Dear Samantha M Shapiro of WIRED

Dear Samantha

I read your article that appeared on WIRED on 4th March 2021 titled Adoption Moved to Facebook and a War Began. I feel drawn to write a response in regard to it. You come across as someone who has done their research around the topic of adoption, quoting laws and papers that people can search for and read for themselves. However one opinion is very obviously missing from the article. I am not sure if you have come across the term “adoption triad”, I am sure you have, as you have clearly done your background reading, but the third side of the triad was missing, so I am going to try and attempt to provide that, and who knows with the power of the internet, you may get to read this, and you may feel compelled to reach out to an adoptee and write another article, putting our side across. I can provide names of several who have written on this topic, Anne Heffron, Pamela Cordano and Gabrielle Glaser to name just a few.

First of all, a short explanation of how I came to be writing my blog. In July 2020, when I joined the Hay House 7 day writer’s challenge, all I wanted to do was to write my story, one of adoption in the 1960’s, to a middle class white British family, and how in my late teens, I had met my birth parents and how that had panned out. I wa unprepard for the question posed by Kelly Notaras, which was, “Which two books do you want to see your book sandwiched between on the shelf at the bookstore?” I had absolutely no idea of any books that had been written around adoption, and so in the “stay at home” period of 2020, I spent a fortune on books, ranging from “Primal Wound” by Nancy Verrier to “You Don’t Look Adopted” by Anne Heffron. If you haven’t read them, I highly reccommned them. I also joined several facebook groups and even set my own up, in an effort to help adoptees find some healing as well as peace and joy in their hearts after adoption Finding Joy Community.

So with that bit of background to me I’ll ask “Are you sitting comfortably – with your favourite beverage in your hand – then I’ll begin.”

I am now going to ask you to imagine that it is 2047, and that you are Erin’s daughter, and her mother has just passed away. She is going through her mother’s belongings and finds the paperwork of her parents paying $25000 with an adoption agency. How do you think she feels at this moment Samantha? How do you think it feels as an adult to find that your parents bought you for that amount? Any amount? How do you think an adoptee feels when they realise that there was a price put on their relinquishment?

How do you think that young woman feels having spent her entire life trying to fill a void in Erin and Justin’s life, that was left by infertility? The chances are she looks nothing like them, but even if she did, she is a constant reminder that it took another couple to provide for them, what they couldn’t provide for themselves. That due to their career choices, they left it too long before starting a family of their own. So this baby/child is bought, to fill that hole. This child who is now grieving for it’s own family, it’s mothers’ arms, it’s mothers’ heartbeat, it’s mother’s smell that it has come to know in it’s nine months in utero, has now been asked to be part of Erin and Justin’s “Gotchaa” celebrations, whilst in reality she is grieiving. Think turning up at a wake only to find that the music is blaring for a dance party, fireworks are going off and people are laughing and celebrating, and then spreading it all over facebook at how proud you are of your “gotcha date”. From where I am sitting I am reminded of the child snatcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. ” Come here little boy – Gotcha!” Are you beginning to get an idea of how the adoptee community feels Samantha around other families celebrating getting them, whilst the baby is struggling to deal with feelings that it has no words for yet?

Erin appears to want things both ways. She wants to use facebook and the internet to get what she wants, but she is surprised when people who have been on the receiving end of her wants, fight back. Admittedly people tend to lose their ability to self-regulate when they become passionate, as key board warriors, but could that be because they know the pain and hurt that adoption causes, and that it is not pleasant to live with, and they want to help just one baby be kept within it’s family, rather than become a “fix” for someone else’s infertility issues.

There is little to no help for adoptees to try and understand their feelings and emotions. I am 60 and am only really just beginning to come to terms with it just now. I knew it affected all my relationships with men, throughout my 20’s 30’s and 40’s. After all who would want to stick around in my life and love me, when my own mother didn’t? The one person in the whole wide world who is going to stick around for you doesn’t, so why should some random man or woman you may meet going to remain by your side. Ask any adoptee? They’ll tell you that relationships are hard for them. They keep people at arms’ length. I wonder if Erin or Justin had done any research around how adoptee’s feel growing up away from their biology, away from their heritage, away from their genes? How do you think it feels to not be able to answer the question “Any herediatry dieseases in your family?”, when you go to the doctors? When you are pregnant yourself? You are left saying “I don’t know I was adopted”. How important is it to you Samantha to know what may or may not reveal itself in your genes in your lifetime, or what you may pass on to your children? I know, I know, we have DNA tests now, we adoptees can find out all this information, but d’you know what, it would be so much nicer if we could join in the conversations around the dinner table, when people are comparing physical attributes. Do I have my mother’s or my father’s eyes? Am I going to get knock knees like great aunt so and so? Why do I not feel drawn to being an attorney like my mother? Simple everyday questions that the adoptee cannot particiapte in around the dinner table, and leaves the table feeling only part of a person. Their family cannot understand what is wrong with them, why they act the way they do, because they have never researched the psychological trauma that is inflicted on the very young brain of a baby that is relinquished. They have not read the pPrimal Wound or watched Paul Sunderland’s video. Despite knowing that the bonding between mother an child starts long before the baby is born, we still think that it is okay to part a baby from it’s mother the moment that it is born. We have greater laws surrounding animals and their separation from their mothers than we do human beings. Does that surprise you Samantha? In animal circles it is well known that puppies separated from their mother’s before 8 weeks are more difficult to train, have behavioural problems and are more likely to end up in dogs’ homes for rehoming, than puppies that remain with their mothers. And yet Erin was happy to be the one to cut the cord, and sit with the baby in NICU. I wonder if the baby would have had the same breathing issues if she was able to lie on her mother’s chest and hear her heartbeat, smell her smell, and hear her voice. How distressed do you think that baby may have been, being surrounded by strangers and strange smells and sounds Samantha, did you ever stop to consider that when you wrote your article?

I could go on how it feels to be an adoptee, but I won’t. What struck me when I read your article was how in the past year we have heard Mark Zuckerberg go on about spreading misinformation regarding the covid 19 situation and the vaccine, labelling critical thinkers as conspiracy theorists, and sticking fact checker stickers across anything that doesn’t fit the narrative. Your article unfortunately for me came into that category. I am not an “anti-adopter” I am not anti-anything. I am very much a pro person. I am pro keeping medical and bodily autonomy. I am pro informed choice, I am pro keeping the family together whenever possible. And yet Mr Zuckerberg allows the buying and selling of children via his social media platform, with all the potential for child porn and child trafficking that comes with it. You may see this as a nice juicy topic to write about, I see a much bigger picture. With all his fact checkers I am sure he could put a stop to this today if he wanted to. For me personally, I wish he would, and I am sure many adoptees would do too.

I have been one of the lucky adoptees. Laws in the UK are very different to those in the US. I got my social files, I know the circumstances behind my adoption. I probably was better off being adopted that being left with my mother who, reading between the lines, was suffering with post natal depression after the birth of my elder sister. Maybe if she had had support and correct diagnosis and treatment I could have been raised by her. I may have a whole different set of issues, who knows. What I do know is that I could have sat at the dinner table and compared our eyes, our noses, our mouths, our double chins. She could have told me all about her labour that brought me into the world. I wouldn’t find out that she had paid $150 a month in facebook ads to look for a teenage pregnancy or a granny. Now that is direct marketting and buying a baby if ever I heard it. Shouldn’t that be illegal?

So for now I continue doing the research for my own story. And the 2 books that I would like my book to sit between on the shelf in the bookstore? Nancy Verrier’s Primal Wound and Anne Heffron’s You Don’t Look Adopted. I recommend them to you and I recommend them to anyone who is thinking of adopting someone elses’ baby.

Bessings and I look forward to hearing from you Samantha. Have a great weekend.

I Don’t Care Anymore, Or Do I?

This past week I have been reliving the music of the 1980’s, especially Phil Collins. Back then Phil was separating from his wife, and you could hear the breakup in his music. Oddly enough around that time I was in “reunion” with my birth mother, Pat. The words of many of his songs summed up the angst I was going through, although at the time I didn’t recognise that. I have spent this weekend listening to one particualr song, I Don’t Care Anymore, and writing my emotions about the period of my life in the 1980’s.

“Well you can tell everyone I’m a dam disgrace. Drag my name all over the place. I don’t care anymore”

Well if you had told everyone the truth about you meeting Tom, a married man, and conceiving me, and owned your own behaviour as disgraceful, rather than trying to blame me for my reaction to your behaviour, I may have cared more.

Oh and as for dragging my name all over the place, what on earth did you think you were doing by twisting my father’s wife’s name around and blessing me with it? Bizarre bordering on borderline personality disorder if you ask me. The meanings of my name is awesome, and funnily enough I feel more connected to “Tish”. Maybe it is the energy that is in our mutual names that joins us. As for your reason behind it- I don’t care anymore, to even bother thinking about it.

My Father on his wedding day to Elisabeth Joy (not my mother)

“You can tell everyone about the state I’m in. You won’t catch me crying ‘cos I just can’t win. I don’t care anymore”

Turning up in my life when I was 19 certainly put me in a state. I had had a very stable upbringing thanks to Ivor and Vera and their childen. I was a cuckoo in the nest, but it was a stable one, with a sense of family and British traditions. Looking back at the colonial sense of entitlement is not great, but it is in my heritage, so I have to acknowledge them as my past. White, British, Privilege.

“I don’t care what you say. I don’t play the games you play. Cos I’ve been talking to the people that you call your friends. And it seems to me there’s a means to an end. They don’t care anymore.”

Well your funeral was certainly interesting, meeting all your friends. No wonder I wasn’t invited to all your “family occassions”. You should have seen your matron of honour’s face when I told her that your daughter and Tom’s daughter were one and the same person. They had no idea that you had met Tom in 1959, leading to my conception and birth a couple of years later. They thought your 2 daughters were separate people. And as for poor Russell. What did he find in the house in France? And what had you told him about your marriage to Tony? Did you bring it forward by a couple of years to make it look as though you were married to him when I was born? Where did Russell think I was brought up? By you and Tony? Russell wrote to me after he had been to France. He sounded confused. I tried to tell him that I had been adopted “out” not that you had adopted Marilyn. Is that how you explained her colouring, that you had adopted her? I can’t even begin to imagine the stories you must have made up to try and explain why we, your daughters didn’t go to family gatherings. Family gatherings like your wedding? Did you tell Russell that you hadn’t invited us, that you sent an Order of Service to me, 2 weeks after you got married. Or did you let him believe that we had been invited, but we chose not to go. My what games you played in your life. I was brought up to be honest and truthful. That wouldn’t work in your life would it? Having people find out your truth was never an option.

“And as for me I can sit here and bide my time. I got nothing to lose if I speak my mind. I don’t care anymore. I don’t care anymore. I don’t care what you say”.

I have nothing to lose, and everything to gain if I speak my mind. Because my mind holds my honest thoughts and truths, my truths about how I feel about your behaviour and the repurcussions it has had on my life and who I have become. By speaking my mind, I have unpicked the hurt, and healed from it and embodied the name Joysmith, as somene who finds joy from going through the hard times and being fashioned into a beautiful soul, in the heat of the furnace. I bided my time, but my waiting was futile, you went to your grave holding onto your lies and secrets.

“We never played by the same rules anyway. I won’t be there anymore. Get out of my way. Let me by I got better things to do with my time. I don’t care anymore.”

My rules were truth and honesty. I had better things to do, like go travelling in an effort to find myself. Emigrating to Australia was probably one of the best things I ever did in my life. I found out who I was, got to choose where I went, where I ate, what I ate. I discovered what I liked. Who knows what would have happened in my life if I had stayed in Oz, but life events brought me back to the UK. I had to nurse myself back from my grief. I too had my secrets. I never told you about Jack did I? Maybe if you had shared your secrets with me, I would have shared mine with you and opened up about my feeling s and emotions, but you just weren’t somebody I wanted to open up to, pure and simple, I don’t care anymore.

“Well I don’t care now what they say. Cos everyday I’m feeling fine with myself. And I don’t care what you say. Hey I’ll do alright by myself”

It has taken a lot of work, a lot of tears and tantrums dealing with the brain trauma and psychological trauma that your behaviour, decisions and reactions have had on me. Holli, your grand-daughter asked me the other day that she wished that I’d sorted it all out before she was born. I wish I had too, because I do care. I do care how my behaviour effects the people around me. I do care that I used to struggle to control my anger. I care enough to work on myself, to work on my adoptee adaption behaviours. I can only pray that Holli and I can discuss it, and she can work on herself, to heal the ancestral wounds, because I care enough that they end here and that they end now. We are working through them, slowly but surely.

Small Shoots of Recovery

“Cos I remember all the times I tried so hard. And you laughed in my face ‘cos you held all the cards. I don’t care anymore.”

All I really wanted from you was some information around how you and Tom met, you know like other children know where their parents met, what music was on the radio, your first date, that sort of thing. I get it that it was possibly over the tea urn in a psychiatric hospital. I get it, I really do. But you kept that all to yourselves didn’t you? No matter how hard I tried. I admit that I am now able to voice my requests more eloquently than I could in my 20’s. Back in my mid 20’s I was in the fog. I just didn’t know that such a thing existed. Looking at Phil in the youtube video I can see the anger in his face. Mine was angry too. I am happier now, less angry, more content. I now hope to help people navigate the fog, give them a road map out of it. If you’ve ever driven in fog you’ll know exactly what I mean. Signposts need to be literally right in front of your face before you see them. I’ve even set up a facebook group the Finding Joy Community. It’s just for adoptees who are ready to start, or continue their healing from their primal wound.

“And I really ain’t bothered what you think of me, Cos all I want of you is just let me be. I don’t care anymore. D’you hear? I don’t care no more. I don’t care what you say. I never did beleive you much anyway. I won’t be there no more. So get out of my way. Let me by. I got better things to do with my time.”

I really am not bothered what you think of me, you relinquished me. I am not sure if you stopped and thought about the letter that you wrote to the social worker. I came across it in my social file after you passed. Tony Pollock wasn’t interested in any child by another man and as you hadn’t even seen me, you were going to find it easier to let me go. So forgive me if I put as much effort in trying to hold onto you, as you did into holding onto me. So I will re-iterate again. I have better things to do with my life. I have a loving wonderful husband, and a beautiful daughter, your grand-daughter. I owe it to them to be the best that I can be. And now I have an adoptee family, the Flourish Family. They got me to look at some music and I identify with Phil Collins and so many of his songs as potential adoptee anthems for disatrous reunions.

I wish that things had been different between us, I wish I had the tools that I now have, back then. Things may have been so different. I maybe could have forged a relationship with you and Tom, better than we had. My recovery and acceptance of myself would no doubt have been hastened.

I do care, I care greatly. I care what your behaviour towards me, inflicted in me. I had a whole era of not caring. I am who I am. I have worked hard on learning to care for myself.

“I don’t care anymore. D’you hear me? I don’t care anymore. I don’t care no more. You listening? I don’t care no more, no more. No More!! You know I don’t care no more! No more, No more, No more, No more, No more No more”.

I have to admit to being quite relieved when I heard the news that you had died. No more could I put myself in the position to meet you, and have you fail to turn up, without any warning, triggering the abandonment feelings and emotions all over again. I could now start to look for myself and heal from something I didn’t know existed until recently, a primal wound.

I have learnt to take care of myself, investing financially in my own mental and physical health. I have to admit to not having taken a lot of time to look after myself physically recently, spending far too much time sitting and writing and far less time stretching and doing yoga. So I will sign off here and do some self-care.

If you are looking for some help in dealing with the issues that relinquishment and adoption have on your health and life, then please consider joining us in the Finding Joy Community We are not a group that helps you find birth parents. We are interested in helping you to find yourself.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Borderline Personality Disorder or Adoptee?

I came across a video on youtube where Dr Ramani was talking about borderline personality disorder (bpd) and how to recognise it from the 9 traits of it. Watching it I thought wow! This sounds so much like the traits of an adopted person.

There are the 9 traits according to Dr Ramani. You can listen to the full interview here.

She describes it as a disorder of instability and impulsivity. In relationships, moods and behaviour, and sense of self. OK how many adoptees reading this have already put their hands up as recognising themselves in that description?

A TREMENDOUS fear of ABANDONMENT! It cuts through the disorder. No shit Sherlock! Have you ever asked any of your clients that you are treating if they have actually been abandoned in their life, especially around day 1? Did they teach you anything at psych school about the primal wound? Have you read the Primal Wound? I totally recommend it for anyone seeing clients with what you are labelling as bpd. Have you ever asked the person that goes ape shit over someone being late for a dinner date what it’s like waiting for your mother to take you in her arms, but it never happens. Have you ever thought how a simple thing like someone turning up late could trigger that feeling. Although they cannot recall that memory, their body certainly remembers the feeling and so when they get triggered, then bam, they are reliving those feelings and emotions that they experienced at hour zero. OK rant over, I will now try and write without emotion and triggers and just write emotionless over the traits that Dr Ramani calls bpd, which I prefer to call “adoptee functioning”.

  1. Fear of Abandonment: real or perceived. A sense of self fulfilling prophesy when someone leaves you.
  2. Unstable and Intense inter-personal relationships. Relationships have a roller coaster feel to them.
  3. Identity Disturbance: Doesn’t know who they are. Changes appearance, hair colouring, tattoos dress style. Multiple personality identity.
  4. Impulsivity: Acting without thinking of consequences. Bingeing, addiction, act out in the moment. Using substances to soothe, not addressing the issue. “Don’t want to feel this way”.
  5. Suicidal Behaviour: thoughts or attempts. Response to inner pain they cannot manage. Uses threats to keep relationships.
  6. Affective Instability: fluctuating moods. Tidal wave of emotion, express it openly, cannot inhibit it. Over react to everything in their environment.
  7. Chronically Feels Empty: Struggles to feel whole. A hollow shell or drum. Psychological skeleton is missing.
  8. Inappropriate or Intense Shows of Anger: Frustrated by small things, quick to throw things, and be intense. feels everything, really really thin skin. Everyone walks on eggshells. Regretful after anger, continues the abandonment cycle, suicidal thoughts, an emotional loop.
  9. Transient Stress Induced Paranoid Idealation: Under stress, may experience paranoid experiences. “Everyone’s out to get me” Symptoms of dis-associtation “Act like a child”

To get a diagnosis of BPD, you require 5 out of the 9 traits according to Dr Ramani. Well I don’t know about any other adoptees who are reading this, but I would say this is pretty typical behavior of someone who has experienced being relinquished at birth, and it is the way that adoptees function, rather than it being dysfunctional. If professionals understood the psychological trauma that Paul Sunderland speaks about in his Addiction and Adoption lectures, adoptees might get the right type of support that they need. Support them to help them come to terms with their relinquishment.

I am going to re-label Borderline Personality Disorder as Adoptee Adaptive Personality, caused by relinquishment and will explain my reasons in a later post.

If you recognise these behaviour traits in yourself or someone close to you, then please come and join the Finding Joy Community on Facebook. We hope to offer help in recognising these situations and how you can help yourself to come to terms with the issues that adoption can cause.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

3 Men and a Baby, or Two

I came across this article on facebook yesterday and read it and cannot believe the naivety behind the behaviour of all involved.

I would like to start out by saying I do not understand the circumstances in the US with birth certificates and adoptions. When a child is adopted, it’s legal status changes from it’s birth family being legally responsible, to the family that has adopted the child. That doesn’t take from the fact, that the birth parents “gave birth” along with supplying genetic material, cultural history and roots, for said child to root itself in society. Adopted families often fail to aknowledge this, and it is the most common reason for angst amongst my adoptee friends. Let’s call it what it is, an adoption certificate, it is not a certificate of birth. However for the sake of this post and going with what goes on in the US, I will go along with it.

So in this article, 3 men are applauding themselves for doing such a grand job of convincing a judge to name all three of them on a “birth certificate”. Not one of these men supplied the sperm for the subsequent child that was born. One of them did happen to have a friend who had spare embryos from IVF treatment that, and I quote, “they weren’t going to use” as if they were a three for two offer and they had excess veg that they gave to a neighbour rather than waste. So “with the help of a surrogate, their first child was born”. So not only is none of the three the gentic material, they then used a surrogate to incubate the baby, who was then relinquished, from the only world it knew, with it’s mother’s voice, it’s mother’s heartbeat and it’s mothers’ footsteps, to be relinquished to these three men.

At the surrogacy hearing, one of the parents, “Jenkins” said “It was like having ice water thrown on them” when the judge said that they couldn’t have what they wanted. Well Jenkins, I can tell from experience that what you have done to Piper, your child, is throw ice water over them, whilst shining a mega torch in their new born eyes, whilst banging a drum right next to their delicate hearing system, all at the same time, to your precious child. That is exactly how I describe what happened to me at birth, and even though I cannot recall it, my soul remembers it just as I described.

What a pity the judge didn’t turn round and tell you to grow up and that you can’t always get what you want. What a pity she didn’t insist that you read the Primal Wound or watch Paul Sunderland’s video on Adoption and Addiction.

The article goes on to say “If you’ve ever seen a court room drama where the innocent person gets off in the end – it was like that”. Sorry boys, but the only innocent in this, is the child, and you all acted like it was your right to get your three names on a piece of paper which totally disregards your child’s genetics, roots, culture, all the things that give us identity into who we are.

The men go on “We didn’t want media attention at the time”. Now they have a book due to be published in March, so they’re capitalising on their ground breaking decision now. The men are planning on being on the same page and have a consistent parenting style when their “Oldest has a tantrum like a reactor breaking down in Chernobyl. How much time for a time out” they ask?

I ask, no, I implore, that you do some reading to understand what you may have done to trigger your child to have a tantrum. Time out is really not the answer guys. Giving your child a time out is like the abandoning experience all over again for them. Your child expected to be placed in it’s mothers’ arms, but that expectation was not met, so when your child expects a soda and you give them milk you have not met their expectation – expect a major tantrum as the only way they have of dealing with it as a toddler. Doing time out is only going to reinforce that life is not good, it is not ok, and abandonment is never far away. Instead what your child needs is understanding, compassion, a hug when you think they deserve it the least.

You asked if the parent needs help or is (their behaviour) adding fuel to the fire? Please do your reading and research now. I am sure you love your children and they will love you in return, but love is not all it takes. Please read the books that are out there, from an adoptees perspective to try and see the world from your children’s point of view. Only then can you consider yourself Wise Men and consider the consequences that your actions may have on the health and wellbeing of your children.

Thank you for reading. This post is my own opinion in reaction to the article that was published on LGBTQ Nation on 17th Feb 2021. Do you have a different opinion on it? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Adoptee Brain

Is it me or is there a strange energy in the air? It feels as though I may be about to have a big break through, get some clarity on a big issue that’s going on in my head. Or then again it could be the whole covie thing that is dragging on and on.

The full force of the adoptee brain has finally hit me. I don’t want to sound like a victim, but I am struggling and dealing with what it means to have an adoptee brain. I describe like this.

First of all I need to be the one initiating factual information. If you try and tell me something, the chances are I won’t retain it. It’s as if I haven’t allocated a receptacle in my brain in which to store the information. That channel wasn’t fired, for me to wire to. If I ask you for information, then I have opened up a file in my head, in which to store it, and it will be retained. I have a black or white approach. At times I feel as though I am on the autistic spectrum. If you send me an email with the subject line – Greetings – I will take it that it is an informal chat, catchy uppy type thing. If you include content which is requiring a formal reply, it is unlikely to receive the attention it deserves.

It all comes back to expectations. I expected to be placed in my mother’s arms. It didn’t happen. I expect the subject line to match the contents. When it doesn’t happen, I have an over exaggerated response in my brain, those firings have not made those wirings, and over the years, due to not having an understanding of the situation, I have continued to fire and wire in a brain traumatised way. It is only now that I am beginning to understand how big this is, and the effect it can have in my day to day interactions with others.

In the past few days, I have listened to Gregg Braden, as part of the Hay House Healing Summit. He reiterated the way of being grateful for all things, as if they have alreayd happened. Smell it, feel it, immerse yourself in the sensations of actually being healed. My therapy for today on Therapy Thursday. So my affirmation is:

I am grateful that my brain is wired to work efficiently in all circumstances. I am grateful for the firing and wiring in my brain that enables me to face all experiences equally regardless of whether or not they meet my expectations. I greet all experinces with love, empathy, compassion and humilty.

If you have experience of adoptee brain, I would love to hear how you deal with it. What have you found to help? Please drop them in the comments.

Join us in the Finding Joy Community on facebook and learn more about Finding Joy in your life.

Will It Be Auspicious? 12.02.2021

For some time now I have been working towards developing a platform for adoptees, to help them deal with the issues they have after having a psychological wound inflicted on them at or close to birth. What is known in the adoption cirlces as the Primal Wound. In the past few weeks I have been working with a business coach who has got me to focus on things and organised my thoughts and honed in on certain areas. Yesterday it was brand image.

This is what we designed.

We aim to provide a healing, nurturing, supportive place to provide a channel for adoptees to give them a voice to be heard.

The fonts we have used are a flowing one for “Finding Joy” to show it is a journey, and a bolder one for “Discover your True Self…” to show the move to being bolder and more strong in yourself.

The colours are healing colours. Blue for the colour of the throat chakra, the voice. Purple as a colour of healing and aligning to your higher self. Gold, because you’re worth it.

I hummed and hawed over the image. Lavendar versus Sunflowers. I took to asking on my facebook profile and in a couple of adoptee groups I am in. Sunflowers won, having been chosen over lavendar for this reason alone, (and many thanks to my facebook friend for this) “Sunflowers turn their face towards the sun and are robust and dont look back towards shadows 💛 they also turn and face each other . They are amazingly intelligent flowers.”

As an adoptee, this resonated with me so much. My aim is that we can build a community of people of adoptees, to get our voice heard in the adoption world. A community that will have a strong voice, to get our stories heard. We are amazingly intelligent and robust, when we learn to face the sun and not look back to the start in life we were given, where shadows formed.

I now need to set up all the other social media platforms including facebook, twitter, instagram, mewe, telegram.

If you are an adoptee, or the descendants of one, please come and join me in the Finding Joy Community

I would love to hear your thoughts on this venture? Please put them in the comments. I look forward to reading them.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Have You Met Your Real Mum?

This is a question that adoptees get asked, and I have to admit it divides the adoptee community, but hey ho, here’s my view on it. The best way to explain it is by using real life experiences, that happen on a regular basis.

I recently had a conversation with someone who I’ve known for a few years. Up until a few weeks ago they never knew I was adopted. Our conversations when we met, which were fairly regular, 3 or 4 times a year, would go like this:

Them: “Hi, How are you?”

Me: “I’m good thanks and you?”

Them: “I’m fine. How’s the family?”

Me: “Oh they’re fine. Mum’s 91, but she’s good for her age. Still independent. How’s the husband?”

Them: “Good we’re off on holiday next week.”

Now they’ve found out I’m adopted it goes like this:

Them: “Hi, How are you?”

Me: “I’m good thanks and you?”

Them: “I’m fine. How’s the family?”

Me: “Oh they’re fine. Mum’s 91, but she’s good for her age. Still independent. How’s the husband?”

Them: Is that your real mum, or………..?

So for those who don’t know me too well, here’s how I define the two women in my story who could be referred to as my real mum, and why I call one mum and not the other.

A mother: looks after, nurtures, tends to, through thick and thin, good and bad, for richer for poorer. She’s there when you’re screaming in the night with earache. She potty trains you, she purees food for you, she tempts you with chocolate to encourage your first steps across the room unaided. She boils the veg to within an inch of it’s life. She takes you to Bristol, 25 miles from your home, to buy your school uniform when you pass the 11+. Her own bodily offspring have not managed that, and go to the local school and their uniform can be bought in the local town. She buys her grand-daughter a teddy bear. One that at, 25 your daughter still cherishes.

Then there are womb incubators that once the baby is no longer attached to the tubing, leave you in a plastic casserole dish waiting to be chosen. That sounds harsh to some I know, but then I have read my social file.

You tell me which one is the real mother?

Blessings and Joy, Joy

A Whole Month of Belonging and Flourishing

Today is the last Sunday of the month and the first whole month of flourish is coming to an end. This months topic has been belonging, so what have I learnt?

Probably for the first time in my life I have felt a real sense of belonging in a group. From a diverse range of backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities and experiences, we come together, through the power of zoom, and under the guidance of Anne Heffron and Pam Cordano, to share our feelings around a common bond, that of being adopted. The content of our meetings is private and confidential, “What happens in flourish stays in flourish” as the saying goes, so I will only ever share my writings and my reflections of what comes up for me as a result of my weekly meeting. I am very grateful to belong to the group as it has made me ask questions of myself that I would never have asked. I have deepened my search within myself as part of the healing process and my Soul’s journey, and it has made me re-evaluate where I was spending my time and energy.

I have trimmed my facebook groups and connections over the past month, as so much energy was wasted shouting in an echo chamber. I can only change myself, so I have stopped sharing posts on certain topics and disconnected with people who share them. This is huge as adoptees hate goodbyes, and will normally do huge amounts of hanging on, long after the relationship is over, in an effort to not have to feel the sense of abandonment. So to be pro-active and take those steps is big. To abandon groups and people is something I am coming to realise needs to be done to preserve my energy.

I am now making connections and belonging to groups that I now chose to belong to, they are adoption support groups and writing groups. I am connecting to those that I feel I belong to. People who understand where I am coming from and are in the process of healing their own primal wound and supporting each other to flourish.

This post is part of the Flourish category. To read more check under categories for them all. Follow me to get my posts as soon as they are published.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Introducing Therapy Thursday

This post explains the Therapy Thursday category. I hope this will become a regular slot to help you Find Joy in your lives, naturally.

Over the years I have used many different natural methods to help heal my primal wound, caused by my relinquishment at birth. Some were easy, like using aromatherapy essential oils in a bath or burner, others not so pleasant, such as those therapies that made me dig deep inside myself to heal a festering wound. Then there were the ones inbetween, that were pleasant enough to receive but the healing cisis that they evoked was necessary, but not always pleasant.

Each Thursday I will bring you one aspect from my healing journey and share them with you.

This is not a comprehensive list but they will include:

Aromatherapy along with those oils I found helpful

McTimoney Chiropractic

CranioSacral Therapy

Sozo Healing

Counselling

Shiatsu

If you have a healing story to tell, on adoption, please get in touch and see your journey, here on this blog.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

60 Years Earthside

Today is my birthday. It is also the anniversary of my primal wound.

For some, the day they were born is celebrated by “It’s a Girl” cards and balloons, champagne bottles are cracked open, the baby’s head is wetted by father’s down the pub. Mum is showered with love, presents for the baby, rattles, dresses, you know the sort of thing. People rally round and leave pot dinners on the hob for Mum to eat when she has time.

And then there is us, the others, the adoptees. Our birth is heralded by a flurry of activity in the social services department, doing paperwork to get signed off, making decisions about our future, that will affect us our whole lives. This activity is shrouded in shame. These babies have a wound inflicted on them, a wound so deep that for years they are totally unaware that it is there. Each experience in life is a reflection of that wound, but, unaware of it’s existence, they are seen as weird, not fitting in, out of place, ungrateful, distant, loners. They hear other children’s families discuss with their children telling them that they have the Redger’s nose, or the Maskell chin. That conversation is not in your memory bank, because who know’s who you take after? You have no idea who’s nose or chin you have, or who you resemble the most. Do you look like your mother or your father, or a combination of both?

The adoptee grows up not knowing who they really are. Trying to fit in with a family that does not have a hole that is shaped for them to fit into. Instead they have to become shape-shifters. A family has been assigned to them, by an outside source. In the UK that was generally social services or the church. As I read more around the subject of adoption I have come to realise that there is a whole industry out there that is in the business of adoption. It doesn’t make easy reading.

But back to today and my birthday and attempting to celebrate 60 years Earthside.

Having a birthday on 5th January, so close to Christmas and New Year celebrations, I rarely felt like doing much and during my early adulthood, nobody had any money left to do anything anyway, as payday was still a long way off. Perfect excuse as an adoptee not to celebrate, or to keep it small. I have in recent years tried to rectify that and make more of an occassion of the day, in an effort to please my daughter and husband, who I have to admit, have seen some pretty awful behaviour from me on January 5th over the years. Maybe I’ll ask them to do a post on it themselves, shall I? “The adoptee’s daughter’s advice to children of adoptee’s. What not to do or say on your parent’s birthday.”

One January 5th I was in the Caribbean, on a quiet corner of the ship on my birthday. Think that was 2015.

2017 I was in Jamaica for the day, on another cruise, this one with my daughter, on our way to NYC for her 21st. In Jamaica we zip-wired across the forest and went down a river in a rubber tyre. I learnt that in Jamaica they don’t have problems, just situations.

2018 I was in Aviemore, Highlands of Scotland.

2019 I was in Prague.

A few photos of recent 5th Januarys.

So I have learnt to celebrate my birthday, maybe not look forward to it as such, but allow myself to be part of the day and make happy memories for those around me, which is always a select few people who love me, generally just my husband. For my 60th I had planned on being in the South China Sea, on a sun lounger in a quiet space on the Diamond Princess, having enjoyed a cruise around the South China Sea, visiting places such as Vietnam, Hong Kong and the Philippines, amongst the places we would have stopped in port and explored.

Instead I am curled up on my sofa, in my PJs allowing myself to feel loved for once.

Today is not a day for situations, but a day for celebrating with Joy.

Thank you for bearing with me. If you would like to read more, then please follw this blog and follow my progress as I come to terms and heal from my wound.