Because I Know You’ll Understand by Adoptee and Art Therapist Nicole Rademacher

Because I Know You’ll Understand by Adoptee and Art Therapist Nicole Rademacher

This is for my fellow adoptees,

for my community, for my tribe.

Because you get me.

You do.

We don’t know each other, but it’s like we’ve known each other our whole lives

even if my life is 3 times as long as yours.

The pain we feel, we don’t have words for,

those were taken away when society decided that our stories didn’t matter.

When we were taught to be grateful,

to ignore what we cannot remember–hoping we’d forget

that there are people, and papers, who can corroborate our dreams. 

Adoptee, the ache in my heart reaches yours, and yours to mine.

Together they create a looking glass and through that looking glass, our land exists.

The 11-year-old version of me naively sees butterflies and rainbows,

but the me on the other side of that looking glass…

I see slivers of trepidation and prisms shrouded in old car smog.

I see unstable arcs headed for bounds of turbulence.

As I breathe, the smog enters my lungs

inducing an awkward, melancholic tickle in my throat.

As I look up, the arcs sway to and fro.

I get dizzy.

It’s the fog I am emerging from.

Adoptee, I got you.

Just like you got me.

We equate even though we’ve had to assimilate.

Our voices count.

1 by 2, 2 by 3, 3 by 4 … side by side.

Making the Most of Adoption Reunion: Affirmations & Videos by Marlou Russell Ph.D. Author and Adoptee

Making the Most of Adoption Reunion: Affirmations & Videos by Marlou Russell Ph.D. Author and Adoptee

  • Adoption reunions bring family members together.
  • An adoption reunion is the continuation of a previous relationship.
  • Triad members are connected forever, regardless of whether they actually meet.
  • Adoption reunions can happen at any time – in open and closed adoptions.
  • Searching for one’s birth family or children is a natural extension of genetic curiosity.
  • Reunions can bring up many emotions – loss, grief, regret, hope, fears, gratitude.
  • Each person will process reunion feelings at their own pace and in their own way.
  • Being with groups of people who understand reunion and adoption can be helpful.
  • Respect your stage of loss, mourning, and healing. Respect the other person’s too.
  • Allow reunion relationships to unfold. Force and fear push people away.
  • Letting go of expectations frees the other person to come forward.
  • Maybe it’s not about you. Ask, observe, clarify.
  • Holding on to hurt, blame, and regret binds you to the past.
  • You may be creating the opposite action you desire.
  • Fear leads to grasping – leads to backing off – leads to feeling rejected.
  • “I’m sorry for anything I have said or done that may have hurt you.”
  • You can release others without losing them or approving of their actions.
  • Forgiveness releases the forgiver.
  • You can always be gracious. Sometimes you need to strive for superficiality.
  • It is what it is – birth, step, grand, adoptive.
  • Boxes, letters, poems and art. Groups, politics, rallys, and blogs. Kickboxing and knitting.
  • You can play the adoption card – or not.
  • Who are you without the adoption piece?
  • What lessons have you learned from your experience with adoption?
  • What are you holding on to? What would happen if you let go?
  • Old habits die hard. New habits often bring freedom.
  • How can you make your life whole, peaceful, loving, kind, and meaningful?

    Marlou Russell, Ph.D. is a psychologist specializing in adoption issues, an adoptee in reunion, and the author of Adoption Wisdom: A Guide to the Issues and Feelings of Adoption. Visit Dr. Russell’s website www.marlourussellphd.com for more information.

ADOPTION WISDOM offers insight and understanding of adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents. Includes chapters on Adoption Awareness, Basic Truths of Adoption, Search and Reunion, and an Ideal Adoption. ADOPTION WISDOM is a book for anyone who wants to kinow more about the lifelong impact of adoption.

A Daughter’s Bill of Rights by Adoptee, Janice Stevenor Dale

A Daughter’s Bill of Rights by Adoptee, Janice Stevenor Dale

Excerpt From “Portrait of an American Daughter”

By Janice Stevenor Dale copyright 2021

There is no societal, cultural standard for the treatment of adoptees. There’s no Dr. Spock’s handbook for adopted parents, nor one for children. How could there be a way to communicate with newborn babies to teach them what is about to happen to them? Teach them coping mechanisms for being abandoned without explanation, often for a decade and many times longer. It is left to chance and we all just shoulder it to the best of our abilities. So, often people just ignore the adopted person as if you don’t exist. I can honestly say that because I am adopted, I have personally experienced being denied these rights, suffering repeated traumas and rejections from my adopted family and extended adopted family, and my birth families and extended families as well as my husband’s family.

This is a declaration of the daughter’s bill of rights. It is a list that few people discuss and many people take for granted; if you live within a normal, blood- related family you will rarely encounter these barriers. But, if you are adopted, your rights, continuing into adulthood, remain compromised. It is quite easy for a male dominated court to determine that a human child who cannot speak nor write, nor hire an attorney to represent their own rights should have their rights removed and maligned for the sake of other adults, those who did conceive you, or cannot conceive. The practice is inhuman and wholly unfair to the children. Scientific research is opposed to the practice, as it is proven to invoke long term psychological damage to the child. Family members from the adopted side as well as the birth side don’t know what to do. I am a member of an adoptive family in which there were two adopted children both products of church accessed closed adoption in the 1960s. My adopted mother had several siblings that could

not conceive, so we had three adopted cousins. All quite hush-hush. I always aspired to be a good daughter; but it was an unachieveable goal. I worked extremely hard to be a good daughter and failed miserably. I wish I had known at 20 what I know now. It took society almost my entire life to begin the groundswell of truth surrounding adoption.

Thus, I courageously add to the movement. I’ve created the Daughter’s of Bill of Rights for my own declaration of independence, to elevate the reality of adoption for every adoptee and prospective adopted parent, in the hopes that the suffering will be understood and lessened for those following me until adoption can be eradicated and honor returned to families.

The Daughter’s Bill of Rights

Right to the TRUTH about what happened and why this child was given up for adoption
Right to be part of an ever-lasting family
Right to receive unconditional love by all family members

Right to know that I’m adopted
Right to counseling throughout my life with a counselor who understands adoption from my adult point of view, from the adoptees viewpoint
Right to my own real birth certificate
Right to reject a falsified birth certificate
Right to know my own real name
Right to change my name and use my own real name, or name I choose

Right to use that name as my identity, fragile as it is may be, and for others to refer to me as the name I choose
Right to know my birth families when its right for me
Right to know which family you’re a permanent part of

Right to a forever home
Right to know your family histories and to be a part of that history
Right to know your ancestry, your ancestral locations, to know where you’re from,
A right to choose which family and history feels most right to me, should I feel I have to or need to choose;
Right to be treated equally with other children in each family or extended family
Right to be treated equally by all adults of those families, to be held in esteem openly and outrightly, not quietly in secret, in shame.
Right to be invited to thanksgiving and Christmas dinners where family is celebrated;
Right to receive invitations to weddings of family members;
Right to attend weddings of family members;
Right to be in family pictures at those weddings;
Right to receive birth announcements;
Right to receive graduation announcements;
Right to attend graduations;

Right to receive notice of deaths in family; Right to receive invitations to funerals; Right to attend family celebrations;
Right to attend funerals;

Right to be seated with the family at those events
Right to inheritances in every one of my families, adopted and birth families;
Right to be accepted as a family member to those family members in hospitals and nursing homes;
Right to interact as a normal family member would and from time to time; to ask for emotional support, maybe even financial support;
Right to be informed when a family member is in the hospital;
Right to visit them as a family member in the hospital;
Right to be with a family member when they pass away;
Right to be treated like a family member at my death;
Right to be buried with my family;
Right to have society know the burden that is cast carelessly on adopted children;
Right to affect legislation to remove the burden from the child;
Right to have my birth family redeem the past, to break the cycle and include the adoptee and their other children equally
Right to be included by all

Right to be loved Right to be

For without all of these rights, society continues to degrade the child given up for adoption throughout their life with mistreatment and abandon, despite the intentions of love by the adopted family. While the birth parents ‘go on’ with their lives, and face their own demons, they often believe in forgetting the past. The child has no opportunity to forget, the issue is front and center every day. The child carries the burden their entire life, passing the pain into future generations, making that child pay dearly for the transgressions of their birth parents. I am a good daughter who was robbed, at birth, of my full potential. I was thoughtlessly tossed away like a piece of trash, unwanted. I was pre-meditatively sacrificed by at my birth by my birth family to save the reputation of my teenage mother. In doing so, I was cast into a world where my rights were forever changed. I was robbed of the opportunity that every other daughter has, to have emotional familial fulfillment, to fulfill the simplest of human needs to, in the end, be a good daughter to my parents.

What Every Adoptive Parent Should Know About Search & Reunion by Michael Grand Ph.D. and Monica Byrne

What Every Adoptive Parent Should Know About Search & Reunion by Michael Grand Ph.D. and Monica Byrne

Michael Grand, PhD, C.Psych
Professor Emeritus, Dept of Psychology, University of Guelph
mgrand@uoguelph.ca

And

Monica Byrne
National Director, Parent Finders Canada
monicabyrne@magma.ca

For more than 30 years, the two of us have helped to facilitate a myriad of reunions and reconnections between adoptees and their birth families. During this time, we have learned many things that adoptive parents must consider when their adult child begins the journey to discover the first chapter of life that took the adoptee from one family and led to the formation of a second family. We offer these lessons in the spirit of fostering closer ties between adoptees, and their birth and adoptive families.

For most adoptees, search is experienced as an expansion of a sense of self and not as a rejection of the adoptive family.

The first rule of search and reunion is that search is rarely about dissatisfaction with the adoptive family. The need to know about oneself and one’s roots is primal. In order to have a place in the world, we need to know, first of all, who we are. And if we are ‘shadowed’ by an unknown history, by a set of truths that we know little if anything about, then we may not develop to our full potential. If the adoptive family understands the importance of search for an adoptee’s sense of self, they will not fall victim to the myth that the adoptee is substituting one family for another. In most cases, search draws adoptees closer to the family that raised them and with whom they have had many years of shared experience.

Adoptive parents should support but not direct a search.

There is always a huge temptation for adoptive parents to move from showing support to taking control of a search. Searching can be challenging and will certainly bring out the detective in members of the family, but the fact remains, this is the adoptee’s search and must follow the adoptee’s pace. Adoptive parents may assist by providing information such as the Adoption Order, the social history of the birth family, papers from the agency, and communications from social workers, lawyers and doctors involved in the placement. In addition to sharing facts, adoptive parents are encouraged to support the adoptee through the emotional highs and lows of this process. We also strongly recommend the use of search and reunion support groups whose leaders are well versed in the dynamics of this process. Their skills and experience are invaluable.

When adoptive parents withhold information from an adoptee, this is rarely a sign of love and protection. Rather, it is a sign of two things: the adoptive parents’ lack of trust that the adoptee can make adult decisions; and their own fear that reunion will lead to loss of the adoptee to the birth family. Openness, on the other hand, is the foundation of a secure and loving adoptive relationship that will endure across reunion and reconnection.

There are too many examples of adoptees who learn late in life that they were adopted. Perhaps their parents withheld the truth out of kindness, perhaps out of fear of rejection, perhaps out of fear of public scrutiny. Whatever the reason, this is a very difficult thing for an adult adoptee to discover and to come to terms with. Sometimes they find out at the death of their parents and are completely devastated, believing that their whole life has been a lie. All their medical history is incorrect, all their family history has been fabricated. They truly feel as though the rug has been pulled out from under them. Remember, in the end, openness trumps secrecy every time, no matter what the adoption story.

Speaking ill of the birth family does not discourage adoptees from searching. In fact, the more an adoptive parent disparages the character or actions of the birth parent, the more adoptees desire to make contact with birth parents.

Some adoptive parents speak of birth family in negative terms in an attempt to bring the adoptee closer to the adoptive family. However, adoptees hear a different message: “the source of your DNA is bad and thus, so are you.” If adoptive parents wish to keep their children close, respectful conversation about origins is absolutely necessary.

In search and reunion, “no” often means “not yet” or “I can’t tell you.”

The dynamics of search and reunion are very complex. Sometimes adoptees publicly reject a search for fear of hurting their parents. For some, this means searching out of view of the adoptive parents. For others, it means delaying the search, even though the adoptee has a pressing need to discover more about origins. In neither case does this serve the best interests of either the adoptee or adoptive parents. To delay search or to engage in a clandestine search denies the adoptee the opportunity to receive the emotional support from adoptive parents that will help to mediate the stress of coming to terms with one’s history. Search is a normal developmental part of the adoption. Adoptive parents abrogate their responsibilities as parents if they are not available to assist their adult adopted children in this task.

Immediately following reunion, adoptees may become emotionally over-involved with the birth family, to the exclusion of the adoptive family. They may just as quickly retreat to the adoptive family for support and reassurance. They may have major changes in mood, particularly depression or anger which may be directed to anyone in the inner rings of the constellation. In response to these possibilities, adoptive parents may play many important roles.

This is where the adoptive family can really be helpful and supportive, not by being directive or analytical, but by being comforting and present. Sometimes the adoptee just needs time to assimilate new information or deal with a birth family far different than the one they fantasized about. There may be feelings of being let down. Alternatively, they may wish to spend every waking moment with their newly found relatives. If adoptive parents recognize these responses as an attempt to normalize what is so unique, and they can be emotionally available for their children, they will do much to cement their relationship.

If adoptees desire, adoptive parents may join adoptees in reconnecting with the
birth family. Successful integration of the two families requires stepping carefully
through several minefields.

Adoptive and birth families may differ in social class, ethnicity and life experiences, resulting in awkwardness in reading social cues. In some cases, adoptive and birth mothers make a quick and strong connection, leaving the adoptee to the side as the two mothers pursue their relationship. In the end, successful integration of the two families requires that each family recognize that search and reunion is about the adoptee feeling connected to the two families. Cognizance of this will help lead all to find a way to live together at an agreed upon pace.

All parties to the adoption must face and respond to loss across time. For birth parents, there is loss of the child they did not get to raise. For adoptive parents, there is the loss of the child that they never had. For adoptees, there is the loss of the self they might have been if circumstances had been different. Without search and reunion, adoptees also lose a full social, medical and genetic history that links them to their origins.

All participants in an adoption must face issues of loss that are accompanied by disenfranchised grief, the grief that is neither socially recognized nor whose amelioration is socially supported. For reunion and reconnection to work, there must be mutual recognition of such losses and support for each other while grieving. At this pivotal point of transition in the two families, competition over who has experienced the greatest loss will not serve anyone well. However, expressions of empathy will go a long way to achieving improved relationships.

A vast majority of adoptees, adoptive parents and birth parents, rate search and reconnection as successful.

One of the most common questions asked of search and reunion specialists is “How many reunions are successful?” And the answer is “All of them”. That is, they are all successful because the initial effort was to find and know the missing family of origin. Whether the reunion develops into a reconnection that is marked by positive relationships is another matter and depends on many things: the willingness of the participants to work at it; their patience; and their willingness to accept difference and change. How could an adoptive parent, with the best interests of their child at heart, not wish for such potential riches?

Ten things Adoptees Want Their Birth Parents To Know About Reunion by Ross John Martin, Adoptee

Ten things Adoptees Want Their Birth Parents To Know About Reunion by Ross John Martin, Adoptee

1. WE’RE GUARDED WITH OUR FEELINGS AT FIRST. 

A reunion with your birth family can be a wonderful thing but when I searched for my mother, I really had no idea about who or what I would find. I remember being fully prepared for being rejected, to be honest I was expecting it but I hoped at least I would know what she looked like and maybe she’d tell me about her life. I had spent years feeling abandoned by a person I had never met so I had built up some serious walls of defence around me. It had taken me years to build up the courage to find her, I was looking for something but I wasn’t quite sure what it was at that point. I think my natural mother dealt with it really well, she let me lead the way in our newly forming relationship but let me feel safe and secure to do so. She never rushed me and it began to feel natural to open up to her. 

2. WE NEED THE TRUTH.

I feel like I was never told the information I was needed when I was growing up. Everything was pretty vague, I mean I knew I was adopted but I never knew why or who were these mysterious people that gave me away. How could I know about my story if I didn’t know theirs and why could I not know? Did my adoptive parents know more than they would tell me? So many questions and no answers! I could sense it upset them and quickly it became a taboo subject like the elephant in the room, always there but never mentioned. I really appreciated my natural mother being completely honest about everything that happened, It allowed me to make sense of not only my story but hers too which to be honest I had never considered before. I never realised that she suffered, I always imagined it was an easy decision for her and I was just an inconvenience so you see how hiding the truth can be damaging. She told me the truth about my adoption and even wrote it out in story form which she’d read would be a good way for us both to make sense of what happened. She did so even though it was painful for her and I loved and respected her all the more for it. 

3. WE NEED TO GRIEVE

When people hear about reunion stories they instantly think of tears of joy and a happy ever-after story. I doubt they could ever imagine that we would need to grieve, I mean why would we need to do that? We should be so happy! When I began chatting to my birth mother more and more it became apparent to me that not only was she was someone who I was becoming close to, she was a part of me that I had always felt was missing but lacked the language and understanding to know and express it before. Mixed in with the highest of highs and pure feelings of love and happiness at finding this most wonderful person who had created me was ever increasing feelings of despair and sadness for the time we had lost together. All the parts of my childhood I could have shared with her were gone forever, all the shared experiences that bonded her to her other children were elusive to me, eternally beyond my grasp. I also grieved for the way the adoption had effected me growing up, I wondered if I wouldn’t have felt so lonely and out of place if I had stayed with her, my rightful mother. I cried a lot on my own but I felt that maybe we needed to cry together as a way of bonding with her or maybe for the support and acknowledgement of the loss I had experienced, something which I never had growing up. I remember being upset that I couldn’t cry with her the first time we met and only did when I was on my own the next morning, maybe I was still as guarded as I had been all my life and unwilling yet to share my emotions. The next time we met we spent some time alone and chatted about the adoption and were able to speak more openly. All of a sudden I felt my walls crumble and my tears flowed, my mother gripped my hand and cried too and I feel like we connected at that moment and I realised to my surprise that we both grieved for the same loss. It was painful but healing to share that feeling of grieving together. Both adoptees and birth mothers had their grieving denied to them, it is disenfranchised grief, a delay to an inevitable and natural process that is cruel and damaging to deny. Sharing that with her made me feel even closer to her and her to me. 

4. WE NEED VALIDATION

Feelings can easily consume you if they are kept locked up inside. When I was growing up I didn’t have the understanding or knowledge to know that my feelings of sadness, loneliness and not fitting in were to do with being adopted and neither did my adoptive parents. In the closed adoption era adoptive parents believed they were receiving the gift of a baby with with a blank slate, they wouldn’t remember or care about about losing their natural mother, why would they? They’re just a baby. Maybe it’s what they needed to believe in order to truly feel like it was their child and they wouldn’t want to feel like their child was in pain either so just hope for the best! Well it seems that babies do remember, they spend 9 months growing inside and listening to their mothers heartbeat. The mother might speak to them as mine did, they are ready to hear her familiar voice and to be soothed by the only person who can, they lack the ability to self soothe. I was a baby waiting to meet my mother and she wasn’t there, instead I was taken away and handed to strangers. My adoptive parents often told me how quiet I was as a baby and rarely cried even if I was hungry. They thought it was great, I was easy but I guess crying for my mother didn’t work so why bother? Instead I went into shut down mode and I think that must have continued throughout my life because I often was very quiet and withdrawn. Adoptees seem to become very observant and can be hyper vigilant looking for signs that we might be abandoned although this is usually subconsciously. Some adoptees like to test their parents but others like me don’t want to upset them so we keep our feelings to ourselves, locked down deep inside where they fester and do their damage. The first time I ever spoke about my adoption, what it meant to me and my feelings about it was with my natural mother. If I ever try talking about it to others I am either shut down with comments like yeah but you had a good family etc. Society doesn’t validate the feelings of birth mothers or adoptees. My natural mother made me feel like I could open up about it and she truly wanted to understand me, talking helped us both understand each other and ourselves better. 

5. WE OFTEN FEEL OVERWHELMED. 

Reunion is full of highs and lows and you never know what intense feelings are going to come next. We may have feelings of intense love for a person you barely know or feelings of deep grief and sadness for the loss of that same person. We may even feel like we have regressed in age and not fully understand why this has happened. I honestly believe these feelings are natural and important, it’s the situation that is unnatural so it can be frightening and confusing unless you have researched and read about the effects of adoption. Talk to your child about how they are feeling and maybe recommend books or video, my birth mother and I are always swapping articles and book ideas! Either party may however deny that it has affected them so it may be frustrating if they don’t open up at first but with time I’m sure they will. It really helps to understand that these feelings are normal and they can be worked through together. There are so many facets of reunion that can be overwhelming especially if there’s a whole new family dynamic to fit into and adoptees are especially sensitive to the potential of being abandoned, we subconsciously look for signs! A lot of patience and understanding is needed on both sides and I truly believe all reunions have the potential of being successful if both parties want that. 

6. WE’RE OBSESSED WITH OUR GENETIC SIMILARITIES

This is something only someone who has been taken from their natural family will ever truly understand. We grew up with no reflection of ourselves in our adoptive family with constant reminders that we didn’t have what others did. In my extended adoptive family there was always talk of who looked like who and took after certain traits of their blood relatives and it was the same at my friends houses. I often wondered if there was anyone who looked like me but it was strange because I still couldn’t picture my natural parents, they remained ghosts to me. I wondered if my artist talents were inherited because no-one in my adoptive family had any kind of creative flair, my adoptive father was very serious and practical and did not get me in he slightest. I often think he would have loved a son that was an echo of his own genetics and there are losses unresolved with adoptive parents too. Meeting my natural parents and siblings was equal parts wonderful and surreal, I could finally see myself in someone. I felt giddy scanning for physical resemblance’s and traits and it was wonderful to hear about the music, art and quirky sense of humour in my birth family that I had inherited. We are so starved of this that we crave it, we want to hear about how we look and act like members of our natural family because it validates us a person and makes us feel less alone in the world. 

7. WE FEEL SPLIT. 

There are many ways in which adoptees feel split. We often have the feeling that we don’t fit in or truly belong in our adoptive family but then we find our natural family and find we don’t truly fit in there either. With one we share experiences with no blood and shared genetics and the other we share blood and genetics with no experiences. We often feel like the baby that was relinquished died and we became a separate person to that child. I never really felt like I had been born until reunion which is probably hard to understand. It was like I was dropped off by aliens or just found somewhere. This makes sense because our connection to those who created us had been cut off and that which most take for granted was never there for us. We feel the need for connection, the true connection we were denied but we also reject it because we expect to be abandoned. Our brains weren’t shaped by the loving bond with our mothers but by the need to survive in a world that seemed alien and avoiding abandonment seems key to that survival even though that doesn’t really help at all. 

8. WE LONG TO BOND WITH OUR NATURAL BIRTH FAMILY

Our lives didn’t begin when we were born, we spent 9 months connected with and protected by our mothers. Our whole world was literally our mother and the sounds surrounding her. Her world was ours. We were preparing for life outside of mother but it was ok because we would still be protected by her world and our bonding would continue. Likewise the mother’s body has prepared itself physically and spiritually to care for and protect her child. They know each other and are connected. We lost that connection to our universe and were suddenly surrounded by genetic strangers. Instead of being full of the love hormone oxytocin our bodies were full of stress and adrenaline in order to survive. It’s the premature development of the ego. All my life I felt like I couldn’t rely on anyone because they would just let me down. I apparently became a “stiff arm baby” and maybe I instinctively knew that spiritually I was on my own but physically needed these strangers to survive. The baby who was supposed to continue the natural bonding process with mother was frozen in time and in reunion is woken ready to continue what was broken. We don’t know how to do that as an adult, gazing into our mothers eyes and constantly being held by her is no longer appropriate so we don’t know how to bond or even if it’s possible. 

9. WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO CALL YOU. 

In reunion you are familiar but you are still a stranger. In our adoptive families we develop roles and grow up with a mother and and a father and we are taught to call them mum and dad or mom and pop. Then you come along, our real parents but we already had parents who felt real and who have already filled those roles. So who are you to us? Maybe we want you to fill those roles or maybe we don’t or at least no longer need that, that time and that need has passed. But calling you by your name can also feel wrong, you gave birth to us, you are the reason we are here and our connection to creation. That is everything, you are more than just a friend. Much of our looks and personality is genetic and because of the two strangers who created us. I often want to call my natural mother “mum”, it feels right but it also feels wrong when I see it written it down or after I’ve said it. It wasn’t her fault but she wasn’t there in my developmental years when these roles are being formed. We may start calling you something and then stop and then begin again. Recently I’ve started calling my natural mother “mama” and it feels right or at least more right than “mum” or her name. 

10. WE DON’T KNOW WHERE WE FIT. 

We lived a life and grew up in our adoptive family and developed family roles whether that felt natural or not, likewise our birth families often went on to start or continue families without us. All of a sudden in reunion I found I had siblings, cousins etc that had spent their childhoods developing their family relationships with shared experiences. My mother wants to bring me into her family which is wonderful but I also don’t know what that means or how it works. All of a sudden I have a new world full of blood relations and extended family and I don’t know my place in their world or if I have the right to be there. My mother wants to bring me into her world and part of me wants to be there but part of me doesn’t trust this new world because it once rejected me.

Ross x

Lyrics to Music Video Below…

I Felt Sunlight

Though it was spring 

My leaf had fallen from the tree 

Alone you carried me 

Protected what you couldn’t keep. 

I felt sunlight 

When I knew your name 

The clouds opened 

And I lost all pain 

Oh and though I grew 

So strong I always dreamt of you 

In my innocence 

I knew you before we’d even met 

I felt sunlight 

When I knew your name 

The clouds opened 

And I lost all pain