Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Forgiving My Birth Mother

A reader discovered my blog by typing in a Google search, "How to Forgive My Birth Mother". Google has all these funny analytics that show you how people arrive at your blog. When I read that, I froze for a second because I remember being there. I remember being in that stage where I needed to release that anger and sadness built up inside of me due to my birth mother abandoning me.

I wasn't that adoptee that had an adoption plan created. Perhaps that is what hurts the most. I was that adoptee where an ad was published in the newspaper in hopes that my birth mother would come forward and relinquish her rights as my parent for me to be placed for adoption and become adoptable. 

I don't believe there is a word in the dictionary to describe the pain that I felt from my birth mother abandoning me, although it has gotten better as I have gotten older simply because I now have an understanding that sometimes "life" happens. And sometimes you find yourself with your back against the wall and the only thing you feel you can do is duck and run. 

But it still doesn't take that sting away that flares up every so often. 

As angry and hurt as I have been for years, I still needed to know who she was. Not to yell or curse her out, but to simply see her face and look into her eyes. I like to think that I am a good people reader.

I will never forget looking into her eyes (with my shades on of course because I was scared as hell). I didn't want her to look into my eyes and see my pain. I wanted her to see that I was strong without her, but my eyes would tell a different story. What I saw from her eyes was pain, embarrassment, anguish. What I saw was her young self in a grown woman's body. In that moment as I walked up to her for the first time, I could see her eyes fixated on me with shame as she went back to the day she abandoned me.

What I saw is that she made a terrible mistake years ago and she was paying for it day after day. I saw it in her eyes. 

She had yet to forgive herself. 

What was the sense of me beating her up after life has beaten her up for years. Her face said it all. 

I would never say I had a better life, but I surely had it better than her. My life is a testament of that. 

Forgiving my birth mother seemed impossible for years. Impossible! I would think of all the torment I had to endure wondering how someone that carried me full term and gave birth to me that is supposed to love me and protect me, just left me. Just like that. But what I learned over time and through talking with birth mothers is that there is always a story. You have a story. I have a story. Birth mothers have stories, too. A story that is sometimes worth listening to and having compassion for before we judge. 

Although I don't have the answers to why my birth mother abandoned me even though I am in reunion. What I do have is a heart. I have learned to extended grace and mercy to my birth mother despite what she did to me. We all fall short, just in different areas even though this is a big area. 

I had to forgive my birth mother for myself first to have peace. I had to release that anger and pain that was taking over my life and prohibiting me from being happy, productive, positive, and successful. Secondly, as a Christian, I knew I had to do it for God. Lord, when I think of the many times He has had to forgive me. Goodness.  

If you are reading this right now and you feel hurt, angry, or betrayed by your birth mother, I encourage you to find peace by forgiving her. Do it for yourself if anything. And if you have the chance to hear her out, try to if possible. I am not mother, but I know that it must take a great deal of courage and faith to place a child for adoption. 

I am in a place right now preparing myself to hear the truth even if it hurts concerning what led to my birth mother abandoning me. It may require me having to forgive her another time or 100 more times. I will do what I have to do to keep my peace because I matter. Remember, healing from adoption is a journey. It won't happen overnight or tomorrow. The first step is letting go and allowing yourself to LIVE and LOVE past the pain.

Have you felt the need to forgive your birth mother to move on in life? 

Have you received an apology from your birth mother? If yes, and if you are comfortable, I welcome you to share your story in the comments. 

If this message touched you, please be sure to share it.

Be sure to subscribe to my mailing list on the right column for exclusive content. 

Let's chat on Facebook

Monday, November 9, 2015

Learning to Celebrate My Victories Through Adoption Loss and Trauma

As many of you know, I live in Japan. I am in the process of filing for my Visa which requires I give them an original copy of my college diploma. I had to contact my university to ask them if they were still holding onto my diploma in their office since it had been years since I graduated. When the woman on the other end of the line asked me my last graduation date, I said, "2010". She said, "pardon". I repeated, "2010". She paused wondering why I hadn't picked up my diplomas, the document every college graduate cannot wait to have in their hands and put on their wall or office to represent all the headaches, tears, tipsy nights, and aggravation college caused to prove it was all worth it.

But not me. 

I could have cared less about a diploma that I earned. In my eyes it was just a piece of a paper. I was forced to go to graduation by my mentor and coach. 

I did not need to celebrate or cared to. 

Luckily, they still had my diplomas in the office cabinet and did not have to reprint them.

Thank God. 

For the next couple of days it hit me that I could not tell you where my high school diploma is nor any certificate I have ever earned. All my life I played sports, from track and field to basketball, cheerleading to softball. I have nothing to represent that I ever played. And yes, I was good and earned many accolades. As soon as I got a trophy I kept it for a few days and then threw it away. It was JUNK in my eyes and took up space. Now that I think about it, when I was first chair in the woodwinds section in band and promoted to honors band, I threw away all of my pins and trophies I earned, too! I have absolutely nothing to show I ever earned perfect attendance, honor roll, 1st place, or MVP. 

Noticing all of this challenged me the next couple of days to take my mind to what was happening in my life at the time that caused me to not care and throw away anything that symbolized that I was a winner or good at something. I had to brace myself because I knew that going back in time meant going back to deep waters that were infested with traumatic experiences dealing with my adoption. 

I remembered a time sitting on the bleachers before my softball game. It was my first time game I would be pitching in. It was an exciting time for me. Or should have been.  I would think about my birth mom. I thought, if I was so good at this game, why was I not good enough for her to be here watching and supporting me? And then again at my track meet. If I was such a great sprinter why wasn't she at the finish line waiting for me? And again at my high school and college graduations. What good was it that I won over $160,000 in scholarships for college if my own mom that gave birth to me did not care about me?

Success meant nothing to me. 

No matter how talented or bright I was it did not seem to matter because every game I played I felt like I lost. No matter how many people I struck out or how many races I won, I felt like a failure because my own mom, my blood, did not want me. 

That was how I viewed life for over 20 years. 

Not - good - enough. 

I came to a realization one day when talking to God that I cannot allow what my birth mom did to me to stop me from celebrating my victories. I deserve to to be proud of myself. I deserve to stand there and receive my pin and trophy that I work oh so hard for. I deserve to look in the mirror and smile and tell myself, "girl, you did that!" I deserve to love myself and celebrate every victory. Those that  celebrated my victories are my family. Those that cheered me on at the finish line are my family. Those that told me, "girl, you got this!" are my family. 

I cannot dwell on who is absent to keep me from celebrating my life. 

We cannot control who walks out of our life or who doesn't cheer for our victories, but we can control  the person that looks back us in the mirror. That person is a winner. That person is victorious. That person I speak of is YOU.

Never let anyone steal your special moments, victories, or milestones. You stand up on that podium and rock out like the rock star you are. You were born a winner and you deserve to stand there and shine! Take it all in. 


If this message touched you today, I encourage you to share it on Facebook with your friends. 

Come chat with me on Facebook

Subscribe to my channel (coming soon) i Am Adopted TV 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

3 Parenting Mistakes Adoptive Parents Make and How to Fix Them

“There isn't a manual or a book in the world that can guide someone to be a perfect parent, let alone an adoptive parent which adds another layer to parenting. My adoptive mom had many flaws in parenting me. She wasn't perfect, but she was perfect for me” - Jessenia Arias 

I have learned over time as an adoptee/adoption advocate that adoptive parents are often put on a pedal stool having to be perfect parents because they have been trusted by their child's biological parents to love and care for the child, or to give the child "a better life". Adoptive parents are left with little room to make error before being put on the chopping block by adoptees and birth parents. What we adoptees and birth parents forget is that adoptive parents are human. There isn't a manual or a book in the world that can guide someone to be a perfect parent, let alone an adoptive parent which adds another layer to parenting. Adoptive parents divorce, become widowed, have insecurities, go bankrupt, and have their own share of sins like anyone else.

Yes, there are some scum bag piece of crap adoptive parents out there, but when I hear of someone speak negatively about adoptive parents because they are less than perfect, it hurts my heart to the core because my adoptive mom has been my hero and my role model even through her flaws in parenting me. She didn't buy me, nor did she play into any adoption agency's coercive methods against birth mothers. What she did do was save my life after my birth mother abandoned me. And no, not even for a second has she ever tried to play the savior or hold it over my head that she saved my life. She gave me the best that she can with what she had. She didn't have much. Matter of fact, we were poor. My adoptive mom is an adoptee and was a widow by the time I was seven-years-old. She worked three jobs with a second grade education to care for us. And like any great mother, she did the best she could do to instill values and morals in us that I still live by. Not once did my adoptive mom think to give me back when she could have, I was her daughter. In her eyes, we were blood.

But no matter how much my my adoptive mom loved me and saw me as her own, she still made plenty of mistakes that adoptive parents can learn from. Those mistakes did not make her a bad person or bad adoptive parent. It made her human, it made her a mom.

Below I will I will share a few mistakes my adoptive mama made, but has now learned from through us being able to sit down and talk about adoption openly:

She did not tell me I was adopted at an early age, instead, I found out when I was about 14-years-old from someone outside the family. She was afraid I would be hurt, and she was afraid that my siblings, her biological children, would treat me differently as her siblings did to her in her adoptive family. She did all she could do to protect me, provide for me, and love me.

What my adoptive mom and other adoptive parents should do is introduce the subject of adoption to the child before they even begin speaking. According to Dr. Paul C. Holinger, author of What Babies Can Say Before They Can Talk, "Long before your child speaks, she is listening - and understanding far more than we used to think." There is such no such thing as it being too early to read to your child about being adopted. I can't stress how important it is to start early to make it as normal as possible. Don't be afraid to tell your child he or she is adopted. There is a plethora of amazingly illustrated children's books that can help you introduce the subject of adoption. Get started early! Check out this list of Best Selling adoption books for children

My mom did not support me wanting to search for my birth family. 

What I would have wished is that my adoptive mom would have helped me to search or least gave me her blessing to do so. I did not want to hurt her. It was the last thing on my mind I wanted to do. But I had to do this for me. I had to find myself. I am thankful that my adoptive mom provided me with all the documents she had on my adoption when she sat me down and told me that I was in fact adopted. That was the right thing to do. I just wish she had my back when I searched and I was able to talk to her about it. She always teared up when I brought it up, and it caused me to shut down and walk away. It wasn't until after I reunited with my birth family that we were able to sit down and talk about it. Now we are open as ever which makes me incredibly happy that my mom and I can walk this journey together, and I don't have to do it alone. We should have had an open line of communication when it came to my adoption story as a child. My story was about me, not her. I know she wanted to protect me like any other parent, but sometimes it can do more harm than good to keep silent. Be supportive even when it is hard to do. Remember that your child's adoption is about your child.

My adoptive mom failed to tell the whole truth to protect me

My adoptive mom feared telling me my story. She did not want to go into details about why or how my birth mom abandoned me. She wanted to protect me. She was very hesitant with the truth, but I will say she was much more forthcoming with the truth than many adoptive parents I know today in closed adoptions. What adoptive parents must remember is that the truth sometimes hurts, but it is something that adoptees need. Let us adoptees be the judge if we can handle it or not. We are stronger than you probably think we are. Being adopted in some what makes you grow up faster than non-adopted folks. It makes you think and take a closer look at relationships, family, sex, adoption, abortion, mental health, etc. all at a young age when ones peers are thinking about hanging out, going to the movies, dating, and shopping. No matter how hard it can get processing the information, it is something that adoptees need to know and something that adoptees learn to deal with. The only time information should be withheld temporarily is when an adopted child's life could possibly be endanger.

My adoptive mom and I spent the entire summer together now that I was back in the States for summer break. We spent a good chunk of time talking openly about some of the mistakes she made parenting me and how they could have been prevented, as well as working on healing from some of the wounds from being adopted. What I realized is that my adoptive mom's mistakes were not intentional. The majority of them were due to her wanting to protect me as most adoptive parents want to do for their adopted child. What she learned now that I am an adult from us sharing is that my adoption should have been about "me" and not so much her feelings. We all can all agree that adoption is complicated. However, it can become beyond complicated the minute adoptive parents try to take on their adopted child's life instead of allowing the adopted child to travel their own path and discover who they are through the ups and downs.

I am incredibly thankful my mom and I were able to sit down and talk about these moments. I will truly cherish her openness and willingness to admit she was wrong even though all she wanted to do was protect me.

Adoptive parents: what have you learned from your adopted child?

Adoptees: what are some mistakes your adoptive parents made and how would you like to have had them handle it?

Like what your read? Please share it on Facebook, Twitter, or email it to a friend.

Join our daily discussion on Facebook.

Subscribe to receive updates on I Am Adopted TV (Coming soon).

Monday, April 20, 2015

Best Selling Adoption Books for Children

This week I posted a status on I Am Adopted's Facebook page ranting on the fact that I couldn't understand how in 2015 adoptive parents are still keeping it a secret from their child that he or she is adopted. I also couldn't understand why parents still felt the need to wait until their child was 'older' to tell them they are adopted.

I thought we have progressed from this. I was wrong. I thought adoptive parents would have been educated by adoption agencies or other adoptive parents on the effects of keeping secrets from their adopted child about his or her adoption. I was alerted by adoptive parents that their agencies never gave them resources on this subject. Very typical of agencies. I am not surprised.

In 2015, there is no excuse an adoptive parent doesn't know HOW to tell their child he or she is adopted nor should parents be waiting to tell their child. There is a plethora of adoption books written for children, teens, and adults about being adopted. Many of these books are written by adoptees, the experts on adoption.

The best way to introduce adoption to your child is by reading books to your children. Start as early as they come home and into your lives. Read to them everyday even if they don't understand word for word what is happening in the book about their adoption story. You keep on reading that book everyday even if it takes years until your child starts asking questions. What you want is for your child to come to you comfortably and talk to you about their adoption journey instead of keeping it to themselves which could lead to future destruction to your child and family. Besides reading being fundamentally great for your child, as an adoptive parent it allows you to bond with your child and to show your adopted child that you are with them on this journey and they are not alone. They can trust you and trust that you love them and care for every part of their life including where they come from and their biological family.

I understand every family is busy and so much going on, but I cannot stress to adoptive parents how important it is that your child know his or her truth right now. So no matter what you are doing right now put it down and go find your child and let the process of their truth begin. Follow up and continue with reading adoption themed books to your child (see my list below). Adoption talk need to happen continuously. Not just one time. Talk about it as often as possible until it is a part of your lives and it sounds normal. This isn't going to change how your child will look at you because if we are going to REAL, I know many adoptive parents don't want to have this talk because they fear their child will think of them differently. Far from the truth. I respect the fact that my adoptive mother and I can sit down at any time and talk about my adoption or adoption in general. I love her so much for that. It has shown me they type of love adoption provides because she never made my adoption about her; it was all about me and she was comfortable in her skin as my 'adoptive mom' even though to me, she is my mom. This is how adoption should be.

So even if you have to, hold off on a couple lattes or happy hours and purchase a book that will help you to introduce adoption to your child's life you have no idea how much this will improve your relationship with your child in the years to come.

My favorite Best Selling Books on Adoption for Children: please click on the photo to read the synopsis of the book, read reviews, and order. 

What books have you read or do you recommend? 

If you have any questions or need further advice, please post your question in the comments 

Please share this post with your adoption community and friends 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Adoption | #ThingsAdoptiveParentsSay

When in a room filled with members from the adoption triad or adoption professionals, you always know when an adoptive parent speaks. No serious, it is so true. Every time I read through the comments on I Am Adopted's Facebook page, immediately I know which group of the adoption triad is commenting.

Adoptive parents are always the ones sticking up for the adoption industry, preaching about the orphan crisis, praising birth mothers, trying to compare an adoptees loss to another loss that that they may have experienced, invalidating adoptees, arguing with adoptees, calling adoptees names, the list goes on. 

Do adoptive parents genuinely want to hear what adoptees have to say? Some, not all. However, thankfully more and more adoptive parents are turning to groups like, I Am Adopted for guidance and delving into the adoptee experience in hopes to understand their adopted child. But what about the other 'know-it-all' adoptive parents? You know, the ones that say the absurd comments and the ones that like to spend hours debating with adoptees just to prove how necessary adoption is and how many children are being saved by two parents that aren't qualified to be parents because they are either too young, unstable, or uneducated. 

I find that adoptive parents often say the darnedest things that can be very hurtful to adoptees and they almost always makes me SMH (shake my head). It lead me to create the hashtag #ThingsAdoptiveParentsSay when I was tweeting on my Twitter. Here are some things that adoptees tweeted including myself that annoy the crap out of us about adoptive parents:

#ThingsAdoptiveParentsSay...that shouldn't be said ever again.

  1. I know what it feels like to not know my birth family; my dad walked out on us. 
  2. Adoption trauma isn't real. It is just a feeling that will pass. 
  3. My child tells me all the time how thankful he is to be adopted. He is so happy to be chosen.
  4. If you don't start acting right I am going to give you to another family #rehoming
  5. What are you talking about, my child is happy and grateful to be adopted and has never experienced any trauma. 
  6. We don't see color, all we see is love. 
  7. Why do you want to search for your birth family? Were we not enough? What did we do wrong?
  8. I chose you; you are special.
  9. Why would you want to find your birth mother? She gave you up. Obviously she didn't want you. We love you and we are your family.
  10. I saved you from those horrible conditions in your country. Why would you want to go back there?
  11. I gave you everything you could ever want....
  12. I know plenty of happy adoptees; you guys are just bitter. 
  13. God told me....
  14. Every birth mother has the right to choose whether she wants to parent. I would never judge her choice. 
  15. Not everyone deserves to be a mom. 
  16. Why would you search for your birthmom? She's probably married and has family. Can you imagine how that might disrupt her life?
  17. If your birthmother really loved you she would have never placed you for adoption.
  18. You are so angry, bitter, and ungrateful!
  19. My child doesn't need to know they are adopted. We are his family and that is all that matters. 
  20. I will tell my child he is adopted when he graduates from college this way it doesn't interrupt his life. 
  21. Why do I have to read about adoption? I have children of my own, I know how to parent. 
  22. I just spent thousands of dollars to adopt my child from _____, at this point we cannot afford to just up and move to a more diverse community. 
  23. We were 'called' to adopt.  
  24. Adoption is in the bible. It is natural.
  25. My child's birth parents were becoming disruptive and were not following our rules. We had to cut off contact #openadoption 
  26. We are your real family. We have been there for you through everything and have always taken care of you. 
  27. These children deserve to have a better life. I am blessed to give them that. 
  28. I know what it feels like to suffer loss my (insert family member or pet) passed away. 
  29. Your mother loved you so much she gave you away.
  30. We have prayed for you for so long! You have no idea. Thank you Lord. 
  31. I adopted because I didn't want to ruin my figure or go through pregnancy pains.
  32. Every year we celebrate Gotcha Day with our little one. We are so blessed to have gotten him. 
  33. You need to let go of the past.
I know I may have ruffled a few adoptive parents feathers after writing this, however, it needed to be said.  Some (not all) adoptive parents have no filter and just say anything without even thinking about adoptees or their own adopted child. This goes back to my previous post, putting your child first. I cannot stress how important it is to listen to the narratives of adoptees even if it makes adoptive parents uncomfortable. 

Some of the things I have heard adoptive parents say are just disturbing leaving me to wonder how they even passed a home study or who they paid off to pass it. Goodness. But again, adoption agencies are primarily focused on the needs of adoptive parents, not adoptees. 

While adoptive parents are celebrating their 'gain' their child can be drowning in his or her loss. Not to mention what that child's birth mother is experiencing. Please be mindful of the words you choose. Also, be mindful that while you are celebrating these Gotcha days and telling your child that they were chosen that adoptees are aware that thousands of other children weren't as 'lucky'; there is nothing to celebrate knowing other children will never have a forever home. 

Adoption is a journey, and parenting an adopted child takes patience, openness, education, understanding, and of course...UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Adoptive parents cannot ignore the fact that their child is adopted and just plan on raising their adopted child as if he or she was conceived by their adoptive parents because they don't see them any different. Adopted children are different and will always be different in some way. I don't mean 'different' in a negative way just to be clear. The point is adopted children need to be aware and told that they are adopted. They need to know what it means to be adopted, and their narratives need to be validated and honored. Adopted children will always be adopted children even if they bond with a great family. Adoptive parents must never ignore the fact that his or her adopted child has feelings about being adopted. It needs to be talked about over and over again. 

Be slow to speak and easy to listen. Be cautious of your words. Remember that adopted children have feelings about their birth parents no matter what may have been done to them in their past prior to being adopted. 

Adoptees: What are some things adoptive parents say? What would you add?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Closed Adoption is Trauma

While there are birth mothers, adoptive parents, and adoption professionals that still think that closed adoption is the best option to provide anonymity to birth mothers and parental security to adoptive parents, to many adoptees, closed adoption is trauma and abuse.

Imagine growing up not looking like any of your family members. You have no one to identify with while little Suzy is prancing around telling her friends she got her eyes from her mom and her height from her dad; meanwhile, you are left in an awkward position wondering where you got your features from. You hope and pray that no one points the finger at you as if it were your turn and asks you where you got this or that from because we all know once an adoptee utters the words, "I-I-I....I am adopted; I don't know what my mom or dad look like" it will create an awkward silence followed by an, "I am so sorry" and you begin to feel like the size of an ant. People instantly make you feel like you should be pitied because your own mother gave you away. A 2 minute harmless conversation develops into a 24 hour cycle of trauma triggering depression, severe fear, and anxiety.

These are the effects of closed adoption.

If you do not by now, adoptees are the only population on Earth that do not have access to their original birth certificate. If that doesn't trigger anything in you, look at it like this: the parents names that are written on adoptees birth certificates leads adoptees to believe that their adoptive parents are the ones that gave birth to their adopted child. That is a lie. That is fraud. How is it that the world is comfortable with feeling like they can do that to people? Before I was told I was adopted (I always had speculation I was because I look different), I remember looking at my birth certificate. I remember seeing that my adoptive mom's name was the woman's name that was on the birth certificate as my mom. It lead me to believe that my mind was playing tricks on me because I knew I looked different, but this piece of paper was telling me that I came out of my adoptive mother's womb. I was so confused. I remember as a child feeling like there is was something completely wrong about me, but I never said anything to my adoptive mom. I always kept a smile on my face and never questioned anything out of fear of hurting my adoptive mom. It was amazing at such a young age that I felt like if I asked about being adopted that I could hurt her feelings. I did not want to hurt my mom's feelings. Yet, I allowed myself to be hurt over and over again as I tried to figure out why I looked so different and why everyone else felt they had to let me know I look nothing like my family. I never let my adoptive family know any of this.

To all adoptive parents that have yet to tell your child that he or she is adopted, they probably know already. You need to tell them. And to adoptive parents that feel that your adopted child isn't struggling with being adopted because they are all smiles and never come to you about it, think again. My adoptive mom would have never had a clue EVER that I struggled with being adopted. It was a battle I fought on my own.

These are the effects of closed adoption.

Don't you dare go to the doctors office when you are having a bad day when you are an adoptee. They can make a bad day go to a level that feels like there is no way back up. Can you believe that feeling can be triggered by just one question?! Here is the question, "what is your medical history?" I don't believe there is one adoptee on the earth that doesn't stop for at least one second and think about the loss inside of them because adoptees cannot even answer one stupid little question that everyone can seem to breeze through at the doctors office. And god forbid you leave that answer blank because the minute you are called to the back, Dr. So and So is going to ask you why you left it blank. Then when you go on to explain you are adopted, the awkward silence sets in as Dr. So and So gives you a blank stare and clears his throats, and he might even be stupid enough to say, "so you don't know anything about your medical history". I remember one day leaving the doctors office when that happened to me because I was on the verge of snapping. Ever since then, I associate the doctors office with trauma. I am okay now because I have learned to deal with it, but I would be lying if I sad that not even for a second I don't feel pain when I have to answer that question at the doctors office because I am reminded that I don't know who I am.

These are the effects of closed adoption.

I remember when I was college in my apartment staring at myself in the mirror in my bathroom pulling my hair as I looked at myself and sobbing and screaming screaming at the top of my lungs, "why didn't you want me?! How could you do this to me?! How could you let them lie to me and leave no trace of you?!" I wanted to end my life in that very moment. I will never forget it. That was one of the worst "episodes" I ever experienced. Amazingly people deny the statistics that adoptees are 4x more likely to commit suicide. There I laid on the ground in a ball crying myself to sleep on the bathroom floor. No one would have known if something happened to me. No one would have suspected anything because I was such a vivacious high-spirited college cheerleader always making people smile and laugh and carrying them through their storms.

These are the effects of closed adoption.

I spent eight to ten years searching for my birth family. Not that there was anything wrong with my adoptive family if that is what you are thinking. For some reason when you tell people you want to search of your birth family the first thing that comes out of their mouth is, "well what about your adoptive family?" Listen, this has nothing to do with my adoptive family; this is about me. I need to know who I am just as you know who you are. I don't know why those that are not affected by adoption jump right into thinking about the adoptive parents before they think about the adopted child. I went to my local court house to petition my adoption records for medical purposes only to be denied. It drove me mad to think that I couldn't have access to my medical history after spending half of my life with medical issues. It wasn't enough for Florida, the state that finalized my adoption. I deserve to know if I was predisposed to any medical conditions. What is wrong with this world?

These are the effects of closed adoption.

Not having access to my adoption records has permanently left me in a state of trauma. There isn't a therapist in the world that can help me with this. God has been the best therapist for me, but there are days that it just isn't enough. There is nothing worse than having to have a reunion at a siblings bed side in ICU and months later at a grave site. If I could have just found my family just a few months earlier everything could have changed for me and for my two little brothers, but now one is in the grave after being murdered. We only had one phone call. We both told she each other how much we loved each other and couldn't wait to see each other. That day never came. He was killed. My life will never be the same.

What few people seem to realize especially birth mothers is that when you make the decision to place your child for adoption and you have other children, everyone suffers. To an adoptee, adoption isn't just about our birth mothers. It is about our brothers and sisters, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. We deserve to know them even if birth mothers don't want to be identified or found.

We deserve to know who it is we are staring back in the mirror. We deserve to know our medical history. Our adoptive family doesn't replace our birth family. They are not our "new" family. Being adopted means you should have two families. More love to receive. Not one family to grieve.

Closed adoption is trauma. It is abuse. Down right abuse! The ONLY time closed adoption should be enabled is when a child's life is in danger to protect the child. No adoptee deserves to have their history erased as if the our ancestors and family members don't matter. Our lives matter as adoptees. It is time adoption be about us, the child.

Adoptees: how has closed adoption affected your life?

Birth mothers & adoptive parents: after reading just a few effects on closed adoptions, what are your thoughts?

Connect with me on Facebook

Connect with me on Twitter