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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Confliction Brings Content

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

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

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

That plan was halted by some news…

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

More confliction.

It could hardly believe it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NO MATTER WHO IT IS!

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

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

So now what?

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

STOLEN!

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

I will never know.

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

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

I have accepted THIS.

But it still hurts.

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

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

Our adoption story is a flat our disaster!

I was her caretaker.

She was never mine.

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

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

IT WAS THE HARDEST YET BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE.

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

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

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

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

It was like a dark cloud hanging over my head.

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

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

Now I was supposed to call her?

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

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

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

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

As if the beginning was an adoption transaction.

The end was a cremation transaction.

I didn’t sign any adoption paperwork.

But I had to sign her cremation paperwork.

Confliction.

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

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

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

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

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

Content.

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

I love you all.

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

I have my Facebook back up for now!

Follow me @

Adoptee in Recovery

Twitter- @therealpwishes

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Pamela Karanova

Great Morning Midnight!

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Well, 2017 Has Arrived…

I’ve spent the last 2 hours watching Elevation Church Online.

The name of the sermon- “GOOD MORNING MIDNIGHT

 Hashtag for this event was #praiseparty16 

I had to share a little of my evening with you!

“The miracle of midnight is not that you just made it through 2016, ITS HOW YOU MADE IT THROUGH. IT’S THAT YOU MAKE SOMETHING OF IT! If you’ve come to a place where you’ve made it through a few midnight moments (dark moments), you see it coming and you wave at it. GOOD MORNING MIDNIGHT! Maybe we need to wave GOOD MORNING to our MIDNIGHT? Maybe the only difference between the two is how you choose to see it?”

– Pastor Furtick

Elevation Church.

WOW WOW WOW! 

Pastor Steven Furtick is ON FIRE!

3 Key points he shared:

Memorize-Mobilize-Maximize

I changed GOOD to GREAT in this blog post because good negates great! So why not say GREAT instead of GOOD?

Oh my gosh I absolutely love his preaching style! In my life I’ve experienced multiple pastors preach, and I’ve noticed some I can tune into and some are hard to tune into. I think this is similar for everyone. Well he’s ON POINT and I understood him 110%. This sermon was filled with fire! Fire meaning GOD’S GOODNESS & TRUTH! I’m so excited I was able to tune in!

Pastor Steven described MIDNIGHT as our dark times. He explained [which I agree with] that we run from the hustle and bustle of each day and when midnight hits, our head hits the pillow and all the background noise from LIFE comes flooding in. Many times our MIDNIGHT is filled with tough thoughts!  We all have a choice how we respond to these thoughts.

Over the last week or so, I’ve been reflecting on 2016. For some reason automatically I start thinking of all the bad things that happened, [ midnight? ] and moment after moment is highlighted in my mind. The sad, bad, negative, heartbreaking and depressing things. I’ll just be honest, lots of times my mind is plagued with these THINGS! Day in and day out. Pastor Steven mentioned how we can easily remember the bad things about someone as if our brains are stuck with that memory that plays over and over and over in our minds!

 MEMORIZEI started to think of my life. I have these negative thoughts, experiences and emotions MEMORIZED in my brain. Many of them go all the way back to my younger years. Some are new and fresh. They play over and over like a broken record. I will just admit, 99% of them are adoptee related. Adoptee grief, loss, trauma, abandonment, disconnect, etc, etc, etc. It’s like a mental torture over and over and over.

MASTER YOUR MEMORY! 

DON’T LET IT MASTER YOU!

“I’m not memorizing my pain this year! I’m making a movie this year but I’m skipping some scenes! It’s my memory & I’m remembering it WRONG! The way I respond has to do with the way I remember! First you have to MEMORIZE then you have to MOBILIZE! The magic isn’t what happens AT midnight! It’s what happens AFTER midnight!

NEW YEAR=NEW BEGINNING=NEW SITUATION!”

– Pastor Steven Furtick

MOBILIZE: Over the last year many things have happened. If I choose look at the entire piece of the pie, not just a piece of it there are many many things that are great that happened. Of course some not so great things happened. Sometimes I wonder how life would be if everything was perfect all the time and people never had any struggles. What good would that person be to the kingdom of God in being able to reach other’s that can relate to their situation? I know all bad things that have happened to me have added a layer of toughness and strength to my core being. I’m not easily shaken! I’m tough! I’m a fighter! I know this! If I hadn’t experienced anything in life I would blow over and fall down over the smallest things that come my way. With these storms, I’ve made the choice to mobilize moving forward as they come. I’m not gonna lie, some days it’s easier than others. Some days I can barely function in day to day living. Some days I feel stuck. Some days I feel HIGH ON LIFE! Naturally, of course!  

I have the choice to sit and wallow in my “midnight” [ hard times ] or I can tell my midnight’s; GOOD MORNING.

I fail. 

A LOT. 

But I’m trying here! 

“God’s going to use the very one that wounded you to heal your wounds and serve you dinner! Watch God work! WORK YOUR WINDOW! I’m coming out of this year! I have some battle scars! I made it! I’m coming into 2017 full of JOY & EXPECTATION!” – Pastor Furtick

MAXIMIZE: This sermon filled with wisdom and truth really helped me open my eyes and try to do my best to MAXIMIZE in all areas. What does this mean for me? Try to re-remember all the GREAT things God has done in my life this year! To try to remember all the hard times that God has brought me through. PRAISE HIM in His Goodness and when things aren’t going as planned. Try to find the blessing in all things, yet acknowledge my hurt and process it at the same time. Be TRUE to myself and share how I really feel with no holding back but also try to evaluate what my GOOD MORNING IS in ALL SITUATIONS.

I’m believing 2017 is going to be the best year yet! I’m claiming it not only for me, but I’m claiming it for you too! This doesn’t mean we won’t have any bad days. This doesn’t mean we won’t still have challenges in life.

 It means I’m going to do my best to re-examine my memories and make the choice to mobilize each of them and use them for maximizing God’s Glory. I plan to continue to share the TRUTH about where I have been and what God has brought me through!

My prayer for all my followers and fellow adoptees, friends and family near and far is that you have the blessed 2017 possible and you live your life filled with God’s greatness and trust HIM through all valleys of your life!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Love from me to YOU!

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Winding Up 2016

This has been an interesting year for me. Lot’s of challenges, up’s and down’s and changes. The older, more mature I get the more I learn about the fundamentals of life, MY LIFE. 

Interestingly, I’ve come to the realization that no matter what happens in this life, MY LIFE people continue to disappoint me and  let me down. I suppose that’s everyone’s life to an extent, right? This means we all get a choice to handle things as they come as we see fit. What is best for each of us. For me, I have made the choice to pull back from doing “so much” and having “so many” people in my “circle”. I’m at a place of feeling so many ways, I’m afraid of putting it all down in this “Space”. You all would probably have me committed to a psychiatric hospital. So I will spare you. That wouldn’t help me anyway, sharing my feelings would help me. But now that I have come out public to my TRUE self, for many reasons now I feel like I have to keep many of my feelings to myself, off my blog and tucked away somewhere no one knows. WHY?

I feel like I have to share a message of HOPE and when I’m having a hard time I don’t want to let any of my readers down so I RETREAT. I keep to myself, I withdraw and I isolate. I’m not alone, because God is always with me but the less people I have around me the less nonsense I have to deal with. I know God understands, he’s with me and he cares. I’ve made commitments to journal more, read the word more and worship and pray more. I’m learning to RELAX and learn how to embrace being alone, hanging out with myself. I like myself pretty well and I truly believe I’m the best company I will ever have. Smile.

I know this is all grounded in FEAR and HURT from loosing so much in life from adoption.My fellow adoptees understand where I am coming from. There comes a point in life where you have just had enough. I am at that place. If I don’t retreat I will break. What is break to me? Relapse.

What is the big problem, Pam? Well my mind races all day everyday thinking of my birth mother, birth father, my adoptive parents, and how I was raised, or NOT raised rather. The hurt and pain I have experienced, and I also think of good things. Where God has brought me from and how much I’ve overcome. Most day’s the hurt overpowers the good in my mind and heart. I still wake up daily feeling brokenhearted. I wish I didn’t. I have tried everything in the last 4 years, and I believe some things are better but the pain is still there and it creeps it’s ugly little head and knocks me off my feet sometimes. It takes everything in me to put one foot in front of the other. I’m still after all this time trying to find out who I am and what I stand for. I also have REAL LIFE issues aside from adoptee issues. We all do right? I just makes it A LOT!

I know some things I stand for:

I’m a caregiver. I’m a nurturer. I’m a lover. I’m a hugger. I have compassion for others. I have a lot of love to give. I love simple things in life. I love outdoors. I love colors and the sky. I love Jesus. I love my kids and the happiness they bring. I love my animals. I love my fellow adoptees who understand. I love advocating for them. I love rallying for adoptee rights. I love sharing my story. I love hearing other adoptee stories. I love coffee, hot tea, worship music and the best for last, JESUS! 

There are a lot of things I love and enjoy doing.

There is still such a disconnect  almost as if I’m floating through life not connected to anything. I know I have attachment issues and I know it’s related to adoption. I have anger about a lot of things that are surfacing and I am working on that. Thankfully I don’t act on my anger, I pray about it!

National Adoption Awareness Month took a lot out of me. A LOT!  But I wouldn’t change a thing about my participation in it.

I’m still trying to learn to live with a broken heart daily. It’s hard. I’m not a good faker. Never have been. I don’t want to burden anyone with my nonsense so I don’t share with most people. If you see me or talk to me, I will tell you “I’m fine”. I’m learning I’m becoming stronger just in order to handle this pain, where they pain seems to be here to stay. I was under the impression it was going to get better at some point, but 4 years into recovery it’s stills strong. I can say my “episodes” aren’t as long as they used to be and as often so that’s something great that’s happening.

2016 has been a hard year but there have also been many blessings!

I’m still alive.

I’m still healing.

I’m still in recovery.

I’m still growing!

I have amazing kids!

I have an awesome career!

I’m believing 2017 will be a better year! 

Pray for me and I’m going to pray for you too!

Pamela A. Karanova

Adoptee Writing Prompt- Birth Mother/First Mother

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

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

The key is: SHARE! 🙂 

Sharing is healing

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

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

Please leave your comment here ❤