

Another attempt I was able to call my grandmother and speak to her about coming to visit her. She was okay with the idea, and I told her I would come around Easter 2014. I suspect my birth father stood in the way of that visit because she stopped answering my phone calls and the phone number ended up disconnected soon after. It’s hard to tell if he did it out of spite, or if it was when she had to move from independent living at her own apartment to assisted living. Either way my 2nd attempt had failed.

A few more years passed.

During this time I would check Google at least once a month, sometimes weekly to see if she was still alive all the while searching for her obituary. This is something many adoptees do, especially when we’ve been shut out.  My mind would wander about how I would respond if she had passed  away and I never got to meet her. I would visualize being really angry, filled with rage, crying and screaming, even falling into a deep depression.

CLOSED ADOPTION stood in the way of me knowing this woman who I shared DNA with. Not our choice, but the choice made for us by others.  I visualized myself having a complete mental and emotional breakdown if she had passed and I found her obituary on Google. My birth father didn’t even know I existed because of the lies my birth mother told- “FATHER UNKNOWN”. I was given up for adoption without my birth fathers consent and because of this my grandmother didn’t know I existed for most of my life.

Why should we be robbed of knowing one another because of other peoples actions?

LIES AND SECRETS ARE NEVER OKAY- EVEN IN ADOPTION

LIES HURT

THIS HURTING IS LIFELONG FOR ADOPTEES

I’m almost 43 and the pain continues.

See here- When a birthmother lies & keeps secrets.

Non-adoptees wouldn’t have a clue about understanding this.

Adoptees, I know you get it.

They always say the 3rd time is a charm, so here it is. After much praying, seeking advice and counsel from those close to me and from adoptees near and far I decided to make the trip to see and meet my grandmother for the first, and possibly last time. I knew if I didn’t just pick a date I would never do it so June 24, 2017 was the day I was driving to meet her and lay eyes on her.

img_8034-1
A Road Trip I Would Never Forget…

I must admit my fear was still so great. I need to share I work with elderly for a living and I have been working with them for 12+ years. I see how they sit and wait on their loved ones to come visit them. Most of them never get the visits they wait for, but they keep waiting. I knew in my heart of hearts I was going to bring nothing but love to my grandmother, but what if something more was waiting for me?

I drove to Iowa on June 23rd and was able to see and hang out with one of my favorite cousins from my adoptive family. She was definitely a light for me at this emotional time. She took me to her dads flower farm and he helped me hand pick a special bouquet of flowers to take to my grandmother the next morning. It was beautiful to be able to do this. As the evening of June 23rd hit and I was ready to go to sleep the racing increased and thoughts of “What if…” took over my mind. I actually ended up taking something to help me sleep because I knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t sleep at all. My mind was racing with thoughts like, “What if they have me on the block list and I can’t see her?” or “What if my birth father is there and he throws me out?”. The fear wasn’t from God. I know this but it took over and it was extremely difficult for me to move through the fear and do this anyway.

At 6:15AM on Saturday June 24th my alarm went off. 

Today was the day I had waited for for YEARS!

img_7580

I was all the way across the country and I was going to meet my biological grandmother for the first time. No, she didn’t know I was coming. I woke up and started to get ready. My anxiety was through the roof, and more fear was setting in. My stomach started to hurt and it felt like it was in knots.

The FEAR was so great at one point I almost said “Forget it”.  I almost didn’t go, even after I drove all the way to Iowa FOR THIS. This might sound crazy but it was like God was giving me the PUSH to just do it and push through my fear and go anyway. I seriously couldn’t have done it without God in my life.

My cousin said, “There is no way I would do what you are about to do!”.

“Her soul is fierce, her heart is brave, her mind is strong” – R.H. Sin

I continued on, packed up my car and left Iowa City, Iowa about 7:30AM. Leon, IA was 3 hours south of Iowa City< IA so I had another 3 hour drive to get to the nursing home my grandmother was at. That drive seemed like a 100 hour drive. My mind was racing on what I was going to do if my birth father was there, or another family member. Not one of them has been accepting to me. I’ve only received rejection from my birth fathers entire family so what would be different about my grandmother? Would she reject me too? Had my birth father ever talked to her about me? I actually talked to her on the phone 2x over the years and shared with her who I was but it’s hard to tell if she really understood what I was saying, but if I was to guess she received a pretty big clue I was her granddaughter.

The closer I got to Leon, Iowa the the more nervous I became. At one point I almost vomited when I stopped to use the restroom. The feeling I had is hard to describe but I was able to make a connection to this feeling is the same way I felt as a child when I was in and out of the hospital for stomach aches. SAME EXACT FEELING! I’ve heard lots of adoptees have had stomach issues! I was honestly taken back by this. The fear, anxiety and nervousness is the exact feeling I had growing up in my adoptive home which landed me in the hospital many times. I couldn’t believe that I was feeling this same way going to meet my grandmother. It was triggering to be feeling the feeling that took me back to my childhood but…

 I continued on.

I felt like God was saying “GO SEE HER! GO SEE HER!”

Lord knows I couldn’t do something like this on my own strength and will.

I was a HOT MESS!

I pulled up at the nursing home, I grabbed the items I was taking into her, hand picked

img_7562
Uncle Ed- Cardinal Flower Farm. Iowa City, IA

flowers, a card and a letter, a photo album with pictures of me all the way back to my baby years. I prepared these things because if I was turned away at least I would have something to leave her. I had been praying all morning, Jesus take the wheel of this dream of mine and guide my steps.

I walked to the doors which took me straight to the dining room. I was greeted by some nursing assistant aides as well as many of the residents. I asked politely if they could tell me which way Tenie James room was and they pointed down the hallway and off I went.

The closer I got to finding her room, the more anxious I felt.

What if my birth father was there? What if one of my uncles was there? What if they threw me out? What if she didn’t want to see me?

Mind Racing.

Nauseous.

Fear.

img_7565

I quickly found her room with her name on the door. There was no turning back now. I knocked softly, then I turned the door knob and slowly opened the door. I peeked my head inside and saw the sweetest little lady who was relaxing in her automated recliner. I smiled big, and she smiled back. She saw the flowers and my smile and I’m pretty sure it was a comfort to her. Lord knows, all I wanted to do was bring her peace, love and comfort. As I opened the door further, I realized she was all alone and no one else was in the room with her. All the fear that has tormented me all these years and up until this moment lifted off me, and God’s presence was all over that place. I continued to walk slowly towards her.  I shut the door behind me so we could have some privacy and let her know I brought her some flowers and wanted to introduce myself.

“Be the light for all to see”- Matthew 5:16

I got down on the floor so I could be close to her, I held her hand and I said, “Hi there, I wanted to introduce myself, I’m Pam- Jimmie’s daughter. (Jimmie is her son) I’m your granddaughter. I have always wanted to come meet you. I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long but distance has kept me far away. (reality the secrets and lies in adoption have kept me away!)  I hope you don’t mind but seeing you has always been a dream of mine. I was in Iowa and wanted to swing by to visit on my way back to Kentucky.”

She had a smile on her face, almost as if she couldn’t believe it was anyone’s DREAM to meet HER. I pulled out a small photo album which had pictures of me when I was a baby, up until now. One by one she began to look at the pictures. She didn’t turn them fast, she was taking her time. She smiled at many of them and when she made it to the last page, she said “Where is this?”.  The photo was of me sitting by a waterfall in Kentucky and I let her know I had to hike many miles to reach it and that it was a hobby of mine. She said, “I love to hike too!”…

I smiled really big and I said, “It must be in our DNA” and she said “You’re right, it must”. I asked her a few questions and shared some about myself. She was a hard working woman and raised her family all while living off the land to survive. All my biological family on her side are gamers and hunters and loved nature. This makes total sense to me as to why I’ve always loved being outdoors more than anything in this world.

I held my grandmother’s hand and we compared our fingers. I began to take note of her condition, her characteristics and features. Her vision was so good, she is still reading small print books. She didn’t have any hearing aides and could hear all the words I shared because her responses were accurate most of the time. She was using a walker to walk, and seemed fairly independent. She will be 98 years old on August 10th, 2017. My birthday is 3 days after hers. She showed me a quilt she was in the process of making, bright squares of all different patterns and colors. Can you believe she’s still quilting at 97?

As I got down beside her in her chair I knew that this might be the only time I get to see her in this lifetime. After all 97 years erased off the map because of other peoples decision for my life, other peoples decisions for our relationship. I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone in the adoption equation thinks about the long term impacts about adoption trauma, separation, loss, etc. Adoption impacts every area of the adoptees life, for their entire life. Some days the grief and loss has been so great I didn’t think I could continue on.

My grandmother received my visit, it was one of the most amazing happiest moments of this lifetime. She shared about her life, and I shared about mine. She was a bit tearful in parts of what she was sharing but I just held her hand and listened to her words.

Here I was, meeting my biological grandmother for the first and only time. I’m 43, and I can’t help but share that God has always known my deep desire to lay eyes on this woman at least one time. It’s always something that has nagged at my spirit and it’s never stopped. My greatest HOPE was also my greatest FEAR.

BUT GOD…

I would like to share with my fellow adoptees reading that God knows our hurts, he knows our hearts, and to never give up HOPE in finding your family. Be persistent and don’t give up in reaching the people and places you believe are so far away. The fact I was able to meet my grandmother is nothing short of a miracle and dream come true for me. I urge you to take your own steps and making your dreams come true because no matter how it turns out it’s up to me and you. Action must follow our desires, and God knows our hearts.

If he did it for me, he can do it for you…

Dreams really do come true…

WISH

DO

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pamela A. Karanova

Adult Adoptee

Move

move-logo

God has revealed to me it’s time to make some moves in my life. It’s time to make some changes. Not any little changes either. BIG CHANGES. These changes will impact the rest of my life, and my kids lives.

Elevation Church is starting a new series tomorrow called “Work Your Window”. I will be tuning in from afar but I’m suspecting it’s going to be about talking about advantage of the area’s God gives us to improve and move forward, grow in the kingdom and in our personal lives, etc.

img_20170114_120052.jpg

 

WE SHALL SEE! 

I CAN’T WAIT!

I’ve made the decision to discontinue the “How Does It Feel To Be Adopted” Facebook page and the “Ask An Adoptee” Facebook page. I don’t feel like God is leading me to continue these pages. I will however continue my personal blog, and the How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? blog where my fellow adoptees share their stories. I’m praying to find someone to take over the 2 Facebook “Like” pages because they have been more than what I can manage.

I’ve found ADOPTEE LAND to be a painful place for me. It’s like a weight holding me down. It’s heavy. Adoptee issues that I have area heavy on their own. It’s like ADOPTEE LAND adds fuel to the issues which has consumed me for many years now. I have felt like I have spent as much time as I can working hard to network, and I still want to do this a little bit. Just not like before. I am in retreat mode, not just in adoptee land, but in life.

It’s called SELF CARE.

We all need to do this for our sanity. 

As I’ve stated in many recent blog posts God has given me the insight to evaluate relationships, people, places and things where I invest my time. There are many things that are about to MOVE in my life. After many months of prayer, my family and I have decided to leave our church home, We will spend some time being churchless for awhile. During this time we are spending a season of healing from church hurt which is not an easy thing to do. I don’t believe in hopping from church to church. I believe in healing first. Just like a relationship we must heal so we don’t take old church hurt to new places.  I do know that when we pray and ask God to reveal HE DOES IT. He also HEALS! This decision has not been made lightly but I know God has said our season is up. This can be sad, devastating, and down right painful. It has been. But God has also given me a peace about it so I’m standing on this peace and looking forward to the MOVE he is about to do.

So many things in life are really not what they always seem. I’ve learned it’s critical to get in tune with the Holy Spirit to be able to see what God says about all areas. It’s pretty amazing to be able to have such guidance when making life’s decisions. I’m zooming in on such a wide “circle” to making my “circle” small and tight. I’m done with having a wide circle. It’s SO OVERRATED!

I’m experiencing a peace about making these MOVES in my life. 

Everything God re-MOVES from our lives he will replace with more amazing MOVES!

I’ve decided to start a weigh loss journey! I’m sharing to hopefully give someone else some hope who might be struggling in this area. Weight Watchers is one of the area’s God is MOVING in my life! This is a huge step for me. Ever sense being in recovery, FOOD has been one of the only pleasures. I’ve started scratching the surface on how someone can begin to emotionally eat. I desire to be healthy not only my spirit and mind but my body as well. So in order to do this I have to pull back on some of my commitments and focus on my health. I gained 20 lbs which isn’t much to some people. But I can assure you I can feel it all over my body. I can feel a 5 pound difference! So January 2nd I began this weight loss journey! It’s been amazing so far. Easy? NO! But in order to MOVE in some areas with my health it takes action. As of today I have lost 8 pounds in in 11 days! Weight Watchers WORKS! I’ve walked quiet a bit, but some days aren’t as much as others. I’m terrible at getting to the gym, but I love to walk. So I have lost by the Weight Watchers program eating all the food I want! I have a goal of loosing 30 pounds in 6 months. I CAN DO IT! I CAN DO IT!

Next thing is I’m starting a part time job on top of my full time job working as a Remote Reservation Customer Care Agent for Hilton Worldwide. The best part is IT’S FROM HOME! I can still be home with my kids and I will be able to set my own hours after training. Training is 4-6 weeks. I’m excited. I don’t do well with idol time, as many people in recovery don’t. My goal is to pay some bills on my credit, and create a emergency fund if anything ever happened we would have back up. It’s hard with no family. There is no security for me in ever being able to call a family member for anything, especially if I ever needed anything financially. I have learned to depend on my self and God has always made a way. This is another reason I’m going to work a part time job. Saving money!

While God is making major MOVES in my life, I see transitions coming about for the BETTER. My time will be more limited, and things might be hectic on occasion juggling 2 jobs and a home, and still being a mom. I want to use the little spare time I will have with my kids, and my few close friends and with God. My oldest daughter is in college, and I want to do as much as I can to help her!  Just because we have decided to MOVE churches, doesn’t mean God isn’t close by. He’s with me daily, and I seek Him first and foremost in my life. Pulling back from LOTS of social media has been a HUGE life off my shoulders. MAKING MOVES! I thought it was going to be temporary, but as the days pass the more free I feel. The more time I have for things that are really important like the things listed above.

Just updating my followers near and far where I’m at and what’s going on in my life. I hope the new year is treating you well and I pray God MOVES some things in your life so you work towards happiness, being healthy and whole in Him!

If you need to reach me, feel free to leave me a message here or email me: pamelakaranova@gmail.com

Blessings,

Pamela K.

Adoptee Healing Tools

img_20160922_072423-1

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-

img_20160924_135806-1

 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,

Pamela Karanova

Lexington, KY

  • 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 & REGRET I was raised in a home where I witnessed my adoptive mother trying to commit suicide in front of me multiple times. More Trauma She 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. IMHO My 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 me are 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.

img_20160924_140350-1

  • 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!

img_20160925_163223-1

  • 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….

img_20160923_231914-1

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?

img_20160921_110716-1

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…

img_20160921_210147-1

Coming Soon!

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.

img_20160923_080236-1

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 pamelakaranova@gmail.com for information.

img_20160922_175048-1