Adoptees and the Journey of Finding Belonging

I have, as an adoptee, dealt with feelings of rejection and an over-arching belief that I was not worthy of love. Rejection can have that type of effect on a person. It strips you of a sense of dignity. It devalues. It shames. As for me, rejection and the abandonment that took place at the hands of my first parents left behind many wounds. Nothing seems safe when the people a child should be able to rely on the most—their parents—turn and walk away. No matter a parent’s reason or circumstance, the rejection—the leaving behind of a child—can cause lingering wounds. Everything—love, trust, relationships, family, friendships, the present, and the future—can seem uncertain in the child’s eyes.

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Adoptees, Let's Get to the Wound

I used to avoid talking about my adoption. It was the last thing I wanted to share. I'm not sure why because the fact that I was adopted was evident. People could clearly see that I was not biologically related to my family members.

The fact that I didn't resemble anyone in my family was a painful truth. My being different, in that way, was embarrassing. It made me feel like I didn't belong. Like I couldn't ever really be included, or claimed. So very often, I wanted to hide.

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Finding Sustaining Happiness as an Adoptee

As an adoptee, it seems—for me—that there have been many changing seasons in my lifetime. Many transitions and shifts in the wind.

The seasons of adoption—sometimes temperate and sometimes harsh—have, in the past, had control over my ability to experience a sustainable happiness. Something would be said, or not said. Someone would leave. Something within would be triggered. A calm season could quickly change into a turbulent one.

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The Adoptee Tipping Point: Rising Up and Educating Future Generations

I traveled the country this past week, from coast to coast, to speak on behalf of people who are living the adoption and foster care experience. Sharing my own story, as an adoptee, and the wisdom I’ve learned along the way. It was a true honor to connect with so many amazing hearts.

I was encouraged to see adoptees rising up to share their personal viewpoints and their journeys. This is critical! Without adoptee voices, this adoption and foster care community is not fully represented.

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