How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? – Gary Eugene



BIO: I’m a grape grower for a winery in the Finger Lakes region of New York. I’ve been married 19 years. I’m an army veteran and a marathon runner. I have since developed a great relationship with one of my half sisters from my mom’s side. I am also now in contact with my entire paternal side and fully accepted even though the records said he denied being the father.




Content Warning: The following article you are about to read may contain written material of a serious factual nature that may be disturbing to some individuals. Reader discretion is advised. 


This may be quite lengthy, but I’m going to attempt to describe what it is like to be adopted. And this is entirely from my own point of view.

I grew up in a Southern Baptist home, where they told us from the very beginning that we were adopted. My adoptive mother’s side of the family immediately accepted me as one of their own. However, my adopted father’s side of the family always made it clear that I was the adopted kid. It was true, of course. But it was said in a similar way as a racist would unnecessarily describe a man as being a black man; true, but unnecessary and derogatory. Eventually, they started to be more accepting as I started to excel musically.

Even as a young child, I often imagined one day meeting my “real” family, and to be able to finally know someone like me. I can honestly say that not a day went by that I didn’t think of my birth mother several times a day. As I became an adolescent, I started to struggle with depression associated with not having a birth mother who loved me.

I kept thinking of the phrase, “someone only a mother could love”, and I thought that if she couldn’t love me, who could? I decided that I was a mistake that needed to be corrected.

Slight aside: the family I grew up with hunted a lot. In Mississippi, a poison called Anectine is legal to use on arrows for deer hunting. It is a powerful muscle relaxer.

Back to my point: in order to correct my birth mother’s mistake, I decided to ingest an entire bottle of this stuff. Nothing happened. I went to plan b. I diluted the powder in water and injected it directly into a vein in my arm; just like you see the heroin addicts on TV. It would have been way easier to just put a gun to my head or jump off a bridge. But I didn’t want to burden anyone with having to clean up a mess.

Using all my fading strength, I emptied the syringe and was barely able to pull it from my arm. I immediately collapsed onto the concrete slab in front of the band hall at school. All my muscles didn’t work except one; my heart. I heard my heart beating strongly until I went into a dream like state from lack of air. I don’t know how long I was out. I remember chanting in my head, “Just let me die”, over and over again.

At some point, I realized that I was actually hearing what I was chanting in my ears. I thought to myself, if I’m hearing it, I’m making sound with my mouth, which means air is moving. Eventually, all my muscles regained use. At the time, I thought it must be Devine intervention. Only years later did I learn that humans possess an enzyme that slowly breaks down the poison.

I still wanted to die. However, I had started questioning my ability to ascend to heaven if I committed suicide. So, during my junior year of high school I signed up to enlist in the army. I took the ASVAB test and scored very high, allowing myself to have my choice of any job in the army. I chose infantry. I though it would be the job most likely to die doing. And it wouldn’t be suicide. However, during my time in service, I realized that it was my job to keep all of my fellow soldiers alive. And the best way to do that was to stay alive myself.

Don’t get me wrong; I volunteered for more than my fair share of crazy dangerous things. I met my wife while I was in the army. Since then it’s my duty to live for her.

Fast forward to finding my birth mother: like many adoptees, I had this Hallmark Channel worthy fantasy about our loving reunion. She got my letter and called and said never to contact her or her family ever again. Needless to say, I was devastated. I think at that moment I was experiencing every human emotion all at once. While I had intended to also contact my half siblings anyway, maybe I did so with my sister somewhat out of anger and spite toward my birth mother. This sister and I get along well. My wife and I have met her in person a few times now. We’ve been in her house twice, and met her husband and my beautiful niece and nephew. Still nothing from my birth mother. She’s the wife of a Southern Baptist pastor. My sister thinks that they’re afraid that their congregation might find out that she had a child out of wedlock.

I recently told my adoptive parents about finding my birth mother and sister. They have no sympathy for my feelings. Instead, they worry for my birth mother’s feelings. They think I was a jerk to contact my sister against my birth mother’s wishes. So now here I am without any parental support. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but those adolescent thoughts are returning.

That’s all for now.

Gary Eugene

Adult Adoptee

How Does It Feel To Be Adopted-Patrick Hawes

My sister Tracy & I


BIO:  My Name is Patrick and I am a 45 year-old adoptee in Virginia but born in North Carolina. I was adopted at the age of five weeks old.  My adopted parents were older at the time they adopted me (father was 47 and mom was 42), I was an only child. My adopted mom was Japanese, so there was no way to hide the fact that I was not her biological son!  My adopted father passed away when I was four. I had a nice, wonderful childhood and never really thought about searching for my birth family growing up. I am married to a wonderful woman and we have one son who is almost 8. My adopted mom passed away 11 years ago and that’s where my journey to find my birth family begins.


After my adopted mom passed away in 2004, I felt a strong desire to begin looking for my birth family. I am in the military and at the time I was stationed in Hawaii which made searching for my birth family a challenge. I called the Department of Social Services in North Carolina and was told that adoption records are sealed and I could not access them without a court order and that would take a lot of work! What they did send me however was called “non-identifying” information. Basically a piece of paper with very basic information on my biological parents and their families without any names, addresses etc. but I didn’t give up. I went on the internet and found a website for adoptees from North Carolina which had search angels in it that would assist adoptees in their search. I put in my information and within a few days I received an e-mail back and in it was my birth mothers name, Judy! At first I was shocked that the information came so quick, but then fear gripped me. “What if she doesn’t want to hear from me, what if she has a life and doesn’t want to remember that part of her past?” So many emotions went through me. You see I had been told by my adopted mom that my birth mom was very young when she had me and did not want a kid and couldn’t afford one at that time. I would later discover this to be untrue, but I’ll get to that later. I held on to my birth mothers name for over 10 years before really getting serious about finding her, mostly because I was moving so much, sometimes to overseas locations which made doing any search difficult.


When my family and I moved to Virginia in 2013, I told my wife I wanted to begin a serious all out search for my birth mother, but really any member of my birth family was what I really wanted to find! In early 2015, I ran across a FB page for adult adoptees from North Carolina. I put in all the info I had and was again given the same name for my birth mother, Judy. Then about an hour later, I got a private FB message from one of the search angels and it contained a picture of my birth mom from when she got married! It was a surreal feeling to look at a picture of someone and see distinct resemblance to myself. Then later that night as I was watching TV with my wife, I got another message from the same search angel and in it was a high school yearbook picture of my maternal Aunt along with a link to her FB page! My Aunt had given her e-mail address in her FB profile so I composed a very simple two sentence e-mail introducing myself, telling her who I was and that I had reason to believe that her sister was my birth mother. I must have read that e-mail 50 times over. I had my wife read it and told her “Ok, you realize once I hit the send button, there’s no turning back!” So with some trepidation, I hit send! Within 10 minutes, my Aunt responded. She told me that she didn’t have much information because she was young at that time and that her parents were both deceased but there were some family friends who might know some information. She also told me that my birth mother, Judy, had a massive stroke about 4 years prior and was living in a nursing home in North Carolina. She also told me “My husband and I looked at your FB profile and you look very much like Judy’s daughter! Tracy” I looked at my wife and said with excitement “I have a sister!!” We tried looking through my Aunt’s FB friends for my sister, but couldn’t really find her because her page was private. There were so many emotions going through me but little did I know this was just the beginning of my journey.



About a week went by before I heard from my maternal Aunt. She had reached out to some family friends back in her hometown. They told her that my birth mother had been sent away to a home for unwed mothers to have me mainly to keep my birth fathers family from interfering with putting me up for adoption. They told my Aunt that my birth mom was not given a choice regarding putting me up for adoption. They also said when my mom came back after having me, the only thing my birth mom told them was that she had a boy. My birth mom never spoke about it gain. I felt so bad for my birth mother. For so many years, I had this anger in me about being put up for adoption. Questions like “Why did my birth mother not want me”, “Why was I not good enough for her.” These were all based on information I had been told by my adopted mom. Now I was finding the birth mother was not given a choice! Her parents made the decision for her. Immediately, my feelings towards my birth mom changed and more than ever I wanted to meet my her so I could let her know I was ok and that I didn’t have any anger towards her.

Another week passed before my maternal Aunt reached out to my sister to tell her about me. My Aunt asked me not to contact Tracy before she did. I of course obliged her request. One night I was sitting at home and got a FB message from my sister Tracy!. We discovered we not only had the same mom, but the same father. We were full blood brother and sister! WOW! My mind was blown! I also found out I had a half brother. Over the course of several more weeks, Tracy and I talked every day, sometimes for hours. We talked on the phone for the first time in March 2015. We talked for close to 4 hours! We had an instant connection.

In June 2015, I was travelling for work to South Carolina, which is where both my Aunt and my sister Tracy live. For the first time in my life, I sat across the table from people I shared blood relation with. It was life changing! The meeting was amazing and so wonderful. I found out so many details about my family but the most amazing part was finding God. You see being raised by a Japanese mom, I was raised and practiced Buddhism all my life. But during this trip, God began speaking to me through my sister and her example of living for God When I got home to Virginia, I began my relationship with Christ and it has been amazing! I was Baptized in July this year!

Tracy and I talk to each other almost every other day and she has truly become one of my best friends.It’s almost as if we were never separated for 45 years!

I have not met my birth mom yet, mainly due to the fact that there is no way to know how much she remembers because of her stroke. I also do not want to upset her or bring up any pain for her. If its God’s plan for me to meet her, it will happen. Tracy keeps me updated on her and because of that I feel close to her in someway. I don’t regret for one minute hitting the send button and meeting my birth family. Thank you for allowing me to share my story!

Patrick H. Adult Adoptee

How Does It Feel To Be Adopted- Crista White


BIO: My name is Crista and I’m a 46 year old adoptee in Colorado. I was adopted at the age of one month after being placed in a foster home immediately after birth. I was fortunate enough to be adopted by a family who longed for a baby after having one “natural” child, then losing the second one to stillbirth and being told any further pregnancies would result in the death of the baby AND my mother. I was treasured and given much love in my home, and truly was never treated differently from my older sister. But I felt different. I suppose that is what led me to search for my birthparents, as well as wanting to reassure them I was ok. I have three children of my own now and spend my time writing, and hoping someday to obtain the information I need to be able to research my personal family history.


When Adoption Reunions Go Wrong…

Adopted at birth by two wonderfully loving and supportive parents, I didn’t give a lot of thought to searching for my birthmother—even though my adoptive parents had always offered their support of my doing so—-until I had a child of my own, and the need to tell this faceless person that I was alright, that she had made the right decision, was overwhelming to me. I couldn’t imagine never seeing my child again, and I suddenly became very concerned about the woman who had given me life. I could only suspect that her worry and anguish were unbearable.
The media does an amazing job of portraying “adoption reunion” stories with fairy tale endings, where all the parties involved are blissfully complete, now that they have found each other. They are most oftentimes warm and touching portrayals of a lifechanging event, and although I don’t doubt the authenticity of those occurances, I learned for myself in a very real and personal way that there are exceptions to these happy reunions…….there was no way for me to prepare for what I experienced, and given the abundance of evidence on these “feel good” reunion shows, it’s no surprise that I was blindsided and heartbroken by what came to be.

Starting My Search In Earnest…

When I finally made the decision to begin searching for my birthmother, I didn’t have alot of options open to me: My husband and I were newlyweds and living on a full time student income—very little—while I stayed home to take care of our new baby. We didn’t have much access to a computer so I researched what I could about registries to join where my name might be matched in a database with anyone else who was looking for me. After 3 years of no results, my husband came to me with a plan: he would cash in his unused sick time from his new job and we would use that money for me to hire a Confidential Intermediary to contact my birthmother. At that time, hiring a CI cost $475 and that didn’t include any extra expenses that might be incurred along the way. I was touched by my husband’s unselfishness and, after filling out the required forms, I sent off my payment to Colorado Confidential Intermediary Services….and waited for the rollercoaster ride to begin.

The Phone Call….

I was weeks away from my 30th birthday, when I received the call that would be the beginning of a life changing experience. The intermediary assigned to my case had located my birthmother—up to that point, I don’t think I had entertained the idea that she might possibly reject me—–the television shows made it seem unlikely that would ever happen, and I think that somewhere in my mind, I reasoned that since I could never imagine rejecting MY child, it only followed that she would feel similarly. My only real fear was that she might be deceased and that I would have missed out on the chance of getting to know her. As fate would have it,she was still living at the same address as she had been at the time of my birth—and she was anxious to meet me. She informed the CI that she wished to get to know each other first through letters, if I was agreeable with that, with a meeting sometime in the future. The tears came and it became clear to me that I had longed for this outcome even more than I realized…..the relief was overwhelming.

Secret Correspondence…

When I was finally given the green light to start writing to my birthmother, I had no idea the hoops she and I would have to go through in order to maintain a postal relationship. First, we were not allowed to put any sort of “identifying information” in our letters to each other—meaning we could not share our names, our addresses, or anything else that might give the other person a way to locate us. Second, we were not allowed to write directly to each other. All our letters had to be mailed to the home of the intermediary, where she would check to make sure our letters were “appropriate” and then put them in a new envelope, with her address in the sender’s place, and mail it off to us. As strange as the arrangement seemed, I was eager for any opportunity to communicate with her, so I followed the rules.
The anticipation of receiving my first letter from her was nearly unbearable, and when it finally arrived, I studied every word. I remembering thinking that up until this very moment, this woman had never seemed like a real person to me…she had been a fictional character I had been told about as a child. But now, holding a letter from her hand, she was an actual person. Someone who truly existed and had a name….although I still wasn’t allowed to know it.
Our letters to each other went back and forth for several months, both of us sharing what we could without being too overly descriptive. I learned that she had been a single mother of three small children when she became pregnant with me. Her husband (her children’s father) had committed suicide sometime previously, and MY father (whom she only referred to once as ‘the unkind man who produced you’) was not part of her life, for reasons she never elaborated on.
I learned many things about her that helped clarify why I felt so different from my adoptive family—I had always, always felt loved and accepted by them, to be clear. But there was no denying that my interests, views, and personality differed from theirs in many ways. It was easy to see that I didn’t LOOK like any of them, but there were times when it felt like we weren’t similar in ANY respect, and it caused me to feel a little “odd”. When I finally realized that many of my interests were similar to HERS, it was an enormous comfort to me. I had a million questions I wanted to ask her about her childhood, her other children, her late husband, and family history that I was so curious to learn about. But I didn’t want to overwhelm her with questions, and I figured we had all the time in the world to learn about each other, so I kept most of the questions to myself. I had no idea that “all the time in the world” was about to come to an abrupt end.

The Mistake…

About 5 months in to our correspondence, I received a phone call one day from the Intermediary. She seemed to fumble over her words as she spoke to me and finally admitted that she had failed to let my birthmother and I know, at the beginning of this process, that we only had 6 months to write to each other through her. After the alloted 6 months time, we would either need to sign documents allowing her to release our information to each other—and be free to continue our communication at our own leisure—or the case would be closed and we would no longer have access to each other. The news took both of us by surprise, but my birthmother was blindsided and angered by the new “stipulations” and felt like she had been unfairly backed into a corner. I dont know what experiences she had faced in life that caused her to feel like she needed to fight back so fiercely about being given this sort of ultimatum, but in a final letter to me, she explained that she had not stood up for herself other times in her life, and had regretted it. She was not going to let someone dictate to her what the timetable of our relationship was and she was not currently able to reveal her identity to me. She would refuse to sign the papers.
The following day, I received another call from the Intermediary, telling me that my birthmom (at this point, I had grown weary of calling her that so I had given her the nickname ‘Sue’) had asked her if there was a way for her to preserve HER anonymity but to receive MY information, thereby enabling her to write me letters directly and she would just get a PO Box. For a moment I hesitated; I wasn’t sure how I felt about giving her all my information and still having NONE of hers, but I knew that if I wanted our communication to continue—and I did—this was the only option. It would be a long time before I would have the money to reopen the case, and from everything she had shared with me, her financial situation was no better. I had been given the opportunity to tell her thank you for giving me such a wonderful chance at life and I could walk away now. But I wanted her to be a part of my life and I wanted to know so much more about her and my heritage still. I made the decision to sign the papers, releasing all my identifying information to her. And then I waited for letters that would never come.


Several months went by as I waited for that first letter to come. Each day I would walk to the mailbox, thinking surely today would be the day I would hear from her. At some point I began to worry, thinking something must have happened to her. Our letters to each other had been so pleasant and she had mentioned how she thought I was a really wonderful human being. She had even told me that all her children knew I had come back into her life, and that her middle son in particular was excited to meet me someday. I had grown up without any brothers, so this information had been especially touching to me. Finally, I contacted the Intermediary, hoping she would remember our case and be able to give me some sort of clues as to what was happening. I was disappointed to learn that she barely remembered anything about our case, and could only offer speculation as to why I hadn’t heard from her yet. She suggested that, in order to help me get over my loss, I write one last letter to “Sue” and mail it off to her. She cautioned that she wouldn’t be able to pass it along since the case was now closed, but maybe it would help me to be able to move forward. And in a moment of sadness and frustration, I did. I wrote a letter asking the woman who had given me life how she could be so devoid of feelings for her own child that she could not even allow me the privilege of knowing her first name, when I had been willing to allow her every last bit of information about myself. I sent the letter, and hoped healing would come.

Unforeseen Endings…

I wish I could tell you that a letter finally arrived or a phone call came, and I was able to have the reunion I longed for, but things didnt turn out that way. Ten years later ,in a strange twist of events, CCIS was made aware of the Intermediary’s error of not informing my birthmother and myself of the 6 month time limit from the very beginning, and ruled that it was partially to blame for the unfortunate outcome of our contact. In an effort to rectify the situation, they allowed me to reopen the case at a very reduced rate with a different Intermediary. I felt euphoric, knowing I would soon be in touch with my birthmother again, this time both of us knowing what the timetable would be. My only fear was that, because so much time had passed without hearing from her, that she had possibly passed away, so I prepared myself for that possibility. But nothing could have prepared me for what I learned the day my CI called me.
She had easily located “Sue” and briefly explained why the case was being reopened. Given the Intermediary’s understanding of the events, I’m sure even SHE was surprised at my birthmother’s response. According to the CI, ‘Sue’ expressed her disbelief at being contacted. She said that she thought she had been quite clear about not wanting to pursue a relationship with me, and when questioned about the PO box, she denied she ever offered to get one and write to me, although she did admit to having all my information and knew that she could contact me if she chose to. She also said that she felt I had not understood or repected her wishes, given this intrusion in her life as well as the final letter I wrote her—the one where I poured out my feelings in the hopes it would help me “heal”. The letter that I was told would never be sent to her.
The CI waited quietly on the other end of the line as I struggled to speak through the sobs that were escaping. I couldn’t explain why I was so upset. My whole purpose in finding my birthmother had been to thank her and reassure her that my life had turned out well. My adoptive family was the only family I knew and loved, and I certainly wasn’t looking for this woman to replace them. I had only hoped that she and I could continue to be part of each other’s lives in a way that was agreeable to both of us. I had never asked her to be a grandparent to my children, or to even meet face to face. I had assured her in one of my letters that if we NEVER met, it was okay with me, because I was just enjoying the opportunity to learn more about her through our letters. So why was I so distraught that she seemed to be rejecting me…again?
Maybe I was disappointed to think I might never meet the “big brothers” I now knew I had. Certainly I was saddened to know that I might never have the chance to ask all the questions I had for her. But mostly, I was hurt to think that the woman who had given me life could now seem to be so cold. The mother who had raised me had been such an amazing example of a loving and nurturing human being, that I could only assume that ALL mothers felt that way for their children. The fact that “Sue” was turning me away was something I didn’t know how to process.

Saying Goodbye…

In order for the CI to close the case, she gave both of us an opportunity to pass along a final message to each other. My birthmother’s message to me was brief and unemotional. She apologized for any misunderstanding but stated it had never been her intention to have a relationship with me. That was basically it. To say I felt devastated by the lack of warmth or concern for me would be an understatement, and I’m ashamed to say that my first impulse was to tell the CI that I had nothing to say back to her. But I knew this would most likely be my last words to her in this life, and the fact remained that her decision to put me up for adoption had indeed put me in a family that loved me and given me opportunities I would not otherwise have had. Clearly, if I had stayed with her, my experience with motherhood would have been vastly different. So I chose to look at the positives and decided that, if nothing else came from this experience, I wanted her to still know and understand that I would forever be grateful for her decision to place me for adoption and I would never regret the time I spent searching for her.
It’s been 7 years since I wrote my final goodbye to her for the CI to read, and although I have been able to work through most of the heartbreak I felt at that time, recognizing that all things have a purpose in our lives and that I am blessed beyond measure to have a family that loves and supports me, I still admit that a piece of me hopes to find a letter in my mailbox one day, saying: “Ive had a change of heart–I’d like to be part of your life again”.
If that never comes to be, I take comfort knowing that I was able to thank her for giving me life and leave her with the knowlege that I care deeply about the woman who remains nameless.

“I just want to express to you how truly sorry I am for making this unwanted reappearance in your life— please know and understand that it was due to misinformation that was given to me by the first CI, and my obvious inability to read between the lines. I feel so terribly foolish. I find it sadly ironic that in my attempt to reach out to you, I have somehow managed to cause the very thing I was afraid of.
For me, this had never been about burdening you with additional family or responsibilities…my only hope was to have a comfortable relationship between just the two of us, and to someday learn more about my heritage and roots.
Although I am saddened by your decision, I continue to treasure the letters you wrote, and feel blessed at having had a moment in time to know you…my love and appreciation for you continue, and my door remains open.”

Crista White, Adult Adoptee

How Does It Feel To Be Adopted- Pamela Karanova

BIO: I’m an adult adoptee who’s reunited with my biological family. I navigated my search and reunion, and now I’m sharing my journey with the world.

Through my life I battled addictions, abandonment & rejection issues as well as low self-esteem, anger and rage as a result of my adoption experience. I felt alienated growing up, and no one understood my pain. Over time, finding my TRUTH has allowed me the chance to accept that TRUTH in order to move forward and HEAL.

I reach out to other adoptees seeking to support them in finding their truths through my blog and Facebook page  I also help with search and reunification. I support adoptee rights and seek to help change adoption laws that restrict knowledge of the truth. I hope my efforts will help other adoptees know that they aren’t alone and that the way they feel is “natural for a not-natural situation” (being separated from biological roots at the beginning of life).

Content Warning: The following article you are about to read may contain written material of a serious factual nature that may be disturbing to some individuals. Reader discretion is advised. 



When I searched for my birth mother I was all alone, with no support or guidance.

There was no help.

Can I cry now?

My adoptive mom told me my birth mother loved me “So Much. that’s why she gave me away ” but when I found her she didn’t want to know me.

Can I cry now?

Never in a million years would I expect the woman that loved me “SO MUCH” to reject me…

Can I cry now?

When my adoptive mother told me I made her dreams come true to be a mother, there was no room for my sadness or tears because for her dreams to come true, I lost an entire family and my mother.

I couldn’t ruin her dream come true by my sadness?

Can I cry now?

When my adoptive mother lied to me about finding my birth family, and told me when we had enough money we would get the sealed records opened I hung onto that hope. It was a lie.

Can I cry now?

When I saw a billion therapists, counselors, was put on medications, locked up in rehab, and juvenile jail.. No one ever asked me if my pain was from losing my first family or being separated from my biological mother. Not once.

Can I cry now?

When I contemplated suicide as a teenager, I kept it a secret because no one cared about my feelings.

Can I cry now?

No one has ever asked how it felt growing up not mirroring anyone and feeling alone and isolated.

Can I cry now?

Everyone told me how to feel, and that I should be thankful I wasn’t aborted.

Can I cry now?

When my birth father’s rights were stolen, and he wasn’t even told about my existence yet 2 people adopt me and don’t even think twice…

Can I cry now?

I had high hopes, but when I showed up at his door to introduce myself he knew nothing about me.

He denied I was his daughter.

He told me to “Go To Hell”.

Can I cry now?



Because of things I had no control over, I missed out on relationships with my siblings growing up.

Lost time never to return.

Can I cry now?

Someone else’s dream come true is my biggest loss, yet I’m supposed to be THANKFUL FOR THIS LIFE?

Can I cry now?

Stuck in the middle of 2 families, feeling torn between the 2 yet never really fitting into either…

Can I cry now?

My birthday is like dooms day. Yet I’m forced to put on a smile. It was the day I lost everything.

Can I cry now?

When I searched for my biological mother everywhere I went, no one cared that all I wanted was HER.

Can I cry now?

But her loving me “SO MUCH” was a lie too, because when I found her SHE DIDN’T EVEN WANT TO GET TO KNOW ME.

Can I cry now?

It’s been torture not knowing WHO I AM or WHERE I CAME FROM.

Can I cry now?

My broken heart is dismissed by everyone, because adoption is such a glorious thing.

Can I cry now?

For everyone that tells me I should just get over it, move on, or suck it up, or I’m just focused on the past and its negative…

Until you have walked one day in my shoes, you can’t judge me.

Can I cry now?

Because I feel like the WORLD is up against me

Can I cry now?

I will pretend when you see me, everything is OK because I’ve been conditioned to do that since I found out I was adopted.

But today I want to ask YOU if I can cry now?

When all my pain has been locked inside for over 40 years because the WORLD GLORIFIES ADOPTION AND THERE IS NO ROOM FOR MY PAIN…

Let me ask…

Can I cry now?

Answer me WORLD who glorifies ADOPTION…

Answer me WORLD who has no room for my PAIN.


I had to fight the WORLD and the CLOSED ADOPTION LAWS to find my TRUTH so I could move forward and HEAL

Can I cry now?

Now that I’m not running from the pain of my reality, and I’m 3 years into sobriety, not drinking or drugging to numb my pain

Can I cry now?

Since society, and the WORLD and everyone impacted by adoption denied me my right to grieve growing up, finally at 41 years old

Let me ask…

Can I cry now?

Remember crying is healing.

Sharing feelings is healing.


You have to FEEL it to HEAL it…


Find me on Facebook!

Pamela Karanova

Reunited Adult Adoptee

How Does It Feel To Be Adopted- Rebecca Dolan


BIO: Rebecca Dolan is 28 years old living in Georgia with her husband. Adopted very early in her life, she only recently discovered via Facebook ,met, and began talking with her birth family. This experience has caused great relief and stress and answered so many questions and raised so many more. Rebecca grew up in the Pacific Northwest, attended culinary school and now works in the food industry. Her passions include cooking, writing and discovering more about her roots

I have a terrible problem with deleting my voicemails, I finally cleaned them out last night and the ones I kept all start with “mija it’s your mom”. I’ve waited my entire life to have someone call me that and some days I wish that no one would. The mess and complication of having two families is not easily explained but I’m going to give it a shot in hopes that one adoptee can feel less alone in the separateness.

Every time I tell the story of my lost and found family it gets easier to process. the idea that this is my story still hasn’t sunk in most days. For 27 years and 8 months I’ve been “adopted”. Its been as a part of introducing myself as my name and when my birthday is. Imagine with me for a moment if introducing yourself to someone, a friend, a coworker and especially a potential suitor had to include a paragraph on why you’re a different color than your parents and why you have no idea what time of day you were born. I’m sure this seems like overshare especially for first dates and things but I feel the need to issue that information as a disclaimer because I say things like “my mom was on drugs when I was born” and people assume that I’m talking about my tiny completely naïve adoptive mother whose never smoked, chewed or hung around boys who did. I’ve always known I was adopted. I never felt like the bond that most of my friends did with their parents and I was aware from a very early age of just how different I was. When I was small I remember my mom reading us a children’s book about adoption and it explained how God gave us to a lady who gave us to our parents because she knew we’d be taken care of. This concept never brought me the comfort I think it was supposed to. This idea that there was somebody in the world who looked like me, acted like me and shared fifty percent of my DNA but in my opinion seemed to have no interest in being my parent seemed like such an unnatural concept when every part of who I was screamed like a girl at a Bieber concert to know who she was.

In addition to be always told that I was adopted, I was also always told that my mom was on drugs when I was born, that my grandparents who had custody of me and my siblings gave me up as a selfless act of concern for my welfare and that “no one really knows who my dad was because my mom was a mess” I carried this around for 27 years and wondered about these people who my adoptive family had always said were German and “a little bit Spanish”. In addition to always knowing I was adopted I also always knew that I wasn’t white. Being Hispanic seemed as normal to me as my adopted brothers being Guatemalan was. When I brought it up,my adoptive mom was always quick to remind me that “you’re white we don’t really know what you are” which left me feeling more confused and unwanted than I started before I had asked the question. Most children don’t struggle with the concept of race and which bubble to fill in on standardized tests unless they’re in a situation where it’s apparent how much they don’t belong. People often tried to tell me “you look just like your mom” unfortunately the truth of the matter was that my adoptive mom is at least 3 shades lighter than I am and built like a 12 yeartire life to have someone call me that and some days I wish that no one would. The mess and complication of having two families is not easily explained but I’m going to give it a shot in hopes that one adoptee can feel less alone in the separateness. Every time I tell the story of my lost and found family it gets easier to process. the idea that this is my story still hasn’t sunk in most days. For 27 years and 8 months I’ve been “adopted”. Its been as a part of introducing myself as my name and when my birthday is. Imagine with me for a moment if introducing yourself to someone, a friend, a coworker and especially a potential suitor had to include a paragraph on why you’re a different color than your parents and why you have no idea what time of day you were born. I’m sure this seems like overshare especially for first dates and things but I feel the need to issue that information as a disclaimer because I say things like “my mom was on drugs when I was born” and people assume that I’m talking about my tiny completely naïve adoptive mother whose never smoked, chewed or hung around boys who did.

I’ve always known I was adopted. I never felt like the bond that most of my friends did with their parents and I was aware from a very early age of just how different I was. When I was small I remember my mom reading us a children’s book about adoption and it explained how God gave us to a lady who gave us to our parents because she knew we’d be taken care of. This concept never brought me the comfort I think it was supposed to. This idea that there was somebody in the world who looked like me, acted like me and shared fifty percent of my DNA but in my opinion seemed to have no interest in being my parent seemed like such an unnatural concept when every part of who I was screamed like a girl at a Bieber concert to know who she was. In addition to be always told that I was adopted, I was also always told that my mom was on drugs when I was born, that my grandparents who had custody of me and my siblings gave me up as a selfless act of concern for my welfare and that “no one really knows who my dad was because my mom was a mess” I carried this around for 27 years and wondered about these people who my adoptive family had always said were German and “a little bit Spanish”. In addition to always knowing I was adopted I also always knew that I wasn’t white. Being Hispanic seemed as normal to me as my adopted brothers being Guatemalan was. When I brought it up,my adoptive mom was always quick to remind me that “you’re white we don’t really know what you are” which left me feeling more confused and unwanted than I started before I had asked the question. Most children don’t struggle with the concept of race and which bubble to fill in on standardized tests unless they’re in a situation where it’s apparent how much they don’t belong. People often tried to tell me “you look just like your mom” unfortunately the truth of the matter was that my adoptive mom is at least 3 shades lighter than I am and built like a 12 year boy.

My search for my birth family began when I was in 4th grade and I found a piece of paper that had both of my birth parents names on it. This changed the rules for me. I finally had concrete proof that my birth father was a person known to my mother and acknowledged as my dad. I wrote down their names on a piece of paper and carried them around until I was an adult. On a scrap of paper I wrote “Lana Rosales” and “Andrew Matthew Ronquillo”. I took the paper and hid it in the drawers of an American Girl doll that my aunt had given me. I had a lot of reasons for being secretive but the biggest was that my parents were so secretive about the details of my adoption. My mother also had an unusual habit of tossing my room looking for contraband like I was in prison. Starting in junior high ,when the random room searches became a frequent event, I began to carry the piece of paper with me hidden in a pocket in my backpack and sometimes on my person in case she searched my bag. While sitting in a computer lab in junior high I took out that crumpled piece of paper and carefully googled “California birth records” I found my original birth certificate that listed my name as “Destiny Anne Ronquillo”. I felt like throwing up and crying at the same time, finally the concept that I started as someone else wasn’t something I had cooked up in my angsty brain but it was an anchor I could sink into the sea of insecurity called biracial adoption. In my naivety I excitedly told my mom and the reaction was exactly the opposite of what I had hoped it would be. She screamed and yelled and cried and grounded me from using the computer and told my teacher that I wasn’t allowed to use google without supervision anymore. All I wanted was for her to be excited for me and celebrate my roots with me but as with everything in my life she took it as an affront to her parenting skills.

I’ve tried to explain the particular mystery of being adopted to the people I love the most, but the feeling of being adopted is the most separate and solitary feeling on earth. Most I try to explain it to mistake my feelings of separateness as being ungrateful. They try to point out how messed up my siblings are and how lucky I am to have grown up free of the tsunami like devastation of poverty, addiction and incarceration that my siblings have faced. Yes I am thankful that I was given parents who worked hard to give us a good education and to teach us to be the best we could be. Despite that even in my moments deepest of gratitude, I cannot shake the feeling that I am tumbleweed like in my unanchored rambling through life.

Sometimes being adopted is like having a parasitic twin. It’s like the rain cloud that follows eeyore. It colors every circumstance, every relationship and it’s impossible to get rid of. For those unaware of the psychological sandstorm that follows most adoptees,it seems like a simple and uncomplicated gift. It is the gift of complication and confusion and this is how it feels to be adopted.

Thanks for reading

Rebecca Dolan, Adult Adoptee

How Does It Feel To Be Adopted- Sarah Kellie Livingstone

Sarah Kellie (L) & Her Best Friend


I was born Sarah Lee Tyrell on 3 November 1973.
Birth Mother was 16 and I was given up aged 3 months.. I lived with foster parents til 9 months then my Adoptive parents got me, My Adoption was finalised by the time I was 18 months.
I grew up knowing I was adopted never feeling unwanted or unloved.  My adopted family cared for me and never once made me feel unwanted or unloved.
My Birth brother came looking for me when I was 20, he was 17.. we never have had a sibling bond.. I also have 3 younger sisters, the 2 youngest have same dad us older 3 have nothing to go on.. I have a mans name on my birth files and recently paid £450 for a DNA parentage.
Test  the man named is NOT my birth father our DNA is very similar (could be related) however we only done a parentage test so I would have to pay more while he is now refusing to co-operate..  My Birth Mother and her family fight all the time  they are stuck with the secrets and lies that have engulfed their catholic roots.. BM has mental health issues, has made rape and abuse allegations too.. I don’t feel bad for searching for my roots  I do however not discuss with my adopted family I wouldnt want them to feel  bad.
I work full time running my own  business and have 5 of my own children aged 8-23.
I am now know  as Sarah Kellie Livingstone.
Adult Adoptee

How Does It Feel To Be Adopted- Luke C. Keith

LCK MJH 1 21 99
Marylyn & Luke


Fifty Years of Secrecy

The question of how it “feels” to be adopted fits with my idea of being spiritually connected to your birthparents and potential siblings.  How many stories of psychic connection between separated relatives, both adopted and separated by force, have we heard?  This is one of those stories and how my existence is tied to grief and pain.  I was conceived around Halloween 1965 inside a twenty year old babysitter.  According to her, the deal to have me was set up by “men” who offered to abort me but allowed her to put me up for adoption after my birth.  My parents adopted a son in 1962, a daughter in 1964, yours truly in 1966 and another daughter in 1971.  My mother has commented she always knew I would be the one who would look for my family and my parents always supported my efforts to find my family.  Every birthday you wonder what your birthmother is and also, the birthfather.  This is an overlooked void nobody considers as the male contribution to your existence is brief and often callous at best.  Does this brief moment exclude us from inheriting the spiritual connection to our fathers?  Also, what if he had offspring?  Do we feel the joy and sorrow of our potential half-brothers and sisters in addition to our own emotions?  I say we feel it all if we want to or not.

Marylyn J. Hickey was one month shy of twenty-one years old when she gave birth to me in July 1966.  I was born in Rochester, N.H., adopted at one month and raised in Bradford, N.H.  My brother and sisters were also adopted and this diversity sparked a natural curiosity for personal identity.  “Who am I?”  If Alex Haley can trace his roots then why not me?  I visited the adoption agency in 1993 to initiate the process to find my birthparents.  They could not help me find them at that time but provided non-identifying information stating my mother was a waitress and my father was a truck driver.  This was the reality handed to a twenty-seven year old man and I hoped it was true but had reservations until I could find the truth.

In August 1998 the adoption agency offered an accelerated search and I was third on that list.  The social worker, Paula Pierce, found Marylyn in Missouri, contacted her and then informed me she was found on December 16, 1998.  One of her initial comments to the social worker, which Paula thought odd, was that I was “after the money” and “he must have another reason for looking”.  Marylyn also expressed her “umbrage” when she learned I thought she was a waitress.  The idea of serving people seemed beneath her dignity in a way that can only be described as snobbish.  She expressed nervousness and apprehension towards the case worker, but said, “I have to face this.”  I was beyond elated and felt a great door was about to open.  We exchanged Christmas faxes and planned to meet.  Still, there was part of me wondering about what was really going on and what I would learn.

Marilyn and I met in January 1999 at the Kansas City Airport and her boyfriend, Curt Connell, was with her.  They operate a trucking business called Connell Transport in Barnett, MO and she also keeps Morgan horses on her hobby farm.  During the ride in Marylyn’s Black F-350 to their home, Curt drove and Marylyn asked me how I felt about money, politics, football, skiing, sailing, Palm Beach, Cape Cod and if I wondered if I had brothers and sisters.  She said she never “considered” that I did.  I took this to mean the man who impregnated her was a father and someone else’s husband.  Marylyn recalled a story of how she was in her mid-twenties and skiing in Aspen with “one of her cousins”.  It snowed so hard, the flights in and out of Aspen were cancelled.  The cousin paid four hundred dollars for their cab ride to Denver.   I felt tormented when she asked me “who could do that” when I had no way to know and she obviously did.  We were in her barn feeding horses when she informed me she would NEVER tell me who my father was, how the deal was set up “by men” and how they offered to abort me but settled for adoption.  I could hear anger, confusion, fear and restraint in her voice.  Marylyn noted my disdain but felt no urge to reveal the truth.  Curt had a different view and stated, in her presence, “He just wants to know who his kin are.”  Curt and Marylyn had been together for ten years at that point.  Curt had been to Hyannisport and met everyone Marylyn knew from having lived there from 1967 to 1995.  He informed me she knew, was great friends with and went to church with Rose Kennedy.  Curt said she was friends with people who owned JFK’s limo and before I left Missouri on my second visit he gave me a million-dollar bill with JFK on it saying, “You should have this.”  I believe he was trying to tell me something without actually speaking.

I returned to Colorado trying to piece the puzzle together.  Who would get a twenty year-old pregnant, offer an abortion but settle for adoption and cause such a need for secrecy?  It certainly was not Richard Rushford who was the presumed father in 1966.  He was found in Massachusetts, DNA tested and excluded.  If you factor in Hyannisport, a familiarity with the Kennedys and Curt’s gift with the name “Kennedy” on it, one might begin to think the clues are true.  Marylyn called me and said she had been in touch with my father’s family and they told her to say my father had been killed in an airplane crash in Colorado shortly after my birth and it was odd I was living there.  According to the NTSB there were no fatal crashes in Colorado after my birth.  However, there was a fatal crash in Idaho during August 1966 and one of the fatalities was George Skakel Jr., brother-in-law to Ethel Kennedy.  This was a red herring holding a flag.  I began to wonder who would try to pass a Skakel as my father.  The obvious answer is undeniable.  Which one?  Bobby or Teddy?  After examining pictures, comparing body types and noting things like the extra furriness on Bobby’s left belly like mine, Robert was the answer.  Marylyn had recoiled at the mention of Los Angeles, shook her head and said she had no reason to go out there.  I now know why she responded with quick anguish.

This anguish turned to cruelty in February when, “after talking to his relatives back there”, she called to cut relations and ties.  It was a black hole vortex and heart implosion of sadness and rejection beyond any breakup in history and I could not understand the forces in play at the time.  On the eleven hour drive from coaching in a hockey tournament in Las Vegas I finally began seriously considering if there was a connection between my birthmother and what Curt had said about Rose Kennedy.  Upon finding the name of Mary Augusta Hickey as Joseph P. Kennedy’s mother, it was another sinking feeling but this time of becoming aware of the truth.  My sadness began to turn to sympathy for what was certainly an impossible situation.  A young woman impregnated by a powerful man forced to make lifelong decisions under duress.  In late May, I sent her a care package with several items including a framed “Legacy of an Adopted Child” hoping to send love and understanding.  A week later she had a gruesome horse training accident and Curt broke silence to let me know.  We began communicating again and I had hope she would take her near-death experience as an opportunity to tell the truth.  Then came July 16, 1999, when I awoke feeling something was dreadfully wrong but I didn’t know why until a small plane crash took over the news.  We continued to communicate and  I drove to Missouri in November to visit with Marilyn and Curt.  It was during this aforementioned visit when I lived a moment of comedic irony for there is nothing more ironic than watching the movie “Who Am I” with the person who won’t tell you who your father was.  I also had to decide if the George Magazine tribute to JFK Jr. issue on her coffee table was a sadistic message or subtle clue.

In September 1999 our country music band flew from Steamboat to Phoenix to compete in the Jimmy Dean Country Music Showdown.  Two friends of the guitar player drove to Arizona and they had volunteered to bring our instruments.  Ann MacArthur was one of those friends and was adopted by the Shaugnessy family.  She was meeting with her birthmother in Phoenix.  While trading birthmother stories, Ann said the Shaugnessys were direct relatives of the Fitzgeralds in Boston and made the comment that I had “Fitzgerald Hands.”  It seemed to be a common expression in the Fitzgerald family circle.  While describing my exchanges with Marylyn, Ann exclaimed, “You’re Bobby’s kid and that makes us cousins!”  She claimed it was an example of kismet.  We were two adoptees trading birthmother stories and discovering a connection in a way that cannot be random.  Some force in the universe was sending messages.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Robert F. Kennedy

I had wondered where my twisted index fingers came from and close inspection of pictures with Bobby’s hands revealed undeniable similarities.  I had the feeling of knowing I was right but because of who my father was I may have a hard time connecting and having some kind of relations with my kinfolk.  Still, I began to reflect on parallels in our lives which might explain difficult times in the past.  As a school child, I would get severely sick the first week of June every year.  I also have to consider David’s pain and struggles until his death in 1984.  Does an adoptee feel his brothers and sisters in their collective joy or pain?  I have to believe it.

LCK rh
My Hand

There is more to this story if dreams are believable and the idea close relatives share spiritual bonds is accepted.  I will give three examples in reverse order although I could probably cite more.  On December 31, 1998, we had friends in town to ski and celebrate new years with us.  Despite having free passes and excellent snow, I did not want to go skiing.  It was a deep and unexplainable feeling I could not shake all day and there are pictures where I can see the pain in my face.  At this point, Marilyn and I were just planning to meet and I was not then aware it was a year since Michael died on Aspen.  I had a dream in 1993, while living in New Mexico, where I was visited by someone who said she was my grandmother.  She informed me I was a Kennedy and they would not like me much.  This dream occurred around the time of Margaret’s (Marylyn’s mother) death in NH and I believe sharing a common spirit is how she found me at the end of her life.  Something strange happened while meeting a man in Portland, Maine, in 1988.  I was visiting a friend and she introduced me to her neighbors.  When I shook this man’s hand the strangest thing happened.  He told a story of when JFK came to Portland in 1960 when he was ten and he got to shake the candidate’s hand.  He said shaking my hand was exactly like shaking John’s hand, dry, bony and firm, and how shaking the future President’s hand was something people don’t forget and how it gave him the chills.  I dismissed it at the time.  Now it seems like a message.  It is also important to note my adopted older sister was born on November 22, 1963, in Boston.  Add to that the coincidence of my younger adopted sister having the birthday of July 25th, the same as my first son and Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.  When does it stop being weird and start to become real?

New Hampshire began allowing access to OBC in 2005 and I was in the first twenty applicants.  As the lies of the non-identifying information were erased by family members’ testimony and an exclusionary DNA test on the person whom Marylyn initially claimed was responsible in 1966, I was fascinated to discover what my OBC would yield.  The name “Michael Richard Hickey” had an obvious reference to Richard Rushford, a classmate and person Marylyn implicated as my father to her family.  He was 100% excluded by DNA testing and therefore, his name was a documented distraction.  They could not have foreseen this science would undo lies.  My wife took three seconds after reading my OBC and said “I can’t believe she named you ‘Mickey Dickey Hickey’.”  The name Michael is interesting because it is the same name her sister chose for her son four months before my birth.  What compels one sister to give her son the same name as her sister’s son?  My deep thoughts turned to the time of a Halloween party and perhaps Michael was her favorite or maybe, a witness.  Perhaps this witness displayed the same behavior with the babysitter later in life as he emulated his father.  It’s a sad and painful truth to be attached to a family with a fog of grief.  It’s even more painful knowing they could reach back but choose not to.  Sixteen years is too long to wait and every time I see a reunion story, Ancestry ad or Who Do You Think You Are, I want the truth.  I have the right to know who my father was no matter who he was.

I believe Robert F. Kennedy impregnated Marylyn J. Hickey and is my biological father.    In 2004, I was paralyzed with Guillian-Barre Syndrome and promised myself if I lived, I would finish this somehow and connect with my family.  Several attempts have been made to as many sons and daughters of RFK as I can contact through e-mail and social media.  I had the naïve idea that because Rory and I both did not know our father, we might have some common ground.  My earnest attempts to contact her through Moxie Firecracker were never reciprocated.  I have the selfish notion Rory made the movie “Ethel” to show who was important to her and not a bastard brother.  Although I feel sorry for their position, I cannot be sorry that I am alive.  I sent many e-mails to the late Senator Edward Kennedy’s office when he was alive telling him he was my uncle with no response.  Indeed, I am friends with Maxwell Kennedy and a few others on Facebook.  He has not responded to my DNA requests to prove we are brothers.  Many tweets to Kerry Kennedy, the RFK Center and the JFK Library claiming kinship have not gained response.  I find it incredibly dehumanizing to be denied a basic intrinsic right by people who espouse human rights.  At least Courtney Kennedy’s response of “GO TO HELL” after learning of my existence is what I would expect besides silence.  I’m sure it’s hard to know your father was unfaithful and I certainly feel sorry for Ethel.  It is my hope that as a person of Faith, she might see my existence as part of God’s plan and not some bastard abomination.

I am human, alive and seeking closure while genetically and spiritually bonded to other humans who, because of their notoriety and wealth, seemingly cannot acknowledge my existence.  The truth can be cold but ignorance is colder.

Luke C. Keith – Adult Adoptee

How Does It Feel To Be Adopted?- Margaret Theriault.

IMAG2067_1BIO: My name is Margaret Theriault. I have been married 25 1/2 years to my husband Maurice. We have a dog named Pedro. We live in Kitchener Ontario, Canada. I like to swim and to bike,sing and bake.

How Does It Feel To Be Adopted?  

It was the year 1957.
My mother gave birth to my brother. My mother’s first husband had taken off. My mother was seeing my father.
22 months later I came into the picture. It was decided because my mother’s nerves were bad and  she asked my parents to raise me. At the last moment my grandfather changed his mind. My father was distraught and he came to his brother for help. My dad.

At 7 days old I came to live with my aunt and uncle. With out any one knowing about me in the family. As secrets go the news leaked out. Another aunt found out and told my father’s family. The whole family was sworn to secrecy.

I was given the information that my folk could not look after me. At 30 before I was married I came across my. papers and they showed that my name use to Linda Marie. Mom was tight lipped and would not give me any more information.

My husband, Maurice & dog Pedro.

I searched myself and 2 years later  I found out my adoption was private. Again I asked and mom would not budge.  It slipped out my older sister knew. I was furious and yelled it’s not fair.
I contacted my parents a year  later. I was given my history and medical information. My mother wanted my sister not to know though my brother already knew. We had a fall out. I had sent her a copy of my story and she tore it up and she threatened legal action.

10 years later I self published my first book.  2 years ago I identified myself to my sister.
Lies secrets hurt. I have let my family off the hook. It’s not an easy thing to do. It has been quite a journey. I am now 56.

The years 1999 and 2000 were painful years. We were smoked out of our home at Christmas for 3 months. My emotional and physical health was at an all time low. Emotional pain as in very angry and super sensitive. My knees would give out with out warning and my back hurt all the time.
My mom’s health was deteriorating and we sold the family home.
We had financial stress as hubby was working part-time. We left our townhouse due to mismanagement of funds and me waking up with flash backs from the fire. Our marriage was strained.
Our church helped us through a very difficult time. I was helped with adoption issues. I did this by writing my birth mother how I was feeling about my adoption. I was encouraged to right about my life.
Ten long years later I self published my first book. I also  was given counsel on issues on my adoption. I addressed my hurts and freedom came but not over night. Healing has been gradually.
I came out of hiding behind a mask and
found I was hiding from my identity and adoption.
I shared my testimony with friends from church with a cow out fit and then coming out as a Princess daughter of the king.
Two years I open up to my cousin sister and revealed to her I was her sister.
Healing came as now I was honest with every one.
I let go of hurt and grief and said good bye to the severed relationship at birth with my birth mother.

If you know the truth the truth will set you free.

Margaret Theriault, Adult Adoptee

How Does It Feel To Be Adopted- Lisa Floyd

            Lisa Floyd 

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

How Does It Feel To Be Adopted?

Has anyone ever asked you “How Does It Feel To Be Adopted?”



This is a question that is far overdue for most adoptees…

This platform was created for ALL adoptees to share how it’s felt growing up adopted, and living as an adult adoptee in today’s world. This platform is for the WORLD to see how we feel. Some stories will be happier than others, some will be sad but each story is unique in it’s own way. We deserve to be heard. Our feelings matter. We matter.

Submissions to this page will not be censored. The feelings here are real and raw. Some of the adoptees have chosen to remain anonymous, and some of them are public. Regardless of their comfort level in sharing how they feel, every adoptee is welcome to share how it feels to be adopted here.

This site was created as a sister site of page. We feel it’s time to have a place for each adoptee to have a chance to share their feelings, without interruption, without the page disappearing off  the Facebook wall feed. It’s been in thought for along time and we felt it was time to put this dream into action.

ADOPTEES: Please know there is no right or wrong answer on how you feel. You are ALL welcome here. We ask you please keep your sharing in your writing focused on your own thoughts and feelings based on your own journey on how it feels to be adopted. We’ve been told how to feel for far too long.

Please email submissions to:

Please have your submission typed in a word format. Please have it already corrected for typos, and let us know what name you would like to use, (We need a name, even if you create a “Pen Name” as this is the way the entries will be listed) as well as attach a picture if you would like us to include one in your submission. Please include a brief bio of yourself. Doesn’t matter how short or how long you would like your entry to be.

Please share how you felt growing up adopted, how you feel being an adult adoptee and when you found out you were adopted in as much detail as you would like. Please feel free to share your negative and positive views of your adoption experience. Please share how you felt finding your biological family, or how you have felt not knowing who they were or are. Please share how it FEELS not knowing the answers to your history. Please share how it’s felt to find a grave at the end of your search. Share how it feels to not have your OBC or what it was like when you finally received it. What is it like to not know who your siblings are, to not know your medical history.

Today is your day, we are silent no more.  This is your chance to share how it feels to be adopted.