Considering Adoption? What Adoptees Want You To Know…

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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)
  • Dear Mother,
    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.
  • Dear Janette,
    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.
  • Dear Mom:
    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.
  • Dear Mom,
    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.

 

 

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Is Adoption The Problem OR is Relinquishment The Problem?

I received a comment on the How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? page a few days ago. I had shared a post from my friend & fellow adoptee Anne Heffron and someone commented,

“Is Adoption the problem – or – relinquishment? Think about it, please.”

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I feel this comment was probably made by an adoptive parent, but I can’t 100% guarantee it. Adotpee’s don’t usually say things like that. We understand the dynamics of how it feels to be adopted. After my friend shares a blog post sharing her pain someone  felt the need to negate her real raw feelings and flip the coin and make it something totally different than what it really is.

This is what inspired this blog post.

RELINQUISHMENT = To renounce or surrender, a possession, right, etc. To give up; put aside or desist from; to relinquish a plan. To let go; to release; to relinquish one’s hold. Relinquishment is voluntary consent to the termination of one’s parental rights to a child.

ADOPTION = To choose or take as one’s own; to take and rear as one’s own child, specifically by a formal legal act. Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another, usually a child, from that person’s biological or legal parent or parents, and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities, from the biological parent or parents.

I think there are many people out there who would like to think adoptees have complex issues because of the relinquishment, but they couldn’t  possibly have all these issues with the adoption, right?

I mean what is there to fuss about, really?

Let’s talk about “RELINQUISHMENT”

For those of us who have done the research, and/or who have lived with being adopted most of us know that every time a mother and a child is separated a trauma occurs.  See The Adopted Child: Trauma and It’s Impact. and Nancy Verrier’s Website. Pick up a copy of The Primal Wound. Do the research yourself and you will see RELINQUISHMENT has it’s own set of issues.  For adoptees who might be reading this, you might not even understand that many of your issues could very well be linked to being adopted.

The only way I was able to come to a place of understanding about myself and my issues was to do the work in researching trauma from relinquishment, attachment disorder, addiction in adoptees, abandonment & rejection issues, separation of mother and baby, prenatal bonding and what happens when that bond is broken with the woman who carried us for 9 months. I researched postnatal bonding issues,  Complex-PTSD, Reactive Detachment Disorder, disenfranchised grief & loss for adoptees. Many of us struggle with depression, low self-esteem, worthlessness, anxiety and fear of being abandoned again. We have unwantedness attached to us because when our own families didn’t want us who else would want us? The list could go on and on. It’s taken me years to research all these areas, but each time I did it was “Aha” moments back to back.

If you are reading this I challenge you to do the same.

As well as researching all these areas, I started connecting with other adoptees online and I realized I’m not alone. RELINQUISHMENT has some severe issues attached to it and the relinquishment happens before the child is ever adopted. This is why I think many in adoption land want to think relinquishment is the problem, not the adoption. Please keep reading. Some of these issues are life and death for many of us adoptees.

Another avenue I explored is researching how birth mothers felt before and after relinquishment. I wanted to take myself from my shoes and put myself in hers so I could TRY to gain empathy and understanding of what she went through. This helped me with my healing and forgiveness towards her. I would be blind to not take these things into consideration while researching all the dynamics of relinquishment & adoption.

I could go into detail about each area listed above but it would take me all day to describe all the issues attached to each of these areas. If you do the research and read adult adoptee blogs you will be able to connect the dots yourself and see how relinquishment impacts us.

When I share in my writings I’m not speaking for all adoptees. I’m speaking from a place of my own experience and the fact I’m in contact with hundreds of adoptees all over the world and our stories line up with more similarities than you could ever imagine. I founded the “How Does It Feel To Be Adopted” Facebook page, as well as the “Ask An Adoptee” Facebook page. I see thousands of comments weekly from adoptees who are sharing the same stories in different context. I can’t UN KNOW what I know. I can’t turn a blind eye to all the heartache and pain that adoptees share on these pages.

Let’s talk about “ADOPTION”

The word “ADOPTION” is simply a cover up for the REALITY and TRUTH of what adoption really is. The WORD ADOPTION is glamorized in the world, agencies, churches, the institutions, etc and glossed over to be highlighted as something “Wonderful”. The truth is rarely recognized by the world, and the adoptee lives with the truth deep inside our entire lives. One day the fog will start to lift and the word “ADOPTION” isn’t seen as something wonderful, but it’s replaced with the reality and TRUTH of what adoption really is to us, the adoptee.

Some of us are hit with this reality sooner than the others, but it usually comes out in certain places of our lives, and sometimes we don’t even know our issues are tied to being adopted, but most of the time they are. They are intertwined, tight and deep in our souls. I’ve done the research and I know hundreds of adoptees all over the world who all agree, adoption has impacted every area of our lives.

For the adoptee, if we are going to be truthful adoption is rooted and grounded in loss & trauma. Loss of our identity, medical history, genetic mirroring, ancestry, relationships, memories, connection to our roots, and the list could go on. The word ADOPTION is simply a cover up for all our pain. If the world removed the word, and took a look at what it costs for adoptees to be adopted, they would recognize our trauma, grief and loss much earlier on so we would get help much sooner. They would ACKNOWLEDGE we have every right to feel the way we do.

The WORD ADOPTION is filled with secrecy, lies, hidden agendas, corruption, and put in place to simply avoid the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the TRUTH.  Half-truths seem to spin webs of lies in the adoption industry, and this causes many issues when adoptees search for their truth.

Adoption causes countless issues for adoptees and we are talking about things that happen AFTER relinquishment takes place. We’re handed over the genetic strangers, whom we share no DNA with. We don’t mirror anyone. Expectations are set HIGH as to how we are supposed to be, depending on what our adoptive parents have in mind for the child they want. We come with countless differences than the adoptive family we are raised in, yet many times our differences are dismissed because it might not line up with what our adopters want. We don’t blend in, yet we’re expected to act as if we do. Our feelings are silenced with sentiments of gratitude for our adoptive parents for “Saving Us” from the life we would have had before being adopted. We’re expected to be grateful someone wanted us when our own biological families didn’t want us. We never become NOT ADOPTED and these negative impacts are things that reoccur at different times in our lives. Our trigger list are a mile long, holidays and birthdays never stop coming. Searching is a daunting task filled with highs and lows, followed for some of us reunions that bring the same impact.

ADOPTION HURTS!

ADOPTION IS TRAUMA!

Many times our adoptive parents greatest joy is a result of our biggest loss. How do we disappoint them and let them know how we really feel?

We don’t…

This leads to internalized feelings of shame, guilt, grief, loss, trauma, abandonment and rejection issues. As children we learn to internalize everything and all our pain stays deep inside until we reach adult hood. Many of us start acting out in our teen years because our hormones are raging, and we have no healing outlet or tools to work through our issues. Anger, rage, anxiety, depression are all issues adoptees face AFTER RELINQUISHMENT. 

If anyone wants to read up on the statistics of adoptees over populating the prisons, jails, treatment facilities there is a lot of information out there. Adoptees are 4x more likely to attempt suicide than non-adoptees. Here are a few articles to read.

Toward Preventing Adoption Related Suicide By Mirah Riben

We Need To Talk About Adoptee Suicide By Angela Barra

Keep in mind these issues happen AFTER THE RELINQUISHMENT…

Adoptees can have the most wonderful adoptive parents and adoptive homes and many times still have severe issues. Help is lacking for adoptees, and therapist seem to be oblivious to the fact that ADOPTION is the ROOT cause of most of our issues. Adoptive parents are not prepared to handle all our issues and most of the time the adoption industry hides the TRUTH about what adoptees face, because they are in denial themselves and because adoption is a multi-billion dollar industry. Selling babies is their paycheck. That’s the TRUTH.

I’m not saying adoption is 100% the ONLY issue but it is the root cause of many areas of our struggles. The sad part is adoptees most of the time don’t even understand adoption has played such a significant role in all these areas. When they finally figure it out is when the connect with other adoptees. Then and only then do they know they aren’t alone in feeling the way they do.

Don’t think for a moment we haven’t already thought about THIS. We wake up with the realities of adoption and go to bed with them. We can try to escape this TRUTH but it’s part of who we are. What I would like to ask the readers to do is THINK ABOUT listening to adult adoptees next time they share their heart with you. THINK ABOUT acknowledging their pain when they share their pain. THINK ABOUT the reality to this thing is a reality you really can’t understand because you aren’t adopted. THINK ABOUT gaining the WILLINGNESS to want to learn and try to understand adult adoptees. THINK ABOUT reading adult adoptee Blogs and Adoptee Stories.

We’re the ones who have lived being adopted, yet we’re the most silenced in the adoption equation.

So here you see, ADOPTION & RELINQUISHMENT are very much intertwined in the fabric of an adoptees experience. To say one or the other hasn’t impacted us is not acknowledging a very critical part of our stories. ADOPTION comes with it’s own set of issues and so does RELINQUISHMENT. TOGETHER they make life extremely difficult for adoptees, especially when non-adoptees want to assume the issue is really with relinquishment and adoption is just a wonderful thing!

I haven’t even talked about adoptees who have HORRIBLE adoption experiences piled on top of relinquishment. I haven’t mentioned adoptees who have had HORRIBLE reunions on top of HORRIBLE adoptions. For us, it’s a life sentence filled with grief, loss, trauma and no acknowledgement in the real world from most non-adoptees that we should have any issues at all with adoption or relinquishment which is a trauma in itself. How would you feel if you had cancer and the world all around you celebrated that cancer? Well that’s how adoption is for us.

The world has no problems GLORIFYING the act of ADOPTION, yet the FAIL time and time again to address the real root issues of what adoptees experience before and after the adoption takes place.

This is a HUGE part of why the adoptee attempted suicide rate is 4x more likely than non-adoptees. This is why I keep writing. This is why many adoptees keep sharing. We have a moral obligation to think of our brothers and sisters who are adopted and who are stuck in a hopeless and helpless place.

If you are a non-adoptee reading, or someone who is impacted by adoption in some way please understand RELINQUISHMENT and ADOPTION go hand in hand with their own set of issues. ADOPTION is simply a WORD that masks the TRUTH of what ADOPTION really for adoptees. The SOONER we can remove this glorified word and be HONEST about what the realities are THE SOONER ADOPTEES will begin to share their real raw feelings of the damage adoption has caused, and the sooner they will begin to heal.

Half-truths, secrecy and lies stall our healing.

Hopefully this cleared up some confusion regarding adoption, relinquishment and how both of these areas impact adoptees. Please never think for a moment we aren’t already THINKING about these things. We think of them every single day all day long. I challenge the non-adoptees reading to THINK about learning from adult adoptees. We have lived adoption. We hold the most valuable experiences, yet for many years we have been silenced by the world.

Not today.

Today I share.

Today WE share.

I WILL NEVER BE SILENT.

Thanks for reading!

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Pamela believes all adoptees deserve to know their truth. She writes, blogs, and she reaches out to other adoptees so they know they aren’t alone. Thanks for reading Pamela’s blog and please let her know you were here.

Blessings,

Pamela Karanova, Lexington, KY

You can look her up by email pamlakaranova@gmail.com

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Article About Pamela Featured on Adoption.com

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Pamela Was Nominated for the Best Articles for Adoptees 2015 Check this link out!

 

Being Born a Burden

The Weight

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Some days I can float through life, and carry it like a light weight backpack.

Other days, I can’t even crawl with the weight from this burden.

It’s heavy.

It hurts.

It’s hard for non-adoptees to perceive.

They will never understand.

The weight of being a burden just from being born is a hard pill to swallow. It’s hard to fathom that just being born into this world has caused so many people so much pain.

Including myself.

Some days I’m fine.

I’m a professional at stuffing my feelings, putting my mask on so everyone around me doesn’t see the real pain. After all, they should stay comfortable because I want to do everything in my power to not be a burden.

I wouldn’t want to burden anyone with my problems.

Some days I’m not fine.

The pain.

It’s unbearable at times.

My heart gets heavy.

It’s hard to breathe.

I wish I could flip the switch and turn my brain off.

If anyone knew what was going on in my brain they would not want to be bothered with me. They would leave me and I wouldn’t blame them.

I have God in my life, yet some days I still feel empty. I know he understands this pain, the lifelong grief and loss many adoptees experience. All I can do when it comes so heavy is cry and sleep and cry and sleep. I just woke up from sleeping for 12+ hours and all I want to do is go back to sleep. I don’t want to think.

Don’t forget hiding it from everyone possible.  This is exhausting in itself therefor the less people I’m around the better.

I went to Iowa over the weekend. I had an amazing experience meeting some biological family for the first time. My heart is so grateful for them opening their homes and lives up to me. Seems like it should be a dream come true, and it is.

The emotions that have gone along with this, and knowing my birth father has STILL rejected me has brought on loads of grief for me. I really wasn’t expecting it to be this heavy. I see why so many adoptees never search for their people. It’s painful and not many can even go there.

I was sitting at the dining room table of my aunt and uncles house looking at old photo albums. Photo albums I should be in, but I’m not. I began looking around while everyone is eating the amazing home cooked meal my aunt made. I was thinking about my birth fathers house being within a visible distance of where my uncle lived. He didn’t even know I was there, and trust me- he wouldn’t want to know I was there. How is it his family can embrace me, yet he can’t? It was a surreal experience and I was elated to finally be welcomed by part of my biological family on my birth fathers side. This is something I always dreamed of, but it’s still been extremely painful for many reasons.

 

While I was leaving my aunt and uncles house, I decided to ask my uncle if he knew of more children my birth father had that I didn’t know about?

He said, “There’s a half negro daughter out there somewhere”.

My mouth dropped, I said “Wow, do you know anything about her or where she is?”

He said, “No, I don’t know anything”

In shock I said, “Well thank you for sharing that with me. Hopefully I can find her”.

That was it.

The mixture of emotions I began to feel was overwhelming. I got silent. My cousins who was wonderful seemed like she was just as shocked as I was.

My mind began racing.

It’s never stopped.

SEARCHING AGAIN…

MENTAL TORMENT AGAIN…

I created a flyer and shared it all over social media in hopes to find my sister. All the emotions I’ve been feeling about searching again has literally caused me to emotionally break down on top of all the other dynamics of this trip. I was not expecting THIS.

I want to disappear. I want to run away. I don’t want to cause anyone else more pain. I want to take my pain and leave. My kids deserve more. Anyone close to me deserves more. I’m tired of hiding it. I’m tired of feeling like a burden. I’m just tired.

I’m tired of therapists that can’t help me. I’ve seen them my entire life and they haven’t done any good. Most of them don’t even understand the complexities of adoption, and most times make it worse. I give up on that.

I will keep writing. It’s the only healing tool I can depend on, aside from my fellow adoptees who can relate.

Many adoptees spend our entire lives searching. It’s exhausting, mentally, emotionally and physically. I never thought I would have to experience this again. For me, searching is extreme mental anguish. I don’t even know how to describe it. It triggers me back to my child hood and earlier life searching for my birth mother. Now I’m searching for a sister. Before the sister it was my birth father, and another brother and another sister.

It’s the unknown and that’s not a good place for me.

HALF-TRUTH

SECRETS

LIES

ADOPTION

 

Trying to find out the truth or someone elses secrets and lies is something I’ve done my entire life. If it wasn’t my birth mother, now it’s my birth father.

When I was leaving Iowa, I decided to call my birth father’s house, who is a raging alcoholic by the way. His wife answered, and she confirmed there was another daughter. She also let me know anytime I call there, my birth father is upset for MONTHS! Great to know.

I asked her if she knew she was half African-American and she said, “Jimmie is an extreme racist, I don’t think that’s possible!”. I told her I was given information she is half black and I told her I needed any information she had so I could search for her and find her. I told her I was going to go public with this search if I needed to find her, but I was hoping I didn’t need to go that route. We hung up the phone and she called me back within the hour.

She said she asked my birth father if the mother of the other daughter was black or white, and he became enraged and threw the remote control at her, got up and pushed her across the table. He started screaming at her saying, “I would never sleep with a black woman, her mother is white!”. He did confirm she was in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

His wife and I believe that because of his actions and the way he became enraged the mother was black. Period.

So now the search begins.

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Please Save This Flyer & Share on Your Social Media ❤

I want to know my sister. I want to know everything about her. I will never stop looking for her. I want her to know she’s not alone in this world.

Leaving Iowa things hadn’t hit me yet. I was more consumed with thinking of this new possible sister. Then over the last 48 hours everything else has hit me.

I saw where my grandparents lived and my aunts, uncles and cousins all grew up there. We pulled up and got out of the car, and she told me all about the area. It was in the country, and she told me stories about my grandma and all her flowers and her gardens. She showed me the water well that was used because they had no running water. They made molasses, and she told me my grandmother walked for hours in the fields every day. She was hardly ever inside and loved being outdoors. I saw old photos and it was almost as if I felt my spirit was tied to this place as if I had been there before. These were my people. This was my tribe, yet I was separated from them for my entire lifetime, until now. I wished I could have stayed longer. And walked around in the footsteps my grandparents once walked. I wished I could have sat on an old tree stump and just gazed around for hours or even days just to get a feel of what it was like to be there. Instead I was happy with the short few minute stop because that’s more than some adoptees will ever get.

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My cousin was amazing, so were her parents. She said she had a gift for me. She handed me her quilt our grandmother made her and said, “I want you to have this because I have all the memories with grandma and you don’t have any”. I hugged her as tight as I could. No amount of words can even explain how grateful I am for that blanket, and for her acknowledging the loss of a lifetime of memories I have experienced. I was elated.

I asked my cousin what our grandparents house was like, she said “Heaven”.

The sadness I feel because I missed that is something no one else aside from my fellow adoptees will understand.

I’m pretty sure the adoption agencies never mention all the grief, loss and trauma adoptees can and do experience when they are making a living off our pain. It’s a hard pill to swallow but I have accepted this pain will be here until I leave this earth.

I’ve already been a burden being born. The least I can do is spare others from the burden of seeing my pain. I will be happy when it’s all over, but for now I will process it by writing, sharing my feelings and keeping to myself. Everyone wants to hear happy stories, but with adoption comes a lot of pain.

That’s all I know to do.

Deep inside my heart there is a shattered space from adoption, a space that no one can fix and no one can heal. I’m learning to adapt to this thing called adoption but it’s caused me the most pain of my lifetime.

That’s my truth.

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The Girl in the Grocery Store

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s sad and depressing to me.

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

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

I know this is A LOT.

Being adopted is A LOT

I hate being adopted.

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

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

Back to the girl in the grocery store…

I turned into a little girl in the grocery store!

Laugh while you can!

It was humiliating!

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

WHERE WAS HE AND WHY DID HE LEAVE ME HERE?

I TOLD HIM I WOULD BE RIGHT BACK.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I would rather DIE than feel this way!

I’m not freaking kidding either!

 

THE DREAM

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

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

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

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

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

That’s how it feels.

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

She’s dead.

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

It’s scary!

It’s complicated.

Adoption is complicated.

All adoptees are different.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adoptees, can you relate?

Have you ever had anything like this happen?

How did you diffuse out of it?

Thanks for reading,

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Pamela A Karanova

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The Gift of a Grandmother

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

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

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

There has been nothing false about them.

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

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

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

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

Perhaps this is why TIME is so important to me?

Time Spent is more valuable than anything.

Visiting my grandmother continued to nag at my spirit.

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

But FEAR.

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

A few more years passed.

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

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

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

LIES AND SECRETS ARE NEVER OKAY- EVEN IN ADOPTION

LIES HURT

THIS HURTING IS LIFELONG FOR ADOPTEES

I’m almost 43 and the pain continues.

See here- When a birthmother lies & keeps secrets.

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

Adoptees, I know you get it.

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

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A Road Trip I Would Never Forget…

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

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

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

Today was the day I had waited for for YEARS!

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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

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Uncle Ed- Cardinal Flower Farm. Iowa City, IA

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

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

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

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

Mind Racing.

Nauseous.

Fear.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BUT GOD…

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

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

Dreams really do come true…

WISH

DO

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Pamela A. Karanova

Adult Adoptee

The Sky & I

The Sky & I

We go way back you see.

I remember finding out I was adopted at 5 years old and my life would never be the same. I started to fantasize about this woman…

The woman that gave me life.

Who was she?

Where was she?

Fantasy turned to obsession.

I was told she “Loved Me So Much” she wanted me to have a better life, so she surrendered me to my adoptive parents. This in turn was the best gift they could have been given- they were parents now. My loss and my birth mothers loss was my adoptive parents gain.

How could I be sad when they were so happy?

Thoughts of my birth mother never left my mind.

I remember very vividly I would escape what was going on inside, which was usually a manic depressive episode brought on by my adoptive mom so I could be outside. I say escape because that’s what it felt like. I would ask my adoptive mom if I could go outside to play and she almost always had chores for me to do. Getting outside was something I had to sneak to do on most days. At my dads house it was different. He always let us play outside so we could be free.

If I was to sneak out and my adoptive mother would learn I was gone, usually not 5 minutes would pass and she would be hollering for me at the door to get back in the house. On a rare occasion she would give me 30 minutes to play, or maybe 15.

During my time outside, I remember feeling free. I didn’t understand it as a child, but I can look back and understand it now.

I HAD A TIE TO THE SKY…

It was like my baby blanket growing up. In some strange way it made me feel closer to my birth mother, although I had no idea who she was or where shes was I knew in my heart of hearts she was under the same sky I was.

I remember laying in the grass, looking up. Dazing off wondering about HER. I would see a cloud that looked like a tree, and I wondered if she saw the same cloud. I would see a falling star and I wondered if she saw the same falling star. I would see how bright the sun was and beautiful rainbows and I wondered if she saw them too. Rainbows were my favorite and every time I saw one I would think of her…

I always fantasized she was going to one day come back and get me, so the more time I spent outside the better chance she was going to have at finding me. I would sit outside on the front porch and wait…

LOOKING AT THE SKY…

I remember being in the country of Iowa, climbing trees all the way to the top. I was so high I couldn’t get any higher but I would reach up and put my hand towards the clouds in attempts to be closer to my birth mother…

After all I knew that she was under the same sky I was…

The sky was my comfort.

It was my hope that one day I would see her again.

Did she see what I saw in the sky?

The sky and I became very close.

As I walked out the front door as a child it was like the sky was hugging me. Bringing me peace and comfort that I didn’t experience elsewhere.

It was my greatest escape.

THE SKY WAS MY FIRST LOVE.

No one can take the sky away…

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Daydreaming about HER. What did she look like? What were her eyes like? Was she tall like me? Did she think of me like I was thinking of her? Was she looking for me like I was looking for her? Did she really love me like they said? If she loved me how did she give me away?

This must all be a big mistake…

She must be looking for me…

But until she comes the sky will comfort me.

Days turned into years and she never came.

By the time I was a pre-teen my hope faded but my love for the sky did not.

As an adult I still have the same love for the sky, but it’s much different now. I see sunrises and sunsets, rainbows and gorgeous clouds and I am in awe at God’s amazing beauty and creations. I believe God was the one comforting me through the sky the entire time as a child, and he is still doing this today. I’m constantly in AWE at God’s beauty, the hues, and colors and designs. It reminds me of HER. The mystery woman, my birth mother.

THE SKY & I

We will always have a special bond.

There isn’t much else on this earth that can comfort me like the sky does.

We go way back you see…

The sky + me = ❤

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Pamela A. Karanova

Left Out of the Obituary- Again

Adoption is Messy.

MORE THAN MESSY!

Inconsolable Grief Consumed Me…

The feelings overwhelmed me, and tears rolled down my face for hours. There was nothing that eased the pain I was feeling when I learned my brothers family left me out of His obituary.

His death was one thing.

Leaving me out of the obituary was another.

HEARTBROKEN

AGAIN, AGAIN, & AGAIN…

There are really no words to describe how this has felt to me. I experienced the same thing when my birth mother passed away. My birth sister asked me to come and said she needed me to be at the funeral so I went. Why did I have it in my mind that maybe, just maybe I would be listed in her obituary as her daughter? She rejected me. She didn’t want a relationship with me, yet I still had this HIDDEN HOPE that I would be in her obituary.

I guess adoptees are good at fantasizing & dreaming about who, what, when & where did I come from? From the moment we find out we’re adopted we start seeking and searching for our people. HIDDEN HOPE is something I always carried with me. Tucked away in my back pocket wishing and hoping things would change with my birth mother, that one day she would change her mind and want me in her life.

20 years passed and it never happened, yet I was supposed to be there for my birth sister to support her?

On November 7, 2010 I & experienced one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I sat in the front row of my birth mothers funeral service, along side of my sister- you know where the “VIP Family” sits? Yet, I glanced at the funeral service, and looked at the obituary and I was no where to be found.

So who the hell am I?

Am I invisible?

Do I not count for shit?

Am I a human being who has no feelings at all?

Again, inconsolable grief that grew to be larger than the grief of the loss in itself. Just heart-wrenching & I still tear up thinking about it. The pain was and is overwhelming.

So here we have it May 20, 2017- I’ve been working on building a relationship with my img_5247new found brother which I found in 2011. We’ve actually been working together to build that relationship. I had visited Texas multiple times with my kids, and my brother had come to Kentucky multiple times. We both made an effort. We talked on the phone every few weeks, and we text one another pictures of the sunrises and sunsets on occasion. The last time I heard form Him was Mother’s Day…

Sadly, I will never hear from Him again but our last words were happy, cheerful, fun and full of LOVE.

He was my brother.

When I read the obituary and saw I was not included, my heart dropped. I was at the park doing laps for some exercise and it stopped me in my tracks. Tears rolled down my face as I began to weep. Weeping turned into sobbing and there was nothing I could to to ease this pain. The truth is the truth. This hurt like hell. More than anything. It hurt.

I sobbed for hours that night… a few close to me could feel my pain by the tone of my voice, my sadness, my tears and for once in my life I wasn’t hiding it. THEY SAW IT. I sat in the dark of my living room for what seemed like hours. My dogs gave me comfort and one of my daughters stopped by to lend me some support. She hugged me, and held my hand and told me how sorry she was that happened.

What now? I text my brother’s sister and asked her “WHY” I was left out of the obituary. Oh it was a mistake, blah blah blah… Right. I wonder how many adoptees in the world have heard that same crap? Millions I’m sure. All I know is it showed me their true colors on how they really feel about me, but I can tell you one thing my brother didn’t feel that way about me. We have 6 years of amazing memories that no one can take. We had a great relationship that can’t be erased. This was the last photo we took together & a photo of Him and my kids on our first trip to Texas.

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Perhaps I set myself up for this pain? One thing I’ve always done is try to see the best in everyone, to look at things in a positive light, to pull out something good in every situation. There has to be a lesson here right? I mean isn’t there a lesson in everything?

For me the only lesson I can pull from this heartache is to stop investing in so many relationships because in the end, it’s always pain. It’s happened my entire life. I know my fellow adoptees get it, especially those in reunion… Reunion is rocky at times, it’s hard and it takes a lot of work especially when so much time has been missed. It’s hard to build relationships with people from afar when you have no shared history. It’s awkward, its overwhelming sadness of what was missed, it’s joy and fun at times. I’ve learned as time passes in my life less is good. The less people, less commitments, less ties to people, places & things the better for me. I love to be by myself, and that’s where I’m the happiest because it’s just God and I.

I must connect with someone extremely well before I make the choice to let them in. I know many adoptees experience the same. I think it’s natural for a not natural situation. I’m very cautious who I allow to enter my life, and at this point I’m extremely happy with the small group of friends I have, my children & very few family members. I have a special man in my life, he knows who he is. I’m also happy with a fairly wide circle of fellow adoptees. If any of you should read this, please know you are a safety net for me and so many others. When I disappear from social media,  or the world I know I don’t even have to explain it. You guys are right there to pick up where we left off when things circle back around. And they always circle back around.

No matter what I do in life, I still find myself processing the pain from adoption.

Praise God for this safe space where no one can interrupt me or shut me down from sharing how I feel. Those days are over. I will not make any apologies for how I feel nor will I deny how I feel to make other’s feel comfortable. Healing from this journey will take an entire lifetime, because so much was lost and there are so many dynamics to it. Thankfully I live a happy life aside from my adoptee issues. I have amazing kids, a great job I love, I have found myself in nature and searching for waterfalls. I’m free from running in circles at churches, and recovery meetings. I’m seeking God in all things but the rules and regulations brought on by man are things I’m no longer interested in in my life. Life is good. I’m happy generally speaking.

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Somehow adoption always has a way of creeping its head back up trying to take more of my joy. Many adoptees feel the same way, its not just me! It’s always something. The greatest part about sharing these feelings when they come is once I share them it takes the load off my shoulders and I release it so it’s not weighing me down. We have to share our hurts! If you are an adoptee reading this, please find someone safe you can talk to who will listen without judgement. If you are not an adoptee who might be reading this, please JUST LISTEN when adoptees share. Please listen with the intent to LEARN, not the intent to REPLY. Please understand that not all adoptees “Have a bad experience” because their pain doesn’t line up with the worldly views of how wonderful adoption is. Just because we have pain because of adoption, doesn’t mean we aren’t happy people.

So today, I am moving forward. I’m not getting stuck in this pain but I’m processing it in healthy ways as it comes. Today I’m not drinking, I’m writing. I’m living my life the way I see fit. If you want to know why I always seem happy and bubbly, I get my joy from those I’m close to and from the Lord! I’m resting in God’s hand and I’m pretty comfortable there.

Until Next Time…

❤ P.Karanova

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6 Years Gained, 47 Years Lost

Being an adoptee in a closed adoption, I had no idea I had a brother until 2010. The minute I found out about Him was the minute I began searching- AGAIN.  I was ecstatic about this, but where was he? What did he look like? Would he accept my children and I? Would I ever find Him?

All I knew is that I was going to dye trying. At all costs I was going to find Him. Almost a year to the date my long anticipation of waiting was over.

November 2011 I found my brother.

Greg
Greg ❤

We spoke on the phone for the first time comparing notes on our lives. My birth father was His father. After seeing a picture of Him I was amazed at all of our similarities we shared. Our skin tone was almost the same, we were both very tall with the same natural hair color and it appeared we had more resemblances than His siblings he grew up with and was raised with. After comparing some of our baby pictures we both just knew we were siblings.

There was no question about it.

For me this was an outstanding discovery but the best part is my new found brother not only mirrored me, but he accepted me. Not only did he accept me, he accepted my children. Do you have any idea how much this means when I have been rejected by both my biological parents and their families?

THIS HAS MEANT EVERYTHING TO ME!

I was on top of the world!

I told everyone about my brother and in a very short period of time in my eyes, he hung the moon! He planned a trip to spend Christmas with my kids and I in Kentucky and we met for the first time December 24, 2011. It was a dream come true for me. This would be the first holiday in my life I spent with biological family.  We sat at the table and talked for hours and hours. We both agreed we had a lot of making up to do.

I always told everyone He was the pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow for me and God always saves the best for last.

Greg will always be my pot of Gold & my TREASURE in my adoption journey!

My First Trip To Texas 2014
Greg & I -Texas 2014

Over the last 6 years we made many memories together. Greg flew to KY 2x to share Christmas with my children and I. We visited Texas 2x to attend His Annual Craw-fish Boil in 2014 and in 2015 I attended my very first Thanksgiving Dinner with Him. This was an amazing experience. Family gathering around to celebrate all things, especially one another. There aren’t enough words to express How wonderful Greg and His entire family has been to my children and I. I had 4 new found nieces & a nephew. I had a new sister and brother which were Greg’s siblings he grew up with.

In a blink of an eye I had a whole new family I could call my own.

Amazing.

Especially since so much has been lost in adoption.

Greg and I made a mutual attempt at having a relationship with one another from afar. It wasn’t easy but it seemed to come natural to both of us. We always looked forward to speaking to one another. He was in Texas and I was in Kentucky. He knew I loved the sunrises and sunsets so it was common for Him to send me early morning or evening pictures of the Texas sunset. This has always been a way to my heart because I see God in all things to do with nature and the sky. I looked forward to our long conversations on the phone catching up on how things have changed from the last time we spoke.  Greg was always a breath of fresh air in my life. He was a big brother who gave me advice when I needed it, and listened when he needed a listener. He was an awesome dad, and an outstanding human being who would have done anything for anyone. Our similarities were astonishing at times. We both loved nature and hiking. He gave me great advice on many areas including the best supplements to take, hiking safe, how to check for ticks (lol), and so much more. At the end of every conversation we never hesitated to tell one another we loved each other.

Until Next Time…

Greg, ” I love you, Sis!”

Me, ” I love you too! We will talk soon!”

You see as an adoptee, I don’t tell people “bye”.

I say “I’ll talk to you soon”.

I know my fellow adoptees get it.

May 21st 2017 I received some tragic information that Greg was in an early morning motorcycle accident. He was going 60MPH on a Texas road and hit a cow that was laying in the middle or the road. His brain damage was so sever he was put on life support and the doctors didn’t think he was going to make it. Greg fought for His life for the next 3 days and on May 24, 2017 He went home to be with the Lord.

My heart is broken.

Not many non-adoptees get it but my fellow adoptees can understand the pain associated with something like this. Waiting our entire lives to find our people, and the emotions attached to having to search for them daily our entire lives. The pain attached to our never ending journey of wanting to fit in somewhere with our people. The roller coaster ride that comes with reunions. I remember visiting Greg and going to the bedroom to cry many times because I was so ANGRY I missed so many years with my brother! The grief of missing so much of Him in my life was inconsolable at times! I tried my best to hide it from everyone, but it would overtake my mind and I just couldn’t shake it sometimes. It sent me into depression episodes many times over the years.

How could I have a brother so amazing SOMEWHERE OUT THERE IN THE WORLD and because of the secrets & lies in adoption I had no clue he existed and he had no clue I existed? I was given up for adoption in 1974 without my birth fathers consent as if he didn’t exist- bullshit! And it’s still happening today in 2017!  I’m not gonna lie, I’ve struggled with this and struggled a lot. As if anyone in the adoption “triad” doesn’t ever think of these things? Birth father’s have rights too! I would have known about my brother much sooner if it wasn’t for the secrets & lies in adoption!

ADOPTION IMPACTS ADOPTEES FOREVER!

IT NEVER GOES AWAY!

PLEASE BELIEVE IT!

Because we didn’t know about one another until 2011 I only got 6 amazing years with my brother. I’m crushed and most people that aren’t adopted simply don’t get all the dynamics of it all. Honestly, I’m thankful they don’t. Means they don’t know what this pain feels like. Please don’t mistake me sharing my feelings here as not being grateful for those 6 years! I’m extremely grateful!

May 24, 2017 I was given the gift of saying a final good-bye to my brother over the phone. He was in a coma,  and on life support. They had made the decision to remove his life support because of the brain damage he suffered.  Did he hear me? I will never know but they say that you should assume people hear you because a lot of the time they do.

I couldn’t believe this was happening. My brother I just found was the same brother I had to say a final good bye too? This was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.

I sobbed and sobbed and said, “Greg, I just wanted to tell you I LOVE YOU! I’m so so very sorry you were in the accident and you are in this situation! But I want to tell you it’s okay to let go because I know this might be too much for you to hang on. Please believe we will all be okay but we sure are gonna miss you!!!! I’ve had some of the best memories of my LIFE with you and I could never thank you enough for loving me and accepting my children and I. They love you and will miss you and I want you to know you will be so missed but I will see you in heaven one day! I love you Greg”

I hung up the phone and continued to sob.

That was it.

Within a few short hours he was gone.

Not enough words to express the sadness and emotions I am feeling.

Bottom line is we all experience grief & loss in our lives. We handle it be best way we know how. All the way back to 5 years old and I found out I was adopted I have been grieving the unknown. My life has been a long road of grief between searching for my way back home, searching for my birth parents, and being rejected by them both I have experienced this grief & loss my entire life. This was the main reason alcohol was my escape. It did the trick, but now almost 5 years into living a sober lifestyle I am not running from the pain. I’m feeling it.

It hurts and hurts like hell.

Not long before the passing of my brother I have been writing about finding myself in nature, outside the 4 walls of the church. I have finally found my happy place and I know in my heart of hearts my brother would want me to continue to explore the world and go hiking and watch the sunrises and sunsets. He loved all these things as well! He would want me to continue to try to find happiness in the world we live in. I’m going to do that but I will never forget the brother that came into my life for 6 short years who was my treasure in my adoption journey.

47 years lost

6 years found

I will always hate adoption because of so much it’s taken from me and other adoptees. But I will always be grateful for the 6 years with my brother that some adoptees will never get. My heart breaks for them, like it breaks for the loss of my brother.

Today, I’m thankful for the 6 amazing years and I have 6 years of memories to hang onto. Non-adoptees don’t get it. For adoptees, memories are EVERYTHING because almost always we have none to hang onto, this is why many of us clench the pain so tight. There is nothing else to put in its place when you have no memories with your people! This is why there should be no secrecy and lies in adoption- EVER.

 At this place in my life the less attachments and less people I have in my life, the less chance there is to lose them. I’m just tired. Tired of losing people. Tired of being rejected. Tired of being abandoned. Tired of the grief process. It’s taken a toll on me as it does all adoptees.

At least I’m not drinking to cope.

I’m writing.

Today, I will continue to live life because my brother would want that. Last time we spoke I told Him about my bucket list of visiting all the waterfalls in Kentucky and falling in love with hiking. He was proud of me for finding something I have a passion for. Every hike I take I will take in memory of my brother. I know he’s always with me and I know he’s shining down on us all from Heaven.

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I will never get to hear his voice again, but I have 6 years of amazing memories to clench onto. Thank God for those memories. There isn’t enough material items in this entire world that is worth those memories that no one can take from me. Praise God.

Thanks for reading. If you receive anything from this post please never leave a chance to tell someone you love them empty! You never know when it will be your last time. If you’re in the adoption triad please let my post ring true to your ears and understand that adoptees experience grief, trauma, loss, sadness, pain our entire lives. It never goes away. It’s a lifelong battle. Please don’t deny us the right to grieve our losses. This is why I’ve been grieving on my own my entire life, there was no place for it when I was growing up. I could go on forever, but I will stop here.

Thanks for reading.

Pamela Karanova

Adult Adoptee

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Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother…

That word.

M. O. T. H. E. R.

Appears everywhere all the time.

MOTHER-MOTHER-MOTHER-MOTHER

I’m so sick of that word.

I HATE THAT WORD!

How does an adoptee feel on that day?

Mother’s Day?

Well, I certainly can’t speak for all adoptees but I can speak for myself.

Mother’s Day & the days leading up to it,  is a time of mourning for me.

How do you mourn what never was?

It’s simple.

Just like mourning what was, I mourn what never was. But usually what was has some memories for someone to hang on to.

Mourning what never was is a much deeper grief & loss…

For me anyway…

I’m writing about it!

Remember I’m only speaking for myself.

To celebrate Mother’s Day is a difficult task not only for me but for many people on earth. Many people didn’t get the mother’s they deserved or maybe they did and their mother’s have passed away and left them feeling hallow and empty with a loss they might never recover from.  We are each able to process our pain as we see fit.

Today I’m not drinking!

I’m WRITING!

It’s a mixed bag for me. I’ve tried to celebrate the fact that I’m a mother and I hope and pray I have been a better mother to my kids than what I was given in that area. For many reasons I don’t feel like I have given my kids what they have deserved because how can I give them something I don’t have? Something that was never given to me?

I try.

Everyday, I try.

But parts of me are hollow inside.

MOTHER LESS

I’m just floating through life doing the best I can with what I have.

I think most of us do that don’t we?

We make lemons out of lemonade and do the best we can with the cards we are dealt.

Deep down “Mother’s Day” is the 2nd most painful holiday aside from my “Birth Day”. From an adoptee perspective who was dealt a crap shot not only once in the mother area but twice I have nothing to celebrate on that day. If I’m completely honest I wish it never existed.

I hate it.

Oh I already said that didn’t I?

MOTHER- MOTHER-MOTHER-MOTHER!!

I just want it to be over!

“ACCEPT IT!”

Oh I have but because of Mother’s Day it never goes away!

MOTHER-MOTHER-MOTHER-MOTHER!

It’s like digging up the dead!

I don’t have a happy picture to put on my Facebook profile of my “Mother” and I. I don’t have a happy story to tell. I am sharing my story here, and then I will be moving on with my life.

One day at a time.

One foot ahead of the other.

I will always have that aching piece inside of me yearning for MY MOTHER.

But she’s not coming back.

She’s never coming back.

“Why are you so negative?”

I’m just keeping it real!

This is my reality!

Inside my head every single day!

**Smile for the camera!**

**Smile for the world**

Everyday I cry inside wishing I had my mother.

Maybe I will write her a letter and let her know how her leaving has hurt me so.

“Look on the bright side”- The World Says So!

Oh, of course.

THE BRIGHT SIDE.

I am a mother to 3 amazing children.

They are my life.

THEY ARE THE REASON I’M ALIVE!

What an honor it is to be a mother to them!

Do you not understand how hard it is to be a mother when you never had a mother?

Does anyone ever think of that?

I hope I’m half the mother they deserve.

I will let them celebrate “ME” because that’s what I’m supposed to do.

 I have some women in my life who are mother figures to me. I adore them to heaven and back again.

Deanie. Patsy. Jan.

They know who they are.

I thank God for them everyday.

But on the other hand.

MOTHER

MOTHER

MOTHER

MOTHER

I hate that word

but…

it feels so good to be h e a r d.

P. Karanova

Healing Through Writing

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Small Circles

imageedit_2_6710274178From this day forward I am only allowing myself to be around a small circle of people. Chances are they will be different circles of people. Such as work & personal. I know a lot of people at work. I’ve been at the same job for 11+ years. But that doesn’t mean I’m close to all of those people nor do I want to have them close to me. I keep them at a distance. If you are an acquaintance of mine chances are you know it, and feel it. If you are a friend of mine you will hear from me on occasion. If you aren’t a friend of mine you won’t hear from me.

It’s simple.

I mean no harm in sharing these things. Just being honest at where I’m at in my life. I think it’s wisdom to be cautious of who we allow in our lives. I’ve spent my entire life opening up to people. Back in my party days I was always “Party Pam”. Party Pam always went over and above for everyone because I have always been that type of person. I have always loved people. I always took pride in having a wide circle of friends. Were they quality friends? About a 1/4 of them, if that. To this day I have maybe 2 still in my life.

After my Party Pam days I started making friends at church. I’ve realized over time that was all a bunch of shenanigans. More than I want to share here, at this time anyway. God told me when I started my “Recovery Life” he was going to give me new friends. I was in fear of the old me leaving and WHO WAS THIS NEW PERSON GOD CREATED ME TO BE? I honestly had no flipping clue! Still after all these years I’m figuring out what most adoptees struggle with- WHO AM I? Crazy part is, when I hit this phase I certainly have figured out I was nothing like my biological family or my adoptive family! NOTHING LIKE ANY OF THEM.

As I began the journey of recovery I was starting a new church. Feb of 2012 things were all new at this church. I quickly became sucked into many activities, ministries, and areas of this church where God was using me for His good. I remember him specifically saying “More, More, More”. He was going to weed out my old friends, and bring me new friends. I trusted this process and will always be thankful for it. However, I was served an illusion on a silver platter by this church all while making some of the most amazing friends I have ever had. You can see there would be pros and cons to this as there is in ever area of life. There are always risks involved in everything.

By the time I started recovery in August 2012 I had new friends. I had Celebrate Recovery which changed my life. This is where things got real. I was surrounded by imperfect people who knew that in order to live in recovery WE HAD TO KEEP IT REAL. WE HAD TO BE HONEST. WE HAD TO SHARE OUR ISSUES WITH OTHERS. TRANSPARENCY WAS KEY.

EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN EVER SINGLE CHURCH SHOULD WORK THIS MINISTRY! IF THEY DID, AND GOT TO THEIR ROOT ISSUES EVERY CHURCH WOULD BE A MUCH BETTER PLACE ESPECIALLY REGARDING THE LEADERSHIP!

During the fight of my life, finding out who my birth family was and perusing them with everything I had in me only to have them slam the door in my face, all the way to making new friends at this church I was attending I can honestly say I have always been someone who keeps it real. Knowing how much the truth matters, and how much HURT comes from people NOT BEING TRUTHFUL one thing about me is I will always tell the truth. NO MATTER WHAT.

As I grew in this church, thank God He was there and he was present. I am more than thankful for that.  I grew to have this wide circle of friends. Back to Popular Pam. I loved everyone and they loved me, or so I thought. I went into this place with a pure heart, pure intentions. God showed up and showed out. I underwent a major reconstruction phase of my life. It was hard. 2012-2016 was a very heavy time because I finally started working on my adoptee issues and so much more! There were a small handful of people from that church who supported me. VERY SMALL. Let’s be honest, adoption is glorified worldwide. “She just had a bad story” is what I was labeled. I learned who I could talk to about this, and who I couldn’t. It was simple. I still wouldn’t change anything about this journey! It’s part of my story!

Over time I learned that all these “Relationships” of “MORE” really weren’t real true genuine relationships at all. They were forged relationships bombed by the “Love Team” “Love bombing is an extreme example of something that turns out to be relatively common—something I call “toxic affection.” If affection is the expression of love and fondness, then toxic affection is any such expression that has an ulterior motive.” by people who probably had good intentions. This is NOT REAL PEOPLE! It’s very deceptive! I learned that most of these relationships only took place as I passed these people by while inside the doors of the church. I learned that they actually were only REAL if I go to the same church as them.  I learned that inside the church is just as dysfunctional and toxic as all the situations I have fought to leave in my life.

So many people have said – IT’S NOT ALL CHURCHES!

IT’S THAT CHURCH!

(I will not reveal the name. I have more respect for them than they have for me or or my family!!)

I know “THAT CHURCH” served a purpose in our lives for a time being. To be honest we planned on staying there forever. You can only see and know about so much dysfunction and toxicity and not take action when people are getting hurt IN THE CHURCH. Take action meaning walk out the door for me and my family. ESPECIALLY AFTER MY KIDS ARE BEING SHUNNED AND HURT. You can play with me all day, but play with my kids it’s a different story.

Over the last year the big circle of “Family of Choice” is what they called it began to shrink and shrink. My kids apparently weren’t fitting inside the “Box” this church wanted to put them in. My kids are great kids and have always been great kids. But the moment the wouldn’t conform to be how the leaders in this church wanted them to be they were tossed out, literally. I have seen this church use a person as a mastermind manipulator to deceive the congregation into thinking they are getting “Lay Counseling Services” for FREE but this service isn’t by a legal counselor, nor is it kept confidential like others think it is. After requesting my file, they have denied me the right to my very personal information they had no permission to retrieve from me in the first place.

Who needs the drama?

Not me. Not my kids.

I am not giving up on getting my file and I’m going to request it one more time before I decide on taking legal action. I have confronted this church in an 8 page email and received one phone call by one person, it was ignored by all else involved. I shared very valid concerns and was ignored! Is that the “CHRIST-LIKE” AKA CHRISTIAN WAY TO DO THINGS? Last I knew they should have wanted to make things right. Or is that just THIS CHURCH?  So building this “Family of Choice” -(marketing tactic) all these years is only “Family of Choice” if you are doing things their way. Bringing a legitimate issue to them and you are ignored, and cast aside. Your labeled with a big fat red stamper on your forehead “SPIRIT OF OFFENSE!” and they toss you to pit. They label it as a “Spiritual Attack” yet fail to acknowledge the TRUTH in all aspects of what is really going on? I have seen no accountability at all!

You can mess with me all day, but messing with my kids is another story!

So there you have it. Small circle filled with real true genuine friends & GOD! I prefer my friends to be there for me when I’m down and out AND when I’m on top of the world. Not just sometime friends who I only see when I walk through the doors of the church. I don’t need friends who expect me to fit in their box. Sorry, I’m not ever going to fit inside anyone’s box. I am not like anyone! I am unique and set aside who God created me to be. I think so much hurt in my life by UNTRUTH has helped me realize how THE TRUTH is so important. Recovery has taught me we have to confront the truth and NOT IGNORE IT! It’s not going anywhere and I am not going anywhere!

FYI: When people leave YOUR CHURCH and you tell them “Good-Bye” I question that. If you spent all that time building a REAL RELATIONSHIP with them why would you tell them good-bye? F A K E ! !

I have so many eye openers God has helped me reveal about people and healthy and unhealthy church! THANK GOD FOR HIM! I will keep writing. My motto, people should really think about the way they treat you if they expect you to write warmly about them! My intentions are not to hurt anyone, only to share the TRUTH!

SMALL CIRCLE!

BIG CIRCLES ARE OVERRATED!

THIS IS LIFE!

Thank you God for helping me see things for what they really are! Thank you for blessing me with the real true friendships I have. Thank you for helping my family with the healing process from so much hurt!  Amen.

*I know churches are full of imperfect people. I know there are no perfect churches. I know the difference.

P.K.