Our Greatest Pain Will Be The Launching Pad For Our Greatest Calling In Life. Don’t Give Up!

I remember in 2011 I came across Rebecca Hawkes  online and she was one of the first animal-2029681_960_720adult adoptees I had ever spoken too regarding my adoption experience. She was a light for me at that time in my life and I will never forget the words she spoke to me.

I recall back in 2011-2012 I was ANGRY, BITTER, MAD AT THE WORLD. I was still drinking alcohol to numb my reality and I had just began exploring with Twitter, and using the Hashtag #adoptee. This discovery took me to an entire online world of adoptees who spoke the same language as I did and I believe this had a big impact that essentially saved my life.

Thank you Rebecca, I love you!

I will never forget the feeling of other adoptees validating my experiences, my anger, my rage, my pain.

This is something I have never gotten in the world. Rebecca was always very gentle with me, and I remember a particular conversation I had with her and she said,

“Don’t worry friend, you are like a moth in a cocoon right now, but just wait until that beautiful butterfly emerges”

I don’t think she will ever know how much that one statement meant to me. I always hung onto hope that even in my anger, rage and pain I would eventually become a beautiful butterfly. Over the last 6 years I’ve felt so many things, but not much of those feelings were that of a beautiful butterfly.

Until Now…

I quit drinking on August 12, 2012 which was a HUGE thing for me. In came all the pain I was running from all those years. Feelings and emotions about adoption and life I simply had no idea how to process. It seems that every new chapter I would begin to process, a new revelation would come flooding in. I feel when I stopped drinking the fog began to slowly lift.. It took years but eventually I came out of the adoption fog, but it took time to process.

I had no idea what God was going to do with my life, but those close to me always reminded me that no matter what, my pain isn’t going to go in vein. It’s going to be worth something! I was still mad at the world, and everyone in it. I HATED ADOPTION (still do) but I learned quickly that if God was ever going to be able to use me, I needed GRACE.

HIS GRACE.

I began to pray for grace, every single day. Over a 5 year period as I began to process my adoptee pain, little by little my anger and rage began to life, mainly because I finally for once in my life felt heard. Other adoptees were listening to me. My feelings mattered. I mattered. In return, I was able to pour out the same love and acceptance to all my fellow adoptees, the same thing that was given to me so freely.

I can’t help but think of what would have happened in my life if those adoptees weren’t there to accept me and love me even in my darkest days? I’m reminded of this all the time, because I’m pretty sure I might not be alive right now. Because I was loved and accepted in the middle of my mess, anger, and rage I now have a mission in life to offer this to as many fellow adoptees as possible. It’s given me a reason to live (aside from my amazing kids)  and in a way only another adoptee can understand.

A few years ago, I felt like God was telling me that yes my online adoptee advocacy is going to flourish but that was not all he was calling me to do. He wanted me to reach adoptees in my city, in real life as well.

What did this even mean?

I can share I have never been given the gift of talking to adoptive parents or birth parents. Not that I won’t talk to them but I find them to be very triggering to me so it’s not something I feel where God is going to use me in that area.  At least not yet anyway. I haven’t prayed for that gift, nor am I seeking to change anything in this area. I feel some adoptees are better equipped to work with adoptive parents and birth parents, where other’s aren’t. I can admit, if I had to I would much rather speak and share with a birth parent. Adoptive parents, I simply just can’t. Praise God for the adoptees who CAN. I’m just not there yet. One day maybe I will be.

For now, my focus is and always has been my fellow adoptees. I feel such a connection with them, and mainly these connections have been made online and I’m so thankful for them in so many ways. After the last 2 years (2015-2017)of a roller coaster ride in my life, much of it being related to adoptee issues I had come to a breaking point, and if I’m honest a very dark place. I met some of my biological family for the first time, was actually accepted and welcomed and then… Emotions came flooding in that I had never experienced yet, and then a depression set in. It was a extremely hard season for me.

Yes, my online adoptee community was just a few clicks away but at this time in my life, I desired more. I needed real human beings in my real life that understood me. I thought about seeing another therapist, but the thought of “THERAPYING THE THERAPIST” was just something I didn’t feel I could do. I had done this many times before, and it’s extremely difficult to not only carry all these issues, but to explain all the dynamics to a therapist was just not in the cards for me. I had no where to turn.

At this moment, I felt like God was really tugging on my heart to start an adoptee centric support group in Lexington, KY and by any means necessary START THE GROUP.

JUST DO IT!

So I did, and this is when Adoptees Connect – Lexington, KY was created. From my heartache and pain this group was formed for adult adoptees in my city! I knew in my heart of hearts I wasn’t the only Adult Adoptee who was having a hard time in my community. I knew there had to be other adult adoptees who were hurting like me.

If I had never experienced this season of deep sadness, Adoptees Connect- Lexington, KY would have never been created. This is the truth.

My reason in sharing this today is because I know as adoptees, we can feel discouraged, defeated and in return become very isolated in our lives. This is for the birds and I will never give up on the mission God has placed on my life as long as I know there are hurting adoptees out there who feel isolated and alone.

After I started my group, a friend and fellow adoptee named Kevin Engle decided to start an Adoptees Connect – Lancaster, PA and I’ve had many other adoptees who are interested in starting a group in their city. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could have one in every city in every state? It’s far away, but I’m never giving up on this dream happening. I have no blue print at all but what I do have is HOPE!  Hanging onto hope that one day all adopted people will have a safe space to share their hearts and truth because I know from my own personal experience THIS is what is needed for us to be able to move forward in our lives!

If you are an Adult Adoptee interested in starting an Adoptees Connect in your city, please leave me a message. I would love to chat with you and add your group information to our website which is Adoptees Connect .

There are so many FEARS that can stand in the way of us pursuing our hearts desires, dreams, etc. I think it’s time we tell FEAR to take a back seat because it’s 2018 and we’re moving past defeat. I encourage you all to step outside of the boat and put FAITH and HOPE into action to pursue whatever vision it is you have to help move the Adoptee Community forward, and closer together. YOU CAN DO IT! Don’t wait!

You are needed.

Your gifts, visions and talents are wanted.

Do not let anyone discourage you!

Kind Regards,

Pamela Karanova

22730589_1450902488364359_6611962318795000880_n

 

 

What NAAM17 Means To Me…

images

I’m still recovering from NAAM16

I’m not even lying. I totally overdid it last year and as a result I dropped off the face of “Adoptee Land” for 6 full months. I was too overwhelmed with it all I had to spend 6 months of self care to nurture my adoptee self back to life again. Then, I tippy toed my way back in but made a promise to myself.

I was not going to overdue it again! For my own mental health and sanity. And also so Adoptee Land wouldn’t lose me again, for 6 months or  maybe longer.

I wanted to share what NAAM17 meant to me.

NAAM17 is a time where the world celebrates adoption, yet adoptee voices have always been an after thought. As the years have passed adoptees are breaking out of the fog and coming together and raising our voices to the world on how it feels to be adopted. Finally, we have a space and our voice matters. On the other hand as November approaches I almost get this sick feeling in my stomach like someone punched me in the gut. It’s an unnerving feeling. Unsettling for adoptees and this is why many of us feel the need to raise our voices. Seeing the adoption agencies and those in the adoption arena celebrate adoption is sorrowful for many of us. It brings triggers that we have to learn to navigate. It’s difficult and there is no way to escape it.

For me, this month is a month I’m putting my long time vision of starting an all adoptee support group Adoptees Connect – Lexington, KY into action on the ground here in Lexington, KY where I live. This is my contribution to NAAM17 this year, as well as guiding some of my fellow adoptees around the USA to start their own Adoptees Connect in the city and state they live in.

IT’S OUR TIME!

I still have my Facebook “Like” pages to run, as well as my own blog so my plate is already full. For my fellow adoptees, please take care of yourself this month. Go treat yourself to something you want, buy a massage or get your nails done. Buy an ice cream cone or go to the gym and work out to burn steam off. Whatever calms your spirit and brings you job, make sure you’re doing that this month in the middle of your commitment to raising awareness on how it feels to be adopted.

I love you all.

Please, take care of yourselves.

P.K.

 

 

 

Adoptees Connect- Lexington, KY

22853094_1290876917724530_6809197485564713201_n

Finally I’m putting my long time dream and vision into action and I’m starting a Adoptee Support Group in MY CITY!

This is seriously a long time coming.

I remember back in 2012 when I first started my recovery journey I put a few posts up online seeking other adoptees in my area who wanted to start a support group. I searched the internet HIGH & LOW for one already established.

N O T H I N G

What I did find was Celebrate Recovery which was a wonderful tool in many ways. I started this ministry and received some healing and I came to terms with abandonment & rejection being the root cause of my issues. I shared my testimony many times. I was able to receive Leadership Training and be the Women’s Chemical Dependency Group Leader for close to 4 years. This training I received in this ministry was priceless. I grew in so many ways.

ADOPTEES ARE THE EXPERTS IN ADOPTION.

Over my lifetime I’ve been disappointed over and over at the lack of knowledge in the professional communities such as therapists and psychiatrists regarding all the complexities adoption causes for the adoptee. Some “adoption experts” understand some of the dynamics but it’s geared more towards what the adoptive parents experience than the adoptee. They seem to be clueless of the real truth of all the dynamics of what adoptees live with. Most of the time I feel like I’m theryping the therapist and it’s emotionally and mentally exhausting, especially when we are supposed to be the ones to get help.

Over the years, I did find a few “ADOPTION SUPPORT” groups in the area where members of the triad were present. The only issue with this for me is, this is not considered a safe space for adoptees in my opinion. For many of us, our entire lives adoptees have been told how to feel from others in the triad. We should be “thankful” and “grateful” and happy go lucky adoptees who only share happy stories. With this happening all around it’s a form of gas lighting and it’s done great damage to adoptees all over the world.

Including Me.

Adoptees need there own safe space. Our stories are important and we are important. We deserve to have our own community who can support us, encourage us, and even listen to us when we cry. It’s CRITICAL to our lives and healing that we have our own safe space. Community with those who understand is essential to our journeys.

My hope and prayer is that “Adoptees Connect – Lexington, KY” is just the beginning. I have a dream of seeing “Adoptees Connect” be born in every city and every state in the USA. This brings me great hope for adoptees all over the USA who feel alone, isolated and have no where to turn.

IT’S TIME YOU GUYS!

WE NEED OUR OWN SAFE SPACE!

AWESOME NEWS: I already have my first fellow adoptee who is committing to starting his very own “ADOPTEES CONNECT- Lancaster, PA” and I can’t even tell you how excited I am!!! YAY KEVIN! WOO HOO! I’m so excited for Kevin and his community! We’re in this together!

If you’re an adult adoptee interested in starting an “Adoptees Connect” in your city please message me and we can chat! I can share with you the details and send you the logo with your city and state and you can get things started. I’ve purchased the main domain for “Adoptees Connect” so we can share information on how to get the group started, and a LOG of all the groups that are active, and details about them.

2018 is GOING TO BE AWESOME!

Fear has been in the way for YEARS for me! I am not letting FEAR stop me anymore. I don’t have the blue print for this thing, I just know how valuable my adoptee community is online and I desire that in real life in my community as well. There is power in numbers and community with those who GET IT. Meeting my fellow adoptees online and in real life has been a miraculous & magical all mixed together. We all deserve this community and safe space.

If you are an adoptee you have the qualifications to start your own support group in your community. You have more experience than ANYONE and the most valuable experience at that.

Please message me if you are interested but allow a little time for me to get back to you. I’m currently working 2 jobs and have no days off so I respond to messages in the evenings and early mornings. Just be patient with me. I will get back to you ASAP!

Please celebrate with me as “ADOPTEES CONNECT- Lexington, KY” is launching, followed by “ADOPTEES CONNECT- Lancaster, PA” down the road.

Hugs and LOVE to all!

Please Check Out Adoptees Connect- Lexington, KY Here

Adoptees Connect – Lexington, KY Facebook

Find Adoptees Connect – Lexington, KY Twitter

And you can also find us on Instagram @adopteesconnectlexky

XOXO

Pamela Karanova

img_3461