Are You My Mother? Searching or Not, Adoptees Yearn for Reunion

Boy hugging mother at homeDuring a recent presentation at an adoption conference, I had the members attending my session participate in a quick exercise before they took their seats. I asked them to walk around the room and find the person they thought they most closely looked like. The room instantly filled with nervous laughter as the participants met each other’s gaze, searching for facial similarities.

After a few minutes I had them take their seats and we talked about what that experience was like. I explained that this is what adoptees often do. They walk through the world, searching for their lost “twin” or someone they resemble. Like the little bird in the popular children’s book, adoptees look at others and wonder, “Are you my mother?”

As an adopted child grows older, he wants to know if he resembles someone. This is especially true during the adolescent years when the quest for identity emerges.

“Who Am I?”

Individuals who were not adopted are able to see themselves in the features and mannerisms of biological parents and family. This is more difficult for an adoptee. He looks around a packed stadium wondering if a biological connection is among those cheering on the football team or if a sibling might be sitting next to him in geometry class.

One teen explained to me, “I spend a lot of time scanning crowds, wherever I am, imagining a brother or sister. I make up stories in my head about what it will be like when we finally meet.”

The author Betty Jean Lifton, an adoptee and trailblazer in the field of adoption, calls this living in the “Ghost Kingdom.” It’s the place where adoptees can go and hang out with their birth relatives and imagine life if they hadn’t been adopted. One of my young clients, Ben*, was adopted at birth. At age 8, he was struggling with separation anxiety and sleep problems when his parents contacted me.

Ben’s parents doubted his issues had anything to do with adoption. “He never talks about it. He’s fine with it,” said Ben’s dad. Soon after we began working together it became clear that adoption was on Ben’s mind often.

“Well, I think about her when I wake up in the morning,” he said, referring to his first mother. “I wonder what she looks like and if she would even recognize me. I feel sad that she might not.”

I asked Ben how often he thought about this and he answered, “Every day, more than just in the morning. Maybe about 5 or 6 times.” Ben’s anxiety was linked to the worry that his birth mother might not recognize him, and also the fantasy that he might be seeing her each day and not recognizing her.

Years ago, I worked with Kate*, a 12-year-old girl who, like Ben, was adopted at birth. Kate’s parents described her as “angry, oppositional, and living in her own world.” They explained to me that they had met her birth mom and knew she did have biological siblings but they hadn’t shared that information with Kate. They were waiting for the right time. They explained how they answered Kate’s questions related to adoption when asked but added they never initiated conversations. “She’s just not that interested,” they said.

I quickly learned Kate was very interested in who she was, who she looked like, and where she came from. She was indeed living in her own world—she was living in the Ghost Kingdom! Kate explained she likely shared her hair and eye color with her birth mom. “She must like to dance because I do,” Kate said. She planned to live with her birth mom for one year when she turned 18.

Kate “knew” she had brothers and sisters and suspected she saw a sister recently at a farmer’s market in her town. “She looked exactly like me and we had on the same jeans!” she exclaimed. Kate had much to tell and I suspected she was angry because no one else seemed interested in her internal world. Kids Kate’s age may not start talking about adoption but they would like their parents to be curious and begin the conversations.

Professionally, my work with the adoption and foster care community has shown me most adoptees spend a lot of time thinking about adoption, reunion, and genetic relatives—far more time than their adoptive parents might think. Personally, I knew this all along!

I first “met” my birth mother in elementary school. Mrs. Jensen* was a classmate’s mom who volunteered during the lunch hour a few times a week. Her platinum blonde hair, frosted lips and mini-dress completed her “Charlie’s Angel” look. My 8-year-old self was convinced that we shared the same hair color and same eyes: we must be related. I imagined how surprised Mrs. Jensen would be when she discovered that her child, me, was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich right next to her!

Adoptive parents can rest assured that this “searching” and wondering is completely normal. While it doesn’t mean their child is unhappy or longing to be somewhere else, the amount of time spent fantasizing may interfere with day-to-day activities and concentration. It may be the root of anxiety and sadness.

Part of knowing who you are is knowing where you came from. This isn’t a given for many adoptees whose ancestry is a mystery to them. Living in the Ghost Kingdom can be distracting for a child who is trying to study for a math test.

Integrating Past and Future

Parents are their child’s best advocates, and there are many ways parents can help their child integrate their biology with their biography. Parents can obtain as much information as possible about their child’s history before they came to be a family including information about both birth families. This makes it easier to answer questions and provide valuable information to their children.

Parents can lead conversations and bring up the topic of adoption often. In doing so, the child gets the clear message that mom and dad are okay talking about everything related to adoption. Once Ben’s parents began talking about his birth mom “Cindy” and allowing him to verbalize his worries, his anxiety began to dissipate. Ben’s parents also created a “Lifebook” for Ben. Lifebooks include pictures of birth relatives, and other visuals incorporating pre-birth and birth history. As the child gets older, he can become his own historian, adding information to the Lifebook.

Parents may also consider open adoption, a choice that is becoming increasingly popular. Author and adoptive parent Lori Holden explains how adoption creates an unnatural split between a child’s biology and biography. Openness in adoption allows that split to be healed.

Although they first thought she was too young, Kate’s parents agreed that maybe connecting with her biological siblings would be helpful. In our subsequent meetings they began to share pictures of Kate’s birth mom and also told her she did indeed have siblings. Over time and with much guidance, we worked together and decided the circumstances were appropriate for Kate’s parents to contact her birth mother to set up a meeting. This was healing for Kate, and the families continue to have a relationship.

Support groups are a way for parents to connect with others in the adoption community. I co-facilitate a monthly group for all adult members of the adoption and foster care communities, that is: adult adoptees, adoptive parents, foster parents and birth parents. It’s a powerful experience for everyone to hear the varying perspectives.

There are numerous books and online resources relating to all aspects of adoption. Finally, parents may wish to contact a professional to help them. In seeking a therapist, it is wise to find one who has special expertise in working with the adoption population.

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of those mentioned.

© Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Lesli Johnson, MFT, Adoption / Foster Care Issues Topic Expert Contributor

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Lindell

    May 14th, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    I say this with all empathy toward those who have been adopted but why on earth would you want to find someone who has never cared for you or loved you the way that your parents who have adopted you have? i don’t understand that need to find someone who very honestly may not have wanted you to begin with. If you have a great family and a wonderful and loving home then why is there still that need to find someone else? Believe me when I say that in most cases you probably are not missing anything. Even if this was truly a wonderful person who gave you up for adoption for whatever reasons then she has most likley made another life and not that she doesn’t think about you but she is probably thankful that you have a caring and loving family to take care of you in a way that she could not have.

  • Julie Sterner

    May 16th, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Lindell, my natural parents loved me and cared for me; they simply didn’t have the finances at the time. My natural mother died shortly thereafter, and my natural father did move on and make another life, and he was thankful I was raised well, but he NEVER stopped thinking or caring about me, and he looked for me once I got older.

    I looked for my natural family not because I wanted to “replace” anyone in my life, but because I needed to fill a hole that my adoptive family by it’s very nature would never be able to fill. That’s not a criticism of them, it’s just a fact. My adoptive family cannot ever give me a genetic connection to my past. Society is so desperate to keep up the 1960s era belief that there’s NO difference between families formed by adoption vs families formed by birth, that they refuse to listen to the very people who have grown up in these families, preferring to label those who speak up as “angry”, “maladjusted” and “ungrateful”. This allows our voices to be disregarded and keeps many others from voicing an opinion at all, even if they hold it in their hearts.

    I personally needed to know who I looked like, why I was placed for adoption, what health issues might be in my family, and I wanted to know my family’s history. As it turned out, the people I met were absolutely wonderful and welcoming, and I have formed dozens of meaningful, lasting relationships. They’re a normal, middle class family, not unlike the one I grew up in. I hate it when the assumption is made that natural families must be degenerates, drug addicts, or criminals.

    Those who are not adopted, or not birthparents, need to stop making assumptions about how we who are in those groups SHOULD or DO feel.

  • Pat

    November 28th, 2014 at 4:59 AM

    Thank you so much for your beautiful reply to Lidell.
    I am a Birth Mother who has recently reunited with my 36 year old daughter.
    I too am from a middle class family. I was one of five children and at 18 when I came home with the news that I was pregnant was sent away until my child was born.
    My parents who are wonderful people were overwhelmed by the situation and believed adoption was the win-win situation that we who have lived it know is not the case.
    I have a wonderful, loving husband and three terrific grown children, but the loss and trauma of the relinquishment have impacted me my whole life.
    Sitting across the table from my beautiful daughter two days before Thanksgiving (my second meeting with her) was bittersweet.
    I’m her Mother, but I’m not her Mother is a painful place to be.
    I recently read a quote that hit home to me-
    “Adoption loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful.”
    Thank you again and I would love to speak with you some day.

  • anonymous

    October 27th, 2017 at 1:30 AM

    Lindell your comment is highly offensive and inaccurate in so many ways and on so many levels. You speak with so much anger and hostility that it comes off as if you are speaking from a point of fear, psychologically speaking, as if you fear losing “your” child. I have heard many times that adoptive parents sometimes dread when their children become adults, for fear that they will locate their biological families and somehow abandon their adoptive parents. This rarely comes to pass. The adoptive parents of any child are the ones the raised and nurtured them, instilled their children with values, loved them, helped them with homework, kissed their boo boos and tucked them into bed at night, adoptive parents help them grow into who they become as adults. There is much to respect, love and admire in adoptive parents. Adoptive parents give a child a life, hopefully filled with many opportunities that for one reason or another were not an option for those children with their biological families. Do not forget that their biological parents gave these children life, a life that you would never have gotten to know without their sacrifice. Some adoptive parents might not have had the opportunity to become parents, without the sacrifice of the biological parents, plain and simple. For adopted people they do not have only one set of parents, they have 2, a biological one and an adoptive one. Please remember that the biological family is still very much a part of who the adoptee is, nature vs nurture, genetics are a funny thing like that. Both the adoptive and biological parents must realize that this is not about them, it is not a game of tug of war or some contest of who is better than the other, who is the one parent or better parent or favorite parent or only parent, it is about the adoptee and who they are and how they came to be who they are. Adoptees are not a pet or possession, they are not owned by anyone, they are their own individual people, with 2 sets of families that have, most often, always loved them and wished for their best interest and wellbeing. I hope the day comes that there no fear surrounding adoption, for anyone involved, parents or adoptee or the families thereof, no fear of loss on any sides of the matter. I hope the day comes that everyone involved in the existence of adoptees can live in harmony, with peace, respect and love, as it should be. Remember without love, the adoptee would cease to be who they are, twice over, from a biological parent who chose to give them life, and an adoptive parent who chose to give them a life. Both adoptive and birth families should be mutually and deeply respected.

  • Rosie

    May 14th, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    I understand your confusion in all of this, but unless you are an adoptee, you will never understand the feelings we live with each day. It is not logical, it is visceral. Imagine growing up and never knowing who you look like. If you are not adopted, then you can see yourself in in your relatives. Maybe you have the personality of an aunt or uncle, or you have similar interests. Can your mother tell you what it was like the day you were born? Mine never could. Many adoptees feel as if we were just dropped here from an alien spaceship. We don’t have a birth story. The fact that we were given up for adoption may or may not have been our birth mother’s choice. It could take me hours to try to explain all of this to you, but I would never expect you to understand. Only another adoptee can truly know what thoughts and feelings we live with each day. We are not ungrateful for our circumstances, it is much more complicated than that.

  • catharina

    May 15th, 2014 at 3:37 AM

    Yes, my adopted family has been great to me, but there is still a part of me that wants to know where I came from and information about my birth mom. None of this is because of anything that has or has not been provided to me bym y parents now, but it is just because I feel sometimes like there is this hole in me that will never be filled until I learn even just a little something about the people who created me biologically. I have always been very hesitant to talk to my mom and dad about this because I think that it would hurt them to know that even with everything I have there is still a part of me that wants more.

  • chrisk

    August 28th, 2014 at 4:50 AM

    I noticed you mentioned your interest in knowing your bio family as a “want”. I simply believe it is probably not so much a “want” as it is a visceral “need”. While it may be true that some adoptees decide that they do not have those needs…I think for most it is just a basic, human, natural alternative to staying in the dark for a lifetime.

  • Lindell

    May 15th, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    thanks Rosie. I appreciate your perspective and please understand that my thoughts and views are coming strictly from the viewpoint of someone who has not gone through this so I don’t have any kind of knowledge at all of what this has to feel like

  • Lori Lavender Luz

    May 15th, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    Thanks, Lesli, for helping adoptive moms like me understand better where our kids may be coming from.

    Lindell, it sounds to me as though you come to adoption with an Either/Or perspective, which is understandable because that’s how society has thought of it for so long. Either SHE is your mother or the other woman is. One is legitimate and the other isn’t. One wins and one loses.

    But to help adopted children gather all their pieces and attain wholeness, we must evolve into a Both/And way of looking at it. My children’s birth parents gave them something I couldn’t — their biology. I am giving them what they couldn’t at that time — their biography. Why should my children be able to claim only half of all that?

    If, like me, you were not place for adoption, you might take for granted the fact that you look like the people you live with and that you have a blueprint for what your own aging will look like.

    I think my children would be missing very much had they not had information about and contact with their birth parents.

  • Julie Sterner

    May 16th, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Lori – I love the way you explained that….it doesn’t have to be either/or, it can be both/and.

  • Rosie

    May 15th, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    catherina, my heart completely understands “the hole.” And I also understand the fear of talking to our adoptive parents about this. I didn’t start my search until after both of my parents died. My journey took a very long time, with many twists and turns. Some painful, and some joyful. I really just wanted someone to acknowledge that I exist. Maybe you understand this. I have made a connection with my birth father, my birth mother passed away. No reunion at this time, but the hole in my soul is a little less empty now.

  • Anne

    May 16th, 2014 at 3:38 AM

    I know kids who are adopted and those who aren’t and I find that for the most part the adopted children have been given a real sense pf self by their families and I think that most of the ones I know would be encouraged to do what they need to do to make themselves whole.
    If that means searching out the birth parents then I think that the families that I know would help with that. They all seem very well adjusted and loving and know that no matter who or what they find they will always be there for one another.

  • Connie Gray

    May 16th, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Well written! There is a privilege with being raised in one’s biological family. Just as with other privileges, it takes a while for those people to “get” it.

    Science proves the dna basis for so many traits. Traits which nonadoptees anticipate and which surprise adoptees. What age will I start my period? When will I go thru menopause? What age will a males voice change?

    Government sanctioned altered birth certificates do not change biology. Adoptees are people and deserve the right, like every non adopted citizen, to have the birth certificate which documents their arrival and their heritage.

    Adoptees are doing DNA test to find genetic relatives. Adoptees are holding signs up on social media to find genetic relatives. Tell me how withholding original birth certificates, OBCs, maintains privacy?

  • KR Taylor

    May 16th, 2014 at 10:54 AM


    Since you admittedly know nothing about adoption from an insider perspective, why on earth should anyone “Believe me when I say that in most cases you probably are not missing anything”?

    You have NO idea what mothers who lose their children to adoption go through, or how they felt, and certainly not who they may be well down the road, decades after their separation.

    You have NO idea what an adopted person has gone through with those missing links, and how that affects their entire lives in both big and small ways.

    Adoption isn’t an event that happens once to a person. It’s a life-long event that changes who they would otherwise have been, but generally, there is no way to figure out who that other person would have been if not for adoption. Can you imagine living with that, and growing into maturity with those thoughts?

    The majority of biological mothers of adoptees care very much, have always loved deeply, and their surrendering a child to adoption bears little to no reflection on how much they ‘wanted’ their child. There is SO much more to an adoption story than this. SO, so much more!

    And yes, life went on. What other alternative was there? But by no means does that mean that there is no room for her own offspring in her life. That is a horrible assumption. Many were told that they would forget and move on. That’s just not the truth. They went forward, but with a giant gaping hole that cannot be filled. They move forward because there aren’t any other good choices, not because they don’t care anymore.

    Thanks to the internet, and a vibrant and active adoption community, there are SCORES of resources to find information from the adoptee and biological parent perspective. If you truly care about these matters, please invest some time doing a little looking around and getting to know the PEOPLE in adoption, not just the ideology.

  • Jo

    May 16th, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    For anyone who doesn’t understand the psychic and visceral connection adoptees have with their original mothers, you might find enlightenment here:

    The author, Nancy Verrier, is an adoptive mom who is also a psychotherapist, writer and lecturer. There is far more to mother-child separation and subsequent adoption than was known for decades. Her books, ‘Primal Wound’ and ‘Coming Home to Self’ are extremely valuable in understanding adoptee issues.

  • Greg B

    May 16th, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    I object to the universals in this piece, beginning with the title. I was adopted at birth and I’ve never “yearned” for a reunion with biological family. Among my adopted friends, some do and some don’t. As with other social groupings, not all adoptees are alike.

    And frankly, I find the implication that my family and my family relationships are somehow inferior and I should be “yearning” for something more rather annoying. I don’t take it seriously enough to resent it, but I do find it annoying.

  • Rosie

    May 16th, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Anne, I’m happy that you know many adoptive families that seem well adjusted. My family has seemed that way all my life too. My parents were always there for me. But, as Lesli explains in her article, what others “see” is not necessarily what is going on inside the heart and mind of an adoptee. Many people are surprised to find out I am adopted because I don’t “seem” any different than them. I was adopted at a time when all the information was sealed. I have had to pound my way through many closed doors to find out what I have about my birth family. The idea then, was to protect the birth mother and pretend that she never had a child. Even though she is deceased, I still am asked to protect her memory by not letting extended family know that I exist. I am ok with that for now, but as I get older and my birth siblings get older, I am getting less and less ok with that. But, I will honor her memory because I am so grateful that she allowed me to be born. And on the outside……….I look just fine with all this.

  • Mary

    May 16th, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    Having inhabited the Ghost Kingdom (I love the name) for the first 50 years of my life, your article caused me to breathe a sigh of relief. I’m so pleased to see someone writing about that world. For years, I sat along the waterfront in San Diego looking for people who resembled me. I never found any but when I did find my birth family, I discovered my grandmother lived four blocks away and often sat on the same bench looking for me. I remember how afraid I was as a teen that I might accidentally date my own brother. I talked about these things with no one and my adoptive parents freaked out if I mentioned anything at all about my adoption. Thanks for the article. I hope lots of adoptees and their families read it.

  • Heather

    May 16th, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    My son is adopted and although I made this horrible choice I never, ever stopped caring or thinking about him. If he wants a relationship with me I will welcome him with open arms as I also have a hole inside of me.

  • Greer

    May 19th, 2014 at 3:54 AM

    What about the adopted children who then have biological parents who seek them out but they really don’t want to be found or have anything to do with those parents?

    Are there any laws that protect those children so they don’t have to meet with that person? I would hate to have something like that to disrupt their lives when they could be perfectly content with their families now.

  • Julie Sterner

    May 21st, 2014 at 4:10 AM

    In what other area of life does government preemptively prevent people from locating each other in order to prevent anyone from getting “upset”? None. In most instances, people aren’t prevented from contacting anyone in their lives just because they might get upset. Divorce might be traumatic; does the government prevent everyone who’s divorced, then, from locating and contacting their ex? No. Normally people are only prevented contact AFTER they’ve done something unpleasant/illegal….not BEFORE, just in case someone might not “like” it.

    I will never understand why, when it comes to adoption, the possibility of emotional turmoil is seen as the end of the world. Once adoptees are adults, they and their birthparents are capable of handling their own personal relationships without the interference of the government. If someone doesn’t want to meet, they just turn the contacting person away. Say no. Hang up the phone. Shut the door. Return the mail to sender. They won’t go away? There’s harassment laws.

  • John

    April 24th, 2017 at 8:05 PM

    I believe with all my heart, and will we are granted with, that we should’ve t be afraid to meet our birth parent or parents. When this happens the void, and lonesome feelings are resolved. You find our what is really apart of you. It will take time to bond, also remember two families are better than, there’s more caring for you. Your less greedy if you help them to be better people too. Remember, not anyone is perfect. Only Jesus Christ.

  • Adoption Survivor

    May 19th, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    “I say this with all empathy toward those who have been adopted but why on earth would you want to find someone who has never cared for you or loved you the way that your parents who have adopted you have? i don’t understand that need to find someone who very honestly may not have wanted you to begin with.”

    Cause we love them. Why wouldn’t we? You will never cut our bond with our mothers. Those that act like they don’t want to know their family are in a fog, a type of denial. Denial is the first stage of grief. The day we are separated from our mothers begins this grief.

    Anger is the second stage of denial. Many adoptees stay in the angry stage to that they don’t have to deal.

    Adopted families are raising someone else child…period

  • benji

    May 20th, 2014 at 4:00 AM

    I would be curious to know just how many adopted children this describes. Are there that many who are adopted who wonder all of the time about who they are and where they came from, or is this simply a small but very vocal community? I am not adopted and don’t think that I have any friends who are either so this is hard for me to process, but I think that if I were adopted I would always have that feeling that I needed to know where I came from, who my family was, all of those things I think would haunt me if I didn’t have a chance to find all of that out. I know that I would be grateful for the family who raised me but I know myself well enough to understand that there would always be a part of me yearning to know even more about where I came from.

  • mysticsol8

    May 20th, 2014 at 4:59 AM

    Lindell, It goes against human nature to not know who you are and where you came from, regardless of the circumstances. Adoptees are dropped into families of unrelated people and they try to ‘fit it’ but it is very difficult to do that. You traits, do not come from any of the people you are living with. Often as an adoptee you fell disconnected to the rest of the world because you don’t now where you fit in. Its a very lonely place, no knowing another human you are genetically related to. I personally think of it as child abuse. It wasn’t until I found my first family, and I knew ‘what I should look like’ and that ‘I fit in’ with a family out there in the world. I had found my “group” that I “fit in” with. Before that moment I never felt comfortable in my own skin, I never felt connected to the rest of humanity. I never felt comfortable in a crowd of people, knowing that they largely made up families who were related to each other, while I didn’t know a soul I was related to. It is extremely difficult to explain this to someone who isn’t adopted, as it is like an experiment in psychology- and that is what Closed adoption, is… and a psychological experiment… that doesn’t have very good results.

  • bs

    May 20th, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Lindell, what is your motive for saying what you said? I can’t understand why people say things like that? Would you say things like that to the non-adopted?

    I am reunited with my biological family but not my mother who passed away a long time ago. I will probably never know how she feels. Thus, when I read comments like yours, Lindell, I take them to heart and a little bit of me dies inside.

    And it has nothing to with my APs, I love them and lovng the biological family I know hasn’t made me love them less. I love them securely, not by default.

  • Rosie

    May 21st, 2014 at 7:26 AM

    We might want to give Lindell a break here. She admitted that she has no idea what it feels like. And I think she has learned a lot from all of us. Just as the rest of the world needs to learn about our infant/child feelings.

    I especially appreciate all of your comments because I have incorrectly believed for a long time that I am a bit crazy for feeling the loss of my birth family so strongly. Hearing your comments and seeing you use statements that have been going through my own head, helps me to know that I am joined in this by all of you. It doesn’t solve my yearnings, but it helps to know that my feelings are real.

  • Melinda

    May 21st, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    As some one who raised in my biological family, I want to give MY opinion, and experience! Each person is unique and needs to do what helps them to be able to live the life that have. If searching for birth family gives peace and fulfillment then no one should judge them for that. We all have a desire to “fit” in and “belong”. I know people who have adopted children, and I have friends that were adopted. Each has different takes on what they need, and all must do what works for them. I support them in whatever they need to do. Personally, I love my parents I look just like my mother, and have my father’s eye color, have 3 siblings that I love as well. That is where the likeness ends though. We do well to keep conversation light, because, our views and opinions on everything only cause trouble, and heartache. I was blessed biologically to them by the Lord, and He has used them to give a great spiritual foundation, but as I have grown into adult, and developed a relationship with the Lord myself, I realize more and more that I am the child were given, not the child they wanted. I long for healing to have a relationship with them that speaks life into the person that God is calling me to be, but it may never come. I will love them forever and always for all that they have provided and done, but I have to be who God has called me to be, and I have to trust that if healing in my family never comes for me, that God will provide people to speak His truth and life into me as I go. Please don’t assume, that all children who grew in biological homes, feel accepted, and encouraged, and like they belong just because they share DNA. I have never felt like I fit in with my family, but I will continue to love them and pray that we can have a that relationship some day. God Bless those searching for answers my heart and prayers are with you. I pray for that God’s truth and peace will guide you to what you need!

  • sylvie

    May 27th, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    A few years into our reunion, at a family gathering, my son turned to me and smiled and said ‘this is what life should feel like’.

    I loved him all his life, from his birth, throughout the decades of our separation, and from reunion onwards. My love endured everything.

    I was young when I had him. Society’s experts decided he would be better off being brought up by a married couple.

    He wasn’t.

    His inbuilt personality traits were pathologised or criticised. Once he found us, his ancestral family, it all made sense. His traits were reflected in us. There was nothing wrong with him. He was simply in the wrong place, a lonely place.

  • bs

    May 27th, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Sylvie, that’s lovely :)

    And, no, I won’t give Lindell a break. She’s not concerned about adoptees, she just wants them to be turned off looking. I’m tired of that attitude, I see it everywhere.

    It is not like most adoptees haven’t heard things like that all their life. However, most adoptees I know are sensible enough to take all scenarios into account.

  • Dan

    June 1st, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    “They all seem very well adjusted and loving and know that no matter who or what they find they will always be there for one another.”

    One thing that I wanted to comment on because I see comments like the above all the time. Adoptees are really great at hiding our true feelings and doing whatever it takes to keep adoptive families happy and content. It is a coping mechanism many of us develop from a very early age. You won’t ever see through this unless we let you in.

  • Julia E

    August 28th, 2014 at 7:17 AM

    The comments here by those who are not adopted are so typical of the way adoption is viewed in this country. What a great, win-win situation, right? Why on earth go searching for people who did not want you in the first place?

    Please be aware that many young girls were forced, by society, their families, circumstances, religious beliefs to give up their babies. THEY WERE FORCED. The adoptee is then raised by genetic strangers. We were expected to swallow lies, let go of our ancestry and heritage and be grateful to boot.

    Imagine not even knowing your correct date of birth. I just found mine and I am almost 60 years old. Imagine telling your MD that you have no clue as to your medical history. Imagine applying for a passport and hearing “Oh, sorry, you need a proper birth certificate, but, even though you are an adult you are not allowed to have it.”

    Adoption. The great social experiment that failed. My life is one big game of pretend. I have a right to know where I came from, yet, the entire non-adopted world thinks I have no rights at all.

  • Stacy

    August 21st, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    I just came across this site and wow!!!! I was adopted at six years old. I was in seventeen different foster homes prior. I was ripped from my four siblings and flown to Virginia from Florida. I had never met the family that adopted me. I was told I should be grateful that anyone would want me. The family that adopted me were abusive and teased me constantly because I did not like to hunt, fish, wear camo clothing and ride in big “Bubba Trucks.” My adoptive father was an alcoholic and his wife was a Bible Thumper. Their son was sexually abusive to me and threatened to kill me if I told them. I was used as a maid and forced to attend church up to four times a week. I was not allowed to have friends over or go to school dances, wear makeup and was told that I had better watch how I dressed because women who dressed sexily deserved to be raped! My birth certificate was changed to make me two years older than I was and I did horribly in school. My adoptive parents called me stupid and would often pit their son against me. (He was considered so much more intelligent than I.) The social worker visited the house twice and declared it good! She wanted to get my case over with! I have, now, found my siblings, on my own and we chat often. So, if one has never experienced the loss of the bio family and adopted into a strange one…they need to read the above thoughts from other adoptees and truly try to inderstand! Blessings!

  • Felicia

    February 12th, 2017 at 6:43 AM

    I would like to respond to those who ask why, if from a good adopted family, one would need to know anything at all. It’s not so much about having as it is about knowing. I had a great childhood with parents who were very engaged in my happiness but questions about my identity have became more pressing as I have aged and realized that there is no betrayal of my adopted parents in finding out about my origins. I am 56 years old and now that my adopted father has passed on and my mother suffers from dementia, it is time to find out where I really came from before it’s too late. My bio-mom will be elderly now. All I want for now, are the facts even though it hasn’t been easy to access them when you are born in a province with closed records, so first, I took two dna tests. Imagine how surprising it would be when you were raised with bagpipes to find out that you have no British dna at all! Tomorrow, my birth mom will respond to a social worker as to whether she would like to speak with me! Could go well or could be disappointing. Either way, I have already become my own person, so the knowledge of where I came from, family traits etc., will hopefully turn out to be more interesting than damaging at this point. Those who are not adopted take their tastes, talents, flaws, and appearance for granted. We who were raised, even in loving homes, do not have that in our favour. Solving the mystery can be irresistible!

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