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

Passing A Blessing

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and the New Year is treating you right!

As some of you know I’ve decided to back away from much of “Adoption Land” and the “Adoptee Arena”. If you didn’t know I’m sorry. I’m not disappearing but I have found I have pull back on some areas of my life for my own sanity as I know many of my fellow adoptees can relate to making this move. From what I thought might be a temporary break has seemed to turn into more of a long term event.

In 2012 I created the “How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? community on Facebook.  In 4 years it’s grown to over 4000 “likes” and thousands of active adoptees. This page has reached adoptees all over the world. It’s been my honor to have been in touch with so many of you over the years, to build relationships with so many of you and to be a hopefully positive person for support.   Not long after Ask An Adoptee was created in a little over a year it has over 800 “Likes”. If you would like to know details about these pages please visit the “About” section of both. I had no idea how big both of these pages would get, but I knew they were helping people, specifically my fellow adoptees. They were created for you all, yet impacting the entire adoptee arena. Finally a safe space for us to share our feelings, where no one else from the adoption equation could tell us how to feel.

Over the last 4 years I’ve rode through the highs and lows of life, navigating through the valleys all while managing these pages on my own. I loved being able to come up with such a healing place for my fellow adoptees. I’ve grown in so many ways just by being able to read so many similarities and bond with so many fellow adoptees near and far. I have thoroughly enjoyed so much of this. For some time now I’ve struggled with healing in my own journey with so much of my life spread out all over the place. It was clear to me that I was doing to much.

As I’ve posted before Facebook has become a huge non-stop trigger to me and has for quiet some time. As an adopted person who had to move across the country just to provide my children with some normalcy, away from all “family” it’s sombering. It’s hard to see everyone post about holidays, mother’s day, father’s day, family reunions, etc. It adds salt to the very real wounds that are still present today. I’ve found Facebook to be a breeding place for fake relationships. I’m not saying I don’t have relationships with many of you. I’m saying I want real true genuine relationships in my life. Not those who think they know me, but have no idea what’s really going on in my life because they base knowing me by what I post on Facebook. I’ve just grown to dislike it in every way.  I deactivated my page a few months ago and I feel a HUGE weight lifted. We are all in control of our own lives. If something or someone isn’t serving is properly we must make changes to make things better. In recovery I’ve learned to avoid triggers. Being adopted, triggers are everywhere every day. Navigating what to “Let go of” vs. “What to work through” has been challenging at times. I know my fellow adoptees understand much of this.

I want to pick back up writing my memoir “Adoptee in Recovery- One Adoptees Journey from Heartbreak to Hope & Healing”. I have a story to tell and I want to share it with you all. This memoir will take readers on a journey of hope & healing, and focus on other areas of my life. I will still be managing the How Does It Feel To Be Adopted Website where adoptees will be sharing their stories with the world. I will still be blogging here on my page. I still have twitter although I have a new name. Feel free to follow me! @therealpwishes  I’m not totally dropping of the radar! Promise! 

If you haven’t shared your story yet, please visit the page! You deserve to be heard!

A few months ago I feel God has put it on my heart to release my Facebook like pages to someone else, and my time was up in managing them. I gave it 4 years, which is a long time. I have felt sad about it because I feel like I’m letting so many adoptees down. I feel guilty for this.  It’s either feeling guilty of letting my fellow adoptees down or the burden of carrying something God has clearly told me to let go of.  The voice of God is something I have to put ahead of all things, even my own feelings, needs and wants. My heart was set on finding someone to manage them, who had a heart like me but the question was: WHO WOULD WANT THIS TASK?

I began to pray about it.

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Well God seems to always have a plan! The key is to TRUST HIM to reveal and see us through. As I prayerfully awaited for God to move with this situation my fellow adoptee and sister in Christ Haley Radke reached out to me as she often does, to check in. She’s one of my favorite people on the earth! Over time we’ve built a special friendship and can relate to each other on so many levels. I would have never dreamed of asking her because she has her hands beyond full with her podcast AdopteesOn. My hope was to touch base with her and see if she had any ideas for me of who would be a good candidate to ask about taking over the pages.

After spending a little time talking to Haley I am here to announce to you today she has the willingness to manage the pages and take them over from here forward!  Can you say EXCITING??? What a blessing for this! I never would have thought she would be interested due to her previous commitments, not to mention she’s a mommy and a wife, and has a busy life of her own.

I wanted to share this with the page readers so they are aware of the change, and aware that the pages are in the amazing hands of my friend, sister in Christ, & fellow adoptee- HALEY RADKE!!!

Haley, the adoptee community welcome’s you and we are honored to transfer these pages to such a sweet, amazing, warm and caring person such as yourself. THANK YOU for having the willingness to fit this task in your busy life to keep the legacy of the pages going for your fellow adoptees. Healing is so important and I can’t wait to see what God is going to do through you while you use Him to manage these pages! You are AMAZING!

Thank you siSTAR! 

If anyone needs to reach me, feel free to tweet me, message me here or email: pamelakaranova@gmail.com 

Love & Blessings, 

Pamela Karanova

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Move

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

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

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WE SHALL SEE! 

I CAN’T WAIT!

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

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

It’s called SELF CARE.

We all need to do this for our sanity. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Pamela K.

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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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