Are you part of an adoptee support network or connected with a post-adoption service provider in the US, Canada, Great Britain, Australia or New Zealand (or with English-speaking adoptees in other countries)? We are compiling a resource list to help us distribute a Call for Research Subjects for a study on LDAs. If you can help, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I discovered I was adopted twenty-two years ago today, in a mixture of shock, rage and excitement. The shock and the deep hurt are understandable without the need of explanation, but why was I exhilarated? It was because I had found out who I really was, for the first time.
Gradually that elation faded, and I went through many years of grieving, doubt and hurt. But I came out through the other side, and a large part of my recovery from the trauma of discovery came from my fellowship with other Late Discovery Adoptees. Trauma can be isolating, I remember feeling at times I as the only person going through what I was experiencing. Today I know that isn’t true. I am not alone.
If you are struggling with your discovery I can’t assure you that things will get better soon, or that my experience will be a template for your’s. But I can tell you that you are not the only one. You are not alone.
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Here are some excerpts from an online journal I posted back in 1996-7, before there were blogs.
Click the links below to view the pages:
I’ve added three remarkable pieces to Resources from the Post Adoption Resource Centre of the Benevolent Society of New South Wales, Australia. “Discovering You Are Adopted” and “Why Wasn’t I Told” should be standard issue to therapists and counselors treating LDAs.
- Lynne Pearl, Post Adoption Resource Centre, Why wasn’t I told? Making sense of the late discovery of adoption, originally published/presented May, 200, for the Tasmanian Adoption Conference.
- Post Adoption Resource Centre, Information Sheet No 4, Discovering You Are Adopted, November 2006.
- Post Adoption Resource Centre, Information Sheet No 5, Am I Really Adopted?, November 2006.
ADDED to Resources: “Identity Shift and Recovery”, a presentation I gave at the AAC National Conference in Portland, Oregon, on March 29th, 2008.
“… when we are asked—and ask ourselves—who we are, we are being asked what we
are as well.” - Kwame Anthony Appiah, “The Ethics of Identity”
Added: “Surviving Secrets” by Marge Watson in Our Stories. “A true story that reveals the strength and resilience of the human spirit in the face of betrayal, grief and loss. At age forty, Margaret Watson learned she was adopted…”