Adoptees Need Support When Voicing Feelings about Birth Parents

“I feel like a mistake.”

“I’m not like them.”

“Where’s my family?”

“Why can’t I find a suitable career?”

“Why do I keep dating the wrong people?”

These are just a few of the thoughts adoptees voice, if you listen to them carefully.

While adopted parents want to believe that they’re the real parents of an adopted child, the truth is they are not the real biological parents. And no matter how loving a home they have provided their adopted child, the child has real psychological needs just like everybody else.

And when an adopted child speaks up, voicing their feelings about their need to know their birth parents, the automatic response of adoptive parents is often one of hurt, confusion, and protest. “Why, we love you just like our own” is the common response and while many adopted parents feel this is the most loving thing they could say, it’s actually hurtful. Why? Adopted children need to express their need to know their biological parents. Not knowing where they come from affects their whole life: who they are, who they might become, who they choose to have relationships with, and what choice or lack of choice they make for a career. It affects all of their life choices, and denying this real psychological need only makes things worse.

It’s far worse to deny your feelings than it is to admit to truth. Admitting to truth may not change things outwardly, but it does give a person a sense of authenticity that affects everything in their life. If their feelings are repressed or criticized, they may feel that something is wrong with them. Because the truth is, the truth, or what they believe inside themselves is what drives their life and influences every decision they make.

Feeling like a mistake is one of the most detrimental subconscious feeling there is. If you believe that you are a mistake, you will turn on yourself and it will show in your life. You won’t believe you deserve the best for yourself and you will make decisions accordingly. Eventually, you may have unhealthy relationships, more prone to physical addictions (such as food, drink, drug, or sex abuse), and an unfulfilled life at the very least.

If you haven’t experienced this yourself or know somebody who has, you may not be as tuned in to this issue. But to anyone who does have up-close experience, the signs are quite clear. And while I wasn’t adopted, I didn’t know my biological father growing up, and I noticied I had similar symptoms as those who are adopted.

I first became aware of my own repressed feelings to find my father when the Oregonian published an article about the new open adoption policy and the resulting controversy. Birth moms felt betrayed because they had been reassured nobody would ever know about the child they gave up for adoption. Adoptees were ecstatic because finally the records would be open and they would be given their first clues as to the identity of their birth moms, and to their identity.

I, too, had little information to go on about my biological father. I later found and met my father and that’s when I started writing about my experience, hoping to share it with others, and to raise an awareness about this topic and the emotional needs involved.

What we mustn’t forget is that the most important person in any adoption is the child. We need to know that going in. It’s not about our need to have a child and to be fulfilled. It’s about caring for a growing human being. And in addition to offering our love and physical care of the child, we also need to make a commitment to support them in their quest to find their birth parents, and, consequently, to find themselves. Because if we really love them, we won’t deny their need to find an important piece of the puzzle about their identity, the decisions they make, and their entire future. And having a loving relationship with them includes a willingness to be open, honest, and authentic. That’s what real love is.

Recommended Reading

Myths of the Fatherless by Kathy Holmes

Whatever Happened to Daddy’s Little Girl? The Impact on Fatherlessness in the Black Community by Jonetta Rose Barras

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge

 

5 Steps to Healing For The Fatherless

Who is fatherless? My definition is anybody with a missing dad, a step dad, an adopted dad, an unavailable dad, an abusive dad, or a deceased dad. And while I was in the category of being raised by a step dad and not meeting my father until I was in my 40s, my experience may help others, too.

So why didn’t I meet my father until I was in my 40s? Not only did all those involved decide I didn’t need to know my father, I also denied the importance of knowing him. After all, I had a family, including a mother, step dad, a brother and sister. While they were half-siblings, we all functioned as a family. But when I did acknowledge the rumblings of desire to find my father, I was afraid to upset the only family I had. Fear then ruled my life – until I turned 40.

Since then I not only found and met my father, but I have developed a loving relationship with him. So, what did I learn along the way? I learned there are a lot of myths that society accepts about the importance of fathers. And while my main pursuit was to pursue publication as a novelist, I felt compelled to write a nonfiction book about what I learned after I met my father. My book, Myths of the Fatherless, is the result.

I want to share with you 5 things I learned about the steps to healing I discovered along the way. Some of these steps may also help those who are adopted but instead of just needing to know your father, you also need to apply it to needing to know your mother, too. Here are the 5 steps to healing:

  1. Admitting that somewhere deep inside you is a need to know your father and/or mother.
    Truth has a way of making itself known and when you don’t honor it consciously, it’ll show up in your life in an unattractive, detrimental way.
  1. Learning about other people’s stories.
    There’s a real power in knowing that you’re not alone, that others have experienced the same thing, and to know how they dealt with it. Search for “fatherless” on the internet and you will find web sites, articles, blogs, books, and yahoo groups. In addition to hearing other people’s stories, you need to tell your story, too.
  1. Finding people who will support you in your search.
    You may be surprised to discover who is not supporting you in your search. You need to determine if it’s just out of their fear of losing you or something more. If it’s out of fear, you can take steps to reassure them. But some people do not have your best interests at heart, and you can’t allow them to deter you.
  1. Taking steps to begin your search.
    Here again, you should research your options. Can you do your own search – on the internet perhaps – or do you need a professional? I talk about my choice and the reason behind it in my book.
  1. Seeking to understand some of the pitfalls of searching for and reuniting with a missing father and/or mother.
    I almost messed it all up out of a lack of available knowledge, and I encourage you to tread carefully when you do proceed. Here again, you can do some research on the internet.

Recommended Reading

Myths of the Fatherless by Kathy Holmes

Whatever Happened to Daddy’s Little Girl? The Impact on Fatherlessness in the Black Community by Jonetta Rose Barras

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge

 

Real Women Wear Red Review

Review of Real Women Wear Red 
By Jamieson Wolf, The Book Pedler

Kate “Cyn” Francis is in a frump.

Unlucky at love, Cyn wonders if her second chance at love will ever come along. At forty five, it’s been years since she’s had a man in her bed and love in her heart. Her ex, a big fake, turned out to be more lust than love and Cyn wonders if love is possible for women over forty.

At the behest of her close friend Maggie, Cyn decides to take drastic action and change her life. Her old one sure isn’t working for her. She dyes her hair, changes her name and her age and heads out on a Caribbean cruise. On a boat full of men, there’s got to be one Mr. Right among them. Right?

Instead of Mr. Right, Cyn meets two other single women who are also looking for love: the beautiful Sandy Brown is traveling the cruise trying to mend her broken heart. Divorced and self-conscious, she is also looking for love, hoping that she can find someone to make her feel love again.

There’s also Millie Evans. Having sold her publishing empire, Millie is on a succession of one week cruises looking to find her long lost love. A widow after losing her husband, Millie searches for the man she met years ago on a cruise. Even though it is an impossible task, Millie hopes to find the man she loved and walked away from.

When these three women board the S.S. Platinum Queen, they have no idea that their lives are about to change forever. They come together in a time of need for each of them and find each other. Before they can find love, however, they will have to learn to love themselves.

But, thankfully, there is nothing that can’t be accomplished with friendship, more than a few martinis’s and lots of red. A real woman does wear red after all….

I absolutely loved this book. Without a doubt, it was THE best chick lit book that I’ve read in years. It has everything you could possibly need in a chick lit book: girlfriends, a search for love, martini’s, sandy beaches and sexy men.

But, really, Real Women Wear Red is so much more than sandy beaches and sexy men. The novel is about love, loss and the courage it takes to move on with your life. It’s also about the strength needed to look inside yourself be honest with who you are.

What I loved most about Real Women Wear Red is the fact that these women are real. I felt for them, ached for them, laughed with them. I felt like I knew them, like I had known them for years. When I finished the novel, I felt as if these women were my friends, my confidantes. In short, I felt for them.

It’s not every author that can accomplish this. Most chick lit is peopled by cardboard cut out characters that all sound and talk alike. Likewise, the plot is usually the standard girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl pines for boy, boy comes back to girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love chick lit, but it’s rare to find something that fits in the mold and also goes beyond the genre at the same time.

But Holmes has created three very distinct women surrounded by an incredible plot that will take you on the ride of your life. She has done the impossible: created a chick lit novel that transcends the genre and, instead, becomes something else all its own.

Real Women Wear Red is a fast, fantastic read and I loved every word. You will laugh, you’ll cry and then you’ll laugh again. This is not your average chick lit. Do yourself a favor and read it, won’t you?

REAL WOMEN WEAR RED (Book 1)

rwwr_cover_flops_150.jpg“I may dye my hair blonde, I may drink pink drinks, but I am not doing pink toe polish. Red, that’s my color. After all, real women wear red.” – Cyn

When 40-something Kate “Cyn” Francis changes her name, her hair color, and her age in order to snag a younger man on a Caribbean cruise, the last thing she expects is to fall overboard for a Cary Grant look-alike.

Sandy Brown, 20-something and eager to get over a broken heart, is also looking for love.

Millie Evans, having recently sold her publishing empire, is on a succession of one-week cruises, looking to reconnect with a past love. But this is no ordinary love boat.

Three women, three generations, all connected in an unexpected way. And it’s more than sharing the same motto that “real women wear red.”

AVAILABLE NOW on Kindle and in Paperback.

REAL WOMEN SING THE BLUES (Book 2)

“In that moment, I knew I could no longer be a Wall Street monkey, and somewhere out there Blue Hawaii was calling my name.” – Robin from Real Women Sing the Blues

When the women of Real Women Wear Red return from their Caribbean cruise, each woman must deal with the consequences of secrets shared onboard ship. Millie’s secret sends Robin reeling all the way to Blue Hawaii, and she finds herself chasing Moondoggie and singing the Blues.

This sets off the “Millie Domino Effect.” Millie chases after Robin and Monterey Jack chases after Millie. Cyn joins Robin and Millie on the cruise when her “Cary Grant” gets too serious too fast. And Sandy runs to Cyn for motherly comfort when her shipboard romance blows up.

Four women, four islands, and a seven-night cruise to Paradise. Is there life after they go Hawaiian or will they end up singing the Blues?

AVAILABLE NOW on Kindle and Paperback