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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Triggers And Milestones In Adoption

There are many times in the life of an adopted person where the loss of adoption is stronger.

1. Birth - The loss of your mother at birth and subsequently any foster home you were placed in before adoption. You may not remember it, but your brain was wired with the loss.

2. The loss of growing up adopted. The lack of mirroring and fitting in. Even in the best of homes children face this loss.

3. The death of a grandparent. Realizing that you are not the descendant of that person and the rest of your cousins are.

4. The birth of a child. When adopted people have their own children it can be tremendously triggering. How could anyone give a baby away? When the child reaches the age that the adopted person was placed in their home they realize how much they would have missed their previous caretaker.

5. Biological family reunions. They can go well and the adopted person is sad on all the time they've missed out on. Or they can be rejected and the adopted person has to give up the fantasy that there is someone out there who loves them and wants them.

6. The death of a parent. When an adoptive parent dies it signifies the end of an adoption. Extended family may not continue the relationship with the adopted person.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Yes, I'm Ungrateful I Was Adopted

Yes, I am ungrateful. I was given a better 2-parent home with a chance for a better life. Instead of appreciating what I had, I constantly wondered who my family was and looked in the mirror wondering who I was. Instead of being thankful for the family I was placed in, I was jealous of all of my friends and people with their own "real" biological families. I was too young to know better. Too jealous to be grateful. I would lash out at my mother and tell her she wasn't my real mother. I searched for my real family as soon as I was able to. I was unable to live another day not knowing who they were. When when I met them I wanted to be with them all the time. I didn't dislike my adoptive family. I loved them very much, but I hurt so badly inside that I couldn't be grateful. I thought the whole world revolved around me and the mystery of who I was. Maybe I was an alien hybrid or the offspring of a very rich and famous person.
I should have been grateful that my family helped me search and that they supported my reunion. I felt entitled that it was my family and had every right. I was not grateful for their acceptance of my desire. I wasn't grateful for the braces on my teeth and never having been without food or molested by horrible people. I was safe and loved, but all I could think of was the loneliness and hurt that I felt at the core of who I was.
I was ungrateful for life that was taken away from me. But I could never see past the endless loss.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Star Wars The Last Jedi Rey's Parents And The Effects Of Closed Adoption

(Only a minor spoiler here.  Reading this won't ruin the movie for you, but you will have a greater understanding when the part comes in the movie that is about to be discussed.)

There's a scene in "The Last Jedi" where Rey thinks she's about to find out her parents' identities. We see two silhouettes in front of her before they're reduced to one and Rey is staring back at herself.  This is very common in children raised in a closed adoption.  Staring at the mirror and wondering if you are an alien hybrid or related to someone famous.  Any person who is adopted can relate if they can remember a time when they didn't know any biological relatives.  The lack of mirroring is detrimental to the identity of the adopted person.

Many theories have come up on who Rey could be. She's a Kenobi. She's a Skywalker. Maybe the studio truly wanted to catch fans off guard by sending a message that anyone can be born Force sensitive.  This would explain all of the young lings at the temple and the little boy you see sweeping out the stables on Canto Prime.

One of the biggest questions fans had at the end of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" was the identity of Rey.
Viewers finally received some sort of answer in "The Last Jedi," but it wasn't really satisfying.  And like many adopted people when told who their parents were, hard to accept without proof.

(This is your last chance to head back before spoilers.)

Near the end of the film, Kylo Ren and Rey are speaking. Rey is consumed with learning the identity of her parents. Ben tells Rey that she knows the truth about her parents. She has known it all along. The problem? She doesn't want to accept the truth. Ben can see what she will not. Ben tells her that she's nobody. She came from nothing. Rey had filthy, poor parents on Jakku who sold her for drinking money. That's it. That's the big twist.

"They were filthy junk traders," Solo tells her. "You have no place in this story. You're nobody.   He also says they're buried in pauper's graves.  There is no more finding out.  No more answers to her questions. Just nothing, pain and death.  This happens a lot to adopted people who wait too long to search or are unable to because of current laws. A headstone, more questions and regret.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Endless River ( closed adoption )

Beyond the horizon of the place we lived when we were young
In a world of ignorance and secrets.
Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary
The longing to return to our people had begun.

We would close our eyes at night and try to remember their faces
Before the passage of time took our memories away
Are they thinking about us too as we look out our windows
From that better life consumed by slow decay

Looking beyond the embers of bridges glowing behind us
To a glimpse of how green it was on the other side
Steps taken forwards but destroying it all again
Dragged by the force of some inner tide

Encumbered forever by desire of acceptance
There's a sadness still unsatisfied
Our weary eyes still stray to that horizon
Though down this road we've been so many times

The grass was greener
The light was brighter
The taste was sweeter
The nights of wonder
The dawn mist glowing
The water flowing
The endless river

Forever and ever

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

You Know You're Adopted When

You know you're adopted when...people ask you if you would have rather been thrown in a dumpster.

You know you're adopted have a childhood fantasy where you're part of a large family where all the siblings look alike AND look like the parents.

You know you're adopted when birthdays and holidays suck.

You know you're adopted can pretend you don't know your adoptive parents when out in public together.

You know you're adopted always screw up your relationships for no good reason.

You know you're adopted when a "family tree" assignment in school sucks.

You know you're adopted're supposed to be interested in history class, but are not supposed to show interest in your own history.

You know you're adopted see people's reaction once they hear your name

You know you're adopted have no newborn picture to compare to your kids.

You know you're adopted when...your parents can't tell you how big you were at birth or what time of day your were born at.

You know you're adopted when...perfect strangers tell you ought to be grateful you were 'taken in'.

You know you're adopted when the only day you think your birth mother is thinking about you is your birthday...then you meet her and she asks when your birthday is again.

You know you're adopted when your original family only thinks about you on occasion, but you are forced to think about them every time you look in the mirror.

You know you are adopted when family obituaries mention everyone but you and your children.

You know you're adopted when...someone has to remind you who your REAL mother is

You know you're adopted when they call a man who abandons his child a dead beat dad, but a woman who gives away their child is a Saint.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Not All Of Your Problems Come From Being Adopted

Sure some things like attachment disorders and PTSD are direct results of the adoption, but would you have had problems if you had never been adopted in first place?
In order to answer these questions we would have to look at studies of twins who were separated at birth. People who are genetically the same, but exposed to different experiences and environmental conditions.

 A secret research project in the 1960s and '70s that separated identical twins as infants and followed their development in a one-of-a-kind experiment to assess the influence of nature vs. nurture in child development was done. In the 80s public opinion was so against the study that it wasn't published. The results of the study have been sealed until 2066 and given to an archive at Yale University. New laws went into place and guidelines that twins should not be separated out at birth and adopted to different families.

A study of 2 New York City twins separated at birth and unaware of each other showed that in nearly every respect, one's personality followed in lockstep with the other one in a less nurturing home. Thumb-sucking, nail-biting, blanket-clenching, and bed-wetting characterized both of their infancy and early childhood. One became a hypochondriac and, like the other was afraid of the dark and of being left alone. She, too, became lost in role-playing, and the artificial nature of her personality was, if anything, more pronounced than that of her twin. She had similar problems in school and with her peers. On the surface, she had a far closer relationship with her mother than the other did with hers, but on psychological tests she gave vent to a longing for maternal affection that was eerily the same as her identical sister's. One did seem to be more successful with her friends and less confused than the other, but she was also less connected to her feelings.

The differences between the girls, despite in their environments, seemed their pathology was fundamentally the same. Did their family lives mean so little? Were they destined to become the people they turned out to be because of some inherent genetic predisposition toward sadness and unreality? Maybe it is because they were both adopted. Maybe just being adopted causes low self esteem. Maybe not knowing another biological relative causes mental trama. Or maybe it is all genetics.

Genes can help explain why someone is gay or straight, religious or not, smart or not, and even whether they're likely to develop gum disease.

A 1986 study found that genetics plays a larger role on personality than previously thought. Environment affected personality when twins were raised apart, but not when they were raised together, the study suggested. Another study found that happiness and well-being had a 50 percent genetic influence.

In yet another study, researchers surveyed the separated twins about how close they felt to their newfound sibling. Among identical twins, 80 percent of those surveyed reported feeling closer and more familiar with their twin than they did to their best friends, suggesting a strong genetic component in the bond between identical twins.

Moreover, a study in 1990 found that genetics account for 50 percent of the religiosity among the population — in other words, both identical twins raised apart were more likely to be religious or to be not religious.

Using twins, and also data derived from adoption studies, scientists can now estimate what proportion of the variation in our intelligence, our personality, our behavior, and even seemingly random life events such as bankruptcy or the divorce of a spouse, might be caused by inherited tendencies.

OCD , Schizophrenia , Bi Polar, and Depression all have a strong genetic component. Depression is a huge and multi-faceted disorder with a really strong environmental component, but its genetic component is large.

Children who are adopted may be at elevated risk for mental health disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity, oppositional defiance, major depression and separation anxiety disorders, according to a wide body of research. There's also evidence to suggest that children adopted internationally could have much higher rates of fetal alcohol syndrome, autism and brain damage. The longer a child is institutionalized the more pronounced certain conditions may be.

A 2008 study comparing about 500 adopted and non-adopted children found that the odds of having an ADHD or oppositional defiant disorder diagnosis were approximately twice as high in adoptees compared with nonadoptees.
But some of these studies include internatonal adopted children from deprived, neglected orphanages without proper care or education. With years of institutional damage , alcohol, drug exposure, developmental delays, neglect, abandonment the environment plays a much stronger role over the genetic predisposition of children.

The longer a child has been institutionalized increases the potential for behavioral and other problems. If a child is adopted earlier in his or her life, this reduces some of the risks. For most domestic infant adoptions these extreme environmental factors have much less to do with development.

So the big question is... Who would have had the better life or non adopted you ? Would you have been the same person ? Unless you suffered extreme abuse the answer is... pretty much the same person. You'll never know for sure if the next family on the list of people to adopt you would have been the better life. You'll never know if you would have been a happier person in the life you are living now.  You can take comfort in the fact that you would be a similar person. You are not controlled or predestined by your genetics. You still have free will and every decision you make is your own. If you want to lose weight, you simply eat less. If you don't like your teeth you can have cosmetic dental work done. If you don't like certain people in your life, you don't have to talk to them. In reality there is very little we don't have control over.

Adoption is a part of the adopted person's life. Being adopted never goes away, but how you live your life is your own. Those who grew up adopted cannot undo their adoption. Maybe they can take comfort in the fact they would have turned out the same, but if a child turns out the same what's the point of adoption if solely to give the child a better life.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

How To Find Your Birth Parents For Free

I am a retired police detective, but you don't need to be a detective. You don't need to pay anyone. Follow these steps and you will come full circle to find your own truth.

1. Ask your Adoptive parents. Get all the info you can. Paperwork, dates, everything.

2. Contact the adoption agency. There has to be a keeper of the records even if it no longer exists. Your mother may have left consent to contact you. They usually will contact her on your behalf.

3. Get your original birth certificate. Some states don't allow this. Go to the states vital record website and get the paperwork. Some counties allow you to look through birth records. You can figure out later which one is you.

4. Create an account. Everyone should have one regardless. Ancestry has millions of members now. Put your birth name as you, if known. If you have to put "unknown" in the mother and father slots do that. Add 18 years to your own birth date for your parents birth dates. If you have your mothers name put in what you know. Let Ancestry do the work for you. Log in the next day and you make have a new leaf. You don't need to pay for an account. Use a desktop computer and roll over the previews. You can get plenty of info free. Make your adoptive family tree for practice. Save your two week trial for DNA if you don't have a mother name or birth name. Remember "find a grave" results, the 1940 census and some other stuff is free. New leafs will pop up when you add new stuff. Make your spouse's tree or your kids. Basically to know what you are doing and how to use the hints and judge the accuracy of the search results.

5. Send for an ancestry DNA kit. You can later use your raw data results on and find out if your parents were related ect. Once you get your dna you will have it forever... look at it as an investment.  Look for coupons and sales on retailmenot and other sites. Sometimes it is free shipping, sometimes it is a discount. If you don't have names this is what you need to do. For less than 100 dollars you will find at least 100 4th cousins or closer. Be nice to them and they will help you. Look at their trees. Build your own off of theirs. Have a nice profile pic, your own private family tree. People will be more willing to help you if you are an active user. Wait until you get your DNA results if you have limited funds. Use your two week FREE trial then.

6. Go to and search all of obituaries. Put your mothers maiden name in the keyword slot. If she was mentioned in her grandmother or mother's obit. ect. It will show up.

7. Facebook. You can create a page for your search and target advertise to people from her highschool year ect. You can also make a picture of your info and share it everywhere. Once you get a name look up facebook accounts. Only you can make the ID. You will know if people look like you or not. Ask friends who know you well. It can be hard to see the forest for the trees.

8.  If you know the town, search in historical newspaper archives. radaris and other people search sites might be helpful to if you have only a maiden name to give you birthdates and possible married names. Don't pay. A savvy searcher can get this info from collecting it from multiple sites.

9. Adoption registries. You can also look up how to "google dork". It will turn up info quicker. Put yourself on a registry just in case. You will have six weeks waiting for your ancestry DNA results to do all of this other stuff. Soundex and are the big ones.

10. Remember non ID info can be fictitious. Adoption agencies had their own agendas to keep people from finding one another. Some info you believed was true about yourself may not be. It is also good to know your genetic make up from DNA results. If it is different than what you were told by the adoption agency, trust NONE of it. Most birth mothers don't know about leaving letters in the file and if the agency gives you no help it doesn't mean they are dead, never looked for you or don't want to be found.

Please remember to view my most popular post, 13-reasons-why-adopted-children-are-not lucky. If you are new to the adoptee community you need to realize you aren't alone. You may face people who tell you to be grateful and leave well enough alone. Most adopted people have positive reunions. Those who do not are at least grateful not to live in ignorance, no matter how blissful.

If you have additional search tips please leave them in the comment section to help other adopted people. If you are waiting to be found, don't wait. Chances are no one is looking for you. Doesn't mean they don't want to be found. The happiest relationships are amongst reunited siblings.