My Adoptee Community

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 BIO: Pamela resides in Lexington, KY although she was adopted in Waterloo, IA. She has a passion for connecting with adoptees all over the world, sharing her story so they know they aren’t alone and giving a message of hope. She’s a mother of 3 awesome kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats. She’s a private caregiver and loves working with elderly. She loves nature, writing, the sky and Jesus!

 

 

I remember back in 2011 I was in a desperate place and I had nowhere to turn. My life had seemed to reach an all-time low. For me it’s always been more of an internal struggle with being adopted, one that rarely ever seems to leave my mind. I would describe it like a mental and emotional torment, but it’s an invisible wound and others have no idea it’s there.

Being adopted can bring a spirit of aloneness and unwantedness with it. Most non-adoptees don’t understand and I’ve found some adoptees aren’t even aware of why they always feel unwanted and alone. This journey is a lonely one and for many of us we feel like we were born a burden and living a normal day to day life can be challenging, at best.

I remember in 2010 making the connection with my first adoptee online and the awakening process that followed. For the first time in my life, someone understood me. Someone else was speaking and sharing feelings I had tucked away inside in a deep dark space, never to be revealed to the world around me. Someone else was speaking my language. Although I could feel a deep sense of connection to this adoptee, it was next to impossible for me to verbalize my feelings. Writing seemed much easier for me. No one interrupted me and no one tried to silence me. I’ve found writing about my pain and experiences has been one of the biggest healing tools to date.

In 2010 fear was at the forefront and it navigated all areas of my life. My fear of what others would think who were close to me and hurting them overpowered all areas of my life regarding sharing my feelings on how it felt to be adopted. I was in fear of being labeled “Angry” or “Ungrateful” or better yet, “She just had a bad adoption experience”. You see, adoptees tend to always put others first. Many of us are taught from a very early age that our biggest loss and heartache is our adoptive parents dream come true. We learn early on our adoptive parent’s feelings come before our own, and we learn to be silent about something that matters deeply to many of us, our feelings being adopted.

As I began to explore social media more and more adoptees surfaced out of the woodworks. Connections were being made online. I began to build relationships with adoptees all over the world. I decided to share my real true feelings, but I felt I had to hide behind an alias. That worked for me for 5 years but I learned I wasn’t being true to myself or my fellow adoptees by hiding my real identity. By connecting with my fellow adoptees, I came to a place of empowerment and acceptance that I no longer needed to hide who I really was. I didn’t need to apologize for how I felt. I mattered and my feelings mattered. I didn’t need to continue to put everyone else’s feelings before my own.

In 2015 I came out of the “Anonymous Adoptee Closet”. It was a liberating yet terrifying moment for me. All I knew was that I needed to be true to me, no matter who could see. I had to share my truth but I knew there would be a price to pay. I was willing to pay the price not only for me but my fellow adoptees.

I struggled to navigate this online adoptee personality with my real-life personality. I desired to connect the two but the division between be writing about pain in adoption and the world celebrating adoption was clear. Most people in my real life want no part of it and they certainly wouldn’t celebrate my important moments with me. I found most people who were not adopted not only didn’t understand my cause, but they really wanted nothing to do with it.

I have a deep compassion for others and have the willingness to want to try to learn other’s perspectives and views.  That said; I’ve concluded not all people are like me. A few friends & family members close to me have listened to me, cried with me, and have done their best to try to understand. I’m appreciative of them. They know who they are. My children have had their share of listening to me express my feelings, cry my tears and celebrated milestones with me when they arise. I’m thankful for them. I know they can’t truly understand because they aren’t adopted. I do appreciate them trying. On the other hand, I have had many people try to silence my work, silence my passion and silence my cause simply because they don’t agree with it. Even some family members. Some days I could just cry at the lack of empathy people have in this world today. Again, I had to realize not everyone has compassion and kindness in them nor do they have the willingness to want to learn other experiences, no matter if they agree with them or not. The sooner I came to a place of acceptance of this the easier things became.

I’ve recently come to the acceptance that being adopted is always going to be a lonely journey in real life but I’m so thankful for my adoptee community online. There have been times where I disappear for 6 months at a time and they totally understand why I had to leave, and they are there waiting for me when I return. We all have this understanding for one another. I have received countless amounts of positive encouraging messages from followers of my blog and they all let me know they can relate and they no longer feel alone. I finally feel like my pain isn’t going in vein but being adopted is still a lonely journey.

I’ve found a safe space within myself that allows me to share my heart so that others may receive it. Each blog post I share I take the chance of offending someone, or someone rejecting me and this is a real fear many adoptees face daily. I’m willing to take that chance, not only for me but for my fellow adoptees. Especially the adoptees that feel alone and are hurting. My hope is that my sharing my journey can be healing words for others to read. This is healing to me as well.

No matter what we do in life we must be true to ourselves and not apologize for how we feel. Sadly, for many adoptees our feelings of aloneness follow us where ever we go. Many of us will always have those missing pieces, that empty void, that broken heart from losing so much in adoption. I’ve found the sooner I come to a place of acceptance of this life, this pain, this loss the sooner I begin to be able to grasp my reality and the truth of it and move forward with healing.

For many adoptees, they don’t have their truth and without their truth they can’t heal. Keep in mind there is no healing from secrecy, lies and half-truths.

John 8:32

As I grew in my ability to share my real raw feelings regarding being adopted my circle of fellow adoptees grew, and grew and grew. I realized that they were such an important part of my life and my walk that I honestly don’t know what I would do without them. There were times in my life where I was having thoughts of suicide, and they swooped in and became a place of rescue for me. I LOVE YOU ALL! All because they listened, understood and acknowledged my feelings. I understand that to truly understand how it feels to be adopted one must be adopted, but I also understand that adoptees need non-adoptees to have the willingness to listen to us, to want to try to understand and learn from us. WE REALLY NEED THIS FROM NON-ADOPTEES, more listening to learn and less listening to comment.

In April of 2017 I decided to make a trip to Indiana to the Indiana Adoptee Network Conference. This was my first ever adoptee conference and I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I knew was this was my first-time meeting so many far away friends and faces in real life I was ecstatic to have this opportunity.

Between the emotions that came with all the workshops, the time spent talking to each adoptee and the memories that were made this was honestly a chance of a lifetime. It was like a family reunion that I’m never going to get otherwise. To be able to sit and talk, see faces, hug, listen to each other’s journeys and have that connectedness that I’ve never felt elsewhere was awe-inspiring. To be quite honest, I was rather taken back by it all. Not in a bad way, in a healing tears kind of way. I wouldn’t change this experience and being able to connect with my fellow adoptee community in real life for anything.

If you are an adoptee reading this I would love to encourage you to reach out to me and other adoptees online and begin to build your adoptee support community. This is a critical step in your healing journey is to understand you aren’t alone and to make those connections with other’s who understand you. My adoptee community has been my saving grace in good times and bad. We all deserve healing and freedom and sharing our truths no matter how positive or negative it is, is essential to our healing process.

I’ve had to weed out the relationships in my life that are only seasonal and get alone with God and discover who I really am. Adoption is a piece of my pie, but it isn’t all of it. I’ve gotten peace in being alone and I’m working on accepting it as a blessing. Only after I have peace being alone will I have peace being with others.

I would love to extend a special invitation to all reading to consider attending the 2018 Indiana Adoptee Network Conference. The more of us that get together the more community is built. Please visit their website at http://indianaadopteenetwork.org/ to keep up with the planning of this event. My dream is that I get to see you all there IN REAL LIFE! Always remember there’s an army of adoptees out here to support you, encourage you and LIFT YOU UP! You are not alone.

Thanks for reading.

Many blessings and love,

Pamela A. Karanova

www.adopteeinrecovery.com

How Does It Feel To Be Adopted?

Ask An Adoptee

 

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Confliction Brings Content

The weekend of April 21st & 22nd I had the honor of going to my first ever adoptee conference. It was an experience of a lifetime for me and I enjoyed so much of it. My favorite part was meeting my fellow adoptees near and far.

Other parts were simply overwhelming. Emotions I had stuffed for years came flooding back. It was tough on many aspects.

I left the conference with a ton of emotions way up at the surface. I didn’t quite know how to process it all. My plan was to come home and spend some time writing about it in the days to come.

That plan was halted by some news…

Within a few short hours of being back in Kentucky from the conference I found out my adoptive mother had passed away some time over the weekend.

More confliction.

It could hardly believe it.

I took all things I was feeling regarding the conference and put them on the shelf. (a safe space I will return to deal with later.) The emotions and feelings associated with my adoptive mother’s passing had taken over me.

My cell phone rang and on the other line it was my adoptive father whom never calls me for anything unless its sad news or a health issue. I had been working a double shift that Monday April 24th. I was at the tail end of the last shift when I got the call.

Adoptive Father- “Hi Pam- How are you?”

Me- “I’m good Daddy, at work. How are you?”

Adoptive Father- “I have some sad news for you. Your mother has died at some point over the weekend”.

Me- “Wow I don’t really know what to say. What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to do something?”

Adoptive Father- “No, I don’t think anyone wants you to do anything.”

Me- “I just wish she was different and things were different but at least she’s at peace now and hopefully she will finally be happy. I know for certain she was never happy here on earth.

Daddy- “Well your sister is taking it pretty hard. (Haven’t had contact with her in many years)

Me- “Well she still had a relationship with Her, I didn’t so that would make sense I suppose. I had to let go for my own sanity but thank you for sharing the news. I appreciate it”.

My mind was racing a mile a minute. What would they want from me? What would my responsibilities be in this thing? Would I have to travel back to Iowa? Would I be expected to DO SOMETHING? I was a mess thinking of all these things. I just wanted to run and hide.

Interesting that I was not able to process losing my “Mother” because I have done that every single day for the last 42 years. How was this any different?

You see, back in 2012 when I decided to get sober a lot of things changed for me. I learned that to fully live in recovery I had to get honest about all areas of my life. During that process and over the last 5 years I realized that I was forced to be in this family with dysfunction but as I got sober I learned I could make my own choices in all areas. In that time, I had discontinued my relationship with my adoptive mom because of the toxicity she brings to my life. I had accepted the fact that I will never have a mother because she has never been one. I was always the one taking care of her, not her taking care of me. I tried to set boundaries and she wouldn’t abide by any of them.

For my own mental health, sanity and recovery I had to close the door and keep it closed. I had learned in 42 years if I even cracked the door a tiny bit her toxicity impacted me in negative ways and I didn’t want anything to do with that anymore.

It’s awesome when we figure out that YES, we have that choice!

NO MATTER WHO IT IS!

My entire life I have been petrified about what is she going to do next? What area of my life is she going to come back and haunt me. She’s tried hard to use my kids as a manipulation tool and it infuriated me. Aren’t the horrible memories of her trying to commit suicide by laying in the street enough? Or the memories of her tying us to chairs as kids? The manic-depressive episodes- they weren’t enough?

Fear was always on my mind when it came to HER. Fighting off bad memories from my childhood has been a daily struggle. Thank GOD, I have God in my life or I wouldn’t be here! I have forgiven her but I have also closed the door and moved on with my life.

So now what?

I struggled with feeling inhumane for not FEELING LIKE I LOST A MOTHER WHEN SHE DIED. I felt guilty for not feeling any sorrow like someone should feel when their mother dies.

STOLEN!

One more thing adoption has stolen from me. Not only 2 entire families but my mother too! If I had a good mother would things be different for me?

I will never know.

I came to the realization I DIDN’T LOSE A MOTHER WHEN SHE DIED. She was never a mother to me. She took more than anyone could ever imagine.

If I was to weigh the pain of losing my first mother and being rejected by her later in life to the pain of my adoptive mother passing there is no comparison at all. What I am trying to say is that the pain I have felt every single day of my life is the worst pain I have ever felt and that’s because I lost my birth mother at the beginning of life. It’s because I’ve lost 2 entire families because of adoption.

I have accepted THIS.

But it still hurts.

If you aren’t adopted, we are triggered by essentially EVERYTHING IN LIFE!

My adoptive mother dying has no comparison to me. I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh but I am being transparent here. What I did feel was a sadness and sorrow for her that she never found happiness or wholeness here on earth. I felt sorry for her she was in addiction, had gone her entire life never being diagnosed with mental illness therefor she tore through people’s lives like a destructive tornado and she never relented. If it wasn’t a family member (who almost all cut her off) it was someone where she worked, where she lived and her own children. I felt sorry for her that the adoption industry set her up for a fairy tale and I was never the daughter she wanted or needed.

Our adoption story is a flat our disaster!

I was her caretaker.

She was never mine.

Until I turned 31 and packed up a 22 foot U-Haul and moved myself and my kids across the country. I have never felt freedom before like I have sense I moved.

YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD IT WAS!! I HAD NO HELP & NO SUPPORT aside from my best friend. I had 3 small kids and was a single mother making this decision.

IT WAS THE HARDEST YET BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE.

I had to do this not only for myself, my mental health and sanity but for my children! When I saw her doing some of the same things with my kids I knew it was time to go. GOD KNEW!

Life has never been more peaceful for me because I moved far away.  Now it was time to recovery from the first 31 years of life!  I tried to have a long-distance relationship with her but that didn’t work either. She would come visit and it was like the devil himself was showing up at my door step. I had to put an end to it. There comes a time when we must put ourselves FIRST.

I was unsettled on how this was going to play out. For some reason, I thought they were going to need something from me or I was going to have to go back to Iowa to clean her apartment out. I was petrified! Given the circumstances I had dreaded this more than anything in the world and the scene played over and over in my mind all these years.  I had visions of this day coming. FEAR! Fear of facing something I ran from tormented me all these years. 

I just wanted the nightmare to end and for it all to go away.

It was like a dark cloud hanging over my head.

I certainly didn’t expect it to happen within 24 hours of connecting with my fellow adoptees in real life. I hadn’t even been able to process the conference yet!

After my conversation with my adoptive father (him and adoptive mother divorced when I was 1) He asked me to call my adoptive sister. I hadn’t spoken to her in years and years. I believe my adoptive mom used triangulation tactics our entire lives and played us both against each other. We never stood a chance at being sisters because of her.

Now I was supposed to call her?

All I wanted to do was the right thing considering the circumstances.

I called. We spoke about 5 minutes. She was tearful and crying. I was the opposite = Emotionless. She hadn’t let go yet, and I had many years earlier. I didn’t make my decision lightly. I prayed and contemplated and received some guidance from people I’m close to. I felt sorry for my adoptive sister but I know she will be okay.

It comes down to this. If you don’t bring happiness and positivity into my life you must go. I am not making any apologies these days for cutting toxic people, places or things out of my life. Neither should you.

Do I feel any regret for making this decision? No I don’t. I prayerfully made this decision and many tears were involved for along time.  I had to do what I had to do to survive. I had to put my recovery and mental health first for once. I didn’t regret moving across the country and I don’t regret cutting her off with this unhealthy tie legally attaching me to this toxicity.  It was a strange feeling at the end of her life being someone who had to sign her cremation paperwork.

As if the beginning was an adoption transaction.

The end was a cremation transaction.

I didn’t sign any adoption paperwork.

But I had to sign her cremation paperwork.

Confliction.

There is supposed to be a memorial at a later date. I decided it would not be in my best interest to go back to Iowa to help with her apartment. I experienced massive anxiety and fear even contemplating it. I didn’t have peace about it at all and peace comes from God. This spoke to me. I helped with some of the cremation costs and will be sending more money asap to go towards expenses my sister has had to face regarding this manner. Neither of us asked to be in this situation. It’s certainly not all her fault. I will not attend a memorial at this point unless my children want to attend. Being an adoptee loosing 2 entire families with no funerals, no nothing I’ve learned to say good-bye without funerals!

 I know my kids are sad and I can respect and understand that because they are in a different position than I am. They didn’t experience what I did and I never want them too- THANK GOD!  I respect the need for them to process the grief and loss they might be experiencing. After all, legally she was their grandmother.

Out of every darkness in life God will turn around and use it for His good. I am content knowing that even when my adoptive mom brought so much darkness to my life she’s in a happier place now. I know she believed in God and I know her mental illness was left untreated. I know she’s in heaven healed, happy and whole. Finally, she’s in a place where she could receive all God has for her and it wasn’t here on earth. Heaven isn’t 2nd place you know! Her infertility and not being able to have her own children haunted her and I was adopted to fix the problem. What a heavy burden to carry. I’ve forgiven her. She was sick. I am sad she lived such a miserable life.

John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Today I choose to live life & live it more abundantly. I am excited to move forward to receive all God has in store for me. I’m looking forward to taking back all the enemy has stolen from me as the days move forward in life. I have a bucket list now and I’m moving forward with those people in my life who love me for me and are real, true, genuine and sincere.

Content.

I still haven’t even processed the conference yet. I don’t know if I will ever be able to do that but hopefully I will be able to write about it soon. It was tough on many levels. My favorite part was meeting all my fellow adoptees who GET IT!

I love you all.

Say a prayer for me and I’ll say a prayer for you too!

I have my Facebook back up for now!

Follow me @

Adoptee in Recovery

Twitter- @therealpwishes

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Pamela Karanova

A Reflection About Christmas

Moving away so my kids and I could have a better life is something my kids, thankfully will never understand. If they understood this they would have to experience all the hell I went through growing up. I never wanted them to experience these things, so moving away to protect them was all I knew to do.

I am constantly hearing many people share experiences about their families, and the good and bad times. Many times I learn of dysfunction and toxic situations that people are in while they are grumbling and groaning about certain people. Many times they share situations about family members who have “crossed the line” or “got on their last nerve”.

This holiday season I was reminded on many occasions why I moved away. To me there are so many dynamics to this. There are pro’s and con’s. The sadness I feel from having to make this choice of moving away just to have some normalcy in my life, and my kids life really never leaves. Aside from all the other adoptee issues, this sadness is always in the background lurking, especially on the holidays.

All those around are sharing their holiday “CHEER”

I just can’t wait to get on with the new year!  

I never want to be a Grinch and spoil anyone’s holiday so I keep my opinions to myself. Holidays are painful! Triggers Triggers everywhere. Everyone is talking about their families, blah blah blah…

This year was different. I’ve found 2 of my 3 amazing kids are in relationships with significant others. This brought a new spin to our holiday season. 2 of my 3 kids were able to experience a “Family Setting” from other families and it brought them great joy and fun to experience this type of “Love & Welcoming” from other people, in other families.

It dawned on me that this is something I can’t give them and I never will be able to give this to them. 

There is little ole me.

I’m just mom.

I feel terrible about THIS but no one else would understand unless they were an estranged adoptee in a similar situation. I don’t have parents that are active in my life or my kids lives. They don’t have active grandparents, cousins, aunts or uncles. I could have stayed around all the toxicity and dysfunction and everyone would have been major damaged goods, just like I was. If I stayed in the situation I was in, I wouldn’t even be able to be “Mom” because I was so broken that drinking alcohol was all I knew to numb the pain.

Of all people to know how important a mother is, I know. I know because I have never had one so I know first hand the heartbreak and loss involved in this situation I have had no control over. My birth mother rejected a relationship and abandoned me twice. My adoptive “mother” should have never been given a chance to adopt. She was never a mother. My adoptive dad moved far away and LEFT US with the adoptive “Mother” who didn’t have the capabilities to be a “Mother” and my birth father has rejected a relationship with me. I’m trying to embrace family isn’t always blood, it’s who you make it and teach this to my kids.

How can an adoptee be adopted, yet be parentless in the parent area?

Back to CHRISTmas…

My 2 children were able to experience all the fun, love and excitement of being a part of another family. My heart was exceptionally excited for them to be able to experience something they should have never had to go without. I feel guilty as a parent, but I can’t change a thing about who our family is or isn’t. I have had no control over being adopted or the family I got in this deal.

One thing I know is that I pray daily for my kids to have significant others who have big wonderful families who love them, accept them and treat them with love and respect each of them deserves. I pray they gain a wonderful family in their significant others. I pray they are strong enough in life to be able to have healthy and happy relationships around them. I pray they are strong enough to let go of all things unhealthy and toxic no matter who inflicts this on them. I want them to find happiness in life. They deserve it.

It might have taken me many years to get my “stuff” together but one thing I am certain of is that my kids have me, adoptee in recovery. Holiday’s come and go and there are constant reminders of all that has been lost in my life because of adoption. Triggers come 100 X a day it seems. Adoption doesn’t only impact me, but it has greatly impacted my children. I know on many occasions they have expressed feeling alone like I do. It breaks my heart in another type of way.  I’m their mother and I’m not going anywhere but I never can or never will be able to give them the wonderful happy family they deserve. Not on Christmas, or any day of the year. It saddens me but at the end of the day…

We do have each other minus all the family drama!

That’s something HUGE to smile about! 

Thankfully we have each other.

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Withdraw & Retreat

I don’t consider it isolation. 

I consider it me getting alone with God. 

That’s a wonderful place to be IMHO. I’ve come to a cross roads in life. I feel like I’ve come to many cross roads over the last few years, but none quite like this one. I feel a total peace about the place I am, and this is why I know it’s from God. 

I’ve learned over time it’s so easy to become co-dependent on people, places and things. I am striving to be free of codependency of people, places and things. The more I let go of people, places and things the more free I become. The more free I feel. Free to me is a “Safe Space” for me to be in. The less people, places and things the less drama, hiccups and nonsense I have that comes my way.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Facebook for quite some time now. I am learning that Facebook is just a tool used for everyone to be up in your business, when reality is most of those people aren’t even in my life. It’s almost as if I’ve noticed Facebook has a sort of control over me. I have made the choice to “Opt-Out” of allowing Facebook to have this control over my life, at least for the time being. It’s apparent in my life anyway, something can happen spur of the moment and I make the choice to log back in and there I go… Wasting time, very valuable precious time on meddling in what others are doing. I put up a status that is heartwarming for those who read it and go about my merry way. There is much more to Pamela Karanova than what I share on Facebook. I have many layers as we all do.

Most of the time I wonder who is REAL in my life and who ISN’T. Who will even notice I’m gone? Hardly anyone ever does. I find it so interesting. The people who I REALLY have in my life I’m close to and we talk on the phone, text, and see one another and don’t need Facebook to tie us together. I’m clinging to those REAL relationships with my REAL friends. If we have a relationship in “real life” I don’t need Facebook to have that. I am keeping my “Like” pages up and going, as well as sharing adoptee stories at How Does It Feel To Be Adopted Website

Many transitions are taking place in my life. I’m in a discovery phase of WHO I AM and listening what God is going to do next in my life. I’m going through emotional highs and lows in LIFE in general. God is weeding out people, places and things who don’t serve a purpose in my life anymore.

 John 5:8 says, “”Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

And so it is… 

I’m happily embracing on a season of self discovery moving forward while acknowledging all that has been might not be a part of what will be. I’m okay with this. I don’t feel the need to explain my journey to everyone. Most people only want to hear warm fluffy stories anyway! I feel those who will really want to know will take the time to reach out to me and find out how I am, what I’m doing in my life. 9 x out of 10 they won’t have time to meet you for coffee with their busy schedule, so WHY would I share my life with them? Real relationships takes real action. I don’t believe in telling people “Good-Bye”. If you were ever a real part of my life there will be no “Good-Byes” only more “Hello’s”. If you weren’t a real part of my life, you might consider saying “Good-Bye” but may I suggest you save it for the next person you would like to have a “Fake Relationship” with?  Why would you tell someone “Good-Bye” if you have a real relationship with them? I sure wouldn’t.

I’ve seen a lot in my little 42 years of life here on earth. I’ve been in large groups of people who say you are a part of their life, and I’ve been in small groups of people who say the same. I’ve been naive for many years of my life. I’ve wanted to be accepted and belong somewhere for so long, that I’ve been blinded many times over at synthetic relationships that come my way. Just because I speak to you and see you as we pass by one another doesn’t mean you are my friend. Friendships take work. They take time. They take sacrifice to put your friends before yourself. Friendships take intention. I try to see the good in people, and for most of my life I’ve fallen head over heels in love with the idea of so many people who “love me” or “accept me” and those who say they WANT TO BE MY FRIEND.

It’s take 42 years for me to be OKAY with the idea that people are full of it. They can say words like “Family of Choice” so easily. In the next breath they denounce the very words they spoke the week before.  What is “Family of Choice” anyway? To me it sounds like something that separates and divides us away from our family of origin or our adoptive family or whoever we have close to us we call family. Family is a variety of things. Family is those who you invest in, you take time to reach out to them and you make it a POINT to be in their life. This can even happen from a distance! Family isn’t something that I take lightly. I’ve had blood and adoptive family and church family. People can say they are family and back stab you or betray you in a heartbeat.  One thing I don’t do is FAKE. If I don’t like you or want to be around you, you will not hear from me. I won’t respond to you and I will always try to do this in the most elegant & graceful way possible. Just because I’m a CHRISTian doesn’t mean I have to allow everyone on God’s green earth to see inside my life. I am called to love people, and that I will do. It doesn’t mean I need to continuously let my guard down, allow people to come into my life only to dismiss me in the next segment of this thing we call “Life”.

It’s a freeing feeling to CHOOSE who I allow in my life.

 I can honestly smell bullsh*t a mile away! 

Relationships are reciprocated.

If I don’t reciprocate I don’t want a relationship with you.  

If you don’t reciprocate a relationship with me, I KNOW you don’t want a REAL relationship with me. 

It’s SIMPLE. 

End. Of. Story.  

I remember the days where I would allow people in, and they flat out didn’t deserve to be in my life. I wanted and needed to be accepted SO BAD, I was blinded by so much.

Those days are over. 

Today, the title of this post is “Withdraw & Retreat” for a reason. I’m not all alone. God is with me! My close friends know pieces of what’s going on in my life, and the REAL friends I have are on this ride with me. My kids are with me. They are the most important thing TO ME! So today I’m at a peaceful place filled with many transitions taking place. God is weeding things OUT and I believe with my entire heart he will replace all those things with better things.

It’s critical I trust Him.

Growing in my relationship with God is something I put at the front of my life, each and every day I’m committed to THIS. For my fellow adoptees; I will always be around for YOU!  Please believe this is no good-bye letter. Only a post explaining some things are changing in my life, for the better and I’m excited to share it.

God is about to use me in a new way because it’s a NEW DAY in this thing we call LIFE.

Thanks for reading.

I’m going to try to write more in the near future.

Pamela Karanova

Adult Adoptee

Healing from Years of Abandonment & Rejection

Healing from Years of Abandonment & Rejection

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When I was a little girl, I found out I was adopted about 5 years old. Although I am thankful for the truth, this moment would change my life forever.  I always had a deep natural desire to find out the simple questions so many take for granted; who am I and where did I come from?

If you were to ask me what it was like growing up adopted I would say it was like having an empty heart with a mind filled with sadness and despair. These feelings were hidden from the world because there was nowhere to share my pain.  I felt isolated and alone. There were never-ending missing pieces to my story and it was impossible to feel whole without having the answers my heart desired.  I was plagued with feelings of insecurities from being abandoned at birth.  I had no voice and no choice resulting in disenfranchised grief, loss and trauma.   At a young age all alone, I set out to find my birth parents searching for them everywhere I went. I was never going to give up in finding them.

At the age of 21, I was given some information that was kept hidden from me. This was a dream come true for me because soon I would come face to face with my biological parents.  I could make up for lost time, or so I thought. I had high hopes for the reunion I always dreamed of. When my birth mother loved me “So Much” why would I think otherwise?  I don’t believe an adoptee can fully prepare for rejection from their biological parents. Soon I was faced with double rejection from both birth parents.  I had nowhere to turn experiencing more grief, loss & sadness. I was in denial and I didn’t want to accept the truth.  I discovered I was the product of an affair with a married man. My existence was a secret from everyone around.  My biological father knew nothing about me. Every clue to my history was extremely valuable to me in my healing process.

Every Birthday, Holidays, Mother’s Day & Father’s Day are constant reminders of the loss of 2 entire familirs, which has left me deeply saddened for many years  No memories to remember, no good bye and no forever. The grief and loss were unbearable at times. The world didn’t understand this thing called “Adoption” that was glorified worldwide was the very source of my deepest pain.

I was completely heartbroken.

I started to research “Adoptee Support” and found nothing. This left me feeling hopeless, depressed and even suicidal at times.

I began drinking alcohol at a very early age to numb my pain. I was in and out of drug and alcohol rehab, juvenile jail and many group homes. This would lead to unhealthy lifestyle habits as well as anger and rage issues.  When I found both my birth parents they were both alcoholics. This scared me because of my history but finding this truth is what potentially saved my life. It prompted me to make the choice to make changes in my life. This is a choice only I could make, no one else could make it for me.  I started a ministry called Celebrate Recovery and threw in the towel on my drinking habit. I’ve been living a sober life since August 13, 2012. During this time I have worked on healing by discovering my root issues come from abandonment & rejection from my adoption experience.  Facing the pain head on is what I was focused on for the next 4 years. During this time I learned adoptees have no safe place to share their deep rooted feelings regarding being adopted. This is when How Does it Feel to be Adopted? was created for all the adoptees out there. I started sharing my journey at Adoptee in Recovery which turned into a great healing through writing tool not only for me, but for other adoptees as well. I’m a firm believer in order to heal it we must feel it. I started to grow in my relationship with God and this is when things started to change for me. I gave my life to Christ in 2009 and in time my heart became filled with His love. This is love I never experienced before. God shining His light on me and learning the truth about my history has been my way to healing and freedom.

A bible verse I hold close to my heart is “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” – John 8:32

I felt it was impossible to “give it to God” when I don’t have the truth to give. What am I giving? As I began to share my deepest hurts with God, he began to help me see things from another perspective. I grew in a way I never had before. I had a deep desire to reach out to other adoptees all over the world and hear their stories. I wanted to let them know they aren’t alone and the way the feel is normal for a not normal situation. I learned that adoptee attempt suicide at a rate that is 4xs more likely than non-adoptees, and prisons and treatment facilities are overflowing with adoptees.  I knew because of these statistics and my own experience with attempting suicide as a teenager, battling addictions and suffering from abandonment & rejection I needed to share my story. My hope is to make a difference among the adoptee community.  In sharing my journey I have adoptees from all over the world connecting with me and they begin to share their journey and feel validated.  Sharing untold feelings & having someone who understands is healing. I let them know God loves them so much and “You can’t heal a wound by denying it’s there!” – Jeremiah 6:14 is another favorite verse I stand on for adoptees all over the world. I encourage them to share their stories and their feelings. I’m extremely thankful God helped me find my truth and he’s pushed me to help other adoptees do the same.  It’s impossible to know where your headed if you don’t know where you come from.

I’m a proud mom of  3 amazing kids and I strive to be a happy healthy mom because this is something I never had. I adore my career in private home health working with elderly. I attend  Bethel Harvest Church in Lexington, KY and consider my church family to be the family I never had. I’m on a healing journey and live my life in recovery. This will last a lifetime. I rally for truth and for all adoptees to be able to access their original birth certificates which are only accessible in a few states.  I assist with search and reunification for my fellow adoptees because everyone deserves to know where they come from. I’m working on starting an all adoptee support group in Lexington, KY.

We all deserve that safe place to share our deepest hurts.

The best part is God heals.

For any non-adoptees who are reading, please know that one of the main things you can do to help us is have the willingness to listen and learn.  This is when our healing begins.  Have the willingness to read adoptee stories and learn from us. No matter what the therapist say, no one knows how it feels to be adopted like we do. Our voices and views are the most valuable in the equation, yet the most ignored.

I would like to share a word of encouragement for my fellow adoptees. God knows your hearts desires and he knows all your tears and pain. Never give up hope in finding your family and seeking your truth. I have some Adoptee Healing Tools I would like to share with you all.  No matter what the truth is, it’s the way to healing, acceptance and freedom. It’s important to network with your fellow adoptees who understand what this journey is like. Please reach out to me. I would love to share your story at How Does it Feel to be Adopted? Please know you are not alone. You matter and your story matters.

Pamela A. Karanova

Lexington, KY

Adoptee Writing Prompt- Birth Mother/First Mother

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To participate in Writing Prompts all you have to do is be an adoptee and have the willingness to SHARE regarding your adoption experience in relation to the writing prompt.

There is no wright or wrong in what you share or don’t share.

The key is: SHARE! 🙂 

Sharing is healing

This will be a weekly event in which the changing topic inspires adoptees to share stories, ideas, memories and as much or as little that comes to their mind regarding the topic and their adoption journeys.

Although the world can read and learn from us, I would like to save this space for adoptee only sharing.

Please leave your comment here ❤

 

Adoptee Voices- Why Do We Search?

I would like to compile a blog post about why adoptees make the choice to search with an emphasis on it not wavering how much we loved or didn’t love our adoptive families.

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Over and over I hear adoptive family members or non-adoptees discourage adoptees from searching because we should “Just be happy with the family we got” and “We have no idea what we are getting ourselves into” by searching. I would love input from my fellow adoptees to include in my blog post. All entries will be kept anonymous. I feel this is something that really needs to be brought to light. I’ll share here when I’m done and this will be shared publicly and online.

Here are the questions over 20 adoptees chimed in on. 

 

1.) What made you decide to search and did this decision have anything to do with how much you loved or didn’t love your adoptive families?

2.) No matter what you found, do you regret searching?

3.) What advice can you share to your fellow adoptees that are searching or considering searching?

4.) What can you share with the non-adoptees and adoptive family members who might be discouraging adoptees from search?

Here are their voices

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Adoptee Voice 1

  • Search is not about replacing your family, but about finding out who/where you came from and how you got to be who you are. While I always wanted to know more about my birth family, when I was pregnant with my first child the “want to know” became a “need to know”. While my birth family was not everything I hoped to find, I am so glad that I search. Not only was I able to have a 35 year relationship with my birth mother, but having all the facts of my adoption actually improved my relationship with my adoptive family. I was finally able to integrate my two family legacies.

Adoptee Voice 2

  • From the time I was little I knew I wanted to search when I got old enough. I waited until I was 28 to begin searching because I was busy w/ college, getting married, & having a family. It took over 20 years to find my bio. Family, & by that time my mother & both sisters had passed away. I have a half-brother still living & have had some contact w/ him, but he’s incarcerated in a federal prison, which complicates matters. I did get to meet my stepfather & my only living aunt, as well as talk to one of my uncles on the phone. We were planning to meet a few months later, but he died unexpectedly. I don’t regret searching. I only regret that I wasn’t able to find them until it was too late to meet my mother & sisters. My adoptive family was very supportive of me, but for adoptees whose adoptive families discourage them, I’d tell them that it isn’t about them. It’s about needing to know who you are, who you look like, where you get your quirks, etc. The best advice I can give those who are considering searching is to find a search angel. Don’t waste money on a private investigator when a search angel can do the same thing for free, & usually a lot faster.

Adoptee Voice 3

  • My need to search was about me as I needed to know who I was and where I came from. My parents knew this, and they totally supported my decision. 2. I have no regrets that I searched, because I found myself. 3. My biggest pieces of advice would be to have low expectations and a good support system. You’ll be disappointed if you expect too much, and it falls through, and you might run the other person off like I did with my brother. I wanted the relationship with him to undo the past, and there’s no way that was going to happen. I’d also say to do your own work before you even think of searching as reunion is filled with so many unknowns, and it’s good to have a therapist to process all that stuff with. Reunion is a roller-coaster, and you never know what’s going to happen, so it’s vital to have people that support you. 4. I’d respectfully say until you’ve walked in my shoes, you have no right to judge what I’m doing. This isn’t about replacing adoptive parents but about finding your identity. If people don’t understand that, then that’s their problem. Don’t let them stop you.

Adoptee Voice 4

  • I first felt the desire to search when I was in my early 20s, just a few years after I found out I was adopted. The decision to search was about finding my own history and filling in the holes in my life story and had nothing to do with my feelingsfor my wonderful adoptive family or their love for me. It always strikes me as strange that anyone would question why an adoptee searches when genealogy is such a popular hobby in this country. Isn’t a search for your birth parents really just the ultimate genealogy research? (Further complicated by closed records, of course!) 2. I will never regret searching. I ended up being found instead of finding and my birth mom and I are five months into a storybook reunion. But even if the outcome had been different, searching was something I needed to do for myself, to know my truth and my story. And now that I have it, I find it’s as priceless as I always imagined it would be. 3. To everyone searching, I would say, post your information everywhere, and, more importantly: never, never give up! You might be just one step away from finding what you’re looking for. 4. Non-adoptees or adoptive families who discourage an adoptee from searching are speaking from their own place of insecurity and fear. While adoptees who search need to be aware that things don’t always work out the way they might hope, they also need to remember that non-adoptees don’t have the same experience of life as they do and cannot understand. As Gertrude Stein said, “Let me listen to me and not to them.”

Adoptee Voice 5

  • 1). As a twice-adopted person, by two separate families, I grew up with ideas of searching for my biological mother. She was the woman I often dreamed about; the woman without a face. My decision to embark on my search occurred as a 20-year-old young man.

    I did not have the experience of growing up in good families as an adoptee. In both, the abuse of me took precedence, although, in the second family, it was intermingled with positive responses.

    So, by ultimately looking for my adoptive mother, it served as an attempt to create the loving family for which I never had as a child.

    2). While I ultimately found both biological parents, exactly 20 years apart, there were problems. Yet, I absolutely do not regret searching for doing so filled in the blanks for which I had wondered about for decades. In the end, my biological mother abandoned me for a second time, as an adult, and I would only meet my biological father as he was dying of stage 4 cancer.

    3). Advice? Be prepared for the unexpected. It doesn’t always work out and yet, it may just work out. It can be the best time in your life, and the worst. It all depends upon the reception by the other side.

    4). A potential search is not about about wanting to abandon the family of your adoption. It is only about finding those missing puzzle pieces that can create the entire picture of a life still unfulfilled.

    Most people know their families, their parents, siblings and grandparents. Knowing of your origins is, in my opinion, one of the basic needs of being human. The adoptive family may feel threatened and yet, they should understand this is not about wanting to replace them by returning to the family of origin, but more, a gift they can offer by lending support, and clues, to their son or daughter’s early history.

    It is selflessness on the part of the adoptive family.

Adoptee Voice 6

  • I was found because I was too terrified of rejection to search myself. Thankfully my birth mom searched for me. From there, with her help, we found my birth father. I truly believe that it’s imperative to make the journey for the sake of self and descendants. The only advice I can give is to keep your eyes wide open, don’t expect good or bad outcomes as every situation is unique, and be brave. When you have a better grasp of who you are by way of your genetic links then you will understand fully why it’s so important.

Adoptee Voice 7

  • I’ll start with the last question first because that situation annoys me. It’s not anyone’s place to get in someone else’s business about why they are doing something. We don’t owe anyone an explanation. We don’t have to defend ourselves to the clueless or earn their blessing. Most people who question our search already have their minds made up anyway. I would just say I’m sorry you don’t understand. You could always bring up the general interest in genealogy as evidence of how many people are interested in their roots, but it’s not necessary. Also, there’s my own example – my sister told me my mother finally had peace for the first time in her life now that she knew what happened to me and that I was ok. So searching can actually be a kindness to our families, not just self-serving. And I would say to my fellow adoptees who are searching not to get discouraged or give up. I didn’t find my family until I was in my mid-50s.

Adoptee Voice 8

  • I was just getting out of an abusive relationship and I needed a distraction so I wouldn’t go back to him. Plus I was always curious about where I came from.
    No regrets.
    3. Don’t give up. But check your expectations at the door.
    4. In end, whatever you decide to do, it’s your story.

Adoptee Voice 9

  • My dad died and I just thought that life is short and better to search sooner than later. Also I didn’t want to hurt my dad’s feelings in any way. Zero to do with how much I loved my family!
    I don’t regret it even when some biological family rejected me.
    Just do it-it’s better to know the truth.
    It has nothing to do with you. You can’t fully understand the feelings of an adoptee unless you are one.

Adoptee Voice 10

  • I decided to search because I wanted answers, pure and simple. I didn’t need anything, didn’t expect anything beyond gaining knowledge. I gained so much more but I actually went into it prepared for the worst. My adoptive family had nothing to do withit except for the fact that my experience with them – and particularly with my a-mother – was so bad that it put me off searching for years. I just did not want a repeat experience. I had a real negative association with the word “mother.”  I do not regret searching. My search had a wonderful outcome but, even if that had not been the case, I had been so plagued with questions for so long it was just nice to have that settled and over and done with. Not that finding didn’t bring up a new set of questions but at least I learned the basic facts of my personal history.

Adoptee Voice 11

  • The first time I was aware that I wanted to search for my birth mom was when an adoptee friend told me she thought my b mom loved me and didn’t want to give me up. I remember feeling excited at the thought of finding my mommy that loved me. I was terrified to search because I knew it would mean being shut out of my adoptive mom’s life. She would stop talking to me if I did anything she didn’t like and that was absolute hell. When my adoptive mom handed over my non identifying information when I was in my early 30’s (I have NO idea why she chose to give this to me) I think I felt that was her permission to search.

    The journey to finding my b mom was a long one. I had lots of help from people who volunteered to find records on my behalf and that made the process so much easier and bore fruit much sooner!! I could write a book filled with the joys and pain of meeting my b mom. Without support from my husband I don’t think I could have done it, but I am NOT sorry I searched.

    My advice to fellow adoptees is making sure you have supportive people surrounding you when you search. Please DO NOT wait until your adoptive parents pass away to start this journey….you deserve to find YOU and that doesn’t just happen by being adopted into a new family. Finding out where I came from gave me such a sense of belonging. Did it heal all my wounds? No, only some. But I didn’t spend emotional energy wondering anymore.

For the adoptive families I would say find support for your own fears about this. I believe our fears keep us in a place of denying what is needed for healing. If you truly love your adopted child be the ADULT they need you to be. Remember no matter how much you wish they were your own, they are not. They belong to you AND another family. Consider this an opportunity to bring healing to your child’s life at the expense of it being painful and scary to you. I do not believe we can have an authentic relationship without looking at truth. Take their hand, and remind them you are not going anywhere!

Adoptee Voice 12

  • ) What made you decide to search and did this decision have anything to do with how much you loved or didn’t love your adoptive families?

    I chose to find my natural family because it is my right to seek answers and know my heritage. I want the opportunity to bond with siblings, grandparents, cousins, and other family.

    I find it infinitely frustrating that adoptees are pressured into disregarding their own feelings about their first family because of the feelings of adoptive family and non-adoptees. Why do our feelings matter less? The love we feel for our adoptive family has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it.

    2.) No matter what you found, do you regret searching?

    Not at all. I kept searching for 20 years until I found every single living relative.

    3.) What advice can you share to your fellow adoptees that are searching or considering searching?

    Don’t let anyone tell you that your feelings are less than. Keep an open mind, without expectations. Remember that your natural mother also suffered trauma because of the adoption, so she may have just as much of a hard time with reunion as you.

    4.) What can you share with the non-adoptees and adoptive family members who might be discouraging adoptees from search?

    Consider this: to an adoptee, our adoption feels like our entire family died in one day, and we are expected to be grateful for the situation we were forced into. We have the human right to mourn the loss of our first family just as if they had died. We are neither blank slates nor eternal children. We are forced to deal with the stress of living three entangled lives – the person we were born to be but never were the person whose life we assume but never fit into, and the person we create for ourselves as adult adoptees. It’s a very stressful and difficult to navigate life, regardless of how wonderful our adoptive families may be. We need your support! Denying our feelings will only push us away from you.

Adoptee Voice 13

  • I needed to know who I was and where I came from plus I was biracial I did actually find out my race from DNA testing before I searched or whilst I was searching but had not found…. I am glad for the prep work or healing I did before searching because I did uncover a lot of trauma and drama… I was also lied to by my adoptive family, social services and members of my natural family so I was misled a lot while searching but I had a great search angel that helped me. The info I received was almost like working through grief bit by bit and also the letters I wrote to natural mom were very hard to write but each time I posted one it got a bit easier, she never actually got any of them… I was sad to find so many traumas in my natural mom’s life stemming from the fact she herself was abandoned at nine years old and went from one abusive relationship to another after my dad left her to marry someone of his own race… My dad took my bro and she kept my sister…. she lost my sister and my half bro 7 years later trying to escape the abusive jerk that she left me for…she got with another abusive jerk after that who told her she could not keep my sister either but they reunited when my sister was 16… My mum tells me that I am lucky and should be grateful she didn’t keep me and I didn’t endure what my sister did , but none of them asked how my life was growing up with and abusive manipulative lying my adoptive family… My reunion is not going that great there is too much pain all around. My mum doesn’t answer my calls or phone when she says she will which triggers me into a three day meltdown mode. My sister is overflowing with love but for all the wrong reasons and I just keep walking my healing path because truly that’s what it’s all about reunion or no reunion we have to heal from the loss and reunion just shoves that loss right in your face so now you are face to face with all the years lost whether it’s with mum or siblings or whatever adoption is based on deception and loss and healing is possible but it takes years of work…reunions do not fix the pain of the loss …

Adoptee Voice 14

  • ) What made you decide to search and did this decision have anything to do with how much you loved or didn’t love your adoptive families? What made me decide? hmm sad occasion of someone showed me the realization that it’s time to do what I needed todo for years that I was ready for it
    2.) No matter what you found, do you regret searching? Not at all. It’s important to do
    3.) What advice can you share to your fellow adoptees that are searching or considering searching? Don’t expect miracles and acceptance from that moment on it’s not up to you alone
    4.) What can you share with the non-adoptees and adoptive family members who might be discouraging adoptees from search? I can only say this: it’s not about you and with all the respect you need to support or walk away

Adoptee Voice 15

  • 1) Curiosity. Who am I? And no, my family was amazing which made it even harder to talk about wanting to search because I felt like I was betraying them or something. 2) I do not regret searching. 3) I was actually found on fb by my birth mother. I had all the information that I thought could be helpful, full birthday and my full name (Irish + Romanian) 4) Helping someone get through something is easier than helping someone get through the unknown. In my opinion you can’t get closure until you know everything.

Adoptee Voice 16

  • I searched because when my oldest had a hidden medical condition.They tested me and I had it also! So I wondered what else might be hiding. #3) Don’t expect a Hollywood happy filled reunion. You were given up for a reason. You may or may not find that “missing piece of the puzzle”. Keep expectations very low and search for the right reasons

Adoptee Voice 17

  • My search began a month before my wedding day. I found out my birth name at the bank. My papers were in a vault along with my Savings Bond. I asked who is Linda Marie? Mom would not give me a straight answer. 2. I did not regret searching for the truth even though I ended up asking mom again for my truth 2 years later and mom’s reluctance to give me information. 3. If your mom has information continue to badger her and keep on asking.

Adoptee Voice 18

  • ) I decided to search because it’s a natural human instinct to want to know who we are and where we come from. It’s impossible to know where your headed if you don’t know where you come from. It was tearing me apart inside to not know. My wanting to search was natural for a not natural situation. My pain of the unknown was SO GREAT I was addicted to alcohol most of my life because I couldn’t handle adoptee grief, loss & trauma and not knowing my answers. With the world celebrating adoption they make no room for our pain so I NEEDED TO KNOW MY ANSWERS. Trust me if I didn’t have the deep desire to know I would have much rather chose that route but that’s not how it works for many of us. My decision had nothing to do with my adoptive family and them loving me or not loving me. Love has NOTHING to do with us wanting to search and everything to do with needing the TRUTH. Without the truth we can’t move forward with acceptance and healing. Give it to God? Let me ask… If I don’t search and have the answers and beginnings of how I came about how do I know what to give to God? Am I going to hand him a question mark? Don’t think so….

    2.) I faced double rejection from both birth parents. It gets no more painful than that yet I still would rather know than live in the unknown because that was pure inhuman torture in my mind living wondering who my mother was and who my people were. Don’t regret it for a minute.

    3.) Think about your desire to search and pray about it and ask yourself if your pain outweighs the peace in your life regarding not knowing. If you’re at total peace not knowing great for you. But if you are bothered by it or it torments you then search and really try not to think of everyone else’s feelings. You deserve your answers and you deserve your truth! Everyone else can put on their big boy and girl panties and deal with it. I know it’s hard because when we make the decision to search we are going up against the grain and most people who aren’t adopted can’t comprehend our NEED and how deep it is and why we need answers. It’s important to stop trying to get them to understand. Trust me, the very few non adoptees who WANT TO LEARN will listen. They are worth talking to. Those who try to shut you down are ones you should leave alone. Most non adoptees will never understand us so I choose to stick with those who do understand me, my fellow adoptees. There is an army of us out here so you are never alone. Do what is best for you and don’t wait. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.

    4.) Please understand this isn’t about you and it had nothing to do with you. You could have been the best most amazing parents in the world but we still need our answers and truth. You can either support us and help us or we will do it around you. It’s much nicer when we have adoptive parents who aren’t manipulative who make it all about them every time we open our mouths. For once please know this isn’t about you. I can’t say it enough. And for you to say “Can’t you be happy with the family you got?” I would like to respond by saying until you are stripped of your basic human rights of wanting to know who you are and where you come from you really should keep your comments to yourself. If you can’t support me please leave me be. And when I find less than what I dreamed please don’t be quick to rub it in my face that I should have listened to you. The trauma of being an adoptee and living in the unknown is horrific in itself so please don’t make it worse on us with your unsupportive comments.

Adoptee Voice 19

  • Keep looking and do not give up.

Adoptee Voice 20

  • My decision to search was my own, and had no bearing on the opinions of others. I knew I was adopted before understanding what adoption was, and my desire to know/search was formed at the same time. The only considerations regarding my AP’s was around informing them about my actions, both in searching and reunion. Again, the decision was completely my own, even forgoing the concern of my then fiancé. This was MINE, something I wanted my entire life, and nothing was going to dissuade me. I waited until I met the age of independence to start, because I had to. There was no specific trigger that set me on the path toward finding; it was ALWAYS something I knew I had to do.

    I have regrets associated with my search/reunion, but none about searching. Again, the need to know was like breathing. I simply had to do it; there was no consideration or hesitation. As soon as I legally could search, I did. My birth mother received me well enough. In hindsight, she, like so many birth mom’s, was damaged from the experience. Had I been more informed, or more mature, more whatever, I may have been better prepared. Over the course of 20 years, I found & lost her 3 times. I don’t regret this, it is what it is. My only regret was waiting 10 years to find/contact my birth father, because my birth mother requested she make first contact with him. I felt I was being loyal, but in truth I was acting in fear. Fear that I would rock the boat, and damage relations with b-mom. A relation that never existed, and never formed. Even if it had, I was wrong to let someone hold me captive.

    Advice to those beginning a search… invest in your own search efforts. Searching may seem difficult, but the journey will build strength and knowledge. Both will be needed in reunion. I’m not suggesting the final goal of reunion is bad, but like any relationship, it requires work. Perhaps more work than another relation, as there is commonly much emotional and psychological baggage associated with adoption. The birth mother and the adoptee are damaged. And depending on their own journey, each may be in a different place of readiness for such a relation. And quite often, the adoptee must become the parent. By this I mean they must come to reunion prepared, offering both understanding and the voice of reason. It’s so very complicated; I’m not sure how to address it for the purpose of this project. In short, the adoptee should be an active part of the search. The adoptee should educate themselves on their legal rights to information, and reunion related issues. Understanding why they or the birth parent are acting as they are will help them navigate next steps. Final points related to searching; be honest in communications with birth parents, be honest with yourself, start a journal to help organize search efforts and log events/emotions after reunion, be kind to those who don’t have to help you and gently push those who do. Lastly, take action, do not wait, people die. Time is NOT on the side of us adoptees, so don’t let discomfort or indecision keep you from taking next steps. One of the hardest things is to find a grave at the end of your search.

    To the discouraging voices, they can all suck it. They don’t know, will never know, and so can’t advise. Some may be heartfelt, and with your best interests in mind, but only YOU can decide. And only another adoptee can truly understand. We had no voice in what happened to us. We don’t owe anyone anything as it relates to being adopted. Do what you need to. If that is to search, than do so unequivocally. Naysayers and alarmists be damned.

Adoptee Voice 21

  • My answers to the 4 questions… #1 – I have known I was adopted since around the age of 10. I always had letters written from my birth mother to my Mom. In those letters there was mention of two boys. I always felt a disconnect with my family even though they were always good to me and I was always more curious about the brothers more than anything. My love for my family always made me feel guilty for wanting to find them, but I was also very afraid of rejection. I have a very uncommon birth name, so actually finding my brothers was the easy part thanks to Facebook, getting the courage to contact them, not so easy. I just decided I was about to turn 50 and I needed to do this and I did not tell my family until after it was done. #2- I do not regret it at all. But only because I was not rejected. #3 – We had about 3 days AND nights worth of texting before we met in person. You just have to be careful of letting a complete stranger in your life. #4- you have no way of knowing how they feel if you aren’t adopted yourself. Let them do what their heart is leading them to do. In my case it literally filled my heart with joy and made me a happier person for my family to be around…not that I was that bad before, lol, but when it works out, it’s a feeling I just can’t describe.

 

This blog post was compiled for all those in the world who just can’t understand why adoptees put ourselves “out there” to search in the first place, what our thoughts are regarding this search and how difficult it is for many of us.

No adoptee “Story” is the same and we each have a unique story and desire to be heard. So many in society want to speak for us, but you will never ever fully understand adoptees unless you seek our voices and ask us how it feels to be adopted.

Thank you to all my fellow adoptees who chimed in and made this blog post possible. You matter and your voices matter. Keep sharing your voices!  If you are reading this and you would like to answer the questions please reply to this blog post. Your replies will stay with the history of the page. Reach out to me! I love connecting with my fellow adoptees! ❤ My heart is with you!

If you aren’t adopted and you made it this far CONGRATULATIONS! We appreciate you taking the time to read this post. You have made an attempt to try to understand how adoptees feel. Keep reading and keep sharing the voices that’s almost always ignored, the Adoptees!

Pamela Karanova

Adult Adoptee

Email: pamelakaranova@gmail.com

Facebook: Pamela Karanova

mystory

HDIFTBA Photo Challenge

The Fight of My Life

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God planted me in my birth mother’s womb

Did he plan all the alcohol she would consume?

I know he did NOT. This was her choice

Just like surrendering me for adoption

As an innocent baby with no voice

Month by month passes

The date is getting closer

I spent 9 months bonding

But I was getting ready to lose her.

A sacred bond

Would be broken too soon

I can imagine the sorrow

In the delivery room

August 13, 1974 the fight began

The minute I was born my birthmother ran

Conceived out of a drunken one night stand

Did my tiny body ever feel her warm soft hands?

I spent the next 4 days in the nursery all alone.

But I always wondered

Did she name me?

Did she hold me?

Did she love me?

Did she think about me?

I will never know my birth right

What was the beginning of my life like?

Handed over to strangers

Who wanted a child of their own

What happened to my mother?

Her voice, scent & sacred bond are all I’ve ever known.

A counterfeit bond was forced upon me

Who was this lady?

I didn’t recognize anything about her

Forced to live a delusion

I had no way out

Trapped in this home with this woman

Who wanted to be my Mother

I never bonded with anything about her.

Her Her Her

It was all about Her.

I made her dreams come true.

My sadness never welcomed.

She conditioned me to be THANKFUL

How could I be thankful for the biggest loss of my life?

My loss never acknowledged.

I never grieved or processed losing an entire family.

I loved my first family but I couldn’t even put faces or names to them.

TORTURE

Years passed and I would ask

OVER AND OVER

“Where is my mother?”

 “She loved you so much, but she gave you away for me to raise”

How does a MOTHER give away their child?

Especially the one they LOVE?

CONFUSION & CHAOS

NO UNDERSTANDING

HEART BROKEN

SAD

DEPRESSED

ANGRY

RUNAWAY

RAGE

ALCOHOL

SEX

DRUGS

FIGHTING

ANGER

ANGER

ANGER

EVERY DAY SEARCHING FOR MY MOTHER!

Where is she? This has to be a mistake.

No mother would give their baby away if they love them?

What is love anyway?


PAIN-GRIEF-LOSS-ABANDONMEMNT-REJECTION

ADDICTION

My birth mothers sickness became my sickness too.

I started drinking alcohol at 12

It was all I knew

It took the pain away

But only until the next day

It haunted me and tortured my mind

But why can’t I just leave it all behind?

BECAUSE

I NEEDED TO KNOW WHO I WAS

WHERE DID I COME FROM?

WHO WAS GOING TO HELP ME?

I NEED MY ANSWERS

BUT NO WHERE TO TURN

THE WORLD IS UP AGAINST ME

I HAD TO FIGHT ALL ALONE

FROM THE MOMENT I WAS BORN

MY HEART TURNED TO STONE

ALCOHOL CONTINUED TO NUMB EVERY BONE.

Looking around

Surrounded by strangers

Where is my family?

Looking in the mirror hating what I was looking at

I was disposable

JUST LIKE THAT

The Fight of my Life is just beginning

I needed my truth with EVERYTHING IN ME

How do you live with your HISTORY kept hidden?

The WORLD glorifies my biggest LOSS

Leaving me feeling alone, isolated & I feel like the

 WORLD’S MOST HATED

All because I NEED MY TRUTH?

Begging the world for something that is already mine

Do they not understand the value of TIME?

Every day that passes, memories are LOST

Will they ever be FOUND?

The world celebrates my biggest loss.

Heartbreaking but I must keep it silent

The fight continues

This is the FIGHT of my LIFE

This is not just for me

It’s for my kids, my future grandkids and their kids.

I’m up against the WORLD

The WORLD that glorifies adoption

But doesn’t welcome me finding my TRUTH

How heartbreaking to be in such a world

That doesn’t support adoptees who

NEED THEIR TRUTH

How does it feel to be a secret?

My birth father didn’t know I existed

For 37 years I wished I was aborted

That’s as honest as I can keep it.

Call it selfish

Call it what you want to call it.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE WITH THIS PAIN

BEING BORN IN A WORLD

FOR ANOTHER PERSONS GAIN

If the adoption agencies would be HONEST

Maybe adoptees would have some resources available

Instead they deny our grief, loss & trauma

Adding to the terrifying adoptee suicide rate being 4x

More likely than non-adoptees.

HOW CAN THEY LIVE WITH THEMSELVES?

Profiting off such trauma, grief, lies, and supporting secrecy & lies?

But you keep glorifying adoption and keep turning a BLIND EYE

At the pain involved. You support adoption but you don’t support all adoptees in finding our TRUTH?

You are part of the problem.

FACE IT!

NO RUNNING!

GROWING UP-

Reoccurring thoughts of suicide

Visited me morning, noon and night

Darkness is not from God-

He is the WAY THE TRUTH & THE LIGHT!

He had no intentions of me being born into a FIGHT!

 

The Fight of my Life

Seeking any CLUE to my PAST

There is NO HELP AND NO ONE TO ASK!

Question marks follow me everywhere I go

Don’t they understand?

IT’S KILLING ME TO NOT KNOW!

THE TRUTH

THE TRUTH

THE TRUTH

I need the truth

I’m fighting for the TRUTH

That’s all I want for Christmas, Birthdays, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving and any other holiday

FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE

All I want is truth…

Wrap my truth up and gift it to me please?

My truth is more valuable than a

Hundred pound sack of rubies

Put “TRUTH SEEKER” in my

BOOK OF LIFE

Lord knows when I go out it isn’t going to be without a FIGHT!

I didn’t care if my birth mother was a $2 crack whore

I STILL WANTED TO KNOW HER!

Finally over a 40 year period

Fighting the FIGHT of my LIFE

I finally find my truth.

God handed it to me piece by piece

He said “Give me some time and you will see…”

No one on earth helped me or supported me

I was alone.

But God, he was with me the entire time.

It’s the people of this WORLD

Who left me HIGH & DRY

They didn’t care of the mental torture

And emotional anguish I experienced

Even the counselors don’t understand

They SUCK at complex adoptee grief, loss & trauma adoptees face!

NONE HELPED ME & I SAW DOZENS OF THERAPISTS GROWIN UP!

But GOD

As I received my TRUTH as heartbreaking as it has been

He knew I needed to know what the world felt like they were protecting me from

Because GOD knows in order to HEAL IT WE HAVE TO FEEL IT.

God knows we need our TRUTH to move forward and heal.

No matter what painful double rejection I have experienced from FIGHTING SO HARD FOR MY TRUTH God has been with me when the world has left me.

I feel betrayed by the world

LOVE IS NOT ALL WE NEED

God is my only safe place

Who understands?

My fellow adoptees

God

That’s it.

God alone is enough for me, but when I flock together with my fellow adoptees

I have a peace that surpasses all understanding.

They get me. I get them.

They understand me. I understand them.

I SHARE MY STORY FOR THEM

August 12, 2012 I had my last drink

Reality set in and God gave me some time to think

I was running, but running from what?

The PAIN the TRUTH Brought

I denied it until I put the bottle down.

The Fog Lifted

Things became clear

No more alcohol

Finally HEALING is NEAR!

40+ years after fighting the WORLD for my TRUTH

I have made the choice to wave the white flag.

wavewhiteflag

I CAN’T FIGHT THIS FIGHT ANYMORE!

This FIGHT HAS TO DIE or it will KILL ME FIRST!

My Mind

If you only knew the thoughts I have in my mind, daily.

It has drained me dry, isolated, all alone all I can do is cry!

I can’t even focus on living because my LIFE HAS BEEN NOTHING BUT A LIE!

No more alcohol to numb the pain

It’s been 1309 Days since my last drink

 I live my life in recovery.

4 Years soon!

I’ve been consumed on a healing journey

But now that I have my truth I can accept it and move forward.

I was not allowed to FEEL the pain publicly or outside of my mind growing up

SO I share it TODAY because today I’m FREE

Free because after I’ve fought the good fight

 And it’s all said and done I’ve learned I’m not like

ANYONE

I am who God created me to be!

Fighting so hard to fit in and find my place.

God has clearly let me know I am like Him

BUT HE KNEW I NEEDED TO SEE

MY TRUTH

IT WAS HEARTBREAKING

IT TORE MY HEART INTO SHREDS

I would rather know the truth than live a LIE

But GOD

He’s given me the tools to heal.

He is my healer!

All the times growing up I thought God abandoned me

He was right there with me when the world abandoned me

He is a God of TRUTH

He isn’t a God of secrets & lies!

If you ask yourself what “Truth” is and use God as a source of truth through his word you find the word TRUTH in the Bible 228 times (NIV) 224 times (KJV) 269 times (NLT) 

TRUTH MEANS NOTHING HIDDEN!

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” -3 John 4

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:7

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” – John 16:13

“But there is nothing [so carefully] concealed that it will not be revealed, nor so hidden that it will not be made known. For that reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.” – Luke 12:2

If the word TRUTH is in the bible 269 times (NLT) why can’t adoptees have their truth?

Why are we the exception of receiving what’s rightfully ours?

I’m standing on God’s word for ALL ADOPTEES ALL OVER THE WORLD!

Secrets & Lies are from people of the world.

NOT GOD!

Adoption Agencies & the Adoption Industry condone Secrecy & Lies

God is a GOOD GOD

He doesn’t want pain and anguish for his children

Especially for 40+ years

The Fight of my Life

Has almost taken me out

If the devil had his way I would have never learned what God was all about!

But God shined his light on me

He knew my broken heart and why I needed to see

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side

But I had to determine this for myself

Not because the WORLD was trying to

PROTECT ME!

(Secrets & Lies)

I’ve fought the good fight so many take for granted

WHO AM I?

WHERE DID I COME FROM?

Thank God his seeds have already been planted

I’m making the choice to FORGIVE the WORLD

And the ADOPTION INDUSTRY

But I will never forget how your secrets and lies have impacted me!

They have hurt me deeper than you will ever know

But today I’m ready to live my life with my past as freshly fallen snow!

God promised it in his word, you know?

I can’t keep looking over my shoulder trying to figure out

WHY

WHY

WHY?

The fact that I’m the daughter of the KING makes my eyes tear up and CRY.

Happy Tears that bring FREEDOM & JOY

No matter how I came into the world

God planned me when my birth parents did NOT

He greeted me into this world, and hugged me tight

While the warm hands of my birth mother were nowhere in sight.

Hanging onto the pain is only blocking some of God’s light!

He calls his children to walk in FREEDOM

The closer I get to Him the more I can rely on Him when the triggers come

AND THEY COME!

Every Mother’s Day, Holiday, Birthday and Christmas.

Every time I want to call my “mother” she is nowhere to be found.

JESUS!

 HELP ME PLEASE!

MOTHER-LESS

MOTHER WOUND

God is my father, but it’s hard to replace him as my MOTHER

The mother wound is deep

But I have to allow myself the space (my blog) to process my emotions because I know the non-adoptee world really doesn’t want to hear it because they can’t relate.

Hating the WORLD and the people in it who support adoption has hurt me even more. Feeling like I’m up against the WORLD has created an even bigger sore.

An open WOUND next to impossible to heal

BUT GOD

Everywhere I look, if they only knew how I feel.

Ignorance is bliss

They don’t know what they don’t know.

Adoption Loss?

Adoption Grief?

Adoption Trauma?

Why does she sit around and cry about not having a momma?

Do the research on this bond being broken

It’s different than a father wound
God is my heavenly father.

Who is my heavenly mother?

I struggle with this daily

But it has made me an incredibly strong person

I raised myself with God along the way

I have done the best I could

With plenty of cloudy days

But TODAY I’m working on closing the door to

The past because it’s so dark and I don’t want to live there anymore.

It’s my choice you know?

But I needed my TRUTH FIRST

Because without it how do I know what to let GO?

How do I forgive with the truth hidden?

How do I give it to God if I don’t know what I’m giving?

TRUTH

TRUTH

TRUTH

It is CRITICAL!

Moving forward is impossible if I don’t know what I’m leaving behind.

How do I give God secrets and lies?

Please WORLD stop stalling my healing.

It’s only hurting ME & MY KIDS

Because it’s taken a lifetime to

FIGHT THE FIGHT OF MY LIFE

TO FIND MY TRUTH

AGAINST THE GRAIN

AGAINS CLOSED ADOPTION LAWS

AGAINST THE WORLD

WHO DOES NOT UNDERSTAND

IN ORDER TO MOVE FORWARD I NEED THE

TRUTH ABOUT WHO I AM!

I cannot fight my fellow adoptees fight

If I do I will be taken out with no hope in sight

I can walk along side of you and give you the

HOPE AND GLORY OF GOD

Because HE is who has carried me

THROUGH THIS FIGHT OF MY LIFE

I must admit, I’m tired of fighting.

I have part of my truth but I deserve it all

We all deserve our truth

Fighting the fight to find my truth

Has drained me and then LIFE?

It tries to knock you down anyway

 

So this fight…

Is it still worth fighting?

I’m ready to enjoy life and what it has to offer

I’ve forgiven my birth mother

I’ve gained sympathy for her

That decision she made 41 years ago

Created the biggest Fight of my Life

But today I have made the choice to

LET IT GO.

I have enough truth to be at a peaceful place

But acceptance is KEY

And praying to GOD

Because he’s the only one that can fill me with his Grace

I still have pain and this is my place to process

Grief & Loss sometimes overtakes me

BUT THAT’S OK

I will grieve my grief and losses

Cry loud and silent tears

But I want the rest of my life to be better than the first 41 years!

Grandkids will come in the future

I want to be a happy healthy grandma

And a better mom

So TODAY I have to wave the white flag

And thank God for bringing me this far

His beauty all around me

His sky was my baby blanket growing up

And still is.

Moving Forward

But I never want to forget my past

Because how else can I share what God has done for me?

FREEDOM AT LAST!

Laying down this fight, feeling worn, tattered and bruised

But my God is a God of RESTORATION

WALKING WITH HIM IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO LOOSE!

God came in and is taking it all away

Healing my heart

Day by day

When you get sad and weary and it feels like the world is failing you

Remember God gives us the freedom to make all things NEW.

Leaving the past behind me

Waving Good-Bye

THE WHITE FLAG

I’ve traded a world full of lies

But make no mistake when you look into my eyes

I’m His Daughter and with me He is well pleased.

I refuse to keep my pain locked up any longer.

But today I release it to my

Heavenly Father

I can no longer fight this fight

I call it a truce

The Fight of My Life

I know Gods on my side

I will not lose!

It’s by God’s Grace I will contine to share my story.

This is just a piece of what my life feels like for the last 41 years as I struggle and a fight to find out my truth. It’s no rhyme or poem. It’s feelings I had to keep inside for 41 years. Without the truth I would never have been able to move forward to heal and make it to this place. “The Fight of my Life” is my truth as it is for many adoptees. I can only speak for myself but if you are an adoptee and can relate to feeling like you are fighting a battle all alone I promise you God is with you when it feels like the world is up against you. God has been with me this entire way, he’s never forgotten me and never forsaken me. He wants us to have our truth because HE IS TRUTH.

CHECK THIS VIDEO OUT- MY LIFE

Thanks for reading and never give up hope in finding our TRUTH & your FAMILIES! ❤

If you have no hope I have hope for you!

To my Pastor Marion Dalton- Thanks for helping me realize I was stuck in “Red Tape Living”. Through you God has opened my eyes to many things and I’m forever grateful for your teachings and lessons. Thank you isn’t enough! Just know if you happen to read this you have helped me more than you know.

I know I will always have pain attached to this grief, loss and trauma but through God I’m healing daily and moving forward living a sober life in recovery. I don’t have to drink today to process this pain but recovery isn’t for sissies and being adopted isn’t for sissies. God has let me know adoptees are some of the strongest people on the planet to be able to live through what we do and move forward. Thanks for reading.

Adoptees, Can you relate to this blog post? If so, please share how?

Love to ALL!

mystory

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JUST BECAUSE…

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Seeing adoption as a beautiful thing would mean I would have to ignore the original separation between mother and child before the adoption took place. It would mean I would put on a happy face about a mother and child being separated. It would mean I would celebrate children being taken from their homelands to AMERICA where they feel like aliens, and they had NO CHOICE in the matter. I have a very soft spot in my heart for every single adopted person because I KNOW that JUST BECAUSE WE ARE ADOPTED WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE GRATEFUL FOR LIFE AND WE AREN’T SUPPOSED TO HAVE ANY PAIN ATTACHED TO IT.

BUT WE DO AND MANY OF US STRUGGLE WITH SIMPLY BEING ALIVE!

IT’S HARD TO FEEL ALIVE WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE NEVER BORN!

For every adoption to take place, that child FIRST HAD TO LOOSE THEIR ORIGINAL IDENTITY, BIOLOGICAL FAMILIES, MEDICAL HISTORY ,and much more.

 I cannot ignore this and I will not ignore the loss, grief & trauma attached to adoption so the world can feel “comfortable” it doesn’t equate me as a mean angry person.

It just means I’m HONEST and I choose to look at the whole pie not just a piece of it.

I HAVE CHOSEN TO TAKE THE BLINDERS. YOU CAN DO THE SAME. 

IF ONE MORE NON-ADOPTEE STOPS AND LISTENS AND TRIES TO LEARN I AM COMPLETING WHAT I NEED TO HERE ON EARTH. Not to mention being there for my fellow adoptees!

My life has many beautiful aspects to it but being adopted is not one of them. I am thankful for many things in life but being adopted is not one of them.

The Sky is beautiful. Nature is beautiful. Colors are beautiful.

I’m thankful for my recovery. I’m thankful for my kids. I’m thankful God has rescued me. I’m thankful for the amazing people in my life.

But I don’t think adoption is beautiful and I am not thankful I was adopted.

My pain is too great to be able to celebrate that “thing” that is the cause of my pain. If you experienced the pain adoption brings to an adoptee you might agree. If you aren’t an adoptee, you have no idea.

JUST BECAUSE…

I searched and was reunited with my biological family doesn’t mean I love my adoptive family any less.

We are each born with a natural instinct to want to know who we are and where we come from. I believe it is inside each and every one of us, some stronger than others. For me, this desire was so strong it haunted me my entire life. It was torture not knowing. But my decision to search and find had absolutely no waver on loving or not loving my adoptive family. The 2 are totally separate. Unfortunately most adoptees feel we have to keep the 2 separate to make everyone feel “comfortable” when reality is we all have enough love to go around and we should be able to be comfortable blending our 2 families together because they are ALL a part of us. Sadly being born somewhere in the middle of 2 families many of us feel we can’t do that. We are made to feel guilty and from a very early age we are shamed in many ways about our first families. Mine was split. My adoptive dad is AMAZING, and his wife also. They have always been 100% honest about everything regarding my adoption. They are supportive but I have always felt I had to keep things separate, but this is not just my case. Many adoptees feel this way.  I have no relationship with my adoptive mom so she is not in my equation. My adoptive siblings and cousins who I communicate with are ride or die and I love them all. They have been supportive and I love them for that.

For those who are in my “family” whether it is biological or adoptive whom might be lurking on my page but we have no relationship- “HI, I hope life is treating you well!”

What if adoptees could have a family reunion with both our adoptive and biological families together?  Family reunions are another sad spot for me, but I won’t go there today. We could introduce everyone and share stories with each person on how life was, and talk about fun happy times and new beginnings. WOW. That is a rare find for us. I’m not sure if that has ever happened with my fellow adoptees? Has it? It certainly hasn’t for me.

 

JUST BECAUSE…

I share my story doesn’t mean I’m stuck in the past, focused on the negative and one ungrateful angry adoptee.

I share my story so I can let my fellow adoptees know they aren’t alone like I once was. I share it for them. I share it because I want the world to know where God has rescued me from. GOD ALWAYS GETS THE GLORY IN MY STORY! Please believe I wouldn’t be here today without my Heavenly Father! I share this because I am no longer a victim but I live in VICTORY. I share it because adoption hurts and I am on a healing journey. I share it because there is freedom in sharing. I share it because my story matters and your story matters. Why don’t you share your story so you can tell the world what God has done for you? I share it because the most painful thing in my life happens to be from being adopted and I never had ANY resources available to ME to help me work through my pain until I found Celebrate Recovery in 2012 and I started writing in 2011.  Find a Celebrate Recovery; they are all over the WORLD! This ministry saved my life!  I share my story because for 37 years I drank alcohol to “COPE” with the pain because I had absolutely no tools to work through abandonment & rejection issues adoption has caused me. Today I live a sober life in recovery and I am not ashamed! I share my story because adoption is portrayed as a beautiful thing, and there has never been any room for my pain. I share it in writing because no one can interrupt me here, and tell me how to feel or that I should just be grateful I wasn’t aborted. I’m angry but I have every right to be, as so many of my fellow adoptees.

How would you feel if you were lied to your whole life about how you came into this world and simple answers to your history were kept a secret from you? Oh that’s right; you can’t imagine that because you aren’t adopted. And then to have the people who love you most or all the adoption supporters turn a blind eye to your heartache and pain because they simply can’t comprehend what you are experiencing not knowing your TRUTH or REALITY IS THEY DON’T WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR PAIN because it’s simply uncomfortable to talk about grief, loss & trauma. Anger can be used in a healthy way and it can activate change depending on how you use it. Anger is a part of the grieving process so before you label me as an angry adoptee, please understand that we have much reason to be angry.

Am I really focused on the negative or are many aspects of adoption TRULY negative if you take your blinders off and quit pretending that the grief, loss & trauma is not there for adoptees? Can you take your blinders off and realize that secrecy and lies are NEVER OKAY? You can say I’m focused on the negative, or you can understand and stop denying that secrecy, shame, lies and all the grief, loss & trauma adoptees endure ALONE are very heavy burdens to bear making it a negative experience. Yes, it is negative! Unless you have experienced this, YOU HAVE NO IDEA at our day in and day out heartache and pain we carry. So please stop being so judgmental.

It just so happens I have stepped out of DENIAL and I have identified where my biggest source of pain has come from=ADOPTION. You can call it negative. I call it healing my hurts. In order to heal I have to share and be HONEST and I suggest everyone go through that process in life. GET HONEST.

Where does your biggest hurt come from?

Share it with the world. No better way to heal than share untold truths and have those who understand and get it know they aren’t alone.

One thing I know is I will always share the TRUTH.

MY TRUTH

No Lies. No Secrecy. No Half Truths.

JUST BECAUSE…

I keep you at a distance doesn’t mean I don’t love you or want you in my life. It just means I have spent my life so highly misunderstood and I have had to suffer through the pain, grief, loss & trauma 100% on my own ALONE I learned very young to be independent and to self soothe my hurts.

It’s different for me to call on people for help, but God is working on me in this area. I learned very young to self soothe when it comes to grief, loss and trauma and I am the most comfortable alone with God. I love being with my kids but I am not a needy clingy person and this is because of my adoption experience. I have experienced many symptoms of RAD & usually don’t share it much but I have some attachment issues I care to not make public. But they are there and they have always been there. Adoption is TRAUMA. Every time a mother and child are separated a trauma happens. Left untreated and unrecognized by society only adds to the trauma. If you see me you would never know, because God has given me a gift as he has with many of my fellow adoptees and that gift is to be able to put on a show and to be a giver in support for everyone around. I have an encouraging gift where I love to support people, and let them know God loves them and he’s never left them! By looking at me, and talking to me you would never know my struggles are invisible, internal very deep rooted that no one around can see. There is NO ONE on this earth besides my fellow adoptees that understand this pain. God understands it all. My blog is a reflection of the inside of my invisible wounds, inside my heart and this is a place where I can take my mask off and stop pretending that everything is perfect.

Life isn’t perfect for any of us, but what are you doing with your pain? Are you letting God use you so you can help others?

ALL IMPACTED BY ADOPTION PLEASE PURCHASE:

The Primal Wound- Understanding the Adopted Child

I was alone as a child suffering through the complexities of being adopted and I am still that way when it comes to my adoption experience. Thankfully I have some close friends who don’t understand but they support me and they TRY to understand. They are irreplaceable to me. I have a few close adoptive family members that try, and then there is my fellow adoptees that follow my blog and follow me on social media.

I live for you all!

I know you get it!

You all inspire me to keep sharing the complexities of this journey. Every time one of you reaches out to me and says, “WOW! You hit the nail on the head of exactly how I have felt my entire life but I just couldn’t share it!” you all inspire me to keep writing.

Remember feeling all alone as an adoptee?

Well those days are over. Every time an adoptee finds my blog they will hopefully know they aren’t alone after reading some of it. This is why I write, for my fellow adoptees.

JUST BECAUSE…

I share my adoptee journey doesn’t mean I don’t understand sometimes adoptions are 100% necessary. I base my opinion because I am adopted and I have more knowledge on the realities of many adoptions today than most people do. Because of this I can’t just leave that knowledge out of the equation to make the world feel comfortable.

I know that adoptions are sometimes necessary but I also know the trauma involved in each and every adoption so while the “world” celebrates “Gotcha Day” and “Homecoming Day” for adoptees I cry silent tears for that adoptee because I know what they had to lose to gain a family. I don’t deny the trauma involved in adoption while so many want to celebrate it. It’s like salt to a wound when our loss is celebrated. It’s hard for many adoptees and the pain is indescribable.

How would you feel if the WORLD celebrated the very thing that HURT YOU THE MOST? You would feel very isolated, alone and HURT!

I also know that yes, sometimes adoptions have to happen. But let me ask, was everything done to exhaust all options of this child being able to stay with its mother? Can someone in the family step up and take the child? Why does the name and birth certificate have to be falsified and changed? Did we have family preservation counselors trying to encourage her to keep her baby and that she is strong and good enough to raise her baby and material “goods” could never replace her love. Do we have someone in her corner encouraging her that YES SHE CAN do this! Is anyone encouraging her that she will be a great mother, and here are the resources to help her?  For the mothers on drugs or incarcerated can a family member step up and take this child until the mother gets her life together? If an adoption is necessary why do we have to change the child’s name and identity?  THIS HURTS!

What I see a lot of the time…

We have adoption counselors sowing seeds in this mother or doubt and disbelief that she can provide for her child and a stable “Adoptive Family” will be better? Does she have adoption agencies or pregnancy crisis centers using manipulation & coercion tactics on her because let’s just face it- There is big money to be made in adoption. It’s a business and people are profiting on mothers and babies being separated.

I am so sorry I find this “business” to be the most evil on the planet and

JUST BECAUSE…

I share my voice that I believe ALL MOTHERS AND BABIES should stay together doesn’t mean I’m a mean angry person. It means that I stand on

Mark 10:9- “Therefor what God has joined together, let no one separate”

But somehow because the adoption industry is a multi-billion dollar industry it’s okay for adoption agencies to prey on young vulnerable mothers and coerce them into giving their babies up? I can’t imagine having to go to bed each night living with that! They will have to answer to that one day! So will society and the world who supports and glorifies adoption as it has been transformed into today when they REALLY have been subjected to the rainbow farts and Kool-Aid of the adoption industry! They really know nothing about adoption but they support mothers and babies being separated?

Adoption TODAY is nothing like the Bible portrays adoption to be. There was no profit being made. There was no closed records, or secrecy and lies.

JUST BECAUSE….

Some adoptions have to happen doesn’t mean there needs to be a profit made. It doesn’t mean adoptees names have to be changed and their identities sealed in closed adoptions hidden away from them for centuries. It doesn’t mean the trauma doesn’t happen.

I saw this amazing article I wanted to share.

I Don’t Want My Name on My Daughter’s Birth Certificate

WHY ARE WE LYING AND FALSIFYING LEGAL DOCUMENTS?

WHY ARE WE IGNORING THE TRAUMA?

If we lived in a perfect world all mothers and babies would stay together. Why am I so obsessed with mothers and babies staying together? Because I lost my mother! That’s why. I know what it feels like and I know the deep rooted impact this has had on my life and it has been the biggest hurt you could imagine. THIS IS WHY I BELIEVE ALL MOTHERS AND BABIES SHOULD STAY TOGETHER! I had to experience losing my mother to experience the pain of it. If you haven’t lost your mother the minute you were born, you simply can’t relate.

Sadly, I know the world is not a perfect place but I believe whole heartedly that the world should try to support mothers and babies staying together at all costs before they even entertain the thought of supporting them adopting the child out to a “needy couple who wants to be parents”. There shouldn’t be adoption counselors encouraging separation of mother and child before there is someone stepping up trying to HELP that mother keep her baby, regardless of the circumstances. Finances should be the last reason a mother and child are separated. I always say I would have rather be with my birth mother dirt poor living in a card board box than handed over to a woman I didn’t know nor did I bond with. THAT IS REAL!!!!! Finances are temporary and things get better! Who is sharing with the birth mothers the reasons for adoption are a permanent solution to most of the time a temporary problem? Who is in her corner cheering her on, helping her and supporting her providing her with resources to KEEP HER BABY?

JUST BECAUSE…

I share my grief, loss, trauma and hurt and pain regarding my adoption doesn’t mean God is not healing me. Do you realize I went from an alcoholic mean, angry and very bitter adoptee who hated the world and everyone in it to a clean and sober adoptee that is almost 4 years in recovery who loves Jesus, who gives God the glory who is now filled with His grace in being able to share my story? I’m healing daily!

Never underestimate my blog posts or what I share just because you simply have a formed opinion about adoption and my story doesn’t line up with the beautiful picture you have painted.

Just so happens, MOST ADOPTEES STORIES don’t line up with the beautiful picture the world has painted about adoption, most of us have been shamed our entire lives and NEVER FELT WORTHY TO SHARE OUR STORIES because the WORLD only allows happy rainbow filled stories about adoption.

Well I am here today because my God is a GOD of truth and he knows my heart and he has been with me on my journey of life every step of the way. He WANTS me to share my story! Just because it doesn’t line up with yours doesn’t mean I should keep quiet! It means I should keep shouting until the world understands there is another side to adoption MOST ALL ADOPTEES FACE! A painful side, filled with grief, loss and trauma.

GOD HEALS!

But he can’t heal it if we aren’t allowed to feel it. The world might not care about my story, but God cares and when I share my story more and more adoptees are coming forward with sharing theirs. They are beginning to heal!

I had to step outside of the box and understand

MY STORY IS WORTH TO BE TOLD!

MY FELLOW ADOPTEES STORIES ARE WORTHY TO BE TOLD!

The next time an adoptee starts to share how they feel, how about cut it out with the silencer statements like “Aren’t you thankful you were given life?” or “Aren’t you thankful you weren’t aborted?”

I’m constantly silenced with scriptures, and spent many years being silenced because of it but today I have grown enough in my spiritual journey I will never be silenced by scripture because GOD is a God of TRUTH and he’s given me scriptures to throw right back!

IF YOU CAN’T ACKNOWLEDGE MY PAIN PLEASE DON’T SILENCE ME WITH YOUR SCRIPTURES!

Most of us struggle majorly LIVING LIFE and many of us would rather have been aborted! The pain is THAT GREAT! I know this because I’m in touch with thousands of adoptees! I spent 37 years angry at my birth mother because she chose life!

So please STOP and JUST LISTEN!

“Pamela is just angry and she just had a bad adoption experience. Most adoptions are nothing like hers!”

REALLY?

Visit: How Does It Feel To Be Adopted?

Don’t forget the adoptee suicide rate is 4 xs more likely than non-adoptees!

WHEN IS THE WORLD GOING TO WAKE UP AND JUST LISTEN?

I bet if your child was one of the adoptees who committed suicide you would have WISHED YOU LISTENED CLOSER! My heart aches for anyone who has experienced this, but take it from an adoptee who has contemplated suicide MANY TIMES!

WE NEED THE WORLD TO LISTEN!

 

JUST BECAUSE…

You made it to the bottom of this post it means you are genuinely trying to learn and listen. Maybe you are an adoptive parent or a birth parent or impacted by adoption in some way?

Maybe you are an adoptee and you can relate too much of what I have shared?

Either way, I commend you for reading, listening and trying to take in what you can. I know this is not your average story but I am committed in sharing my truth as I see it and letting all my fellow adoptees know they aren’t alone.

WE JUST NEED PEOPLE TO LISTEN!

WE NEED EQUAL ACCESS & OPEN RECORDS!

WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO SHARE OUR STORIES WITHOUT BEING JUDGED AND WITHOUT PEOPLE TRYING TO SILENCE US, AND WITHOUT THEM MAKING US FEEL GUILTY FOR WANTING WHATS RIGHTFULLY OURS; OUR BIRTH RIGHT.

JUST BECAUSE WE APPEAR TO BE FINE DOESN’T MEAN WE ARE.

JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN’T SEE OUR PAIN DOESN’T MEAN WE DON’T HAVE IT.

JUST BECAUSE MANY ADOPTEES DON’T SHARE THEIR STORIES DOESN’T MEAN THEY DON’T SUFFER SILENTLY.

JUST BECAUSE OUR ADOPTIVE FAMILIES MAY OR MAY NOT BE THE BEST MOST AMAZING FAMILIES IN THE WORLD DOESN’T MEAN WE STILL DON’T HAVE PAIN AND WANT ANSWERS TO OUR BEGINNINGS.

JUST BECAUSE MANY ADOPTEES ARE STRIVING TO FIND THEIR ANSWERS TO THEIR HISTORY DOESN’T MEAN THEY DON’T APPRECIATE WHO RAISED THEM NOR DOES IT WAVER ON HOW MUCH WE LOVE THEM.

JUST BECAUSE…

I’m adopted and I am on a healing journey doesn’t mean I can’t pull some positive areas I have gained strengths from due to my adoption experience. I’m 100% independent, never ask for help. I have had to suffer alone my entire life. Why ask for help now? I can pretend really well. My heart can be ripping in shreds, but I can put my hurt and pain up on the shelf and help my fellow adoptees because God has given me this gift, as he has many of us.  I know the true value of time and memories when so many were lost, stolen never to return. I know the true value of creating our own “safe place” letting go of toxic relationships and situations. I’m a very strong person and I’m a huge fighter. I’m not weak AT ALL and although the devil tried to take me out God had big plans for me! God has given me the gift of compassion for my fellow adoptees where there is NO ONE ELSE that can be in my shoes who has experienced all I have in life aside from ME. I consider these things gifts from God. I have been able to pull good things out of my biggest tragedy in life. So please don’t think that JUST BECAUSE I’m sharing my journey God isn’t doing huge things in my life. God is the way to healing and freedom! I know the true value of TRUTH and how much damage secrecy and lies can cause someone, especially when they are from the people that are supposed to “Love you the most!”

JUST BECAUSE…

I share my pain doesn’t mean God is done with me yet!

Baby steps, I am a work in progress.

Adoptees, Remember you aren’t alone in feeling the way you do. The way you feel is natural for a not natural situation! It’s never natural to be separated from your biological families at any time in life!

Adoptees, Can you relate to any of my post? How do you feel people respond to you when you share your adoptee experience? Are you labeled ungrateful or told you are living in the past?

mystory

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In Adoption There is No Healing from Half Truths

I always pray about what I write about before I write it.

I say, “God, what would you like me to write about today?” Usually he highlights something clear as day and lately the highlight has been:

“TRUTH TRUTH TRUTH”

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It’s simple

1/2 Truth + 1/2 Truth = A WHOLE LIE!

When we are given HALF TRUTHS about where we come from we are ONLY able to HALF WAY HEAL. When we are given HALF TRUTHS we are only able to HALF WAY FEEL WHOLE. We are only able to feel like HALF a human being. We feel LESS THAN because our TRUTH is being kept hidden from us. When we are denied our basic human birth rights, and those close to us SUPPORT that it HURTS US.

Do they not understand that we can’t heal a wound by denying it’s there? Do they not understand that until we receive our entire TRUTH we can NOT fully heal? We can NOT heal from half truths, secrets, shame and lies.

I can NOT even give half truths, secrets, shame and lies over to GOD because I don’t know what I am giving him!! I can’t say, “Hey God, here is a lie I am giving you today, I don’t know what that lie is or what I’m going to ask for healing for but God here’s the lie!” Yet so many of us are put in positions where the WORLD acts like it’s so simple that we should just be able to heal from lies, secrets and half truths and because we are not releasing these things to God we are making the CHOICE to be STUCK in this spot.

Well let me tell you that healing is IMPOSSIBLE unless we know our TRUTH! 

My God is a God of TRUTH. We need our entire truth so we are able to move towards healing. I’m still fighting for my truth. I don’t understand why it’s so hard for adoptive parents, birth parent and all of society that supports adoption to understand that we have a right to know ALL OF OUR HISTORY. We have a right to know ALL OF OUR ANSWERS our heart desires as to how we came into this world.

WE HAVE A RIGHT TO ALL THE KNOWLEDGE REGARDING OUR MEDICAL HISTORY, ANCESTRY, HERITAGE, GENETICS, FAMILY SURNAMES, PHOTOS OF OUR BLOOD RELATIVES, A CHANCE TO GET TO KNOW THEM, OUR SIBLINGS, BIOLOGICAL PARENTS, OUR FAMILY TREES. The list could go on and on, I think you get my point.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way,  the TRUTH, and the Life. No one comes through the Father except through me.”  – John 14:6

If Jesus is the TRUTH, and he is the way and the life, I can only believe that he stands for TRUTH. This lying, deception, manipulation, half truths and secrecy in adoption is NOT from GOD.

THE TRUTH MEANS NOTHING HIDDEN.

So why are adoptive parents, birth parents, and all who are involved with adoption supporting secrecy and lies? Why are the adoption agencies not telling the adoptive parents the TRUTH about the lifelong impacts and deep trauma adoptees face for their entire lives? Why are the adoption agencies ignoring the facts that the adoptee suicide rate is 4x more likely than non-adoptees?  Why are the adoption agencies not providing adult adoptees with resources on how to handle the trauma involved with being adopted?  

One word sums it up clear.

PROFIT

When I think of the word “Truth” I like to examine the pages of God’s word- The Holy Bible. This has helped me learn the truth of any subject of importance or significance. If you ask yourself what is “Truth” and use God as a source of truth through his word you find the word TRUTH in the Bible 228 times (NIV) 224 times (KJV) 269 times (NLT) 

WOW!

Knowing the truth is wonderful, but it is not enough! God expects us to act on the truth as He helps us learn it. More important than knowing the truth is living the truth—walking in truth. God already knows if we are walking in truth to the best of our ability! He knows EVERYTHING!

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“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” -3 John 4

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:7

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” – John 16:13

“But there is nothing [so carefully] concealed that it will not be revealed, nor so hidden that it will not be made known. For that reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.” – Luke 12:2

So my question is, for all those who might be reading who are involved in adoption, a part of the adoption equation or the adoption industry, for adoptive parents and biological parents:

ARE YOU WALKING IN TRUTH IN ALL AREAS OF LIFE REGARDING YOUR ADOPTION EXPERIENCE? 

Are you hiding the TRUTH in anyway and operating on HALF-TRUTHS? 

I can not and will not support the secrecy and lies in adoption today. None of them!  I urge anyone that is impacted by adoption to please pray about it and get alone with God. Ask him to search your heart and give you the courage to come clean in all areas of your life, not just the adoption equation. SECRECY & LIES IN ADOPTION STALLS OUR HEALING. THE ADOPTEE SUICIDE RATE IS 4X MORE LIKELY THAN NON-ADOPTEES FOR MANY REASONS. THIS IS ONE OF THEM. We have to fight the world for our truth, and spend most of our lives trying to figure this mess out on our own, because we have no resources. THIS HURTS!

GOD HEALS! 

But I can assure you from living with experience it is impossible to heal a wound by denying it’s there and by half truths and secrecy and lies.

WE NEED THE ENTIRE TRUTH TO BE ABLE TO ACCEPT IT AND MOVE FORWARD AND ASK GOD TO COME INTO OUR LIVES IT HEAL IT.

Please think twice before you keep secrets from adoptees, hid our history and feed us with half truths, secrets and lies. Please think twice before you participate in activities that keep secrets and hide our histories from us. When you participate in this YOU are only participating in prolonging our healing.

WE ALL DESERVE OUR TRUTH. WE ALL DESERVE TO BE ABLE TO HEAL. 

mystory

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