I’m not even lying. I totally overdid it last year and as a result I dropped off the face of “Adoptee Land” for 6 full months. I was too overwhelmed with it all I had to spend 6 months of self care to nurture my adoptee self back to life again. Then, I tippy toed my way back in but made a promise to myself.
I was not going to overdue it again! For my own mental health and sanity. And also so Adoptee Land wouldn’t lose me again, for 6 months or maybe longer.
I wanted to share what NAAM17 meant to me.
NAAM17 is a time where the world celebrates adoption, yet adoptee voices have always been an after thought. As the years have passed adoptees are breaking out of the fog and coming together and raising our voices to the world on how it feels to be adopted. Finally, we have a space and our voice matters. On the other hand as November approaches I almost get this sick feeling in my stomach like someone punched me in the gut. It’s an unnerving feeling. Unsettling for adoptees and this is why many of us feel the need to raise our voices. Seeing the adoption agencies and those in the adoption arena celebrate adoption is sorrowful for many of us. It brings triggers that we have to learn to navigate. It’s difficult and there is no way to escape it.
For me, this month is a month I’m putting my long time vision of starting an all adoptee support group Adoptees Connect – Lexington, KY into action on the ground here in Lexington, KY where I live. This is my contribution to NAAM17 this year, as well as guiding some of my fellow adoptees around the USA to start their own Adoptees Connect in the city and state they live in.
IT’S OUR TIME!
I still have my Facebook “Like” pages to run, as well as my own blog so my plate is already full. For my fellow adoptees, please take care of yourself this month. Go treat yourself to something you want, buy a massage or get your nails done. Buy an ice cream cone or go to the gym and work out to burn steam off. Whatever calms your spirit and brings you job, make sure you’re doing that this month in the middle of your commitment to raising awareness on how it feels to be adopted.
I was inspired a few weeks back to ask a question on my Facebook pages that went something like this:
“For my fellow adoptees: If you could turn back time and share something with your first/birth parents BEFORE they made the choice to surrender you for adoption, What would you say to them and why?”
The responses were overwhelming and came with many heart-aching pleas for our first/birth parents. I then asked if I could share these responses in a blog post all from adult adoptees so we could help raise awareness on how it feels to be adopted.
For the adoptees who poured their hearts out on this thread, THANK YOU! Our hope is this post will reach potential birth/first parents and adoptive parents around the world so they will make a better informed choice regarding adoption. It’s also so we know we aren’t alone.
I LOVE YOU! ❤
Here are the responses of 115 adult doptees.
Put every piece of information on paper. Tell me your whole life story. Everything. Tell me the name of my father. I don’t care who he is/was I just want to know. I don’t want to go into the ground without his name but it sure looks like I will. THINK. Think ahead and know this terrible time and crisis you are in will end and I will still remain somewhere in this world. Think. Will this child I birthed want to know a few little details or everything? Everything, no matter how sorted the details.
I was just thinking about this during last night’s anxiety attack. I’m not sure what I would say. Would I ask them not to give me up? They were 14 and my bio-mother turned out to be a horrible person. So, probably not. But I would tell them to do things differently. I would ask them to research the Primal Wound and to not disappear and hide all evidence of my existence. I would ask not to have been left at a hospital for 5 days alone with no one to bond with.
I promise never to cry, only use one diaper per day, and be the worlds most perfect child if you would PLEASE keep me. Also, I will miss you every single day of my life.
I would say: I promise to not be a burden anymore than I already am and I promise to stay out of the way and not ask for much if you would PLEASE JUST KEEP ME! My heart is broken without you!
Dear Birth Mother, I realize I was conceived out of a one night stand with a married man BUT you do not get to choose not to tell him and keep me a secret!!! He deserves to know about me regardless of the circumstances! Please don’t lie on the paperwork and please don’t keep me a secret because the truth always comes out in the end! Please don’t rob me of memories with my biological family because you are ashamed of your actions! Please tell the truth and please keep me!!!!
They didn’t make the choice. That’s the worst part. I would tell my mom that if she left me with my grandparents, no matter what they told her, it would be the last time she saw me until I was 26.
Dear Joy, please get yourself a backbone against your mother. You’re raising my older sister from an affair with no shame, so why not me too? Also, quit screwing married older law enforcement officers and being the best homewrecker in New Orleans.
You’ve got this. You can do it. Don’t turn your back on me. I am your daughter. I am your flesh and blood.
I know you’re scared, I am also. We got this, and we need each other. I promise it will be worth it. All we need is Us...
Please keep me. I’ll be perfect, I promise.
I am worth keeping.
We can do this, momma. We can stay together; unbroken, whole, as God intended.
I’m I worth keeping why didn’t you stay why did I have to wonder about you did you ever think about me.
Don’t be so pig headed about the fact that if you couldn’t keep me than my birth father couldn’t keep me either.
Use birth control. Is that too far back in time? My father never knew about me. My mother wouldn’t sign the papers for four months, but her parents refused to help. Not much of a choice. But if I could have anything please give me pictures. Pictures of my mother, my father, my extended family, at various ages. I looked like no one in my adoptive family. I’m 46 years old, and I still hate my face.
Dear Mom, Please just have an abortion. At least then I wouldn’t exist to experience a lifetime of pain from adoption. You giving me the gift of life- THIS LIFE has tormented me for 43 years now. Most days the pain is so unbearable I wished I was never born. That’s how bad adoption has hurt me!
I get the one child policy in China is hard, but why didn’t you just abort me?
Keep me or get an abortion. And, if you can’t, at least tell your parents so they can end this fantasy that you can escape your own responsibilities with some legal magic.
I have so much to learn from you and my father. He will travel the world with us by his side as he serves our great country. Because I am much like you in many ways, I may kick and scream, here and there, but, it will be all worth it. You’ll be rewarded in the end.
This is not the end of your problems, it’s the beginning of mine.
I’d tell my birth mom that I wish El Salvador kept better birth records so I could always remember her name, that I loved her and I understood why she was giving me up for adoption. I also ask God to watch over her & my birth family and to keep them safe.
I wish you would never have made me your dirty little secret.
The consequences of us being separated will be felt and manifested in all matter of ways lifelong.
To my biological dad: in the future there will be dna testing that will prove I am your son, so quit with the denial. To my natural mother: you are strong enough to keep me despite all the social pressure against you, and relinquishing me will be harder on you than you’ve been told by the adoption workers. Also in the future society won’t ostracize unwed mothers the way it did in 1961, and there will be something called open adoption.
Let my dad have custody! Or, at the very least, my grandparents! I have had lifelong issues, stemming from adoption.
I’ll search to the ends of the earth to find you
Why didn’t you both use birth control?
Please Mom, don’t make me go!
I would tell my mother to not do it. My life was not better and the family I was sold to was not better then my own. I lived a life of depression with so many disorders. I would especially tell her to run from social services and not listen to their lies.
I don’t know what i would say ..
My father was sent off to India for an arranged marriage just before my mother discovered her pregnancy, she had no forwarding address so he never knew about me. If I could race back in time, I’d Storm the Mother & Baby Home & rescue my mother and me. Anyone foolish enough to stand in my way would be Slayed so there’s one fantasy. This other fantasy of being able to tell her something … Well, she was distressed. I’d tell her that we WILL survive together. Maybe we will be steeped into poverty but we’ll survive the 70’s and then economic help will arrive and poxy stigma’s will reduce. I’d describe to her what Coercion & Gas Lighting are. I’d talk about the Farce of Cultural Shame and tell her what becomes of us both post separation.
I will find you when you least expect it and you will deny me, your blood, not once, but twice. You will turn all my blood against me.The Lord will be your judge one day. I will live with your selfish decision, as i was given no choice.
Please at least leave me with some information about myself. And perhaps a message from you…
You are good enough.
Let me live with my father. You are breaking our hearts forever.
Please send me with a letter. It doesnt have to be long. Just something acknowledging me. And letting me know that I somehow mattered. If I didnt then say nothing. But at least give me a family tree to look at or momentos of my heritage.
Please don’t feel you have the right to deny me my identity.
To further deny me any information as to who my father was.
I am a human being, who at this stage has no voice .
And you can keep me a secret but i wont always be a little unwanted baby… i will grow up, i will always be your child .
Even if you dont want to keep me … be honest with me… be available to me in some capacity.
Dont let me suffer for your ‘mistakes’
I didnt ask to be born .
You are responsible for me … you gave me life …
I would like a letter with a brief history of bio family/heritage, medical. Can be non-identifying, but just something to bridge the transition from bio life to adoptive life. Maybe a few pictures of bio sibs/parents as kids, etc.
Before leaving me at an orphanage why not leave some type of history report of medical issues to worry about in the future. A family history would be helpful right now.
I would ask them why they are bringing a child into the world that they are not going to parent. I would also tell them the decision they are making has life long ramifications for the child and first parents. Relinquishment is trauma for both child and parent.
Dear mom, do it… just Run off with Joe. He wanted to marry you and raise me. He tried 3 times to get me. You were not in a formal/ legal foster care. They could not have done a damn thing to you!
What would I say: Dear Mammy, I am overjoyed to meet you after knowing you on the inside for all those months. We are one now. I love you so much. I need your loving presence to assure me I am safe. I need your soft voice cooing to me and your arms holding me close and secure. I need your milk made specially for me for sustenance and to build my immune system. If I am sick, your milk will change to help me heal. No other milk can do this for me. I have heard your heartbeat. I know your voice. I have heard the music you listen to. I have heard you talking and I have heard you cry. I have felt your pain and your anxiety for the future. We are bonded. I am part of you and you are part of me. I have your traits and I have inherited your intelligence and wisdom. You will recognise these in me and when I am older, I will know how strongly I am a part of you because of my inherited traits. YOU are all I need. Please don’t cast me aside for strangers to take. Please don’t leave me. I can’t live without you. WHY: Alone, I will only exist – (even in a new family- I will always be alone) – Without you and my true family I will float around rootless and haunted for the rest of my life. I will not learn the tools to live and to cope emotionally, mentally and physically. I will develop crippling developmental issues from the severing of our bond. I will spend my whole life searching for you and searching for people who look like me.I will spend my life feeling like I don’t belong anywhere or to anyone. I will become a great actress on the outside while dying on the inside. I will lie to myself and lie to my ‘new family’ all because of the huge fear of rejection I carry inside me. I will be misunderstood by others who feel I should be grateful to be given a home, any home. I will be told by others about all the “happy adoptees” (adoptees who have not yet faced the truth of what has happened to them as its just too painful and they might disentegrate if they looked) I will apologise continuously just for being alive because I feel so low and so worthless. I will have no self worth or self respect and this will bring its own hell… I will be abused in every way possible. I will develop illnesses caused by anxiety and stress due to the pain of loss of you and my family, the constant yearning for you and of having to act a part for the new family and society, who believe adoption is good and sweet and fluffy- while squashing down my true self. I will loose my true self. I will just act a part. I am not real. I will spend years and years dealing with bureaucracy and lies and walls built to keep me away from you or to keep you away from me. Losing you will condemn me to a life of unimaginable pain on every level.
Maybe you could stop the drugs and leave the abusive man instead of giving up your only daughter. Straighten up and raise your kids. If not, then could you my give three brothers the same opportunity?Because the amazing people that raised me loved them and would have taken them too.
Dear Mom: you don’t need to stay with your abusive husband who forced you into swapping with his cousin. You can leave him and raise all your kids together. You don’t have to give me away. All you have to do is leave.
To my mother, you had no options and was forced so your pain mirrors mine.
To my father, learn some empathy and get some help before you hurt your future children the way you hurt me.You will spend the next 40 years regretting this choice. It will not only affect you and I but my siblings too. The first time was not your choice, the second was. (I was kidnapped at age 1 but she could’ve had me back at 5)
If you wouldn’t hand off one of my kept siblings to a stranger then certainly don’t give me away. Please stay away from agencies. Please speak to mothers who have relinquished and are no longer under the spell of the love grenades agencies, APs and PAPs lobb at the adopted and expectant moms daily. Adoption is not beautiful, a selfless act or brave, or some great sacrifice, more like an act of desperation. Please also speak to adoptees who have lived it. Not adoptees you already know, as in real life most of us aim to please and are programmed to spew what you want to hear.
You need to know there is some shame in knowing that you were in fact bought for a sum by others. There is also the shame in knowing you were a problem to get rid of but then again the answer to some strangers parenting dream.
You need to know it is painful to be given while others were kept. Growing up you nor my apars never guessed I ever even thought about adoption or being adopted. I smiled, laughed ,played. But I did think about it a LOT. But who can you tell? You can’t tell your Apar for fear of hurting them. You can’t tell your true family for hurting them. So I just carried it and went along with the sick family role play that is adoption. Feelings of hurt, guilt, shame, abandonment, rejection, bitter, worthless, frustration, jealousy, confusion and knowing you had to love me less or you would have parented myself like the others. Being relinquished has also affected my well being, self confidence and self value. As I had children of my own it really begin to sink in as to what being given up really meant about me and too me. I’ve come to accept it for what it is, and know that my siblings have every right to the life they’ve lived with OUR family I just wish that you would have given me that same chance.
Adoption will be a hard lesson for my kept siblings also older and younger. They will learn the tragic but sometimes necessary truth that sometimes OUR mothers/fathers CAN and DO give us away to strangers. My oldest sister says she was scared and very confused by comments from others saying I was given up out of love, for a better life. So while the kept wondered why they didn’t deserve better, I always wondered why I didn’t measure up to my OWN mothers struggle. They thought I was loved more, I of course knew it was less.
You were already a Mother why couldn’t you just concentrate on creating a stable home for us all instead of so much time on how to relinquish just myself
I may have had no choice but to learn to live without OUR Mother but at birth YOU were my universe.
Don’t have me. You don’t want kids. You never did. You did cocaine, and drank while pregnant with me.
Have an abortion and then have your tubes tied. I didn’t deserve this a life like this, so angry and confused.
I also didn’t deserve to be mislabeled ethnicity wise my entire life because you didn’t ask him what he was and just assumed tan= Mexican.
Thank you for giving me life I realize you have your hands full with five other children and putting me up for adoption was hard but my life will be better off just some how stay in touch so I have a past and much needed medical history.
To my birth mother you had no choice your mother forced you so don’t worry go on to have a good life I will find you! To my father don’t forget about me.
I hope you will never forget about me. I hope you find happiness and peace. I’m sorry for whatever pain my existence has caused or will cause you. I will think of you often and wonder why? Why wasn’t I good enough to keep? I’ll wonder about you every year on my birthday and Christmas and many days in between. I’ll wonder who I look like? Who I act like? Whose fingernail beds do I have? I’ll be ok though. I will love and be loved. I’ll be strong. But, sometimes, I won’t be ok or strong because my soul will love you and miss you forever.
Would love to have had a letter just so I knew you really did care. Giving me up for adoption was hard in you but been bloody hard on me. One of the worst things is when you are at the Doctors and they ask if there is a family history of something, I always say the same thing “sorry I’m adopted I don’t know sorry” so being practical medical history for birth family would be great also.
Dear Mom… thank you for giving me the chance to have the best family. They gave me a life that I’ve loved! Wondering about you gave me a great imagination and a love to create art. Now that I know you I just wish you knew who my dad was… being “legitimate to no man” is really fucking with my soul but I found you and I’ll find him too.
Please give me medical history of family, name my birth father so I can get his family medical history, info on my previous siblings, I would like to know how our family came to America from where, pictures. I understand why you put me and my 6 siblings up for adoption at birth by different fathers.
Be ready to be found and hopefully be able to give and receive love. Please Leave a photo and a handwritten letter. Have honest names…. and story… health info…. and keep it updated. Dont live a lie and keep me a secret.
It will take nearly 51 years, but I will find you and my siblings. I will do the family genealogy…..Choctaw, Cherokee Irish and Scot. I won’t have to be afraid because of my Native blood. You had to hide it, but I won’t. I understand that the county will force you to give me up. I know you will keep track of me and how I am doing. I understand why you will lie about who my father is. I will know who my bio father is and I will age to look just like him! I will know you loved him immensely. I will also know how you treated my siblings and that I am the lucky one who gets away.
If one day I find the courage to contact you to try to fill in those missing pieces. Please don’t give me hope only then to abandon me again. It hurts even more second time around.
Don’t leave me with my grandparents. I know you want to come back for me but they won’t let you. They don’t want you to have me. My grandma will send me to live with an aunt & uncle in another country, who I’ve never met, who shouldn’t be trusted with kids, and the aunt will make sure you don’t see me again until I’m 26. You’ll ask her to give me back to you and she won’t. She’ll adopt me and change my name and lie to me, and I’ll hate her for it. Please take me with you.
I wish you hadn’t told everyone I died. Your lie threw my Dad into a tailspin that ultimately ended with his death. There were plenty of people in the family who would have raised me but your selfish lie robbed them of that chance. There is no excuse for your behavior then or now. Truth always wins even if it is 50 years after the fact!
Dear mom, What does YOUR heart tell you to do? You don’t know me or whom I will become. I know you’re not making this decision based on that. What is truly best for us (you and me) and our future? And if you choose adoption, please revisit looking for me. I’m not mad. I trust you made/are making the best decision you could in the moment based on what you know right now as you decide (as a 40yo woman). I’ll be sad and confused for years, and that’s to be expected. Even with loving adoptive parents, I’ll miss you. Again…that’s to be expected. (Thank you for the four page letter by the way. I cherish every word.) I wish I could know you.
I know you are being pressured to give me away, and that you don’t have the income to raise a child. But you have such a large family. Surely some of them would change their minds and support your decision to keep your baby if you just stood your ground a little longer. And if you cannot, then at least write now and then, and update family health history so these things will be waiting for me when I become an adult and contact CC.
Don’t listen to what anyone is saying around you, listen to your heart. You have the strength to keep me, with so many older siblings everyone can help out to keep me in this family. Because the consequence of not keeping me in this family will destroy me and I don’t believe I will ever fully recover from the pain that adoption has caused.
Remember I will grow up and develop the skills to track you down. Try to build up the nerve between my birth and then to respond to my letters and pgone calls. Don’t have others do your dirty work.If I could see my birth mother again I would tell her I understand why she couldn’t take care of me and that I love her. I only wish the State had not taken my mother from me because I have lived a lifetime of grief not being able to see my mother again. What’s sad is that I became and adult and couldn’t find my mother. Then while in college, I learned she died. I was completely crushed. I just received her death certificate last year. If I could do it all over again. I would give anything to see my mom again.
Please don’t separate me from my brothers and sisters. It is wrong. Let me grow up with my siblings. Don’t put me with those horrible people who beat me and called me names and made my life hell.
Dear Birth Mother, thank you for having me. I know that you are making a really tough decision right now and that you will live with it for the rest of your life. However as your child I want you to know that eventually I will come to understand that you giving me up with be the most selfless act of unconditional love. It will take me a good many years, trials and tribulations to understand it but when I do I will thank you. Good luck in your decision. It will be the right one.
You are allowing one of the most drastic mindfucks in the galaxy to happen to me. Now go and at least make something of yourself.
Todays my birthday… I just wanna tell them.. I always hated the feeling of rejection.. the feeling that I was not worthy of anything.. Still having that missing part in my life.. I was lucky un so many ways when you gave up on me.. but somehow.. Im thankful.. I was able to let go.. I was able to forgive you.. and Im starting to love myself.. Im trying hard.. and Im hoping that when the day comes that we will meet again.. I can tell you.. I made it.. My adoptive mother died when I was a teen.. and she made me realize life is short.. we need to keep going.. So Im trying.. for me and my family..
Dear Patty, Do your best to respect yourself and foster empathy toward all people, especially yourself. Please try to not become ashamed and bitter. Please notice that all people have a story and in that, we are all one. Forgive yourself and everything else will fall in line with more peace and joy.
Please send me away with a letter from you and expect me to come looking for you regardless of whether you want me too.
Please don’t worry and fill up your womb with fear and pain- that effected me very much! Do what is best with good intentions and prayer- and work through your grief and shame too that would be best for Everyone!
For my mom: Mom, react. I need you. Take strength from where you do not have it, and get me out. Do not let our family get lost. I love you mama.
I understand you wanted me to have a better life, but being adopted left me with an empty space…each year that passes and your still not looking for me…it bothers me more than you know.
Adoption fragmented us both, even if you don’t acknowledge this. being born into loss trauma is something I have never been able to recover from.
Mom, thanks for having the courage to see it through, it was 1952 and I can’t imagine what shame YOU felt. and Thank God I had the parents I had, Thank you, and to my dad, Hey I just met marc ( my sibling) and antionette, they’re awesome. I was surrendered on october 20, 1952. To My real mom and dad that raised me, Thank You! – Angie and Pasquale.
Keep me … you do have a choice… choose me to save you a lifetime of guilt and heal the mother wound in our family for generations to come after us.
Mom, hold me, never leave me. If you do, my life will be racked with pain, doubt, fear. I will not let anyone close to me ever again, because the first real bond I ever had was destroyed. If you leave me I will live a life of never accepting that I have done anything good enough. I will embark on a never ending quest of trying to feel love, and I will fail. Love isn’t real to me. I will never know who I am, everything will be a hall of mirrors. I will feel inexplicable pain and never be able to articulate what is ailing me. I will deny that I have any “hang ups about being adopted.” Until I finally face the truth that you are all I have ever wanted.
I want to know WHY you are even considering adoption? You made the choice to either have an affair or sleep with someone else while apart from your husband, but you knew the risks. You gave me a name yet chose to discard me anyway. Personally I feel that you were selfish!
I would say that being adopted has irreparable damaged me as a person and every facet of my life. I would tell her to have an abortion if she is going to choose such a selfish path as to deny my father and great grandmother raising me because she doesn’t want to impede her own life.
It’s probably for the best that you give me away, after all I am sickly and our family is a total disaster. Even though It will be 11 months before I find a permanent home it will be a good one so you wont have to worry I will be taken care of. I ask only two things from you: Please let my father know that I exist and when my sister is born please protect her from the monsters in our family that will abuse her and make her life a living hell. You gave me a chance at life please allow my sister to have one that is free from pain and suffering as you and the rest of the family protect those who hurt the innocent.
Think about the consequences of your actions. They will not only affect you for life….but also your child & your entire family network. No one will be the same again.
Please don’t have children. Some women shouldn’t be around children ever. Have an abortion and then don’t get pregnant ever again. You don’t deserve to be a “mother”. In fact, you are NOT. You’re not my mother, you never will. I have your blood in my veins which I hate but you’re nothing to me, giving birth to me doesn’t make you my mother, taking care of me and loving me would have made you a mother, but all you are is a selfish narcissistic woman. Always playing the victim. How much you suffer, sure. Poor you. It’s always about you. I never mattered. So don’t have me. And if you do have me, please don’t keep me for a second, don’t wait, don’t ruin my first couple of years, give me up at birth so I won’t have to spend a day being hurt by you! Just because you had me you don’t have a right over me, you can’t do this to an innocent child. Go away, have a surgery and don’t ruin innocent lives. Nobody deserves a “mother” like you.
Couldn’t you have left me a note saying things like medical records nationality why you gave me up. I want closure.
What were you feeling during your pregnancy, did you lay in bed at night and wonder about what my life would be like and how you would have to let go?
Put the bottle down and look after me I love you so much let me have time with my big sister and mam.
Have an abortion. Life is difficult and full of challenges in the best of circumstances without adding the intense pain of loss, lies, and lack of personal history/identity that a adoptees experience. Please don’t set me up for a lifetime of pain and suffering. If you’re concerned by the “sin” of abortion rest assured that abandoning a child is a thousand times worse.
Dear Mom, Please keep me. Please don’t make me grow up with strangers who never let me forget that I was not “blood” like their three sons. Please don’t leave me with these people who won’t protect me from their youngest son (14 yrs older than me). Please don’t make me spend my entire life wondering why I wasn’t good enough so I could never live up to my true potential. Please protect me from the humiliation of not being able to make a true family tree in school and having to answer “I don’t know” to basic family history medical questions. Please don’t crush my soul, my hopes, my dreams before I even have a chance. Please know that I need YOU from the day I was born until the day I die. Please spare me the pain, at 45, of learning that I have a full, younger brother who is “the light of your life”. I would’ve loved a baby brother. Please keep me so that I do not spend my life missing you, needing you and waiting for you to come and get me. Please save me from the heartache of finally finding you then having you abandon me again. Please don’t force me to spend my life, 50 yrs now, wondering what it feels like to be accepted and loved. Dear Mom, Please keep me. Love, your daughter.
I would thank them for allowing me to have the greatest life imaginable!
I get the one child policy in China is hard, but why didn’t you just abort me?
Consider asking your Aunties for support. They never knew. They would have helped.
I’ll be ok, don’t forget about me.
Please have an abortion , it’s more humane then adoption.
Please keep me. Please. I will be worth it. I love you. I need only you as my mother. Please don’t leave me.
You should simply have killed your evil brother.
I understand. Thank you for making that hard choice.
To the biomother: I know you’re going so just go. Keep your fucking mouth shut, leave me with pop, and go. Do not suggest he put me up for adoption on your way out the door, just let it hit you where nature split you. To Pop: call your father. Pick up the phone, swallow it and ask. He’ll say yes. No one wants you to give me away, including me.
I wouldn’t say anything. Shouldn’t have to…
My mum didn’t really have a ‘choice’.
Write a birthday card for me every year and give it to me when we reunite. I want to know I mattered.
We may have it rough, and times may be tough, But we can work it out together!!
She’ll beat me, I won’t be better off.
I would ask my biomother if I could come and live with my grandfather and mother after being abused by adopters.
No matter how much money my adoptive parents have, no matter what story you were sold, I will never bond with them and there is no one or no thing in this world that will ever be able to replace you. NOTHING. Please don’t make me go. We can do this together. I love you and always will. My life will never be complete until I find you.
I would ask my birth parents if they had any regrets.
I didn’t choose this life, it chose me.
Yup, will bring up lots of questions.
Have an open adoption plan.
Probably something along the lines of why? I’d want to know the history…
You should tell my father about me. No, not YOUR husband, MY father.
Please put my birth father’s name on my OBC!
Run away. Get married. Save me x
Stay in touch.
Don’t do it, Mommy!
Why?? Am I not right ?
Don’t leave me.
If you’re an adoptee and you would like to add to this list please comment on this post. Can you relate to how any of these adoptees feel?
If you’re a non-adoptee and/or someome impacted by adoption in any way, how do you feel reading these responses?
Pamela A. Karanova ❤
Together we’re sharing the TRUTH about adoption one click at a time.
I have felt the need to share the details of why the How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? page is PUBLIC and why it’s an ADOPTEE ONLY commenting Facebook “Like” page.
Below is what you will find under our “About” section of the page. This area of the How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? page does a pretty good job at explaining things for our followers. After repeated requests to make this a “Private Group” I felt it would be a good idea to focus on a refresher as to why this page is set up the way it is.
Bringing the truth to light one click at a time. As we grow closer by the click, this is a place for adoptees to share how it feels to be adopted.
Please Read Before Posting… THIS IS A PUBLIC PAGE. THIS MEANS WHATEVER YOU SHARE HERE WILL BE ABLE TO SHOW UP ON YOUR TIMELINE.
FYI: We are aware that this might cause a privacy concern for some but we also feel that the secrets of adoption have been kept a secret for long enough, and it’s not a secret anymore. We want this to stay public to help raise awareness about adoption from an adoptees perspective.
This page is founded for all adoptees that want to express how it feels to be adopted. Your views and opinions matter, and you are not alone. Anyone impacted by adoption can benefit from understanding adoptees better. This page is to help make that happen. We welcome potential adoptive parents, adoptive parents, and biological parents to learn from us because no one can express better than an adoptee, “HOW IT FEELS TO BE ADOPTED”.
Announcement: With some careful consideration we have decided to limit the open dialog of communication here to adoptees, and adoptees ONLY. Everyone is welcome here, and we hope you embrace the experiences share by those who have lived being adopted. Forward, questions from non-adoptees will no longer be posted and comments from non adoptees will be deleted. We have set up http://www.facebook.com/askanadoptee1 for non-adoptees to ask adoptees questions. Things have gotten a little out of hand lately, and to all the adoptees who have been triggered by this we apologize. We desire to keep this a safe place for all adoptees.
For those who are adoptees AND adoptive parents or biological parents, you are welcome to share here but as we all should keep our sharing focused on our own thoughts and feelings based on our own experiences being an adoptee. We can’t speak for each other. We can only speak for ourselves. We can’t belittle adoptees because we have different views than them. This is a great learning platform for all and the WORLD is allowed to learn from us, this is why the openess of this page is so important. Bringing the darkness to light. Keep in mind we have to respect each others feelings no matter what they are. This change starts now.
FYI: Please keep in mind that not all adoptees journeys are those of a positive outcome. Some are just that. This is considered a “SAFE PLACE” for ALL adoptees regardless of how they view their adoption experience. This page is here to offer support, advice, encouragement for every one of us so please be understanding when adoptees have a different view than you. We are each entitled to our own feelings, and they deserve to be heard, and validated.
If you always felt alone, you are not alone anymore. This is a wide group of amazing adoptees, and others impacted by adoption. We are here if you need us!
•No personal insults to others.
•Respect each other and moderators
•Strong language and vulgarity are prohibited.
•Please use common sense and courtesy
• Please validate others feelings and allow the negative and positive feelings also to come to the surface, as identifying these issues is the only way we can begin to heal.
• Even if you don’t agree with someones opinion or view, please respect that its theirs to have. We all came from different places, and we have no idea what the other person has been through.
Feel free to inbox if you have any questions, suggestions, comments or concerns. Adoptees, Please feel free to send any questions you would like asked on the page to the inbox for the page. As many as you would like, and they will be kept anonymous. Also, please share your reunion stories with us! We would love to celebrate the discovery if your history with you!
It’s a huge blessing to have each of you here!
Each adoptees unique story has tremendous power to promote identity, relationship, and healing.
Admin: Pamela A. Karanova
Anyone impacted by adoption in some way,especially my fellow adoptees feel free to add me. Please send me an inbox sharing how you are impacted by adoption. Looking forward to connecting with you! ♥
Many people don’t read the about section of the page but we always encourage it. We have also set up page guidelines for all our followers to read and this is pinned to the top of the page for easy viewing.
THE PAGE GUIDELINES LOOK LIKE THIS
How Does It Feel To Be Adopted Page Guidelines
The purpose of this page is to create a space for adoptees to share how it feels to be adopted. To ensure that this is a safe space for all adoptees we would like to use the following guidelines:
●Only adoptees are allowed to comment here. No exceptions.
●Adoptees, Please keep your sharing focused on your own thoughts and feelings based on your own experiences.
●There is NO piggy backing. This when one adoptee comments in his/her safe space (usually responding to a question asked by the poster) and another adoptee comes and disagrees or disregards their experiences. Most of the time this creates a dialog between the two adoptees. If you disagree with what an adoptee says, that’s your right but please refrain from commenting in another adoptees “Safe Space”.
●Share your feelings regarding the question by clicking “Reply” to the original question asked. Please do not “Reply” on other adoptees responses unless it’s agreeing and understanding them. Why? When you come against them it’s creating an immediate violation of the safe space created for them to share their feelings.
●This kind of communication can be difficult in the best of times, because of misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and differences. When this communication takes place it has the potential to be extremely negative, even leading to destructive outcomes. It can also be very triggering for many adoptees.
●There are no right or wrong answers on this page. Each person is free to express his or her feelings without interruptions in the “Safe Place” created just for them. When you reply to the question asked that is considered your safe space.
●We are here to support one another, not “fix” another.
●If you are an adoptee and an adoptive parent or an adoptee and a birth parent, we value your dynamic experience. We ask you reserve this safe space to share your adoptee experience ONLY. There are other places you can share your adoptive/birth parent experience.
●It’s okay to agree to disagree. We must respect one another’s views even if we don’t agree with them.
If anyone doesn’t follow these guidelines we will have no choice but to delete any comments made if they are violating their fellow adoptees “Safe Place”.
Thank you for reading our guidelines. Together we want to make this the safest space possible so all adoptees can share how it feels to be adopted. – ♡ Admin.
So here we have it…
Page Guidelines & our “About” section of the How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? page listed here for us all.
Let’s unpack this a little bit.
First things first, this page is not a group. It’s a public “Like” page. It clearly states this in the ABOUT section of the page. The reason this page was originally set up this way is because (as shared in the about section of the page) there is so much secrecy in adoption already I wanted to let the world see our real, raw feelings because our feelings matter, we matter. I get tons of requests to make this a PRIVATE GROUP but it’s impossible to switch a public like page to a private group. Yes, I could make a private group for this page specifically but for me, and the purpose I have in this lifetime I only have a desire to keep things public because I’m tired of being a secret. I’m tired of non-adoptees running our show. I understand fully that some adoptees aren’t able to comment as they wish because they have fears of their adoptive and biological families seeing their truth. I totally understand and I totally get it. I’ve been there. I recommend creating a “Pen Name” (An anonymous name used for writing purposes). I used a pen name for 3 years when I didn’t feel strong enough to share my real true feelings for FEAR of __________ <—- Insert a million reasons here! I get it, I promise I do!
That said, there are thousands of adoptees who DO feel comfortable in sharing their truth on this public “Like” page. By all means I suggest any adoptees who are in need of a private group to start one of your own or join one of the many that is already out there and available. There are TONS! Here is a link to one that is moderated by a friend of mine and fellow adoptee, Lawrence Proctor. Make sure you answer the question on why you want to join the group or he won’t accept the invitations. Click this link! Adoptees Anonymous? Who Are We?
ADOPTEE ONLY COMMENTING
Why is this page adoptee only commenting? It’s simple. Adoptees are tired of the rest of the world speaking for us, silencing us and not having any safe space to share our feelings.
Let me share a little about how the page was created. On October 20, 2012 I was attending a Celebrate Recovery group meeting in Lexington, KY. I was 60+ days in my sobriety journey and I had no where to turn. AA is a wonderful program but it wasn’t what I was looking for because I needed a safe place where I could share my feelings about being adopted and all the hurt and pain I was running from for 27 years. A friend recommended Celebrate Recovery so beginning October I went and continued on a weekly basis. It took me a few weeks to open up and get familiar with the people in my group. I remember like it was yesterday, I started to share something regarding my biological mother and tears began to flow. I started sharing my pain from losing her and a lady to my left whom happened to be an adoptive mother, interrupted me and said, “YOU DON’T KNOW ADOPTION LIKE I KNOW ADOPTION!!!” and she began to tell me her experience with adoption. I was cut off, I was silenced.
IT WAS CLEAR THAT ALTHOUGH THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A SAFE PLACE FOR ME ADOPTION WAS THE EXCEPTION. I left in tears, hopeless and even having thoughts of suicide. I was feeling like if this was a Christian Ministry and I was silenced sitting in a small group that was supposed to be a safe space, but not for me the adoptee I had no where to turn. There was no help for me. I went into a depression, was sad and upset for weeks after this. Eventually, after about 3 weeks I went back and I let them know how that impacted me. I let them know it hurt, and it took me to a really dark place. After this, some changes were made regarding cross talk so other peoples feelings weren’t invalidated like mine were, and I spent the next 4 years working through my adoptee issues via Celebrate Recovery. I went on to get leadership training, small group training and I was the small group leader for Women’s Chemical Dependency for almost 3 years. I shared my adoption journey many times by giving my testimony and I was able to get to the root issues of abandonment and rejection from my adoption experience so I could begin to address my issues, and move towards acceptance and healing. This process was critical to my healing process. I learned the dynamics of creating a safe space for everyone to share and how important it is.
So please know I have taken careful thought and consideration into creating this page and running it with the flow it has. I realize not everyone will like it and not everyone will agree. I am open to suggestions and feedback, but I’m also limited to what I can do regarding my commitment to the page, and my personal life, etc.
For the non-adoptees who might be reading this, don’t you think adoptees deserve a safe space where they can share without you all interrupting us or silencing us? My commitment is 110% to the adoptees, and creating a safe space for THEM to share their feelings. I want them to share whatever level of feelings they feel comfortable with. Have you noticed the other places online where ALL members of the adoption equation are participants how much chaos goes on and how adoptees are silenced by non-adoptees? I refuse to be a part of those pages because they are extremely triggering to me, and I’ve had countless amounts of adoptees say the same thing. I consider it a privileged that non-adoptees are able to sit back and LEARN from us. They can read and reflect and learn.
It’s about time don’t you think?
That said, I have also received over the years a high amount of non-adoptees who want to ask adoptees questions. The How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? page is not set up for this to happen. After many months of requests from non-adoptees to ask adoptees questions I created ASK AN ADOPTEE. This page has been an amazing tool in the adoption community. It’s not only given non-adoptees a space to ask questions, but it’s given adoptees the space to share their insight regarding the question, based on their experience living adopted. Please visit the “About Section” for details on the flow of the page. Again, this is an ADOPTEE ONLY commenting space for the same reasons How Does It Feel To Be Adopted Is.
Again, I fully understand the way these pages are conducted it might not work for everyone, but I also know it’s working for thousands of adoptees and non-adoptees who want to learn how we feel without commenting, all across the world.
I hope this sheds some light on all those who are inquiring about why this isn’t a private group and why adoptees are the only ones who can comment.
This blog post was inspired because I know first hand how hard birthday’s can be for adoptees. There is healing in sharing how we feel so I wanted to seek input from my fellow adoptees and find out how they felt about their birthdays.
I was blown away to see so many of us feel similar ways about this day and the days leading up to the “Birth” day. Many of us are impacted as the days lead up to the month as well.
Some adoptees have no issues with this day.
No matter what experiences are shared here, I’m excited so share the feelings of so many of my fellow adoptees no matter how they feel. Each and every one of you matters, your story matters and your voice matters.
If you would like to add how you feel about your birthday please reply to this thread and I’ll add it to this blog post. Feel free to share with your online communities to help raise awareness on how it feels to be adopted.
Adoptee Voice #1.
My birthday month is August. I wish the month could go away. My birthday is the 10th. I don’t ever recall looking forward to my birthday. It feels weird when people wish me happy birthday. I don’t even know what the normal feeling is supposed to be.
Adoptee Voice #2.
It’s not your birthday. It’s your cake day., eat cake.
Adoptee Voice #3.
August 21st is my birthday so in the back of my mind counting down to the day. Not sure what plans are. I usually try stay positive but by evening the mind tends to take over a bit. I used to think it was the one day she would be thinking of me but found out she never remembered my birth date.
Adoptee Voice #4.
My birthday is December 21. So I get the holiday blues wIthiBONUS birthday blues. My mom passed just over a year ago, my dad has had a super rough time (wrecked the tractor last fall, other medical problems, depression) and I’m already dreading this holiday season.
I’m actually thinking about taking a road trip. I could use the solitude and the break and it just might be the perfect time and place for the crying jag I never seem to let myself have.
Last year I turned 50 and my aunt (my mom’s only sibling) surprised me at work with a big cake. It was nice of her, but it was also sort of surreal.
Adoptee Voice #5
It’s the time of the year I can’t “not think” of my birth parents. (BF is deceased) My birth mother lives less than 15 miles from me and a mile away from where I was raised. She pretends I don’t exist. If there is one day a year she thinks about me, that should be it, right? I do write her letters and send them, even though I never get anything back.
Adoptee Voice #6
I have an August birthday (the 28th). I HATE my birthday… As a child, it was never a happy occasion. Adoptive father was a violent drunk, and his drinking never took a vacation, no matter the day.. holidays, birthdays, weddings…. Adoptive monster was an enabler, and fed into his violence and never protect myself or adoptive brother. Birthdays were “family” parties until I was 10. Every year less and less people came, and I finally realized it was due to him. I always wondered what I did wrong.. But why in the world would you subject yourself to that disaster if you didn’t have to? And since I wasn’t blood to them, they just stopped coming. The final straw was at 16. Adoptive monster talked up a Sweet 16 party for years. Told me we would rent a hall, get a DJ, I could invite anyone I wanted… When it came down to it, it didn’t happen. It was downgraded to a house party in my garage. The day of ,I spent HOURS getting ready. Sat outside waiting and waiting. Hours after start time, I heard the adoptive monsters arguing. Adoptive father admitted the night before he called the entire guest list and told them it was cancelled…. NO JOKE. This is the deranged behavior I lived with my entire childhood. That was the last birthday I spent with them. Shortly after this, I fled in the middle of the night and was emancipated.
Adoptee Voice #7
My birthday is Nov 1 and I always got depressed and angry as it got closer. I’m 53. A few years ago I decided to start making it about others. I’d invite a couple of good friends to go out to a really nice dinner just to celebrate the friendships I have.
I have a loving husband and family who wanted to bless me so I quit being a stick in the mud & let them and chose to enjoy what I have now instead of what I don’t have. Gratitude and choosing to bless others changed how I anticipate my birthday now.
This was before I met my sister this past spring, and learned a lot about my birth parents who have passed. I am now looking forward to this year’s birthday.
It’s all in perspective – I am here, alive, and have many things to be thankful about.
Adoptee Voice #8
Birthdays are hard for me. I have spent more than one birthday listening to John Lennon’s song “Mother” on repeat…
Adoptee Voice #9
I know some adoptees hated this, but I loved it. It made me feel special. My Adoptive Mom celebrated my adoption Birthday by taking me out and often giving me a special gift.
Adoptee Voice #10
The older I got the more I dreaded it. I only want to hear it from my son who I know loves me. And my boyfriend who I know loves me also. Everyone else I still wonder what they really think of me. No matter their loyalty or not….I still question it. It took me awhile to believe my boyfriend really loved me.
Adoptee Voice #11
Birthday, the day of happiness from all… Ugh it’s just a dreaded day of wanting to be alone.
Adoptee Voice #12
My birthday is in May and I just think of it as the day I was given to the universe rather than the day I lost my whole family.
Adoptee Voice #13
I have hated every single birthday I can remember. Everyone always thought I should love them and celebrate them! It never felt like my day or my birthday. Long story short at the age of 38 I found my birth mother 1 week ago. The day I had always celebrated my birthday was not the day I was born! I have no idea how I will feel for the next one….Feb always thought, March actual!
Life literally changed overnight and upside down. I thought being adopted was hard, at this stage being reunited is even harder. My birth mother seems lovely and kinda “gets me” more than my adoptive mother. Huge journey/roller coaster ride about to begin.
Adoptee Voice #14
Growing up my birthdays were a mixed deal. The birthday party or events my parents had lined up were always fun things I really liked. But there is just something about the day I was born and always feeling like my biological mom did not even love me enough to keep me. Once I got into what my parents had planed it was always a fun day. But the lead up was bad for years. After I became an late teen and adult the day got worse. For years I would just ignore it, spending the whole day doing yard work, even mowing a relatives or a neighbors yard just things to keep my super busy and my mind off my birthday. The last few years have been better. I have dealt with my life much more working through it instead of burying it. I am beginning to feel I deserve to be happy or at least not sad on my day. Like others have sad feelings I have put in the work to earn my day. Wanting to show my biological mom this stubborn, loud, fussy baby turned out just fine!!!!
Adoptee Voice #15
It didn’t really seem much different than any other non-adoptees birthday, until I found out last year that by birth mother and I share the same birthday. I must have been the worst birthday present ever.
Adoptee Voice #16
For me I used substances for 26 years, so I didn’t have to process the pain of the realities of adoption. Birthdays were always a dreaded day filled with pain, loss, unconscionable grief and having to celebrate it was possible but only with alcohol in my life. 8/13/12 I decided I wanted to live a sober lifestyle and all the REALITIES of adoption came flooded in. I truly wasn’t prepared for it all. When you run for so many years how can you prepare. In the last 5 years I’ve worked towards handling these emotions in a healthy way. I am not gonna lie, there were birthdays I just couldn’t even get out of bed and it goes the same for the weeks leading up to that day. It was a dreaded day for many years, but recently I’ve given myself permission (because no one else in the world has) to be sad on that day, cry and share my feelings in my blog. I’ve learned it’s perfectly normal to be sad on the day I was separated from my birth mother. I wanted to erase the entire day and erase myself in the process! Thank God it wasn’t possible but I would have done it 100x over if it was. Today after almost 5 years of recovery and sobriety, my sessions of the pain of my birthday is still there, but each year I process and share my feelings and others validate them (THIS IS CRITICAL FOR US!) things get easier. This year, I will wake up on my birthday (Aug 13) and prob play a song that reminds me of my birth mother (My Way- By Frank Sinatra) and cry awhile. Why? Because it’s okay to cry awhile. Once I get that out of the way I might write about what I’m feeling and share it with those who understand, and get on with the day. I plan to go hiking with my kids and go see a waterfall and enjoy the rest of the day. You see, it’s critical we are able to process the pain because leaving it inside only KILLS us inside! Adoptees grow up, and they don’t stay babies forever. I wish someone would have told me it was okay to be sad on this day. If you are an adoptee who struggles with your birthday please know you aren’t alone!
Adoptee Voice #17
Birthdays for me, are somewhat hollow. There is an entire person who has never been acknowledged, celebrating his birthday, but as a different person. There is sadness and pain in any holiday for me. I still enjoy it. Just is different for me.
Adoptee Voice #18
We didn’t make a big deal out of birthdays or holidays while growing up. So, it’s still just that…not a big deal. A few people wish me happy birthday, but other than that it’s just another day.
Adoptee Voice #19
I always thought that the day I was born was the ultimate irony. I came into this world on Mother’s Day. I could never wrap my head around how that must have felt for my birth mother. My feelings towards my birthday fluctuate with the feelings I have for my biological parents. When I was younger, I had deep anger & spent my birthday wondering if they were thinking of me, hoping they were & hoping that it hurt like hell. My anger morphed into depression and my birthday has since caused me a deep sense of sadness & it is the time when I feel the greatest sense of abandonment.
Adoptee Voice #20
As a kid, I never thought twice about it. In the last 20 years it weighs on me, heavily. I’m now 42. My adopted father left as soon as the adoption was finalized leaving my mom and I. She passed away 4 years ago and I always think she loved me when no one else did. The date before the actual birthday is the toughest. Now that I have my own family I can remember every nuance of that day leading to their birth. Every year seems to be harder than the previous.
Adoptee Voice #21
I would never think twice about my birthday until I turned 16. I don’t know whether It’s because it’s an important milestone in our culture, or whether it’s because I was finally mature enough to understand the implications of adoption. From then on, a pattern began to develop. Each birthday would start off happy..until it didn’t. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing but out of nowhere I suddenly become overwhelmed with thoughts of my birth mother. Is she thinking about me? Does she get as sad as I do on this day? Has she been longing for me as much as I have been? Etc. Unfortunately, this feeling of loss has only continued to grow with each birthday.
Adoptee Voice #21
It’s my birthday, that’s all there is to it. I don’t have huge blowout gatherings or what have you, but I’ll do something to enjoy it. I feel blessed that people contact me in whatever manner they do to wish me well on that day!
Adoptee Voice #22
I remind people who love me it is an anniversary loss day, my body is grieving. I noticed a pattern likely in my childhood, usually crying on my birthday at the end of the day and not knowing why, had a full panic attach at age 19, and generally feeling sad for about 4-6 weeks around my birthday despite the happy celebrations. I love getting older but the loss does not seem to lessen with time, now almost 50, even after a happy reunion.
Adoptee Voice #23
It’s supposed to be such a happy day and every one wants you to be happy. But for me there’s always been something, something that spoils it. Something underlying that prevented me. It was only when I grew old enough to relate that it was the day “she” gave me away and chose never to see me again. To severe that 9 month bond and drastically change the course of my life without my consent.
Adoptee Voice #24
Like always, going through the motions, pretending to be happy because that is what everyone expects. Now, I am older, I choose to spend it alone with as little fuss as possible. This was a hard lesson for my natural siblings to learn on my first birthday post-reunion, they staged a birthday bash which I did not attend. It was always a painful period leading up to the actual day but it feels worse now, post-reunion. I was 5 years too late to meet my Mother and now, it just feels like the anniversary of when I lost her.
Adoptee Voice #25
My birthday doesn’t really bother me. I get really irritable around it, but on the day it’s always the best day. I try to make that day as happy as I can.
Adoptee Voice #26
I wonder if my ” mother ” thinks about me on my birthday.
Adoptee Voice #27
I can go into a full blown PTSD episode just because it’s that anniversary.
Adoptee Voice #28
It is simply the worst day of the year. Nothing fits.
Adoptee Voice #29
A yearly reminder that I was brought into this world to be given away, nothing more.
Adoptee Voice #30
I hate my birthday.
Adoptee Voice #31
It’s the saddest day of the year for me.
As you can see many adoptees share similar feelings regarding our birthdays. If you are an adoptee reading, please know you aren’t alone.
You matter and your feelings matter.
To all the adoptees who were brave in sharing their voices, THANK YOU for helping the world understand how it feels to be adopted. Keep sharing, keep using your voice!
If you are a non-adoptee reading this, thank you for making it this far. Your courage in having the willingness to want to learn how we feel is amazing alone. Please share this post in our online communities to help us raise awareness of how it feels to be adopted.
If you are an adoptee and would like to add how you feel about your birthday, please reply to this post and I’ll add it for you.
“And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears” – Mark Anthony
I wonder if anyone who has their grandmother in their life ever wonders what it’s like to never have one? Are they thankful for her? Same for a grandfather…
I’ve lived with many types of fear in my life, as we all have but I’ve also been working at freeing myself from fear so I can live a happier more prosperous life. Some people say FEAR stands for “FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL” but my reasons for FEAR are real.
There has been nothing false about them.
FEAR – an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
I always had a dream of meeting my biological grandmother who resides in Leon, Iowa. I found out she was alive and well in 2010 and during that time my mind has been tormented on wishing I could go see her and meet her at least one time.
I have never met a biological grandparent and she is the only one who is still living. I made 2 attempts to go see her in the past and both failed at the hands of my biological father. He made the choice for himself to reject me after 2 meetings. At one point he promised me he would take me to meet her in 2011. I drove all the way to Leon, Iowa from Kentucky and arrived only for Him to tell me he changed His mind. He said he thought it would “Kill Her”. I was crushed, and the words “Kill Her” stuck with me all these years which has kept me away from trying to meet her on my own accord. Reality is, he didn’t want his secret from 1974 of infidelity to his wife to get out. He was ashamed and it was easier for him to reject me than face His mistakes. He wasn’t letting the cat out of the bag. I was still a dirty little secret. After all I was conceived out of an affair while he was married.
After this huge disappointment in my life I had some years to think longer and harder about Him making this choice for my grandmother. It never settled well with my spirit, which is quite fierce by the way. People can make choices for themselves but I find it totally unfair when someone makes a choice for another person, only thinking of themselves. Does anyone who does this understand they are robbing other’s of memories that can never be replaced? This has caused me more grief & anger in my entire lifetime than you could imagine, not to mention the pain from THIS played a HUGE part in my addiction issues for 27 years of my life.
Perhaps this is why TIME is so important to me?
Time Spent is more valuable than anything.
Visiting my grandmother continued to nag at my spirit.
I have felt like all these years God was whispering, “Just GO, Just GO“…
Another attempt I was able to call my grandmother and speak to her about coming to visit her. She was okay with the idea, and I told her I would come around Easter 2014. I suspect my birth father stood in the way of that visit because she stopped answering my phone calls and the phone number ended up disconnected soon after. It’s hard to tell if he did it out of spite, or if it was when she had to move from independent living at her own apartment to assisted living. Either way my 2nd attempt had failed.
A few more years passed.
During this time I would check Google at least once a month, sometimes weekly to see if she was still alive all the while searching for her obituary. This is something many adoptees do, especially when we’ve been shut out. My mind would wander about how I would respond if she had passed away and I never got to meet her. I would visualize being really angry, filled with rage, crying and screaming, even falling into a deep depression.
CLOSED ADOPTION stood in the way of me knowing this woman who I shared DNA with. Not our choice, but the choice made for us by others. I visualized myself having a complete mental and emotional breakdown if she had passed and I found her obituary on Google. My birth father didn’t even know I existed because of the lies my birth mother told- “FATHER UNKNOWN”. I was given up for adoption without my birth fathers consent and because of this my grandmother didn’t know I existed for most of my life.
Why should we be robbed of knowing one another because of other peoples actions?
Non-adoptees wouldn’t have a clue about understanding this.
Adoptees, I know you get it.
They always say the 3rd time is a charm, so here it is. After much praying, seeking advice and counsel from those close to me and from adoptees near and far I decided to make the trip to see and meet my grandmother for the first, and possibly last time. I knew if I didn’t just pick a date I would never do it so June 24, 2017 was the day I was driving to meet her and lay eyes on her.
I must admit my fear was still so great. I need to share I work with elderly for a living and I have been working with them for 12+ years. I see how they sit and wait on their loved ones to come visit them. Most of them never get the visits they wait for, but they keep waiting. I knew in my heart of hearts I was going to bring nothing but love to my grandmother, but what if something more was waiting for me?
I drove to Iowa on June 23rd and was able to see and hang out with one of my favorite cousins from my adoptive family. She was definitely a light for me at this emotional time. She took me to her dads flower farm and he helped me hand pick a special bouquet of flowers to take to my grandmother the next morning. It was beautiful to be able to do this. As the evening of June 23rd hit and I was ready to go to sleep the racing increased and thoughts of “What if…” took over my mind. I actually ended up taking something to help me sleep because I knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t sleep at all. My mind was racing with thoughts like, “What if they have me on the block list and I can’t see her?” or “What if my birth father is there and he throws me out?”. The fear wasn’t from God. I know this but it took over and it was extremely difficult for me to move through the fear and do this anyway.
At 6:15AM on Saturday June 24th my alarm went off.
Today was the day I had waited for for YEARS!
I was all the way across the country and I was going to meet my biological grandmother for the first time. No, she didn’t know I was coming. I woke up and started to get ready. My anxiety was through the roof, and more fear was setting in. My stomach started to hurt and it felt like it was in knots.
The FEAR was so great at one point I almost said “Forget it”. I almost didn’t go, even after I drove all the way to Iowa FOR THIS. This might sound crazy but it was like God was giving me the PUSH to just do it and push through my fear and go anyway. I seriously couldn’t have done it without God in my life.
My cousin said, “There is no way I would do what you are about to do!”.
“Her soul is fierce, her heart is brave, her mind is strong” – R.H. Sin
I continued on, packed up my car and left Iowa City, Iowa about 7:30AM. Leon, IA was 3 hours south of Iowa City< IA so I had another 3 hour drive to get to the nursing home my grandmother was at. That drive seemed like a 100 hour drive. My mind was racing on what I was going to do if my birth father was there, or another family member. Not one of them has been accepting to me. I’ve only received rejection from my birth fathers entire family so what would be different about my grandmother? Would she reject me too? Had my birth father ever talked to her about me? I actually talked to her on the phone 2x over the years and shared with her who I was but it’s hard to tell if she really understood what I was saying, but if I was to guess she received a pretty big clue I was her granddaughter.
The closer I got to Leon, Iowa the the more nervous I became. At one point I almost vomited when I stopped to use the restroom. The feeling I had is hard to describe but I was able to make a connection to this feeling is the same way I felt as a child when I was in and out of the hospital for stomach aches. SAME EXACT FEELING! I’ve heard lots of adoptees have had stomach issues! I was honestly taken back by this. The fear, anxiety and nervousness is the exact feeling I had growing up in my adoptive home which landed me in the hospital many times. I couldn’t believe that I was feeling this same way going to meet my grandmother. It was triggering to be feeling the feeling that took me back to my childhood but…
I continued on.
I felt like God was saying “GO SEE HER! GO SEE HER!”
Lord knows I couldn’t do something like this on my own strength and will.
I was a HOT MESS!
I pulled up at the nursing home, I grabbed the items I was taking into her, hand picked
flowers, a card and a letter, a photo album with pictures of me all the way back to my baby years. I prepared these things because if I was turned away at least I would have something to leave her. I had been praying all morning, Jesus take the wheel of this dream of mine and guide my steps.
I walked to the doors which took me straight to the dining room. I was greeted by some nursing assistant aides as well as many of the residents. I asked politely if they could tell me which way Tenie James room was and they pointed down the hallway and off I went.
The closer I got to finding her room, the more anxious I felt.
What if my birth father was there? What if one of my uncles was there? What if they threw me out? What if she didn’t want to see me?
I quickly found her room with her name on the door. There was no turning back now. I knocked softly, then I turned the door knob and slowly opened the door. I peeked my head inside and saw the sweetest little lady who was relaxing in her automated recliner. I smiled big, and she smiled back. She saw the flowers and my smile and I’m pretty sure it was a comfort to her. Lord knows, all I wanted to do was bring her peace, love and comfort. As I opened the door further, I realized she was all alone and no one else was in the room with her. All the fear that has tormented me all these years and up until this moment lifted off me, and God’s presence was all over that place. I continued to walk slowly towards her. I shut the door behind me so we could have some privacy and let her know I brought her some flowers and wanted to introduce myself.
“Be the light for all to see”- Matthew 5:16
I got down on the floor so I could be close to her, I held her hand and I said, “Hi there, I wanted to introduce myself, I’m Pam- Jimmie’s daughter. (Jimmie is her son) I’m your granddaughter. I have always wanted to come meet you. I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long but distance has kept me far away. (reality the secrets and lies in adoption have kept me away!) I hope you don’t mind but seeing you has always been a dream of mine. I was in Iowa and wanted to swing by to visit on my way back to Kentucky.”
She had a smile on her face, almost as if she couldn’t believe it was anyone’s DREAM to meet HER.I pulled out a small photo album which had pictures of me when I was a baby, up until now. One by one she began to look at the pictures. She didn’t turn them fast, she was taking her time. She smiled at many of them and when she made it to the last page, she said “Where is this?”. The photo was of me sitting by a waterfall in Kentucky and I let her know I had to hike many miles to reach it and that it was a hobby of mine. She said, “I love to hike too!”…
I smiled really big and I said, “It must be in our DNA” and she said “You’re right, it must”. I asked her a few questions and shared some about myself. She was a hard working woman and raised her family all while living off the land to survive. All my biological family on her side are gamers and hunters and loved nature. This makes total sense to me as to why I’ve always loved being outdoors more than anything in this world.
I held my grandmother’s hand and we compared our fingers. I began to take note of her condition, her characteristics and features. Her vision was so good, she is still reading small print books. She didn’t have any hearing aides and could hear all the words I shared because her responses were accurate most of the time. She was using a walker to walk, and seemed fairly independent. She will be 98 years old on August 10th, 2017. My birthday is 3 days after hers. She showed me a quilt she was in the process of making, bright squares of all different patterns and colors. Can you believe she’s still quilting at 97?
As I got down beside her in her chair I knew that this might be the only time I get to see her in this lifetime. After all 97 years erased off the map because of other peoples decision for my life, other peoples decisions for our relationship. I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone in the adoption equation thinks about the long term impacts about adoption trauma, separation, loss, etc. Adoption impacts every area of the adoptees life, for their entire life. Some days the grief and loss has been so great I didn’t think I could continue on.
My grandmother received my visit, it was one of the most amazing happiest moments of this lifetime. She shared about her life, and I shared about mine. She was a bit tearful in parts of what she was sharing but I just held her hand and listened to her words.
Here I was, meeting my biological grandmother for the first and only time. I’m 43, and I can’t help but share that God has always known my deep desire to lay eyes on this woman at least one time. It’s always something that has nagged at my spirit and it’s never stopped. My greatest HOPE was also my greatest FEAR.
I would like to share with my fellow adoptees reading that God knows our hurts, he knows our hearts, and to never give up HOPE in finding your family. Be persistent and don’t give up in reaching the people and places you believe are so far away. The fact I was able to meet my grandmother is nothing short of a miracle and dream come true for me. I urge you to take your own steps and making your dreams come true because no matter how it turns out it’s up to me and you. Action must follow our desires, and God knows our hearts.