Please Stop Telling Adopted People to be Thankful – and 9 Reasons We Don’t Need to Be


As an adopted child, I’ve heard every ridiculous comment about adoption you can think of.  My whole life, I’ve had to navigate awkward conversations, questions I didn’t have answers for, being called names like “bastard”, and being asked why my mom didn’t want me.

But the worst one?  The most cutting one?  When people tell me I should be thankful.

Recently I had two family members on different occasions rebuke me for speaking out about my lack of intimate relationship with my mom.  One of their reasons they used to try to silence me?  I should “be more thankful” that my parents saved me.  Because, you know, adopting me was so selfless and sacrificial, and that should nullify any hurt or negative feelings I had or have.  I’m not showing my thankfulness very well if I am open and honest about my childhood.

But the sad thing is, this attitude isn’t just from family members who are upset about me sharing.  I’ve heard this same sentiment expressed from various places my whole life.

It’s an attitude that needs to stop.  It is hurtful and damaging to an area where there was already so much damage done.  Being adopted is a damn hard road for those of us who walk it, and we don’t need it to be any harder.

So here are 9 reasons why adoptees don’t need to be thankful:

1. Our lives began with major loss.

As adoptees, we experienced major loss at a very young age; we lost our mothers, our chance at a secure attachment, and often times we also lost a sibling or siblings.  Can you imagine as an adult losing all the people that matter most to you, in one foul swoop?  Never mind for that to happen when you were a vulnerable, innocent infant?  Can you imagine if someone were to take you away from everyone and everything you know, and put you in a group of strangers and told you this is where you’ll live now?

But we should be thankful for this?

2. We had to become someone else.

I don’t care who you are, your heritage and your genetics matter.  They are part of who you are.  As adoptees, all of that gets erased the minute we are adopted.  All of a sudden, we have to assume a new identity; we are often given a new name, a new family, a new heritage to take on as our own.  Often there is no more mention of our heritage or our family of origin.  Our genetic makeup, our geneology, and our cultural background is lost and forgotten, and we are given a replacement set of those things that we must accept and become.

But we should be thankful for this?

3. Information about our past is hidden or kept from us.

This one is not always the case, but in my case this is true, and for lots of others.  My adoptive parents knew that I had Indigenous and Scandinavian roots.  They knew I had an older sister.  They knew my birth mom had brown hair and brown eyes and had a small, slight frame (just like me), and they knew she had an aptitude for art and language (like I do too).  They knew my name was “Melissa Joan Carlson” when I was born.

That information belonged to me, not them.  Yet, they hid it from me.  I never got the privilege of knowing that my skills and talents were genetic, that I bore a striking resemblance to my mom, and that – above all – I had a sister somewhere out there.  Growing up with 5 older brothers, I always dreamed of having a sister.  But I was never allowed the right of knowing any of that.  I remember dreading the “Family Tree” unit that would come every year in school, because my true heritage was taken from me, and without apology.  I didn’t know where I came from, and that is an unsettling feeling.  Giving us a replacement family tree and a fake heritage doesn’t fix it.  We live like imposters being told who we are supposed to be.

But we should be thankful for this?

4. We often grow up in a culture of shame.

My parents hid the fact that I was adopted.  They did tell me, so I give them kudos for that at least.  But very few people beyond those that were around when I showed up at 15 months old ever knew I was adopted (and I attribute that amount of honesty to the fact that they had to explain my appearance somehow!).  And that’s the way they wanted it.  I was told it was better if people didn’t know; I would simply get hurt and people wouldn’t understand.  They said they were protecting me, but I know it was themselves they were protecting.  But I complied, trusting their word.  If people know I am adopted, they won’t like me.  Tell me – do you hide those things you’re proud of, or the things you’re ashamed of?  I didn’t have words to put to it, but it created a deep sense of shame within me to know it was a taboo subject.  If it was something to be hidden, it must be bad.  I must be bad.  I carried that burden for many, many years.

On top of that, I was never allowed to talk about it or ask questions even at home.  I remember having questions burning in my heart, but I knew they weren’t welcome.  In fact, even as an adult, my husband made the mistake of asking my parents what my original name had been – to which he received a sharp kick in the knee under the table from my brother, and an explanation afterwards that “we don’t talk about that”.  The indignant looks on my parents’ faces were a harsh reminder of the silencing and the psychological and emotional abuse I had endured growing up regarding my adoption.

But we should be thankful for this?  

5. Our birth mothers (where we come from) are often shed in bad light.

There is an assumption that if a woman gives up a child for adoption, they obviously weren’t fit to be a good mother.  And that assumption may be true in some situations, though certainly not all.  But to shed a child’s birth mother, where they came from, in a bad light is not only selfish, but damaging to a child’s identity.  How do you think it feels to have someone assume you came from a prostitute or a whore?  How do you think that affects the heart of a vulnerable child when you speak with disgust about the woman who bore the child you are now privileged to raise?  Growing up, I never once heard a positive word spoken about my birth mom.  Never once did we pray for her, talk about what a brave thing she did, or how much she might miss me.  We hardly talked about her at all, and the things that were said were hushed whispers about what a screw up she must have been.  Children aren’t idiots – when you talk about where we came from in that way, it affects them.

But we should be thankful for this?

6. Lots of adoptive parents lack the tools to deal with the issues an adopted child might face.

This is especially true, I think, for those adoptees who are now adults.  (I believe, and hope, these things have started to change.)  My parents had an attitude that they would just bring me home, raise me like my brothers, and all would turn out fine.  They never sought out courses on parenting adopted children, on attachment issues, or reached out for help or counsel in any capacity.  In fact, I would even say there was an arrogance displayed there; an attitude of knowing how to raise kids already, because they had done this 5 times before.  I was expected to just adapt, and to never have issues.  But I did have issues; of course I did!  My birth mom had given me up, I had spent time bouncing around foster homes, I was neglected and physically sick for that time, I probably had trauma behaviours, and I was suddenly put in a family and expected to simply adapt.

And on top of all of that, I knew I was not to bring any of it up.  That hole in my heart was never given a voice; it just continued festering through my childhood, until I finally was able to seek help and healing once I was outside of my parents’ care.  So when people say, “but they did the best they could”, I don’t really agree.  And if that really was the best, it doesn’t mean it was good enough.  And it doesn’t mean they did right by me.  And it doesn’t mean I came out unscathed.  They never sought help, asked for support, read parenting books, or even admitted they didn’t know what they were doing raising an adopted child.

But we should be thankful for this?

7. Our adoptive parents are made out to be selfless saints.

Let’s face it – how good do you feel when you are the subject of pity?  How wanted would you feel if someone asked you out on a date and then told it they did it as a humanitarian effort?  As adopted children, we are often made out to be some charity case, and that is not okay.  Adopted parents wanted children, just like biological parents did.  No one fawns over a biological parent and tells that what a selfless act it was to procreate and bring a child into the world who wouldn’t have been otherwise.  So why would we do that to a adoptive parent?  People do it because adopted children are made out to be unwanted; praising adoptive parents perpetuates this attitude.  (And an even worse step is, “Oh, good for you.  But I could never do it.”  I won’t even touch on that one.)

Another sad reality is that a lot of children are being adopted by the very people who are looking for this attention.  Healthy parents are always looking to pour out of themselves into their children, and aren’t looking to get something back.  Often times, with adoption, a mother (or father, but often it’s the mother) adopts to fill a need.  (In my case, it was a need for a daughter, but it can also be a need to look good in the public eye, or to seek praise or recognition.)  Right from the get-go, this is a dangerous situation; it was never my job to fill a need for my mom.  But not only was I supposed to fill a need, and be the perfect little princess for her (my identity was taken away and I was made to be who she wanted me to be), but she gets praised for being a selfless saint for adopting me.  So this act that appears so selfless to some people, is actually the opposite, and creates further damage to the heart of the adopted child.

But we should be thankful for this?  

8. I would still exist if I hadn’t have been adopted.

The truth is, if my family wouldn’t have adopted me, another family would have.  Perhaps even a family that was healthier!  Of course, maybe a family that was more dysfunctional could have adopted me.  We’ll never know.  But the point is, I still would have had life without my adoptive parents “saving me”.  Biological children don’t feel the need to thank their parents for conceiving them, do they?  For “saving” them from the plight of non-existence?  Are biological children told they should be thankful their parents had some hot sex that one night and got pregnant with them?  No!  And in fact, if any child should be thankful, it’s the one who wouldn’t even exist unless their parents had fornicated at that exact moment.  I don’t go around telling people to remember to be grateful their dad and mom had intercourse and his sperm fertilized her egg, because they wouldn’t be here without that.  That’s ridiculous.  It’s just as ridiculous for anyone to expect an adopted child to live in a forever state of gratitude because someone took pity on them.

But we should be thankful for this?

9. We are talked about like we are stray dogs that someone took in.

One common theme that runs through all of these points, is that they all come from an attitude that adopted children are unwanted.  No one sees adoption as a humanitarian effort unless you see it through the lens of “nice family takes in poor, unwanted child”.  If we were to see it as, “family gets privilege of raising and learning from this child, and growing into a mutual love and bond” (and I’ve seen this attitude in adoptive families, so I know it exists), people wouldn’t say these things and hold these attitudes.  It doesn’t feel good to be looked at this way, especially when we already have other heart issues to work with.  Don’t add to it.

But we should be thankful for all of this?


Please stop telling us to be thankful.

We shouldn’t be pressured into being thankful for things that non-adopted kids aren’t pressured into being thankful for.

And for the record: I’m not thankful that I was placed in a home that not only didn’t recognize my unique needs, but ignored them and then used them against me when I did start speaking up.  I’m not thankful that my being adopted is used as a means to manipulate me into allowing poor treatment of myself and my family, and then to silence me about it.  I’m not thankful that I am told that putting up healthy boundaries isn’t showing gratitude like I should be.

So no – I’m not thankful for any of that.

But you know what I am thankful for?

I’m thankful that in the midst of brokenness, God was there.  And still is.

I’m thankful that it was never His plan for me to be hurt or damaged.

I’m thankful that He had a will and a way for my heart to be healed, and that he put people in my life who support that path.

I’m thankful that I’ve been able to find ME – the real me.  I’m thankful to discover my heritage, my past, and my birth siblings.  I’m thankful for the parts of me that have been woken up, and to see how much genetics do play a part in who we are.  I’m thankful that after years of missing this, I now have people in my life who are related to me by blood, and that we can compare looks and mannerisms and quirks.  I never had that growing up.  I am thankful for it!

I’m thankful that my brokenness as a child has helped me become the mom that I am.  I am thankful for the redemption I’ve found in parenting, that I can be the mother I never had.  Sure, I make mistakes, but I am thankful I learned to hear my kids, validate their feelings, own what I’ve done, and ask for forgiveness.  I am thankful I am able to do for them what my little heart screamed for as a child.

I am thankful when I see adoptive families who do this differently.  I find hope to see adopted kids’ needs be acknowledged and met.  I am thankful to see adoptive parents seek support and knowledge, and put their kids’ well-beings above their need to be praised or thanked.

I am thankful for a husband who has loved and accepted me in my mess.  Who has held me as I’ve cried.  Who’s listened for hours when I’ve had revelations about the past, or pulled back a new layer of my heart.  Who has bore the most brunt of my woundedness, but loved me anyways.  Who is on the same page as me and wants to grow as a person too.

And you know what?  I am thankful for my adoptive family.  I’m not thankful for the reasons I’ve been told I need to be, but I am thankful.  God turns all things for good, and He has certainly kept His promise.

Lastly, I’m thankful to have found my voice and courage to speak up, even in the face of pressure to stay silent and keep things hidden, so that others can hear the truth and find support and freedom we all need.  I would be even more thankful if I knew these words resonated with someone and helped them, which is what my heart truly is.


Please feel free to share if this resonated with you,

or you feel someone would benefit from hearing this!


* I suspect already this post will receive some heat, either to my face or behind my back.  I have been told that to speak out when you’re not reconciled with people involved is not okay.  Here are my thoughts on that:  1) Reconciliation only occurs when both parties will acknowledge and validate the others’ feelings, take responsibility for hurts both ways, ask for forgiveness, and then change future behaviour.  All of those things have to happen for true reconciliation to take place.  2) If the door has been open for that to happen, and it has not been walked through, it is no longer my responsibility.  My openness is my responsibility; I am not responsible to make other people open to this.  And truthfully, it may never happen, so my life needs to continue regardless.  3) I am not going to hinge the fate of my calling on someone else’s life choices.  4) These actions were wrong the moment they happened, not the moment I decided to share about them.  5) It is not my job to protect anyone, but it WAS their job to protect me, and that didn’t happen.   6) This is the most important one to me: I have been inspired, changed, challenged, renewed, healed, and encouraged by the stories other people have taken the courage to share.  A lot of those stories were shared in the absence of reconciliation (because then it would hinge on other people taking part), but in the presence of pure motives and a heart for those who would read it.  It is a risk, for sure.  But I’m diving in.  And above all, I care more about what God has called me to do, then what other people think.  I will not allow the enemy to shut my mouth to the things God has called me to open it about.  He is my refuge, even when the storm rages. 

39 thoughts on “Please Stop Telling Adopted People to be Thankful – and 9 Reasons We Don’t Need to Be

  1. cjhauch February 16, 2018 / 7:16 PM

    Well said, Sarah. ❤️.

    Sent from my iPhone



    • theabundantlife February 17, 2018 / 8:06 AM

      Thank you Jane. 💕 I feel the light needs to be shone in the darkness, and the darkness needs to flee.


    • Lynette April 25, 2018 / 9:13 PM

      Thankyou that was very good and I know wonder how my sister in law who was adopted in 1971 has felt all those years I have asked her about her feelings but zi can say that she didn’t find her mother until after her death we found her and it was the best thing to ever have happened as it bought her children into our family she did how ever ask if she could go visit her mothers final resting place with her children I will say that Maree was the youngest of 4 adopted children and that her mother never spoke of her she gave me some clues when I was expecting my first child the first grandchild when she made some comments about having had 5 kids which made me wonder as I only ever knew Of her having 3 kids 1 which we know know died at 2 yrs old so when I read your story my thought turned to Maree I know one thing that giving up her child was painful and wasn’t what she wanted but her own mother forced her into to giving away her baby and at the time she was raising my husband and his sister. As a single mother so thanks for opening my eyes


      • EmpowerTheDaughters July 5, 2018 / 1:33 PM

        Thank Lynette – as adoptees, we can only open the eyes of those who are willing to have them opened! Thanks for being ond of those. I bet your sister-in-law appreciates having someone who gets her. It’s important!


  2. Debbie February 16, 2018 / 11:19 PM

    Thank you. You’ve spoken for so many of us.


    • theabundantlife February 17, 2018 / 8:07 AM

      Thank you for your kind words Debbie. I’m glad to know I’m not alone and that this resonates with others.


  3. maryleesdream February 17, 2018 / 7:57 AM

    Wow, wow wow. You have summed up my life and feeling so well! If only society would listen to us, but they really don’t care how adopted people feel.
    We are treated as merchandise, and no one want to hear how the merchandise feels.

    Thanks for this.


    • theabundantlife February 17, 2018 / 8:06 AM

      Thanks for stopping by and for your comment! That is exactly it – no one wants to hear these things because we are just supposed to be thankful and not talk about the bad parts.


  4. Samantha Franklin February 17, 2018 / 10:58 AM

    Beautifully written. ..thank you from an adoptee sister.


  5. Karen medcoff February 17, 2018 / 12:10 PM

    Both of my sons were ripped away room me at the ages of 8 and 2. They were separated and lied to. Both were drugged into compliance. My oldest cannot function well in the real world. My youngest was forced to sleep on the back porch for 2 years rain shine snow and heat. He ha pneumonia and they didn’t care, because he want “their son”. His actually recovering quite well. He left a week before his 18th birthday.


    • theabundantlife February 17, 2018 / 12:27 PM

      I am really sorry to hear that Karen. That is so tough. People need to hear these stories. Adopted children are already vulnerable and so often receive poor treatment on top of it. I’m glad your one son is doing well, and I pray your older son is surrounded by supporting, loving people.


  6. Steve Petry February 17, 2018 / 1:27 PM

    Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing your hurt. I’m an adoptive father. I was 33 and my wife was 39 when we adopted our son in 1983. I was in seminary at the time preparing for the Pastorate. My wife and I were oblivious to the hurt and pain experienced by our son and other adoptees. It was a closed adoption and we were told that the birth mother wanted to remain anonymous. He has always known he was adopted and we never hid it from people in our relationships. In the last decade or so I’ve learned so much about the abandonment and identity issues surrounding adoption and some of the abuses perpetrated on birth mothers. I grew up with an alcoholic abusive father and have had to work on my own ACOA issues including rejection and abandonment. I’ve encouraged my son to search for his biological parents and offered to assist him in any way. I think it would really help him but he is resistant.


    • theabundantlife February 17, 2018 / 1:54 PM

      Hi Steve, thanks for stopping by and for the kind words.

      It is hard road for sure, and sounds like you are constantly growing to be more aware and in tune. The big thing is you haven’t silenced him or tried to erase his experience, his past, or his feelings. Interesting how you are learning through your own hurts too. Good for you for doing this hard work that is “heart surgery”.

      I also know adoptees who haven’t and don’t want to search for their bio parents. I do feel it answered a lot of questions for me. Maybe one day he will be ready, but the big thing is, he has your support. That’s huge.


  7. ladycrookback February 17, 2018 / 1:59 PM

    As a disabled person so much of this resonates me that i will be shortly writing my own blog post! Thank you.

    I’m not an adoptee or an adoptive parent I’m one of those who was faced with forced adoption of my child if I did not have a forced abortion. We later miscarried but very early in the pregnancy a Dr I had only met once before who was disablist, ignorant and narrow minded forced me to think about having my child (should she survive – as I a disabled parent already knew not everyone does!) adopted amd our research into how common this is was quite disturbing.
    In the UK huge numbers of children taken -usually at birth or soon after from parents with disabilities who want to keep them but are overruled by a disablist, dated system that claims ‘adoption is a last resort’ but which begins with a basic lack of knowledge of what being disabled might mean, and an unwillingness to put funding or support into finding out or working with us (we are told, “if you work with them you might be allowed” but are asked to work with people whose beliefs about disability still include chestnuts like “they might drop the baby”/”not know to not shake the baby” “how will they get the baby down the stairs?” (yes I do know not to shake a baby, I have two degrees and did Child Development Studies. Ther are things called ‘stairlifts’ The stats don’t support that reality – when UK Social Services stats show NO numbers for disabled children adopted unwillingly ‘mental health’ or ‘health’ are cited and thats…it. So rarely do disabled people get their children back that a judge who did ‘award’ custody to a disabled parent remarked on the rarity. Unlike parents with an addiction, soiciety deems we can never be ‘cleaned’ of our impairments or mental illness and individuals carry so much prejudice and folk memory of accepted institutionalisation -of us and our children- that such decisions over our heads are seen as ‘for the best’ and anything we might have to say is overridden. Yet adoption is portrayed as this wonderful, magical scenario with no downsides.

    Growing up I knew adoption was closed to me on “medical grounds” and at 40 with a husband of 54 it is frustrating that any change comes too late and in any case much of that is based on a tokeniust image of ‘the disabled parent who overcomes barriers and ‘even’ adopts, the the physically disabled queer, white, T4 paraplegic is headhunted and told post accident that they can have kids or adopt. The rest of us have a different story. Much darker. There was no internet to tell me internalised prejudice was real injustice and certainly noithing to prepare my non-disabled husband for the acute distress of actually being told, “abort or we will take your baby away. I was tougher because I had heard stories about this, even though I expected they were the tip on the iceberg and knew I was _not_ paranoid preparing him was impossible – he’d never lived through prejudice first hand until he stood there while they handed me the papers for a termination while i told them, “No” over and over.

    I meet disabled people all the time who have actually gone through forced abortions, or forced adoptions of much wanted children and can’t or won’t speak about it outside our tiny circle of shame. Adopted child… WE are the ‘unfit mothers’ you have been lied about, WE are the staistics baldy described as ‘mental illness’ or ‘health issues’ or ‘brain damage’ but never discussed in depth by professionals or adopted families. WE are the mothers you secretly hoped would find you and be strong enough for you to accept you as you are in ways society or adopted families didn’t. I am the mixed bag of impefections you had to feel ‘grateful’ you were spared, the genetics and talents that your parents put together to make you a reflection of a family, a history, a culture, a past. We are both fractured from that past because we did not fit what a ‘family’ is supposed to be, because _our_ families said we were too different to them to to be worthyto keep you. We are the other side of your lonliness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theabundantlife February 18, 2018 / 8:15 PM

      Wow, that sounds so hard. Thank you for sharing. Your story brought tears to my eyes, and your last paragraph got me right in the gut. It is hard. You are and were worthy of being a mother. ❤


  8. Angie February 17, 2018 / 3:18 PM

    Beautifully, well written, heartfelt , emotionally charged essay on something so dear to your heart. You are obviously a very strong lady & I’m so glad you have your own family & have made contact with your bio-family. I admire your strength to speak out . God Bless you & your husband as you raise your own children!!


    • theabundantlife February 17, 2018 / 4:57 PM

      Thank you for your sweet words and encouragement, Angie! 💕 It has been a journey but God’s hand is very evident in it all as I’ve changed and grown. Thank you so much! My kids are the best people I know and teach me so much. 💕💕💕


  9. Maria February 17, 2018 / 6:38 PM

    This is an interesting read, although I’ve had a great experience as an adoptee, my heart breaks for anyone who has not.
    It’s not easy finding yourself and struggling with identity, but I can imagine it is a nightmare when there’s little or no support.
    I was adopted into a family where there were five biological siblings, so I was ‘the outsider’ (my term, nobody else’s and the only person who made me feel like that was me, as I struggled with questions and understanding my place in the world), but my adoptive parents are wonderful people and I wouldn’t change them for the world.
    I’ve met my birth mother and two of my birth siblings, making connections isn’t easy, but I’ve tried to accept that it is what it is, it’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination but I try.

    I do hope that anyone who has gone through a dreadful experience has someone to talk to or at least, someone who is there to listen

    I feel I belong to a huge adopted family throughout the world where we all have one thing in common, we were given away

    Lots of love to you all xx


    • theabundantlife February 17, 2018 / 7:37 PM

      Thanks for the comment Maria!

      I’m glad you had a good experience.

      I also was adopted into a family with 5 siblings (al boys). For me, it wasn’t crazy horrors or anything, but a lack of knowledge and never allowing me to speak or feel what I needed to. Many adoptive parents don’t ask, and don’t seek therapy for themselves and their children to help make it better. I wasn’t allowed to struggle, and am still not. They just don’t want to hear it and then gaslight me if I do bring any of it up (make me out like I’m crazy or question the truth of it). There sure is a spectrum of experiences out there! Sounds like you have support and that is key! Thanks so much for sharing your story. We definitely need to stick together and find support in one another. 💕


  10. Jennifer February 18, 2018 / 6:55 PM

    Everything you said is 100% my experience as well. From the name change, to diminishing my heritage and making it all about being saved from that life. It’s the worst most intense pain and for most of my life would have taken physical pain over all this.

    But God, my Heavenly Father had a plan for me. And He gave me the life He wanted for me. He knew the plans for me and didn’t want to see me hurting. And it’s taken all my life and is still a journey. I do know and love my Heavenly Father and that makes it easier.

    I hope and pray for all adoptees out there that we can come together and give support. This is a life a non adopted person will ever comprehend.

    Thank you for sharing. Anyone please feel free to join me on Twitter to keep in touch. I welcome that please.


    • theabundantlife February 18, 2018 / 8:12 PM

      Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer! It is definitely not easy. I am also so glad for His plan for me, and that in the midst of hard things, He is my redemption.


  11. Alison February 18, 2018 / 11:54 PM

    Thank you so much for writing this. I am a prospective adoptive parent. I sometimes wonder why the process is taking so long and then I read an article like yours and I remember how much I can still learn during the wait. I am grateful for every adult adoptee who shares their story. Don’t stop. 😊


    • theabundantlife February 19, 2018 / 11:03 AM

      Thank you, Alison, for your encouragement! It sounds like you are on the right track if you are willing to hear and validate the feelings and experiences of adoptees. It certainly can be done well, and education and being open and aware are key to that – and I am encouraged to hear you searching those things out. Blessings on your journey and in your waiting period.


    • theabundantlife February 19, 2018 / 7:32 PM

      Thanks for coming by! It is all too true for too many of us. And thanks for sharing your voice too! I’m excited to read!


  12. Linda February 19, 2018 / 3:03 PM

    Thanks for sharing your truth. Natural mom here. Never heard the term “unwanted baby” until after surrendered. It was one of the first things to show me I had been conned. He was wanted as much as any baby. But no ring on my finger meant everyone turned away. It is painful to read adoptee’s truth. But it is a good pain because it helps clean out an old festering wound. It shows me that trusting others was a horrible mistake but that is both painful and freeing. But the illusion of choice in the matter was only an illusion. They knew how to use our love for our baby against us. Also turns out the female adopter was not superior to me in every way. Instead her wants have always come before his needs and he is almost 47. I have been able to forgive myself a little. Interesting from my end people say but you made a couple happy isn’t that enough? No, it isn’t. He wasn’t a consolation prize. And his needs were what counted not theirs or mine. I got scammed by thinking ripping my heart out was for his benefit. I’ve learned nice, church people can have their own agenda. Would not have survived without prayers and other mothers and adoptees speaking truth.

    Liked by 2 people

    • theabundantlife February 19, 2018 / 7:34 PM

      Wow Linda. I so appreciate your voice in this. How difficult this must have been and is still for you. And you’re right – a child isn’t about making someone happy. That’s sick. And so sad when it happens from people who are supposed to be followers of Christ. I’m glad you have found support through this. You are the other half of this wound that needs healing. 💕


  13. Jennifer February 19, 2018 / 4:59 PM

    “Are biological children told they should be thankful their parents had some hot sex that one night and got pregnant with them?”

    If you’re raised among hardcore “pro-lifers”, then you’re told from birth that you owe your parents for “keeping you”. And what you owe them is your bodily autonomy. Your body belongs to your husband and God, and they should feel free to destroy your body and mind with unwanted pregnancy after unwanted pregnancy. Women aren’t people. Your parents might love and support you, but they will never see you as a person, only as a vessel.

    The difference is that, outside of the tiny minority of anti-birth-control extremists, the rest of society doesn’t support this level of dehumanization of women (not that we live in a paradise of equality, here in the US). It must be very hard not to ever be able to break out of that bubble.


    • theabundantlife February 19, 2018 / 7:37 PM

      I am definitely pro-life, but I do think that means more than just making a woman carry a baby to term. I think the best option is for women to gain support to be mothers. It is a super complex issue with no fast answers. I feel my body is my own, and even though I am pro-life, we have been careful to prevent unwanted pregnancies (which isn’t that hard if you are diligent). So I’ve never felt I am just a vessel for children.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. mwsrwritings May 24, 2018 / 9:26 AM

    My adoption…
    My adoption is not like you see in movies or the happy stories you read in books. It left me broken. It has been a hard journey trying to make a life for me in my adulthood, versus my childhood, but slowly I am trying. Thanks for your article, it shows we are never alone, there is others with similar stories.


  15. Ellisha July 18, 2018 / 10:32 PM

    I love this SO much!!! I love my adoptive family, but I hate being adopted. There is a complicated difference. My mom told me I had to be grateful I am adopted and it stung. Still does. As a Christian I am thankful for life and my family. As a teen and as an adoptee I struggle with being grateful my birthmom left me. This was an amazing read, it resonated so much. Can you do more adoption articles?


    • EmpowerTheDaughters July 20, 2018 / 9:00 AM

      Hi Ellisha! I am so glad you are here, and I’m glad this resonated with you.

      You’re right – it is such a complicated thing. We lost our mothers, our families, our identity, our heritage, and our chance at a “normal” family; and yet we are told to be grateful. As if we were a stray dog taken in. I’m really sorry you have experienced this. You should be no more thankful than any child who’s parents chose to have them and love them (which is a parent’s duty; not something that kids need to be indebted to them for). I am so glad you have Christ in your life; He is truly the reason I made it out as I did, and am conquering these obstacles. He is such a good dad.

      I can! I certainly plan on blogging more, so I for sure will. Any topics in particular you’d like me to touch on?

      Thanks for connecting. You are worthy and you are loved, just for who you are. 💕


      • Ellisha July 20, 2018 / 4:54 PM

        I am so glad you are going to blog more! Two topics I think would be helpful are Relationship struggles as an adoptee and identity.


      • EmpowerTheDaughters July 20, 2018 / 5:42 PM

        Awesome! Thanks for the recommendations. Ugh, relationship struggles. Yes. Identity is also such a good one. You ask, I’ll do, sweet friend. ☺️ I really love that you are diving into this and seeking healing when you are still young. Bravo. 💕


  16. Joyce Holzman Hanscom February 23, 2019 / 4:08 AM

    Thank you for sharing. My heart has grown in compassion for the struggles of those who have been adopted. Your struggles are real and I am glad you have sought the only source of help and restoration that only God can give. Not one person escapes the suffering of dealing with dysfunctional people. All people are dysfunctional because we all are self-centered sinners in need of redemption and transformation. My parents were raised in dysfunctional homes by parents who did their best. My parents past their dysfunction to me and my siblings, and I passed it to my children. But God is all about lifting us out of the miry clay and making are steps secure (Ps. 40:2) Your story is profound and I am glad to a part of your blogging family.


    • Sarah February 23, 2019 / 3:15 PM

      Thank you Joyce! Yes, if it weren’t for God and his redemptive love, I wouldn’t be here today. My goal is to share my story so others know they are not alone, and also to raise awareness so that we can stop damaging children through adoption in the first place. Thank you for your validation and kind words. And you’re right – we certainly all make mistakes.


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