July 31, 2013

Adoption Words Used in Church & Other Places
(The Night I Ate the Whole Bag of Kisses)

Imagine my surprise when arriving at a pastors' wives retreat years ago to discover that the theme for the weekend was, “Relinquish.”

Photo Credit: Lisa Marie R, Flickr

The weekend had nothing to do with relinquishing babies. The retreat was about relinquishing hurt, pain, burdens, worries, etc. If I wasn’t adopted I would have thought this was a pretty cool theme. But I am adopted, and I’ll admit it got excruciating to sit there for three days hearing literally dozens, maybe even a hundred times that we needed to relinquish…relinquish...relinquish. "God is calling for total relinquishment, ladies!" we heard over and over during the weekend. I got so tired of hearing it, I left one of the sessions early, laid across my bed in the hotel and ate a bag of Hershey kisses they gave us when we checked in.

July 29, 2013

"Why Can't You Just Be Happy?"
(Five Truths to Understand)

I have friends who fight human trafficking.
Friends who fight domestic violence.
Friends who fight racism.
Friends who fight world hunger.

Photo Credit: Lincoln Blues, Flickr

Everyone around them seems to think this is great. (Me included!) Nobody seems to ever ask these friends why they continue to care about these issues, or why they can’t just be happy.

This happens to me about adoptee issues, though. A family member recently remarked, "I just wish you could be happy..." Be careful, you might end up in my blog. This might be worse than gastritis, depending on the situation.

July 26, 2013

Adoptees Don't Need An Excuse to Search and Reunite

Two days ago, Craig* finally found His natural family members. I was so excited for him. It’s been such a long time coming for my friend. And now, he is officially on the reunion rollercoaster.

When he posted a status on Facebook that he had found family members, reactions didn’t surprise me at all, for I’m used to Adoptoworld by now. As used to one can get to people who have never experienced something telling other people what to do about it all the time.

In response to his excited announcement about finding his family, one non-adoptee admonished Craig that he "knew who the parents were that raised him, knew who he was in Christ,"  and therefore he is “leaps and bounds ahead of most of people.”

(Hold. Me. Back. Jesus. Yeah...I seriously had to physically restrain myself.  No worries, I was a good little well behaved adoptee.)

July 24, 2013

Why Celebrating Our Progress Is Essential As Adoptees

Years ago I lost about forty pounds and was looking and feeling great. Rocking a bikini at the beach and all that. Emphasis on was. (I'm back to addressing this post-adoption issue again...one of the most challenging that has yet to be overcome.)

Anyone who has ever lost weight doesn’t need to have it explained that it's some of the hardest work you’ll ever do. Back then, I wrote down every bite that went into my mouth and was on the elliptical machine, daily.

Imagine my frustration when quite a number of well- meaning Christian friends and acquaintances said: “Deanna…you look incredible! What an amazing miracle the Lord has done in your life…”

Photo Credit: Howard-f, FlickR

Okkkkkaaaaaaaaaaay. There were no miracles. And, it wasn’t the Lord’s butt on an elliptical machine everyday.

July 22, 2013

The Stubborn and the Strong

The truth about life adopted is that it’s not all you live. Although I will always be adopted and it forever impacts my past, present and future there are many other things going on at the same time.

Photo Credit: UplandAccess, Flickr
I am blessed with a 26-year marriage, and three children. Like most if not all people, there are always issues weighing on my mind concerning my family. As a mother, I become concerned about things with my kids. Most any given week I am doing what some Pentecostals call “carpet time” on their behalf. (This consists of laying on the carpet crying out in prayer, asking begging God to do something). I am trying to keep a marriage strong. We pastor a church. Yes, it’s a wonderful thing but takes a tremendous amount of energy and fortitude. Not complaining, just stating fact.

One day I was sharing with a friend everything going on in my life aside from adoption and she said, “Oh my gosh, you have all this going on, AND you’re adopted?” I replied that I don't have any other choice.  And if you’re an adoptee, you don’t either. You have a whole life outside of adoption issues, to navigate. Doing it well is definitely intentional.

July 19, 2013

Triad Gone Postal!

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh go the adoptees.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh go the adoptive parents.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh go the natural parents.

It’s a relentless cacophony of wailing.

Photo Credit: Ryan Vaarsi, Flickr

July 17, 2013

Families Preserved, Lives Changed Forever!
An Interview With Carolyn Espina of the New Life Center for Family Preservation

Carolyn Espina
It is with great joy that I introduce the person I’m featuring today at Adoptee Restoration, and make all of my readers aware of the organization/ministry she leads. Today I am blessed to interview Carolyn Espina, Founder and Executive Director of the New Life Center for Family Preservation in Lakeland, Florida. 

I was privileged to meet Carolyn for the first time in person, as a mutual friend introduced us at a conference we both attended. I was so excited to hear about what she and her organization are doing and can't wait to get this interview started...

July 15, 2013

Why I Chose to NOT Go On Medication for Post-Adoption Pain

Disclaimer: What I share today is my personal journey and choice, and is not a statement that I believe everyone should follow the same path.  Please consult with your physician and therapist, to determine what course of action is best for you.
Photo Credit: Deanna Shrodes (Yes, this is my neighborhood...)
While out on a walk in the neighborhood I met a woman who had experienced the loss of a family member in the previous year. As we talked she shared that she had not really allowed herself to let go and release her emotions and fully express the grief. She told me she had not yet even allowed herself to cry. There was a fear that if she released her emotions she may have a nervous breakdown, the pain inside her was so great . “I’m afraid if I start crying I’ll never stop…” she said.

July 12, 2013

Do You Have Anything Positive To Say About Adoption?

Actually I do. 

A few months ago I shared Five Amazing Things About Being an Adoptee, just in case you missed it.  When I receive a question like, "Do you have anything positive to say about adoption?" I know the place it comes from.

I want to start by answering this question in one of my favorite ways…a true story.

July 10, 2013

5 Choices I've Made In Response to Pain and Loss

I lost my job as a career coach and got it back, within 24 hours. 
True story.

This happened last year, in what I know was not a twist of fate but divine intervention.

Photo Credit: Michael Ruiz, Flickr

July 8, 2013

Why I'm Not Banging My Head on the Dashboard

Are the "whys" driving you crazy right now?

Does the behavior of some of your original or adoptive family members leave you completely dumbfounded at times?

Are you seeking to understand, and the more you try, the more confused you get?

Today I'm going to explain one reason why I'm not melting down anymore when in fact, the ride is rougher than ever on some days.

This realization has been a major key to becoming regulated. Once again, that has nothing to do with Metamucil or more fiber in my diet.

Photo Credit: KristinNador, Flickr

July 5, 2013

Sometimes Adoption & Reunion Ain’t Pretty! Part 2
A Conversation with Laura Dennis

Have you experienced challenges in reunion? Is the Pope Catholic?  Of course you've dealt with your share of reunion doo-doo, if you have been in reunion more than about 30 seconds. I'm delighted to be joining forces today with my gal pal, Laura Dennis, the adoption fog buster, to discuss this issue! Yeah, she's totally amazzzzzzzzzzing.   

We began this conversation on Laura's blog yesterday with Part One. If you didn't read yesterday you might want to hop over there first to check out the beginning. But please, make sure you hop right back here when you're done! 

With that said, here we go with the second half of our conversation about difficulties in reunion.

Laura – I love this notion of “active relationship,” because it can help non-adoptees see that just because you’re not in an active relationship with someone, it doesn’t mean you’re not affected by that person. Take the situation in which Dad has disappeared, leaving Mom to raise the baby...would we say that Dad doesn’t have an effect on the child’s life? No, we would say the effect is huge exactly because he isn’t there. 

This notion that you mention of being required to fit in, to adjust to the adoptive family reminds me of Daniel Ibn Zayd’s article, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD): the alienation and resistance of the adoptee. In the post, Daniel argues that the adoptee’s feeling of not fitting in is actually normal. He says:

July 3, 2013

As Far as It Depends On Me

There are times when improvement is painstakingly slow.
Remember, moving slowly is still progress.  

Maybe you need to be reminded of that too. 

July 1, 2013

3 More Things SOME Adoptive Parents Do That Drive Me Crazy!

It's back by popular demand! The things that SOME (not all!) adoptive parents (AP'S) do that drive me crazy.  

Photo Credit: www.petsadvisor.com, Flickr

Even the cats are screaming for change...

Now, if you are one of my many AP friends, don't get your panties in a bunch. If you don't do these three things, why do you even care? And if you do them...well, maybe, you want to reconsider doing them. Don't shoot the messenger -- consider the message.

After I shared the first 3 things SOME (not all!) Adoptive Parents do that drive me crazy, I heard reader's cries for more. So, here you go -- the latest portion of reality served up on a plate of truth.