I’ve recently learned something that has sparked a lot of curiosity, and even a revelation.

When a baby is born, and it does not receive the vital touch that tells it it’s safe and protected, its body and brain begin to shut down*.

The first thing that happens to a baby when it comes out of the womb is it is given to its mother to be held.

So what happens when you are given up for adoption at birth.

Was I held by my mother in my first few moments of life? 

Did I receive that precious, nurturing touch? 

Or was I put into a holding crib and awaited my departure to the orphanage. I do not know.

But what I do know is that the brain is playable; it can recover, it can correct, it can transform.

I may not have been held a lot as a baby but look at me now. There is nothing I can’t do.

No matter the traumas we’ve endured, we have the ability to not only survive it but to thrive despite of it.  Our bodies and minds are not fixed objects, they eb and flow through our lives, and are always transforming. So use your gifts and super powers for the betterment of yourself.

*the importance and effects of physical contact on infants has been well researched. One example paper from the National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7502223/


Bio:

I am Sarah to most, Puma to some, and Dariya to my birth mother. I was born in Kostani, Kazakstan in 1997, and was given up at birth by my young and unsupported mother. Then subsequently placed into an orphanage, where I stayed for the first 4 years of my life.  One day, my Ukrainian adoptive mom and American adoptive dad came for me, and left with two other orphans to start a new family.  We were raised in Bloomfield Hills Michigan, which was thankfully an ethnically diverse part of the country thanks to the auto-industry attracting employees from around the world. Despite my adoptive sisters being from the same country as me, I was the only transracial one in the family.  I spent most of my life hiding my shame about my “otherness”, and my curiousity about my birth family.  That is up until a few years ago when I experienced an identity crisis and began working to re-discover myself.

The earliest photograph of myself, taken at the orphanage. Age unknown.