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Adoption and Child Separation at the Border

On June 1, 2018 Rebekah Henson published an important thread on Twitter critiquing the hashtags #FamiliesBelongTogether and #Ke...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Up and Running!

I am very honoured to be here amongst women adoptee bloggers I respect and have learnt so much from.
I love the way ideas bounce around in blogland; a post is written, someone picks up a thread of an idea and runs with it, amplifying and extending it a way that ever expands our understanding of this complex world of adoption we live in.We can see those threads being woven into a tapestry of understanding, a new body of knowledge about adoption and what it means to adoptees.
Here in Australia, we are lucky enough to have had our rights for decades, those most of you in America are still fighting for and will be for some difficult times to come.That freedom, while appreciated and taken up by many, brings a new set of difficulties.
Reunion in itself is complex and often approached without preparation, with many assumptions, expectations and dreams.The major difficulty for many, is that there can be no guarantees about outcomes. Adoptees often need assurances of security, stability and to know where they stand and those things are hard to come by. Nevertheless, the knowledge we gain from it, whatever the result, is something that gives us certainty and answers, even if we don't like them much.
As you know, we are at the beginning of what promises to be a fairly long Inquiry into Forced Adoption up to the 1970's. Already there have been great gains for adoptees, who are beginning to find each other and to talk together and share their experiences. Being able to speak freely has been of great benefit and there is a new understanding of what we all went through, those experiences being very diverse and in differrent decades.Some of us, like you in America, will never know our true identity, because unofficial placements were arranged and there is no information to be had. Others have found their records were burned or unobtainable.It is the same old story, the one we are all familiar with, of abuse of the rights of babies and children and a disregard for their identity and future.
Somehow, we hope to turn all this mess into something positive for adoptees, a better understanding, a Government Apology and a healthier adoptee support system for those who need it. It is a time of hard work but also of hope, just like the adopted life itself really!

Lost Daughters Introduction

I am honored to be here and to be surrounded by not only so much talent, but so many fellow adoptees that I admire and respect. I began writing about my adoption experience almost immediately after finding the online (and offline) adoption community thirteen years ago. I have written poetry (past tense there is only so much rhyming you can do with adoption terminology) about my adoption experience. Writing continues to be a great source of catharsis and healing and just when I think I've said, written, and expressed everything I possibly could I find so much more that needs to be realized, acknowledged, and examined.

Writing was actually suggested to me by my marriage counselor, an adoptive mother, who had gone through the scope of questions and lack of answers she had available to her about her daughter's adoption. From my marriage counselor's experience with her adopted daughter I was encouraged to seek, search, and to try and get answers to the questions I had asked since I could remember knowing I was adopted. For the first time in my life, at age 38, I was validated that I had the right to know about my biological family. Not because of health reasons or the need for medical records but simply because I had that right. It was the impetus I needed to find out who I was, where I came from, and why I had been given up.

No one can ever be fully prepared for the depth of emotions you encounter when you began embark on the journey of adoption search and reunion (or no reunion). It is uncharted and treacherous territory even for the most secure and well adjusted adoptee. And, although there are numerous similarities in experiences in adoption, I have also discovered each is unique.

It's our sameness and our individuality in adoption that bring us together. And, although my story is not a happy one the ending is getting better and better. I may have lost two families, one I was adopted into that rejected me and the biological one that has rejected me, but I have gained the companionship, camaraderie, and fellowship, of a community of dedicated individuals working to change and educate the world to the realities of adoption. And finally, found a family that accepts me unconditionally.

For me adoption is comparable to a long, huge enigmatic math problem with too many variables and unknowns and chock full of subtraction, negatives, and inequalities. And we, as adoptees, are the ones that can offer the correct solutions.

Adoption Equations

They say that one and one makes two but I'm not sure if this is true.
In this case one and one made three explaining how I came to be.
Then three came in between the sum, divides them back to one and one.
These equations seem to break all the laws of give and take.
But life not always plays by rules, nor by facts we learned in school.
I know this all so very well, and only hope to "Show and Tell".
When one and one took separate paths that no one needs to do the math.
To know this story problem's mine.
I'm the remainder left behind.
Karen Brown Belanger



Super Pumped and Majorly Excited

First and foremost, hello!  When I heard about this blog, my very first thought was "Boy, I need to get in on this!"  I'm so excited that I get to participate with some of my all time favorite bloggers.  I've learned so much from this particular group of women and I don't know if I'd be in this place without them.

Here's the basic rundown of my life.  I was adopted when I was two months old to a pair of people who had been trying to become parents for about ten years.  They never thought to try adoption until my mom's friend from work suggested that they give it a try and gave her information to the agency that she used to adopt her son.  My parents were told they could wait up to a year and were extremely surprised when they got the call two months later!  When I was three, my parents adopted my younger sister from the same agency and our family was "complete" in their eyes.  They always told my sister and I that we were adopted, and because they went through the process to get my sister, I had an idea as to how I was brought into the family as well, even if I knew I was a little bit older than she was.

While adoption was a topic that came up in our home from time to time, it's something that we rarely talked about because it "didn't really matter".  My family forgot that we were adopted all the time, and some of them still are surprised if it ever comes up.  However, just because something isn't talked about, that doesn't mean that it doesn't affect a person.

While in college, I ran into some health problems that needed to be addressed.  Apparently, if one doesn't have a full family medical history, it's hard to diagnose a person (insert eye roll here).  I was pretty much told that I couldn't figure out my issues without getting a better medical history.  So off searching I went thinking that my life was already pretty complete and that finding them wouldn't really change anything.  Oh to be young and naive.  I had my first parents' first names and birthdays, as well as some other random facts like where they were born.  I was able to track down my first mother after paying for a report online and found my first father when I figured out that they were married.  My first mother was initially happy to email with me, but things have since gone sour and now I have a wonderful relationship with my first father as I wait for my siblings to grow up enough for our parents to tell them about me.  I've learned so much about myself and where I come from throughout the process and I'd have to say that despite the pain and heartache, reunion is one of the best things I've ever done for myself.

So here I am, a year and a half into my reunion blogging about my experiences.  I'm learning new things and listening to new ideas.  I used to think that the world was black and white, but now I know that nothing is really as it seems and there's loads of gray floating around out there.  I used to think that it was my life calling to adopt a baby when I "grew up" and now I'm a family preservation advocate.  My how things change!  I'm looking forward to blogging about some of the issues with this amazing group of women and I can't wait to see where this takes us!