Every Child
3/26/15 at 12:51 PM 1 Comments

Post Adoption Help for the Adoptee: First Steps

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Today’s guest post is by Laura-Valentine, singer/song-writer artist and adoption advocate. She shares candidly and deeply about her ongoing journey as an adult adoptee.

I am adopted.

My parents never hid that fact from me, but it didn’t register for a long time. When it did, I slowly began to address another fact: my birthmother had given me up. Dealing with the lost connection to my birthfamily in China has been a struggle ever since. I started to understand words like “abandonment”. And as I grew, I asked many questions like, Why did my birthparents give me up? Was I not worth it? Did they think they could not love me? I would think about what my life would be like if I had remained a part of my birthfamily. Would I have siblings? A sister?

As I thought…and processed…and felt, I could not share my feelings with my parents. How could I share my thoughts when they had given me so much? It seemed to me that doing so would offend and hurt them. So I bottled it all up. Inside that bottle was a lot of rejection. And that filled bottle eventually became a wall, isolating me from my parents.

I was only 3 months old when I was adopted, but still, as I grew up, I felt separate. That’s why when I share my story now as an artist doing a show, I incorporate information about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) in my messaging. RAD can occur because of trauma, tragedy, or separation and I want people to be aware of that. But though I shared my adoption story in a public manner as a singer/song-writer artist, I had not been able to truly talk about it. And the counseling I’ve had did not help me; when the counselors probed into deeper issues, I pushed them away and stopped the sessions. I didn’t think they understood what adoption was all about anyway.

Here is what I want to tell you. I am now taking steps toward post-adoption help. Through establishing a relationship with Bethany Christian Services, I have learned about the Post-Adoption Contact Center. And though it is still hard for me to imagine truly sharing my adoption feelings with someone, I know I need to talk through what I’ve, so far, kept protected. I need to share with a counselor on the other end of the PACC 800# who knows the ins and outs of adoption and post-adoption issues, as well as all the feelings that come with them. I think I will find a connection and support I need there.

Why? Because I know they understand.

For more information about Bethany’s Post Adoption Contact Center visit bethany.org/PACC.

Listen to Bethany’s Every Child audio podcast. Bethany leadership engage Christian artists and leading voices from ministries, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies in discussing issues relevant to children and families. Learn more and hear about topics such as child welfare, family preservation, social justice, and sustainable, culturally appropriate social services in developing countries.

Bethany Christian Services is a leading global adoption, family preservation, and child welfare agency.

Read more from Bethany at Bethany.org/blog.

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