Posted on 2 Comments

I’M NERVOUS ABOUT FINDING BIRTH RELATIVES. Online Adoptee Bible Study

Will My Birth Family Reject Me...Again?

The Story of Moses 

Exodus 4 

Like many adoptees, Moses probably experienced a tremendous amount of anxiety prior to his reunion with his birth brother, Aaron. “What will I say?” “How will I act?” “Will I laugh or cry?” he may have wondered. 

As with all adoption reunions, there is joy as well as pain, blessing as well as a sense of loss. Moses’ reunion with Aaron was probably no exception. 

As he crossed the desert and neared the mountain of God, how his heart must have skipped! Flashbacks of his traumatic adoption day may have occurred or warm memories of his big brother taking care of him when he was a small child. 

As he neared the mountain of God, a tall, slim figure gradually came into view. 

“Moses!” Aaron shouted, running toward him, arms outstretched. 

“It’s so wonderful to see you!” they echoed, kissing one another, first on one cheek and then the other. 

“Do you remember when we used to play together when you were little?” Aaron might have asked as they sat by the fireside that evening. “How are mother and father?” Moses probably said. “Are they still living?” 

As they talked, Moses experienced feelings he had never known before. Feelings of completeness. Of peace. Of connection. 

“Then Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had sent him to say, and also about the miraculous signs he had commanded him to perform” (v. 27-28). 

Following this sweet time of fellowship with his long-lost brother, Moses returned to his father-in-law, Jethro, expressing his desire to return to Egypt to see if his people, the Israelites (which included his birth family) were still alive. 

One can’t help but wonder if a dual-theme began at this point in Moses’ life, where his life calling became intricately woven together with his adoption experiences. Not only was he to fulfill the divine command by demanding that Pharaoh release the Israelites, but in a personal, adoption-related way, he was about to face his cruel adoptive grandfather, Pharaoh. 

What terror must have filled his heart! He was being stretched reluctantly into a leadership role that would require that he face his greatest fears—rejection by Pharaoh and rejection by the people he would be leading, 

God warned that when Aaron demanded release of the Israelites, Pharaoh would refuse to listen ten times. The result would be specific plagues upon the Egyptians. Water would change into blood. Frogs. Gnats. Flies. The livestock would be plagued. Boils. Hail. Locusts. Darkness. The Passover. The death of the firstborn. 

Moses watched as Aaron spoke to Pharaoh eight times, but on the ninth confrontation, during the plague of darkness, Moses spoke alone before Pharaoh. 

How interesting. It is often in our darkest hours that we embrace God’s strength and grace. Moses was proving that those with the deepest fears have the greatest capacity for faith. Finally, he was living out his life calling! 

  1. Do you think the initial conversation between Aaron and Moses was spontaneous, or did it feel a little awkward? Explain.

  1. How do you think Moses turned his fears into faith? 

  1. How do you think it felt for Moses to hold his own flesh-and-blood relative in his arms and to see someone who probably resembled him physically?

How Moses Saw God 

Moses was getting to know God as Jehovah-Rohi, his Shepherd. Like a shepherd, God would feed and lead Moses as he led the people of Israel. “I will be with you,” God said earlier. What music that must have been to Moses’ ears! He took this promise by faith and thus was able to step confidently into his life purpose. “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40: 11). 

How You See God

Please refer to the list of Names for Jesus in Scripture in Appendix B and list three to five names for God that stand out to you. It will be encouraging to look back when finished with the workbook and see how your perception has grown!

You can record your words here:


How Other Adoptees Feel 

Check the statements with which you most agree and explain why on the lines that follow: 

  • When I found out my birth mother’s name and phone number, I was terrified. 
  • I need a break from adoption stuff. I am overwhelmed. 
  • I often wonder if my birth parents are alive. 
  • I am afraid to tell my adoptive parents about my desire to search. 
  • I am afraid that I might seem disloyal to my adoptive parents and I don’t want to hurt them. 
  • I know my adoptive parents would be so upset by my desire to search that I would have to “protect” them…. take care of them emotionally. 
  • The closer I get to the feelings surrounding my past, the faster I run from them. 
  • I don’t know what I would do if I were rejected at my reunion. I am afraid it would destroy me. 
  • I need someone to “hold my feet to the fire” so that I won’t avoid my past. 
  • I need to prepare myself for possible opposition and rejection at reunion. 
  • I need to be reminded often that no matter what the outcome of my search, I will grow. 


  1. How do you feel when you realize that other adoptees have feelings similar to yours? 

  1. How have significant people in your life reacted when you expressed the desire to search for your birth family? 

  1. If you haven’t expressed a desire to reunite, how do you imagine they would respond? Check whatever applies from the following: 
  • Why open THAT can of worms? 
  • That is such an important piece of your life. I understand why you would want to search for your birth family. 
  • I always thought there would be a time for this. Go for it! 
  • Let by-gones be by-gones. 
  • You’re asking for trouble. 
  • You know who you are in Christ…that is all you need to know. 
  • A quivering lip. 
  • I will support you in every way possible. 

Learning about Adoption 

Jayne Schooler writes in Searching for A Past: The Adopted Adult’s Unique Process of Finding Identity, “Denial or rejection stands as the greatest fear for any adopted person who makes the decision to search. Rejection is an opposing response to a shaky, uncertain extended hand. Rejection is the dashing of hope to embrace and be embraced, to love and to be loved by the one person who has existed only within the deep recesses of the heart.” 

  1. Have you forced yourself not to think about your birth family (denial) as well as a possible reunion with them? If so, how? 

  1. How would you deal with the pain if your birth relative rejected you? Have you counted the cost?

  1. What are some practical ways in which you could prepare yourself for a possible search?

Putting my Feelings and Needs into Words 

  1. How do you think it would feel to hear your birth mother’s voice for the first time? 

  1. With your left hand, draw the faces of your birth mother and you. (On your day of birth as well as now). 
  1. Have you learned the art of being gentle with yourself while contemplating reunion—to rest when you feel overwhelmed? What do you do to calm yourself? If you don’t know how to take care of yourself, what are some first steps? 

  1. Do you ever feel guilt when contemplating a reunion, fearing God may not approve? If so, explain.

  1. What are your needs as you contemplate reunion or facing repressed thoughts and emotions about your birth family? 

  1. What do you believe a reunion with birth relatives would do for you? What would you hope to have, if anything, after the reunion that you don’t have now?

  1. How do you feel when you realize that other adoptees have similar feelings?

Writing Letters TO and FROM My Birth Mother, 

My Adoptive Mother, and God 

  • Write a letter TO your birth mother, telling her your feelings about meeting her. 
  • Write a letter FROM your birth mother, expressing how she would respond to your letter. 
  • Write a letter TO your adoptive mother, expressing your desires (if you have them) about reunion with your birth relatives. If you have no desire to meet them, tell her why. 
  • Write a letter FROM your adoptive mother, expressing how you imagine her feelings would be about a possible reunion. Then write what you believe she would tell you after you disclose your desire. 
  • Write a letter TO God, telling him how you feel about facing your greatest fear. 
  • Write a letter FROM God, expressing his thoughts toward you at this time. 
Posted on Leave a comment

I SOMETIMES FANTASIZE ABOUT MY BIRTH MOTHER. Online Adoptee Bible Study

I Shouldn't Tell Mom How Often I Think About My First Mom

Because tomorrow is Mother’s Day, this chapter is extremely applicable. Mother’s Day can be challenging for adoptees and foster kids. Perhaps this chapter will give you as parents a tool to talk about feelings and perspectives.

I realize the popular term now for birth mother is first mother, so apologies sent. This workbook was published back in the day:-)

The Scripture Base for Moses’ Life

Exodus 2:16-23

16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock. 

 18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?” 

 19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.” 

 20 “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.” 

 21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.” 

 23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. 

The Story of Moses 

On his way to the backside of the desert to a place called Midian, Moses met and then married a woman named Zipporah. She bore him a son, and Moses named him Gershom, which means, “I have become an alien in a foreign land” (v. 22). 

In this new life as a married man and father, Moses became a shepherd for his father-in-law, Jethro. Needless to say, it was a cultural shock going from a pampered life in a palace to tending sheep in the hills of Midian. 

While tending sheep, he could slip away into a state of fantasy. At times he would imagine himself being rescued and loved by a strong, compassionate person. At other times, he envisioned himself as a member of a happy family gathered around the fireside, laughing and singing. 

Sooner or later, however, the euphoria from the fantasies turned into disappointment, frustration and anger. Even though the happy family and nurturing person were within sight through fantasy, they were just out of reach in real life. 

Moses had no idea that he was subconsciously grieving for the family he lost at adoption. One evening when Moses was deep in thought, bright orange flames illuminated the sky. For the first time in his life, his attention was drawn away from the fantasy to a power greater than his pain.

How Moses Saw God 

Moses probably knew only about dead Egyptian gods that he had been taught about in his adoptive home. He had no idea that there was a living God who was drawing him into a personal relationship. He had come face to face with Jehovah-Shammah, the God who makes his presence real and felt. “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and him with me” (Revelation 3:20b). 

How You See God

Please refer to the list of Names for Jesus in Scripture in Appendix B and list three to five names for God that stand out to you. It will be encouraging to look back when finished with the workbook and see how your perception has grown!

You can record your words here:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How Other Adoptees Feel 

My Fantasy

The non-identifying information fact sheet tells me,

as I scan it for the millionth time

for the answers to my questions,

that reading, golf, and water-skiing

were their hobbies.

The irony of it,

for they are mine as well.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to share just one

sun-soaked afternoon on the lake

with my knight in shining armor,

and the woman whose face I search for in a crowd? 

–Amy van der Vleit, adoptee

I was growing without a foundation—a tree without roots. I felt alienated and as I grew, so did my need to know. I often envisioned my biological father as a princely figure, a charming knight in shining armor who could solve any problem I ever had. As I continued through life, I pushed these thoughts to the back of my consciousness, yet still he found his way into my dreams. In one particularly vivid dream, we were in a peaceful green meadow with tall grass and multi-colored flowers. This is what I envision heaven to be. He was on one side of a small wooden fence, I on the other. I could not distinguish the features on his face, but he was tall and blonde, like an angel.

–Tammy Kling, adoptee 

I never thought I would meet him first. I thought it would be her, the beautiful phantom Barbie doll who stole my hidden fantasies and my darkest nightmares. But in the end, it was my biological father who became real first—the shadowy, formless life-giver whom I, as an adopted child, rarely thought of. My defenses wrote him off as a classic gun-and-run teenage father. I assumed he simply would have farmed me out to grandmothers or aunts for raising, had he nabbed custody.

–Tamara Kerrill , adoptee

I have had difficulty bringing my birth mother down to earth. I have loved her and hated her, but she has always lived above the clouds. Everyone’s mother initially resides with the gods, but she usually comes down to earth when the weather clears. Repression has a way of keeping the weather inclement. Also, one more reluctantly leaves a goddess if he has never lived with her…we search more for our image of the person we have lost than for the actual person.

–Second Choice autobiography by Robert Anderson, M.D., adoptee 

“I always liked TV shows oriented toward the ideal family. In fact, I got obsessed with them. I was looking for loving, caring parents that I made up in my mind. I fantasized about my birth mother. She lived in a brick home, but had no face.”

–Greg Ebert, adoptee

Check the statements which are most meaningful to you and explain why on the lines that follow: 

  • I need to be able to verbalize my fantasies. 
  • My deepest fantasy is to be held in my birth mother’s arms. 
  • I don’t know if I have adoption fantasies. 
  • I have always feared that my birth mother would be a bag lady. 
  • I need to learn that fantasy is a normal aspect of an adoptee’s emotional life. 
  • I need to know that I need not feel guilty for having adoption fantasies, for without them, the pain would have been unbearable. 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

Learning about Adoption 

Adopted children spend an exorbitant amount of psychic time in fantasy. They may seem to be sitting quietly in their rooms, or just looking out the window, when really they are deep in the Ghost Kingdom imagining scenarios that might have been or still might be…These fantasies are not just the passing fancies with which most people empower themselves at various periods of their lives but actual reality for the adoptee’s inner, secret self. They are the mother replacement: the comfort zone that the mother did not provide. They serve the function of the surrogate rag doll that experiential monkeys are given after their real mother has been taken away. They are also a form of grieving, of conjuring up the lost mother, in the same way that children grieving for lost parents are known to conjure up their ghosts. Adoptee fantasies serve a different purpose from those of the non-adopted: they are an attempt to repair one’s broken life-narrative, to dream it along.

–Journey of the Adopted Self by Betty Jean Lifton

Putting My Feelings and Needs into Words 

  1. Have you idealized certain men or women (mentors, teachers, priests, rabbis, pastors, parents of friends)? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 
  2. What are your expectations for yourself and for others?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Do you have any repetitive nightmares? If so, describe. 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Do people tend to disappoint you? When? How? 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Are you ever so deep in thought that you miss turns while you are driving? If so, describe. 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Is there anyone with whom you feel comfortable sharing your fantasies? If not, who would be a possibility? 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Many adoptees say that their deepest fantasy is to be held in their birth mothers’ arms. Do you identify with this? If so, how do you think it would be? If not, what is your deepest adoption fantasy? 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Draw a picture with your left hand of what you think it would be like to have never been adopted and to have grown up with your birth family. Then explain it to the person you are working through this workbook with, if you feel comfortable doing so. 

Writing a Letter TO and FROM my Birth Mother

  • Write a letter TO your birth mother, describing fantasies (dreams) about what she is like.
  • Write a letter of response FROM your birth mother, revealing what you think her deepest fantasies would be about you and how you think she would respond to your fantasies about her.

 Letters TO and FROM My Birth Mother

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Digging Deep for Answers to my Adoption Questions 

  1. Read Philippians 4:19…”And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” What does God promise to do with the gaping hole in your heart that causes you to fantasize? 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. What does God promise will happen if you trust him to heal you from the need to have adoption fantasies? See Psalm 22:5…”To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.”

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. How will your life change this week as a result of working through this chapter? 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thoughts, Insights, Goals and Prayers 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

As adoptees, we need not be ashamed of the adoption fantasies we have entertained about the perfect family or parent. They were God’s gift to keep us safe from unbearable pain until we were ready to deal with the grief.

Please be sure and sign up for future blog posts here.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

################################

CAPITULO

CUATRO

“Algunas Veces Tengo Fantasías Sobre mi Familia de Nacimiento”

Éxodo 2
La Historia de Moisés

Durante su jornada en el desierto hacia un lugar llamado Madián, Moisés conoció y luego se casó con una mujer llamado Séfora. Ella le dio un hijo y Moisés lo llamo Guersón, que quiere decir “Soy un extranjero en tierra extraña.”

En su nueva vida como hombre casado y padre, Moisés trabajó como pastor para su suegro, Jetro. Sin embargo era un cambio cultural en su vida, de ser un hombre rico en un palacio a la de un pastor cuidando ovejas en las colinas de Madián.

Mientras Moisés estaba cuidando ovejas, podía pasar el rato en un estado de fantasía. Algunas veces, se imaginaba a el mismo siendo rescatado y amado por una persona fuerte y compasiva. Otras veces, el se veía a si mismo como miembro de una familia feliz reunida alrededor de una fogata, riendo y cantando.

Tarde o temprano, entonces, ésta euforia acerca de las fantasías se volvió en engaño, frustración y enojo. Aún cuando ésta familia feliz y la persona que lo crió estaban vistos el la fantasía, estaban fuera de su alcance en la vida real.

28

Moisés no tenia idea que inconscientemente estaba de luto por la familia que el perdió en por su adopción.

Una noche cuando Moisés estaba pensando profundamente, una llama de color naranja brillante ilumino el cielo. Por primera vez en su vida, su atención cambió de la fantasía hacia un poder más grande que su dolor.

Como Moisés Vio a Dios

Probablemente Moisés sabia solamente de los dioses Egipcios muertos que le enseñaron en su hogar adoptivo. El no tenia idea que había un Dios vivo quien lo estaba llamando a una relación personal. El llegó cara a cara con Jehová-Shammah, El Dios que hace su presencia real y que se siente. “Si alguno oye mi voz y abre la puerta, entraré, y comeré con él, y él conmigo.” (Apocalipsis 3:20b).

Como Sienten Otros Hijos Adoptivos

Mi Fantasía Amy van der Vleit

La hoja de hechos no identificados me dice, Mientras la escaneo por la millonésima vez Por la respuestas a mis preguntas, Que leer, jugar golf y esquiar en el agua Eran sus pasatiempos.
La ironía de esto,
Es que también son mis pasatiempos ¿No sería hermoso a compartirpage41image1646614429

solamente una
Tarde llena del sol sobre un lago Con mi caballero y su armadura brillante Y la mujer a quien busco su cara Entre las multitudes?

“Yo estaba creciendo sin cimiento – un árbol sin raíces. Me sentí enajenado y mientras crecía, también creció mi necesidad a saber. Frecuentemente tengo visiones de mi padre biológico como un príncipe, un caballero encantador con su armadura brillante, quien resolvería cualquier problema que yo pudiera tener. Al continuar con mi vida, fui empujando estos pensamientos al fondo de mi consciencia, sin embargo, el encontró su camino en mis sueños. En un sueño particularmente intenso, estábamos en una pradera verde, llena de paz con pasto alto y flores de muchos colores. Así es como yo imagino al Paraíso. El estaba de un lado de una cerca de madera y yo del otro lado. Yo no pude distinguir los facciones de su cara pero el era alto y rubio, como un ángel.”

-Tammy Kling
“Yo nunca pensé que lo conocería a el primero. Pensé que iba a ser a ella, a la hermosa fantasma muñeca Barbie que robó mis fantasías escondidas y mis pesadillas más obscuras. Pero al final, era mi padre biológico quien se hizo real. La vivificante sombra, sin forma en quien yo, como un hijo adoptivo, raramente pensaba. Mis defensas lo clasifican como un clásico padre adolescente irresponsable. Si hubiera tenido custodia de

mi, me hubiera regalado a sus abuelos o tías para criarme.”

-Tamara Kerrill

Robert Anderson, MD, en su autobiografía, Segunda Elección escribe, “Yo siempre he tenido dificultades para colocar a mi madre de nacimiento con sus pies en la tierra. La he amado y odiado, pero ella siempre ha vivido arriba de las nubes. La madre de cada uno vive inicialmente con los dioses, pero ella normalmente baja a la tierra cuando el clima es bueno. La represión actúa de una manera para mantener siempre un clima inclemente. También, uno no esta dispuesto a dejar a una diosa si nunca ha vivido con ella…buscamos mas por una imagen de la persona que hemos perdido que por la persona actual”.

“Siempre me gustaron los programas del televisión orientado a la familia ideal. De hecho, me obsesioné con ellos. Siempre buscando unos padres amorosos y cariñosos que fabriqué en mi mente. Yo tenía fantasías sobre mi madre de nacimiento. Ella vivía en una casa de ladrillos, pero no tenia cara.”

-Greg Ebert

  • Necesito poder verbalizar mis fantasías.
  • Mi fantasía mas profundo es de estar en los brazos de mI madre denacimiento.
  • No se si tengo fantasías de adopción.
  • Siempre he tenido el miedo que mi madre de nacimiento sea una mujerque viva en la calle.

30

• Necesito aprender que la fantasía es un aspecto normal de la vida emocional de un hijo adoptivo.

• Necesito saber que no me necesito sentir culpable por tener fantasías sobre la adopción, porque sin ellas, el dolor sería insoportable.

1. ¿Con cuales de los frases de arriba te identificas y porque?

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

Aprendiendo Sobre la Adopción

Betty Jean Lifton, en su libro Jornada del Ser Adoptivo, escribe, “Hijos adoptivos gasten un cantidad exorbitante de tiempo psíquico en la fantasía. Puede parecer que están quietos sentados en su cuarto o solamente viendo por la ventana, cuando realmente están profundamente en su Reino Fantasma imaginando escenarios que pudieron haber o todavía pueden ser. Estas fantasías no son solamente ideales pasajeros en los cuales la gente se fortifica en varios periodos de su vida, son la realidad actual para el ser interno y secreto del hijo adoptivo. Estas fantasías son el emplazamiento de su madre: la zona confortable que la madre no le dió. Tienen la función de la muñeca de trapos que dan a los changos en experimentos después que les han quitado a sus madres reales. También son una forma de duelo, de conjurar a la madre perdida. En la misma manera que hijos en luto por sus padres perdidos conjuran a sus fantasmas. Las fantasías de hijos adoptivos tienen un propósito diferente que las de los hijos que no son adoptivos: Las fantasías de los hijos adoptivos son un intento de reparar la narrativa de su vida interrumpida, para hacerlas un sueño.

31

Poniendo Mis Sentimientos y Necesidades en Palabras

1.

2.

1.

2.

3.

4.

¿Has idealizado ciertos hombres o mujeres? (guías, maestros, sacerdotes, Rabinos, pastores, padres de amigos)

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

¿Cuáles son tus expectativas para a ti mismo y para los demás? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

¿Tienes algunas pesadillas repetidas? Si es así, descríbelas. __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

¿La gente tienda a desilusionarte? ¿Cuándo? ¿Cómo? __________________________________________________________________

¿Algunas veces estás pensando tan profundamente que equivocas el lugar donde dar la vuelta cuando estas manejando un coche? Si es así descríbelo. __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

¿Hay alguien con quien te sientes cómodo para compartir tus fantasías? Si no, ¿quien sería una posibilidad? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

32

  1. Muchos hijos adoptivos dicen que su fantasía mas profunda es estar en los brazos de su madre. ¿Te identificas con esto? Si es así, ¿Cómo piensas que sería? Si no ¿Cuál es tu fantasía mas profunda acerca de la adopción? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  2. Haz un dibujo con tu mano izquierda de como piensas que sería el hecho de nunca haber sido adoptado y de haber crecido con tu familia de nacimiento. Después explícalo a la persona con quien estas trabajando en esta manual, solamente si te sientes cómodo.

Escribiendo Una Carta a Mi Madre de Nacimiento

1. Escribe una carta PARA tu madre de nacimiento, describiendo tus fantasías (Sueños) sobre como es ella.

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

2. Escribe una carta de respuesta DE tu madre de nacimiento revelando lo que piensas que serían sus fantasías mas profundas acerca de ti y como piensas que ella contestaría a tus fantasías acerca de ella. ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________

33

Profundizando a Fondo para las Respuestas a mis Preguntas Sobre Adopción.

1. Lee Filipenses 4:19 ¿Qué es lo que Dios promete hacer con ese hoyo adentro de tu corazón que te causa fantasear? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________

2. ¿Qué es lo que Dios promete que pasará si tienes fe en que El te sanará de la necesidad de tener fantasías sobre la adopción? Ver Salmo 22:5

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

3. ¿Cómo va a cambiar tu vida ésta semana como resultado de completar éste capitulo?

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

34

Pensamientos, Percepciones, Metas y

Oraciones

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Como hijos adoptivos, no necesitamos tener vergüenza de las fantasías que hemos tenido sobre la adopción y de la familia o padre perfecto. Ellos eran un regalo de Dios para salvarnos de un dolor insoportable hasta que estuvimos listos a enfrentarlos. Porque hemos gastados tiempo en la fantasía, podemos estar confundidos sobre nuestra identidad. Vamos hablar acerca de esto en el siguiente capitulo.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted on 6 Comments

Should Adoptive Parents Share Painful Pre-Adoption History with Kids?

“I Need to Know the Truth About  My Conception, Birth, and Family History, No Matter How Painful the Details May Be.”

Betty Jean Lifton, author of Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience, describes the adoptee’s growing awareness of his desire to know more about his biological family as an awakening: “The act of adoption puts us under a spell that numbs our consciousness. When we awaken it startles us to realize we might have slept our lives away, floating and uprooted…The adoptee awakens when he or she realizes that not to know (who gave them birth) would be to live life without meaning. The curiosity has always been there, waiting to be released.”

Awakenings happen at various times for adoptees, sometimes and to some degree during childhood, often to a greater degree as the adoptee grows older. My greatest awakening was at mid-life, when I enrolled in a college writing class and was assigned to take a few facts, weave them together with historical data, and create a story. Since I only knew a few details about my birth family, I chose that as my topic.

I remember sitting for hours in the library,  my head buried in the study cubicle, pouring over tattered, musty books describing maternity homes in the 1940’s. I learned of the awful stigma and shame society laid upon women experiencing untimely pregnancies. I learned about the vulnerability of married women whose husbands were off at war. Dark thoughts and emotions stirred in me and my heart began to weep for the birth mother I never knew. 

For many adoptees, the need to find the birth family becomes all-consuming and an actual search begins. I grew relentless in my search for more information. I interviewed elderly nurses and found out what procedures were used during births. “What was my birth like for my mother…and for me?” “Was anyone there for my birth mother?” “Did she ever get to see me or hold me?”

I thought for the first time of the excruciating pain of having to give up a child, leave the hospital with empty arms, and go on with life as if nothing had happened. I longed to tell my birth mother that she had done the right thing. I wanted to let her know that I was all right.

Little by little, my birth family was coming to life in my psyche. Finally I realized what I had been searching for all my life: a connection to my “real” life–the real me–before I was adopted, and the whole truth about my past that would enable me to live my present more honestly and fully.

Going Through Home Again

As a parent you may be wondering, Why is it so important that our adopted child know the truth about her origins? What good will that do? Why put her through all that?

Author Carlye Marney, in Achieving Family Togetherness, once suggested that there are at least 80,000 generations behind each one of us, and that we are incapable of blessing ourselves or giving blessing to others until we are first able to bless our origins. Marney terms this process of blessing one’s origins “going through home again.”

Going through home again is no easy process for an adoptee, for her origins are often shrouded in secrecy. Secrecy about her conception, secrecy about her birth, and secrecy about her family history. How can she bless her origins if she doesn’t know what they are? 

Webster’s says to bless means:

  • to bestow good of any kind
  • to honor, to beautify
  • to be in favor of
  • to endorse
  • to smile upon
  • to pardon.

Think about these words in regard to your child. I know you would agree on every point that this is what you want for her. You want her to be able to smile upon herself…to be in favor of herself…and ultimately to pardon others who may have given her a painful beginning. In other words, you want to implant in her a healthy self-esteem, regardless of her past history.

The saying, “When you know the truth, the truth will set you free,” is applicable here. I am reminded of a poster with the above verse and picture of  a rag doll being pushed through an old-fashioned wringer. A good reminder that the truth is often painful.

For example, when Cathy found out that she had been conceived in rape, her heart sunk at the sound of the words. She was one who therapist Dr. Randolph Severson, in To Bless Him Unaware, described as a “child whose life leapt into being through a degrading, terrifying act of sexual violation.” Cathy never imagined in her darkest fantasies that this could be a possibility. Yet it was her truth, and it led her to a greater truth: that something good came out of that terrible violation of her birth mother. That good thing was her. It also helped her learn about her birth mother and all that she had been through in order to give her life.

There may be many truths that will be difficult to tell your adopted child. Perhaps the birth mother was a crack addict. Perhaps there is a history of mental illness, neglect, or sexual abuse in the family.

 Jeanine Jones, MSW, CCSW, and adoptive mother of seven said in an article appearing in Jewel Among Jewels Adoption News: “No, it is not a joyous time when your child wants to see all his information and you’re concerned that what he reads will hurt him. This is a time for honesty, compassion, and relationship building.”

Your child, at the appropriate age, can actually benefit from hearing painful information about his past because he will know that finally you are telling him the honest, gut-level truth. Kids are geniuses at detecting untruths. This giving of information doesn’t have so much to do with the truth about his past as it does with his relationship with you and with himself. He is learning to trust you at a deeper level and he is also developing self-esteem. He is possibly having some of the ugliest and most painful information about his past revealed by you, yet at the same time you are demonstrating that you love him just as he is. 

As this relationship of trust and love deepens, he can decide what he wants to do about the option of searching for more facts or for birth family members. Whether or not he goes ahead with an actual search, the relationship between you and him will have grown tremendously.

How to Know When Your Child Is Searching

Now I am beginning to see the necessity of the adoptee going through home again, as well as the challenge, you may be thinking. Are there any  behaviors I can look for in my child to know if he is wanting to go through home again?

Yes, there will be behaviors that will help you know if your child is inwardly heading in that direction. Learn to listen, as you have been, with your heart. Keep in mind the wise words of Drs. Brodzinsky and Schecter from their book Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self. These doctors have thirty years combined experience in dealing with adopted children. When asked what percent of adoptees search for their birth parents, their answer was one hundred percent. “In our experience,” they said, “all adoptees engage in a search process. It may not be a literal search, but it is a meaningful search nonetheless.”

Sometimes the adoptee’s desire to go through home again is subtle or masked. Following are some ways adoptees may express their unspoken need.

For children:

  • The search begins in their imagination, through the telling of fairy tales and stories.
  • Can show up as early as three years old through play. (Look particularly for themes of loss and rescue–lost animals, lost children, etc.)
  • After you tell her about her adoption, she asks, “Why did it happen?”
  • She may wonder where her birth parents are now. “Where are they?” “Will she come and see me someday?”

For adults:

  • “You can take a dog to a vet and find out what kind he is, but I can’t even find out what my heritage is.”
  • “I wish I could tell her (birth mother) how much I love her for bringing me into the world.”
  • “Meeting my birth father was validating for who I am.”
  • “Now that I have met her (birth mother), I know how to be.”
  • “Knowing your birth family gives you a point of reference.”

The truth can and probably will be painful for the adoptee, but most of us want it all. We want truth on every level–physical, emotional, and spiritual.

What Parents Can Do

At the earliest age possible, introduce information about the birth family. The words “birth mother” and “birth family” shouldn’t be some strange term imposed on the child later in life. Instead, the child’s history should be presented in terms which even the pre-schooler can understand. I am so glad your birth mommy gave you to us to love. Maybe it was your birth mommy who gave you that beautiful curly hair!

Vicky remembers her mother’s anxiety about the subject of her birth mother. On the night before she was married, her mother nervously revealed her birth mother’s name and the few facts she knew about the birth family’s history. “Not only did it seem awkward and out of place, but it felt like a betrayal,” Vicky said. “Why didn’t she tell me earlier? Why did she withhold something so vital to my well-being? It also created feelings of shame. Was there something awful about my past or  me that made her so nervous?”

It wasn’t until many years later that Vicky learned that her birth mother had been raped.  She was confident am sure her adoptive mother was aware of this because her grandmother was the social worker who handled her private adoption.

“If my mother had shared that information with me earlier in life, I am sure I could have handled it,” Vicky said. “Yes, it would have been painful. Yes, it probably would have created more questions about my history, but it would have empowered me to be able to trust and love my adoptive mother more.”

Vicky realizes the toll it took on her. “Because I was not given the painful details of my conception until I was forty-three years old, it took me a lot of time and energy to be able to separate the circumstances of my conception from who I am as a person. For years after finding out the circumstances, I said that ‘I was conceived in rape.’ Whenever I said those words, my soul flooded with shame and sadness. One day I realized that I was carrying the pain and shame of my birthmother. After that I learned to simply say ‘my mother was raped.’ That removed the incessant shame from me and enabled me to love my birth mother more.”

What a gift you would be giving to your child by sharing all of his history with him as the time arises. You would be able to help him work through the complex task of separating the painful circumstances from his who he is as a person.

I am not advocating that you sit down with your four-year-old child and share the negative aspects of his conception and birth, but I am advocating answering his questions honestly whenever the opportunity arises.

 Let the child lead. You will know when the time is right because he will begin to ask questions. Expect questions about his birth mother as early as age three. Adoption may seem like a wonderful thing to your pre-school child, but when he reaches school age, he will begin to realize that to be chosen means that he was first rejected by someone. Why didn’t my birthmother want me? Where is my birthmother now? Did you ever meet her? Do you think that she would like me if she knew me now? 

I cringe when saying the word “rejection” because it sheds an unfavorable light on the birthmother and her decision to relinquish. This is not my intent. However, it is important to realize that relinquishment translates to the adoptee as rejection no matter how much the birth mother loved him. This is the adoptee’s emotional reality and probably the point at which his  questioning will occur.

Think through possible scenarios of how you will answer your child’s questions before he becomes curious. When the time comes, your confidence and serenity will let him know that it is okay to ask questions and express his true feelings. 

 You probably will not have all the answers to his questions, especially if you adopted internationally. Nevertheless, he can learn to have a settled peace about his origins knowing that in this life there will always be unanswered questions. 

Learn to listen to your child’s spoken and unspoken messages. This will clue you in to what part of the information upsets him. “You’ve got to be kidding?” “Oh, no way.” “That is horrible.” “I don’t want to hear any more.” These are indications that he has digested all the information he can at this particular time. What are the non-verbals? Remember that this is your first avenue of communication before words. Does he throw up his hands in utter disbelief? Does he get a far-away look in his eyes or drift off into a catatonic stare? Does he swallow hard? Does his body stiffen? If so, pay close attention. If he stares, he is likely frozen in fear. If he is swallowing hard, he may be overwhelmed. If his body stiffens, he may be communicating that he just can’t tolerate any more.

Remember that adoption is a life-long journey. Questions about his birth and birth family will surface at each developmental stage of life. Times of change–going to high school, leaving home for college, getting married and having children of his own, mid-life, old age–will often be the precursor to history issues resurfacing. However, the information you have already given him will not be a millstone around his neck; rather, it will provide him with a context to learn deeper lessons about what it means to be adopted. Ultimately, growth will occur.

You probably would agree that “going through home again” by learning birth history is not an easy task for most adoptees. Some adoptees have no desire to learn anything beyond the adoption story. However, when your child expresses his need to go through home and learn what he can about his past, no matter how painful the details, trust his instincts.  The end result may well be that he will finally be able to look back on his past with pardon and upon himself with favor.  

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted on 4 Comments

Confessions of An Angry Adoptee

Who Am I, Anyway?

While the hubs and I were waiting for youngest daughter to arrive at the restaurant, i suddenly saw her and enter.

I stood enthusiastically and waved.

My hand went up so fast that it careened over a glass of water, throwing it a foot from the table, and spreading underneath the chairs and onto the menus.

Of course, it was no big deal….we all laughed about it.

But, that incident reminded me of my anger, which can be forceful, spewing itself in damaging ways over every person I love.

We feel emotions more intensely than many non-adopted humans, for we have pre-adoption traumas that affect us right down to the cellular level.

But, isn’t anger supposed to be a good thing?

Yes!  Our emotions are a gift, meant to help us.

But, anger can become toxic if not processed.

Anger Can Be Connected to Another Emotion

Anger is often connected to another emotion, such as sadness or fear.

Sadness leads to depression, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

Insomnia took over and for five nights I was wide awake. Walking and exercising didn’t help. It was hell.

Everything that came out of my mouth were words of condemnation—at myself. I couldn’t stop myself.

When I was 47, I was hospitalized for depression. The depression was chemical and I was helpless to overcome it. I couldn’t even talk. I spent ten nights and days in the hospital’s lock-down unit.

Never, ever will I forget my husband and adult daughter going through those doors at the end of the day.

I ran after them and learned that the doors were locked.

The orderlies, dressed in professional whites, stood stone-faced.

In desperation, I ran to the nearest sofa and curled up in a ball.

Is it ever hard telling all this. This is the first time I’ve ever shared these details. I do so in hopes it may speak to you if you are depressed.

Because I lost touch with reality, I was given strong anti-psychotic drugs that made me feel like a space cadet.

So, I spent ten nights in lock down, with way-out people. A schizo patient took off her clothes every night and ran circles around the unit.

Why was I put with all these crazy people?

All I needed was a good night’s sleep.

The meds the nurses gave before bed didn’t work.

Finally, I let out a scream.

Nurses came running.

A strong shot enabled me to drift off to sleep.

In the nine days that followed, humiliating group experiences filled my days.

Why, oh why, would they require me and others to play with building blocks?

A man who sat next to me owned a prosperous car dealership in Indianapolis.

Depression can befriend anyone.

Anger Can Kill

While in the lockdown unit, I passed the rooms of patients who were on IVs.

When I asked what was wrong with them, the nurse said that they were suffering from depression.

Say what?

Isn’t depression just being sad? Isn’t it something everyone gets over?

No, depression can take your life.

How awful.

Did that mean my life was in danger?

What was causing this?

I had to know.

How sobering to read these stats:

    • Emotional issues may place us at risk for developing heart problems (American Heart Association)
    • Anger precedes and can actually trigger a heart attack
    • People who harbor their anger are twice as likely to have a heart attack, die. (Circulation, May 2000)

There was not a clue at the end of the ten-day stint what the cause of my depression.

The only thing I could concentrate on was: “one foot in front of the other.”

Leaving the hospital, I was determined to find out the cause through weekly counseling.

My personal experience with depression makes me passionate to pass this vital information on to you, fellow adoptees.

Anger Can Be Assessed

We’ve got to make self care a priority, which requires making an anger assessment. Not for anyone else, which is usually our focus.

It’s time to take care of ourselves.

Here are some symptoms of anger.

How many can you identify with?

    • My cup is half empty most of the time
    • Others are intimidated in my presence
    • That bottle of wine isn’t enough to numb my pain
    • I use drugs to escape my problems
    • I smoke like a smokestack
    • I  feel guilty all the time and constantly apologize
    • I’m can’t lose weight and I’ve had it with diets
    • I’m out of control and don’t know what to do
    • My anxiety, especially in social situations, cripples me
    • I have physical symptoms, but docs don’t give diagnosis
    • It’s impossible to get to sleep and stay asleep
    • It feels good to cut myself
    • I am a people pleaser
    • I am loyal to a fault
    • I’ve had several speeding tickets
    • I use inappropriate humor
    • I am sarcastic
    • Suicidal thoughts
    • Conflicts in primary relationships
    • Anorexia or bulimic
    • Chronically late to important functions
    • My temper flares easily

Anger Can Numb

Months after beginning counseling, questions about my adoption surfaced.

Who was my birth mother?

Would she ever want to meet me?

Where in heck were these questions coming from?

Was I totally losing it?

Guilt flooded me for voicing such curiosities.  After all, it wasn’t all supposed to be a secret?

And, no, my mom hadn’t hid things from me.

I was told about my adoption as a young child, along with enticing facts about the people involved in the saga. The doc who delivered me stopped by every week after my homecoming to check on me and there was a soldier who walked by our house everyday, peering in the windows from a distance.

If someone said my anger  stemmed from my losing my birth mother at relinquishment, I would have blown them off, like dandelion fuzz.

How crazy is that?

I didn’t even know her.

Just hearing that suggestion was incredibly irritating.

Maybe this is where you’re at…and if so, let me assure you that it’s a good place to be.

The pot has been stirred for the revelation of your incredible life purpose.

Someday, all this will make sense.

I promise.

Just be willing to work with me, okay?

We’ll talk about that in the next blog.

Stay with me?!

Sign up…right hand corner.