“Adoption—An Affair of the Heart”

Have you ever wished that today could be tomorrow?

When a baby looks around it’s such a sight to see. If he or she could only speak, they would have much to say about how they feel knowing that their mother is gone away. When I was a child I lay awake thinking profound thoughts about my mother wondering why she was no longer by my side. Something deep-seated and intangible about her absence caused my heart to ache. Crying out in my sleep I’d softly moan, “My heart bleeds for you. It has been many days since I was born but your sacred voice still rings inside. Why have you forsaken me? When are you coming back for me?”

Judith Land | Adoption Detective | An Affair of the Heart

My entire life I was driven by an insatiable desire to find my roots, discover my true identity, and restore friendly relations with my biological parents. When I finally earned the chance to be reunited with them, the reality of meeting them in the flesh exceeded my wildest childhood fantasies. Getting to know them gradually and over time on a personal basis has truly been a storybook ending and a magical “affair of the heart”.

Feeling stagnant and restless, I dreamed of rendezvousing with my biological mother in sweet bliss, an “affaire de coeur” before I part this life, before the flower heads of youth blanch and wilt, slowly wither and gradually fade away. A wholesome life that is free of strife is a sacred concept that brings new meaning to my days on earth that helps me get through any weather. I whimsically long for the clouds to clear and rays of sun to peak through. I want the tower bells to ring, sounding an alarm about a bona fide love for someone who is missing and send a message of hope to the outcast child wanting to know why it ended this way.

I get restless when the sky is cheerless and despairing, always raining in my heart. Darkened clouds overhead, dripping endlessly on my head. Feeling the stillness of the night, I never feel exactly right. I’m frightened and confused about my plight and easily overcome by endless dreaming of fantastic things that may never happen. My life is an endless delay of creeping days and endless hours of sleepless nights. Lacking a clear perspective of worldliness and sophistication, I’m simultaneously overcome with the pain of yesterday’s sorrow and disheartened by feelings of hopelessness when dreaming of tomorrow. I pray to God both day and night, “Is this the circle of life that I should expect to go on forever? I would go anywhere, do anything, to catch a glimpse of her.”

I’ve seen ephemeral summer clouds gently floating overhead, pink apple blossoms in springtime and autumn foliage ablaze in multiple hues of red and orange. I’ve heard birds happily chirping to attract a mate and dogs and cats spat. I’ve marveled at lightning storms, rainbows and deep snows as the seasons pass. I’ve gazed at my reflection in a deep blue lake of glass and felt the power of thunderous ocean waves rolling in. I’ve felt the warmth of the sun’s rays at dawn and when the sun becomes a red ball of flame and turns the horizon pink, I robotically pour myself another drink.

Our lack of acquaintance and familiarity triggers desperate feelings of heartfelt pain, salty tears and sorrowful rain. Leisure isn’t fun any more. Feelings of being unheralded, anonymous, isolated and alone set my mood. Enduring endless days, lonesome nights and a marathon of ceaseless dreaming is what my life is all about. Boundless days and endless nights—an endless cycle of déjà vu day after day, season after season. I am an adoptee who feels the plight of the orphaned refugee. I don’t even know my parents’ names. Seeking eternal bliss, I whimsically dream of effectuating a heavenly love affair of the heart and the healing peace of mind a mother daughter reunion would make. I am restless and would be forever grateful and feel fulfilled and whole, if by happenstance some kindred soul would expose my aching heart to my ma and pa.

Judith Land




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Reactive Attachment Disorder – RAD

Imagine the feeling of being unable to connect with anyone and unable to feel the comfort of being loved. Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is a rare but serious condition in which a child fails to establish healthy attachments with parents or caregivers. The absence of emotional warmth during the first few years of life can negatively affect a child’s entire future. Children who experience severe neglect, abuse, early separation, and an implicit lack of an identifiable, preferred attachment figure are susceptible to a condition referred to as reactive attachment disorder (RAD); characterized by an inability of the child to form normal, loving relationships. Children with RAD generally are at higher risk for depression; aggressive disruptive behavior; learning difficulties; behavior problems in school; an inability to form meaningful relationships; and low self-esteem. Without treatment, RAD can have a negative impact on a child’s physical, emotional, behavioral, social, and moral development and other lifelong consequences.

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) | Judith Land | Adoption Detective

If you’re a parent or caregiver whose child has reactive attachment disorder, it’s easy to become angry, frustrated and distressed. You may feel like your child doesn’t love you—or that it’s hard to like your child sometimes. Children with RAD have difficulty maintaining relationships. They exhibit defiant behavior, a refusal to cooperate, and a pervasive anger and resentment. They are characterized as having cognitive and language delays, conduct disorder, difficulties in social settings and academic learning difficulties.

Adopted children are considerably more at risk of exhibiting emotional, behavioral, and educational problems related to RAD than children raised by their biological parents. A child who is lacking the experience of forming a strong, secure connection with the mother or primary caregiver during the crucial period of early brain development is at a higher risk of becoming emotionally scarred in infancy. The lack of opportunity for proper growth and development increases the risk of various forms of psychopathology, including reactive attachment disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); behaviors based on attachment theory. The lack of an identifiable attachment figure may result in grossly disturbed internal models for relating to others leading to indiscriminate sociability manifested by inhibited, hyper vigilant, ambivalent and contradictory responses; poor social interaction with peers; aggression toward self and others; a failure to thrive and atypical abnormal behaviors that persist for many years.

There is no universally accepted diagnostic protocol for RAD. Signs and symptoms may include withdrawal from others, fear, sadness and irritability; listlessness; a failure to smile; avoidance of social interaction; a failure to reach out to others; and a lack of interest in interactive games. Children with reactive attachment disorder are believed to have the capacity to form attachments, but this ability has been compromised by their experiences. The best treatment for a child with reactive detachment disorder is early intervention with a positive, loving, stable, caring environment and caregiver. Treatments for reactive attachment disorder include positive child and caregiver interactions, a stable, nurturing environment, psychological counseling, and parent or caregiver education. Modifying the behavior of the parents or primary caregivers provides most of the treatment.

Judith Land




adopción | принятие | 양자 | 采用 | adoção | adopţie | lcm con nuôi | Annahme | υιοθεσία

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“Adoption—Stowaway Orphan from Peru found in London train station”

A stowaway orphan from deepest darkest Peru was discovered in a train station in London wandering alone with a battered suitcase. He was wearing an old hat, spectacles and a rumpled duffle coat. On his suitcase was a note that read, “Please look after this orphan. Thank you.”

“I arrived in this country as a stowaway on a boat and survived primarily by eating marmalade,” he explained. “My parents died in a devastating earthquake in Peru. I was taken in and raised by my Aunt Lucy and my Uncle Pastuzo. My Uncle gave me this old hat to wear when he went to live in a retirement home in Lima.”

Paddington | Adoption Detective | Judith Land 2

Thank you author Michael Bond for creating such a wonderful and beloved character cherished and admired by children throughout the world.

The Brown family found him sitting alone on his tattered suitcase in the train station. “No-one can understand his Peruvian name Pastuso, so we decided to call him Paddington after the railway station where we found him. We agreed to adopt him because he is always polite and kindhearted. Paddington inflicts hard stares on those who incur his disapproval and has an endless capacity for innocently getting into trouble, but he tries very hard to get things right,” Mrs. Brown explained.

“We live near the Portobello Road market, where Paddington is respected by the shopkeepers for driving a hard bargain but when he gets annoyed with someone, he often gives them one of his special ‘hard stares’ taught to him by his Aunt Lucy, which causes them to become flushed and embarrassed,” she added.

Paddington explained that he is very happy with his adoptive parents. “Mrs. Brown says that in London everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in. I think she must be right because although I don’t look like anyone else, I really do feel at home. I’ll never be like other people, but that’s all right, because I’m a bear.”

Paddington Bear is a fictional character in children’s literature. He first appeared in 1958 and has been featured in more than twenty books written by Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum and other artists. Paddington was featured on postage stamps in 1994 and 2006 and in 2014 a balloon was introduced in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A movie about him was released in 2014 and a sequel is currently under consideration. In order to promote the movie 50 statues of Paddington were placed around London, close to museums and parks. All proceeds from the sale of the statues went to charity.

Judith Land, Adoptee





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Adoption Detective—Judith Land Quotes

Adoption Detective | Judith Land Quotes

“There seems to be a call, a natural urge, in all humans to comprehend and fulfill past traditions of family, nation, culture and religion and a belief that knowledge of ancestry and genealogy is an inalienable and entitled right of every person. Our forebears survived over the millennia by chance, luck, skill and natural selection. We are the progenies of individuals who survived natural disasters, diseases, plagues, famines and wars; persons who were blessed by fate who made the right choices at the right times. They were smarter, faster, more brutal, cunning, luckier, virile or simply survived because they avoided detection and confrontation. Genealogical records provide information about the appearance and physical stature of individuals, locations where they were born and died and their occupations—but for adoptees, it is most often through our dreams, clairvoyance and perceptions of a higher consciousness that we learn to build up our self-image and get to know and understand ourselves.” Judith Land


Choices – Our lives are the sum of all the choices we make, the bridges we cross, and the ones we burn. Our souls cast long shadows over many people, even after we are gone.

Orphans – Each personal story of adoption is unique, but the theme is universal. Children are separated from their parents due to war, pestilence, accidents, and natural disasters, but most often, they are willfully abandoned due to inconvenience.

Separation – Separation from the birth mother is the confiscation of the child’s soul, a mutual occurrence that rips apart and exposes the heart of the child.

Primal Wound – Orphans amputated from their mother’s breast hide their wounds in the darkest subconscious corners of their primal brains, where they remain hidden, but never healed.

Sense of Loss – Mother and daughter equally suffer from the same cerebral wounds, numbness, and sentiments of penitence. Enduring these injuries and suffering in silence is what they habitually have in common.

Spirituality – Ultimately, the crushing emotional pain of rejection is so formidable that it can only be shared with God.

Adoption – Adoption is a familiar theme among all people that encourages group reminiscing about romantic fairy tales, fables, mysteries, historic legends, shaggy-dog stories, and tragic folk tales.

Mystery – The heroine of Adoption Detective is hardly a traditional detective, but genealogy by its very nature, leads her to detection, deduction, and conclusions that are not always what she had in mind.

Childhood – Everything that ever happened to Judith Romano lingered in her imagination. Separation from her biological roots encouraged visions of her birth mother inspired by obscure memories, mystical dreams, and childhood fantasies.

Dreams – Tormented with dreams of tornados, hurricanes, mudslides, flying insects, and floods, I slept in a cold sweat. I had a vision of my biological mother. Her back was turned. I wanted to call out her name to let her know that I was her lost child, but my voice was silent because I was insecure and afraid that she might not like me. Passively waiting for her to turn around and recognize me, the vision evaporated into a spiritual mist, leaving me cold and alone.

Searching – The process of conducting an adoption search requires resilience to conquer adversity, perseverance to overcome injustice, and persistence to achieve your goal.

Faith – And when I was in my lowest emotional states of mind and there was no one there to help me overcome distress or discouragement, I found it therapeutic to direct my accepted wisdom to God.

Reconciliation – Reconciliation allows me to feel spiritually healed from the austere primal wound caused by the unnatural separation from you after I was born. Your willingness to unconditionally accept me as your daughter generates delightful feelings of distinction and worthiness.

Happiness – Blue skies, rugged snowy mountains, and sunshine on my shoulders (John Denver) give me euphoric feelings of happiness. I love warm summers and campfires, and find the gold-quaking aspen trees in the Maroon Bells Wilderness irresistible. I become excited whenever the snows are deep and the skiing challenging in Vail and Aspen.

Epilogue – Ancestral recovery was a peak experience, an extraordinary moment that took my breath away, liberated my spirit, and gave me the confidence to soar like an eagle.

Judith Land, Adoptee
Youtube Video: “Adoption Detective – Judith Land Quotes”



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Adoption—“Letting Go!”

Some adoptees are surrounded with a corona of emotional trauma—a dark ethereal haze that shields them from feeling the warmth of the sun, enjoying the vastness and awe of nature, and appreciating the vivid colors and hue of a golden sunset. They have no idea why their life’s trajectory has been so radically altered and the vexing reasons why the separation from others has occurred. The clothes they are given don’t seem to fit. They sense the presence of a mistaken and a concealed identity. Life is a bewildering array of experiences, thoughts, emotions, events, and people that stimulates thoughts to arise in their heads and emotions in their hearts that aren’t really them.

Letting Go | Judith Land | Adoption Detective

“We are forever evolving and growing. The hardest part about growing up is ‘letting go’ and moving away from our comfort zones and moving on with something untried and new. Holding on and hanging in there are signs of strength but it takes an even greater effort to know when to let go and give up resisting and struggling to hold onto meaningless issues. To live a happy life we must learn to accept unchangeable realities and let go of what was. Truth and wisdom lies in accepting what is, letting go of what was, and having faith in what could be.” Judith Land, Adoptee

Yesterday is a muse that we contemplate in our dreams. Tomorrow is a fantasy conceived in La-La Land. Every dawn is a new day and every wholesome, well-lived moment today, makes every yesterday a pleasant memory of contentment, and every tomorrow an optimistic vision of hope, love and peace. Destiny, providence, and nothing about the life of an adoptee are perfectly understood by them. Life is burdensome, mystifying, and awkward for adoptees who ponder the idea of being nefariously outcast, deliberately wronged, and fortuitously abandoned. Forgiving others is challenging for them when they have no idea why significant others are missing from their lives and where they went. The pain of looking back creates perceptions of being abused and victimized. Past events cannot be controlled and refuse to exit from their minds. It is difficult for them to heal from past experiences when they view themselves as holding the short end of the stick. Memories recirculate in their heads like a catchy tune, phase, song, and marketing jingle that is difficult to forget when all they really want is for their powers of recall and remembrances to disappear.

Living in the past restricts the way many adoptees define themselves and impedes opportunities for enjoying good health and a happy life. We are the sum of our past experiences, thoughts and feelings, but going forward while looking in the rearview mirror prevents many adoptees from alleviating many of the negative symptoms of adoption associated with fear, anger, depression, adoption syndrome and post traumatic stress. In order to fully appreciate the positive, serendipitous, and wholesome moments that may come our way, we need to consciously “let go” of unhealthy attachments, ideas, and the negative events that occur in our daily lives that bedevil and torment our souls.

Emotional wounds caused by neglect, abandonment, and abuse can only be healed by living in the present, cultivating an awareness of who we really are, forgiving others, and concentrating on those things that can actually be changed. To feel fully alive, buoyant about the future, and exhilarated about life, stay engaged in the moment. Make friends. Enjoy nature. Heighten your awareness of your individuality and uniqueness. Be true to yourself by acting in accordance with what you believe. Become the person you always wanted to be.

Judith Land





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Adoption—“The Point of No Return”

“In every life event, including adoption, adoption searches and reunions, there are pivotal events beyond which one’s current course of action is set and beyond which there is no return. Nobody understands this metaphor better than the airplane pilot who must determine the point of continuous action based on fuel consumption to know when a plane is no longer capable of returning to the airfield from which it took off.” —Judith Land

Adoption Detective | Judith Land | Point of No Return

A rope was used as “a commitment device” by Ulysses to tie him to the mast so that he couldn’t be lured in by the song of the Sirens and forced to change his mind after a decision to proceed had been made.

“The die is cast,” Julius Caesar declared in 49 BC before leading his army across the Rubicon River, the northern boundary of the Italian Republic, with the intent of conquering Rome. “Crossing the Rubicon” quickly evolved into a popular metaphor for deliberately proceeding past a “point of no return”. Once the dice have been thrown, all bets are irrevocable, even before the dice have come to rest. “To cross a thin red line” is another phrase used worldwide to mean a figurative point of no return, a limit past which safety can no longer be guaranteed. In 1928 at the end of the Ottoman Empire a red pencil was used to arbitrarily draw a line on a map defining the borders of the divided empire. Similar red lines have been used to contain the provocative actions of North Korea, Bosnia, Crimea, and Syria. “A line in the sand” is a phrase attributed to Colonel William Travis, commander of the Alamo defense forces in Texas at the Battle of the Alamo where turning back was physically impossible, prohibitive, and dangerous; a line where the decision and the resulting consequences are permanently irreversible. “Burning ones bridges, burning ones boats, and breaking the soup kettles” are military tactics that have been used to force armies to fight with their backs against the sea by removing opportunities for retreat. Exceeding the “critical mass” in nature results in catastrophic landslides, avalanches, and broken dams. “Domino effects, butterfly effects, and snowball effects” compound the consequences of an action and increase the collateral effects. An “event horizon” is the point at which the gravitational pull becomes so great as to make escape impossible.

We all know that we can never return to the small-town life we abandoned in our youth—but why do some individuals think every decision has to be final? “Dynamic inconsistency” refers to a situation in which a decision-maker’s inclinations and selections change over time when future preferences may be the opposite of how we feel today about relationships, procrastination, addiction, weight loss, adoption, or saving for retirement. The legendary Greek king of Ithaca Ulysses was so intent on following through with his decision that a rope was used as “a commitment device” to tie him to the mast so that he couldn’t be lured in by the song of the Sirens and forced to change his mind. Legally binding commitments carved in stone that are irrevocable and irreversible based only on how we feel today leave no wiggle room for future changes of heart in response to altered circumstances.

In your mind, what are the most critical “points of no return” facing persons involved in adoptions, adoption searches and reunions? If you are currently faced with a major life decision, and an irrevocable point of no return, how can you be certain that you will feel the same tomorrow, as you do today?

Judith Land




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Adoption—Can you die from a broken heart?

“The intense emotional pain and stress resulting from unrequited love, disassociation, severance, rejection, adoption, divorce and the death of a loved one have always been associated with broken hearts. World literature, songs, and poems in every language are filled with proclamations about the distressingly painful effects of separation. Legends and fictional tales speak of characters that have died after suffering a devastating loss—a concept that dates back over 3,000 years to describe the physical pain and feelings associated with relationship loss.” Judith Land, Adoptee

Judith Land | Adoption Detective | Broken Heart Syndrome

Adoptees diagnosed with broken heart syndrome can benefit from the support of friends and family members, draw comfort from their faith, obtain understanding and sympathy from support groups, and profit from the advice of therapists and health professionals.

Psychologists believe that primal separation fears are a survival instinct that encourages humans to form close family relationships—the reason why we experience emotional pain when those connections are lost. Broken heart syndrome, known in the medical profession as stress cardiomyopathy, is emotional pain caused by intensely stressful situations, such as the loss of a loved one. Bereaved mourners feel especially lost when rekindled memories of the departed increase anxiety, mounting frustration, grief, and emotional stress. Symptoms include exhaustion, restlessness, and feelings of isolation; as well as, sleep problems, eating disorders, chest pressure, headaches, stress and depression. In extreme cases, research has shown that mourners experiencing broken heart syndrome may also develop post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD)—a medical condition associated with separation anxiety, adoption and traumatic loss.

Physiological and biochemical changes that contribute to physical illnesses and heart diseases have been found in individuals that have high levels of anxiety and depression. Bereaved individuals experiencing mental suffering, emotional pain, sorrow, distress, grief, and anguish are known to have compromised immune systems due to inflammation caused by the heart’s reaction to a surge of stress hormones. Feelings of acute grief, betrayal, and abandonment cause a disruption of blood being pumped in and out of the heart resulting in chest pains and shortness of breath. Intense emotional grief leads to changes in blood clotting and blood pressure that weakens and damages the heart muscle that may eventually shock the body into a fatal heart condition resulting in coronary failure and stroke. Without an apparent medical cause, death by despair is what happens when someone loses the will to live as the result of a broken heart.

Adoptees diagnosed with broken heart syndrome can benefit from the support of friends and family members, draw comfort from their faith, obtain understanding and sympathy from support groups, and profit from the advice of therapists and health professionals. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle deprived individuals experiencing a profound absence due to an adoption must learn to take care of themselves by protecting their mental and physical health; acknowledging their inner pain; expressing their feelings in creative ways; knowing that it is okay to cry and let go of their feelings when the time is right; and anticipate life events that rekindle memories of the past.

Judith Land




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