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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Four Traumas

1st day of grade school

     More and more of this adoption reality is coming out on the internet, which means more and more adoptive parents and natural parents are in for a few more surprises. One study claims adoptees are more traumatized than a prisoner of war. We suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. A prisoner of war may escape or be released, but an adoptee will suffer its effects our entire life. There is no known cure for PTSD.
     Now I believe there are four distinct traumas in being an adoptee.
     They are: 1) in utero, when you hear what is happening to you or sense what is coming; 2) when you are delivered, abandoned, and handed to strangers; 3) later when you are told you are adopted and realize fully what being “adopted” means; and 4) when you realize you are different, from a different culture or country, and you can’t contact your family, or know them, or have the information you need to find them.
     It took me years to get this. There were more traumas, too – like when I’d fill out forms at the doctor’s office. I had no medical history. I had no idea if I was sitting next to someone who could be my biological brother, mother or father. To think I could marry my own relative and not even know it, that idea was horrifying.
     I could carry a gene that I pass down to my own children – but I wouldn’t know until it’s too late. My child could suffer since I didn’t know. If my birthparents were alcoholics, then I really shouldn’t drink. I could be pre-disposed to diabetes or heart disease or cancer or depression and not know this.
     My list went on and on.

     This is an excerpt from my book One Small Sacrifice. 

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To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

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