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.

Adopt Salon Constellation Support Group : Thursday, February 10, 2022

Adopt Salon Constellation Support Group : Thursday, February 10, 2022

FREE monthly open support group called ADOPT SALON CONSTELLATION for all members of the Adoption Constellation: First Birthparents, Adoptees, Former Foster Youth, Foster, Adoptive Parents, and Kinship Families. Ages 18 and above.

A place for the Adoption & Foster Care community to come together to share stories, thoughts, feelings, and ideas, receive psycho-education, process grief/loss, and build strong bonds and connections.

The group is facilitated by Adoptions/Foster Care Psychotherapist, adult adoptee Cathy Leckie Koley,  Adoptee and Intern

5 – 7 pm Pacific Time
8-10 pm Eastern Time

Time and place are shown in the Events Calendar. Meetings held virtually via ZOOM until further notice.

Please register below to receive your ZOOM link for the event.

Cathy Leckie Koley BIO:
Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Instructor, Adoptee Speaker/ Writer / Educator. After reuniting with her birth family at age 43, Cathy found herself on an unexpected healing journey related to her own relinquishment. The process included yoga, through which she found significant healing, and a new career path. As a yoga teacher since 2012, Cathy teaches others about the adoptee experience, strategies for unearthing and healing adoption wounds, and mind-body practices that help with adoption-related difficulties. Trained in Trauma-Sensitive in 2014 with Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score, and David Emerson, author of Overcoming Trauma through Yoga. Cathy is currently pursuing an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute.

Adult Adoptee Adopt Salon Virtual Support Group  : Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Adult Adoptee Adopt Salon Virtual Support Group : Wednesday, April 27, 2022

FREE monthly open support group for ADULT ADOPTEE MEMBERS of the Adoption Constellation.

A place for Adult Adoptees ONLY to come together to share stories, thoughts, feelings, and ideas, receive psycho-education, process grief/loss, and build strong bonds and connections. The group is facilitated by Cathy Leckie Koley, Adoptee and Post-Adoption Coach.

2nd WEDNESDAY of the Month
5 pm – 7 pm PST
8 – 10 pm EST

Time and place are also shown in the Events Calendar. Meetings held virtually via ZOOM until further notice.

Please register below to receive your ZOOM link for the event.

Cathy Leckie Koley BIO:
Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Instructor, Adoptee Speaker/ Writer / Educator. After reuniting with her birth family at age 43, Cathy found herself on an unexpected healing journey related to her own relinquishment. The process included yoga, through which she found significant healing, and a new career path. As a yoga teacher since 2012, Cathy teaches others about the adoptee experience, strategies for unearthing and healing adoption wounds, and mind-body practices that help with adoption-related difficulties. Trained in Trauma-Sensitive in 2014 with Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score, and David Emerson, author of Overcoming Trauma through Yoga. Cathy is currently pursuing an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute.

 

Adult Adoptee Adopt Salon Virtual Support Group  : Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Adult Adoptee Adopt Salon Virtual Support Group : Wednesday, March 9, 2022

FREE monthly open support group for ADULT ADOPTEE MEMBERS of the Adoption Constellation.

A place for Adult Adoptees ONLY to come together to share stories, thoughts, feelings, and ideas, receive psycho-education, process grief/loss, and build strong bonds and connections. The group is facilitated by Cathy Leckie Koley, Adoptee and Post-Adoption Coach.

2nd WEDNESDAY of the Month
5 pm – 7 pm PST
8 – 10 pm EST

Time and place are also shown in the Events Calendar. Meetings held virtually via ZOOM until further notice.

Please register below to receive your ZOOM link for the event.

Cathy Leckie Koley BIO:
Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Instructor, Adoptee Speaker/ Writer / Educator. After reuniting with her birth family at age 43, Cathy found herself on an unexpected healing journey related to her own relinquishment. The process included yoga, through which she found significant healing, and a new career path. As a yoga teacher since 2012, Cathy teaches others about the adoptee experience, strategies for unearthing and healing adoption wounds, and mind-body practices that help with adoption-related difficulties. Trained in Trauma-Sensitive in 2014 with Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score, and David Emerson, author of Overcoming Trauma through Yoga. Cathy is currently pursuing an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute.

 

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.