Thank you to Ellen, one of our community members and an adult adoptee, for agreeing to share with others about her journey and experience at Adoption Support Alliance. We are so encouraged to hear stories from those in our circles of support. If you are interested in joining this support group for adult adoptees, you can find more on our website and contact firstname.lastname@example.org directly for all information.
About Me: For the most part, I grew up in Charlotte, NC. I was adopted when I was 5 weeks old out of The Children’s Home Society in Greensboro, NC in 1965. I came into a family that had already one adopted son, who was 3 at the time. I was told at a young age that I was adopted. Our family moved out of state for about 8 years during part of my childhood, but we returned to Charlotte when I was in middle school. I have remained here except for the college years and the first few years of marriage. I can’t think of a better place to live! I married my husband in 1988 and we raised three daughters together. They are all young adults now and we have just entered the empty nest phase!
Now What: On the way back from dropping our youngest off at college in the Fall of 2019, I told my husband, this is the year I will search and find the family and ancestors from which I come! I had wonderful adoptive parents and brother, so it had nothing to do with my adoptive family, but everything to do with my relinquishment, the void I have always felt in my life and how it impacted me. I had so many unanswered questions about who my first parents where, why was I relinquished, what health concerns do I need to be aware of, who did I look like, who did I act like, was I more like my mother or father or split combination of both, where did my interests, skills and abilities come from and many, many other questions…things that non adopted people take for granted and given without a second thought, things that greatly impact all our identities.
The How To: Upon entering this somewhat hopeful endeavor, I knew I would need support along the way. I had no idea what I would find, nor what to
expect emotionally, but knew I would need support, clarity and understanding along the way. I would need to be with others who have gone before me, are alongside and just behind me. So, as I began my research and journey, I reached out not only to my husband and children for support, I also reached out to counselors and other fellow adoptees. And in doing so, I came across ASA and learned that they had a support group for adult adoptees. While we all have different stories and experiences and are at scattered places with our adoption journey, one thing remains true and that is being relinquished and adopted has greatly impacted our lives. I found that the support group at ASA offers, has benefited me in many ways and has met needs I didn’t realize I had.
I was a little timid and unsure as I attended my first gathering, but I pushed through those fears and came away feeling encouraged, understood and validated. It created a safe space for me to talk about my experiences, feelings and perspective. It empowered me to continue in my journey of reunion with my first family and reconciling with the impact that relinquishment and adoption had on me. I also felt like sharing my experiences with other adult adoptees would be of help as well. It was an instant connection to people who I had never met before, but yet connected with in a very deep and powerful way.
The Why: It is my desire to not only get support but to be supportive to adult adoptees. And I also want to offer my insights and support to adoptive parents, adoptive children and relinquishing families. Adoption is an intersection of many people, it is a triad of relinquishing families, adoptive families and the adoptee and adoption is multi-generational. Adoption Support Alliance has given me the support and platform in which to meet and have many needs met especially regarding being an adult adoptee.