BIO: Lisa Floyd grew up in a closed adoption wondering who she was and where she came from. It took many years for her adoption fog to emerge after which she decided to search for and eventually reunite with both sides of her birth families. It is only in finding her birth families and what occurred in the beginning days of her life that she has found her identity and her voice. She is passionate about adoptee rights and plans on becoming an attachment and trauma therapist to help her fellow adoptees find their authentic selves and meaningful, purpose-filled lives. She is also a contributing writer in the adoption anthologies Adoption Therapy: Perspectives from Clients and Clinicians on Processing and Healing Post-Adoption Issues and The Adoptee Survival Guide: Adoptees Share Their Wisdom and Tools.
How Does It Feel To Be Adopted?
Hope in the Pain of Rejection
I am adopted and came to my family when I was nine days old. I was raised in a very loving and caring home, but I felt unwanted since my birth mother had relinquished me. I felt that there must have been something terribly wrong with me for her to have left me. In my child’s mind, I blamed myself for her leaving, and I decided I was not lovable or worthy of anything good. I felt like I belonged nowhere and that people could not be trusted. I did not trust love, because love equaled abandonment, and I wanted no part of it. I withdrew inside of myself and decided that I would only depend on myself. I loved my parents but I did not allow myself to get close to them. For many years I had a pervasive sense of sadness and loneliness inside, but I did not know why.
I had thought about my birth family throughout the years, but I did not decide to search for them until I turned forty. I was starting to awaken to the fact that I had serious post-adoption issues, and I wanted to find out why I had been given up. I hired a confidential intermediary to attempt to make contact with my birth mother, but she refused contact which devastated me. Her rejection sent me into a wave of anguish and grief unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I was finally grieving the loss of my birth mother which had been repressed for many years. I came to understand that I had lost my other half. I may have been an infant when the loss occurred, but I grew inside her womb for nine months and instinctively knew that she was gone.
I did locate my maternal birth family a couple of years ago, but I found rejection once again. I reached out to my four siblings, but three of them refused contact. I had a brief relationship with one of my brothers, but he was not able to handle it, so it did not last. My birth mother died last year refusing to ever meet me, and my other brother, who I never met, died in March of this year. Those rejections hurt me deeply, and I had to grieve those losses. I had to make it through the bad to get to the good. It was not easy, but God helped me survive.
I realize through all the heartache and pain that God has been by my side every step of the way. I am stronger for all I have been through, and I feel like I am a person with more depth and beauty. I realize their rejection of me has nothing to do with me and is about their unwillingness to look back at a time that they would rather forget. My door and heart remain open to them should they ever decide they want a relationship, but it will be up to them to make contact. I will never regret finding them as I found myself which is the best gift of all. I have developed a wonderful relationship with my birth father’s brother and his wife, and they are incredible blessings in my life. My parents have been very supportive of my reunion with my birth families, and we are much closer now. I do not know where I would be without them.
God has completely transformed my life, and I have developed a very close relationship with Him. I am studying to become a trauma and attachment therapist to help my fellow adoptees heal from their wounds of relinquishment. I have taken my deepest pain and turned it into my passion, and I believe God will do great things through me. I am His willing instrument, and I love Him.
Lisa Floyd, Adult Adoptee