“Adoption—we cry because we are human”

Adoption Detective | Judith Land | Crying

Emotional tears associated with feelings of sadness, grief, fear, remorse, and happiness originate from the heart; they well up inside us and spill out whenever we can’t contain them. They are nature’s way of exposing the truth by letting others know how we truly feel about the events in our lives.

“Tears are like sparkling silver ingots, tiny oblong droplets of salt water glinting small flashes of light that soothe emotional pain like cold water on a burn.” Judith Land

Crying is a natural response to sorrow and frustration and a way of outwardly expressing our feelings and deepest heartfelt emotions. When someone is crying, their tears speak for themselves; no one has to ask what they’re feeling, or to explain anything. Tears help to reveal the truth and play an important role in communication as a way of sharing more than words that stimulates empathy in the mind of others. Crying is a sign that we are alive and a mechanism that can save relationships in distress. Crying lowers blood pressure, relieves stress, reduces magnesium in the blood, and has beneficial results that improve emotional, physical, and mental health. When we don’t cry emotional stresses have negative effects on the mind, the heart, and the body.

Most often we cry because we fear we made a mistake with regrettable consequences. We feel sad for the depraved and the lonely, not only in response to our own pain, shame, and embarrassment but because we’re moved to tears by other people’s sadness, too. Feelings of empathy trigger sympathetic tears because of what happened to another person. It is normal to react emotionally to events that are consequential and pivotal, even when a story has a happy fairytale ending. We cry when the development of events are beyond a person’s control; the course of someone’s life is inexplicably altered; the outcome of a particular situation is detrimental; and negative outcomes are inescapable. Some individuals cry tears of happiness as they reflect on their good fortune and the positive benefits adoption has provided; others don’t feel as fortunate. Even when adoption is the only choice, the separation of anonymous children from faceless unnamed parents seems unnatural. Regardless of why it happened and the severity of the post traumatic stress that may occur, separation is a heart wrenching life-altering event associated with great sadness for many adoptees that leaves them feeling downhearted, forlorn and dispirited. Their tears aren’t a symptom of weakness; they offer proof that they are human.

Have you ever noticed that you feel less sad and angry after a good cry? Some individuals believe that crying is beneficial to health and mental well being, that tears can be highly therapeutic and a potent healing experience. So the next time you experience sadness, grief, fear, regret and remorse, and feel tears welling up inside you, know that it is okay to release those heartfelt feelings of misery, despair, pain, and excessive happiness by having a good cry. Don’t be afraid to let the world know how you feel—go ahead and release those tears.

Judith Land, Adoptee



Adoption Detective

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Adoption—can happiness be learned?

Federico_Andreotti_-_The_Love_Letter | Judith Land | Adoption Detective

La lettera d’amore (the love letter) by Federico Andreotti. “Perhaps, the world would be a happier place if more people sent old fashioned heartwarming handwritten love letters on irresistible perfumed stationary as proof of their love.” Judith Land 

Yes, happiness can be learned. Our involvement in activities has a direct bearing on our state of mind, level of joy, amusement, satisfaction, gratification, euphoria, and triumph. Happiness is an emotional state largely derived from encountering unexpected serendipitous events, seeing a significant other, and when basking in the acceptance and praise of others. Enjoying tasty food and warm baths bring us pleasure. Participating in challenging activities promotes engagement. Belonging to something bigger than self and participating in a quest provides meaning to our lives. The realization of tangible goals triggers a positive sense of accomplishment and well-being. Staying healthy is a key factor for remaining cheerful, lighthearted, and living longer. Social ties and relationships are a reliable indicator of a good nature and a merry disposition.

Heredity determines to some degree our level joyfulness (based on twin studies) but life circumstances and situations can equally influence our personality and level of exuberance. The remainder is subject to self-control based on the activities we pursue and the friends that surround us. Ultimately, our sense of well-being, contentment, quality of life, and the opportunity to flourish are the sum of all the decisions we make and the lifestyle we choose. Smiles and jubilance are elicited when our curiosity is cultivated, our expectations are reasonable and attainable, and we practice the art of forgiveness. Our mood and level of contentment are enhanced when linked to competence, autonomy, relatedness to others, and success in the workplace. There is a positive link between spiritual and religious commitment.

Innate forces beyond their basic needs drive ‘self-actualizing’ people to explore and strive to reach their full human potential. As a result, they have more opportunities for peak experiences, profound moments of love, understanding, and happiness, that makes them feel more whole, alive, self sufficient, and connected with others. Understanding and sharing the building blocks that are the foundation of true happiness are ultimately how we learn to improve ourselves and help other wandering souls overcome the strife of separation and build a better life.

“Sustainable happiness is achieved when we learn to manufacture our own sunshine.”

Judith Land, Author & Adoptee




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“Adoption and self-determinism”


When is the last time something struck you as being funny? Finding humor in daily circumstances adds joy to our lives. “A man on a raft paddles away” by Edward Steed is a highly amusing cartoon because it epitomizes self-determinism, independent behavior, and freedom of choice. Which character are you?

Self-determinism is a basic God-given right and a natural freedom inherent in all people, regardless of the circumstances under which we live. Greek philosophers identified self-determinism as the capacity to manage one’s own affairs, make one’s own judgments, provide for oneself, and the independent determination of one’s own fate and course of action; the power and the ability to make a decision for oneself without intimidation, constraint, compulsion, influence from the outside, and immunity from the arbitrary exercise of authority; an ancient doctrine based on the concept of a free will and the principle that everyone has the right to be the authors of their own lives and make their own choices.

Some things in life happen out of necessity. Other events happen by chance, but chance is uncertain. Our own actions are voluntary and within us; they happen naturally based on our innate tendencies. Our actions are autonomous and this special ability to choose makes us morally responsible. It is to these actions we attach praise and blame. Individuals uncertain about which alternative to choose are vulnerable to outside influences, coercion, intimidation, and promises of a better life that may drive them to make compulsive moral choices they may later regret.

Children don’t have the right of self-determinism. Their freedom is restricted. They aren’t allowed to do as they please. Sovereignty is reserved and independence is withheld from them. They are subservient to those who have dominion over them but some parents hoping to do what’s best may be guilty of prosaic influences leading to parental alienation and xenophobia parentis. Excessive control may lead to over reliance, trigger feelings of defeatism and isolation, and lead some adoptees to view the historical practice of secrecy and concealment of their true identity as medieval and the falsification of birth records to prevent them from knowing their origin, cultural heritage, biological family members, and detailed medical history as Orwellian. At what age should adopted children be emancipated and given the freedom to control their own lives? When they reach the age of reason, as fully functioning adults will the mysteries of the past be alluring to them? Will they have a desire to retrace their steps through the labyrinth of life in the sands of time as an expression of self-determinism?

The world is littered with individuals haunted by the past, shackled by the burdens of secrecy and separated from their lost because it was necessary, by chance, or because someone chose a different path for them. Perhaps, there would be more happiness in the world if more people exercised their natural right of self-determinism and fewer people exploited the weak by exerting their dominance over them. To everyone facing a difficult future; seeking reconciliation and forgiveness; carrying the heavy burdens of a troubled past; confronted by a pivotal event; and beginning a journey of hope with uncertainty, I respect your natural right of self-determinism and wish you God-speed.

Judith Land


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“Adoption—concealed carry!”

beauty girl cry

All humans conceal our emotions on a regular basis. If we don’t want anyone to know how we feel, we “put on a happy face” to cover up our feelings of distress. But, the brains of observers unconsciously detect that things aren’t right based on gut feelings, emotional intelligence, and the involuntary emotive expressions we see in others.


Do you “conceal your thoughts and carry your secrets” with you as a defense against public disclosure? Do you avoid divulging your deepest secrets because you view them as private and confidential? Some memories of past events are hard to forget and others were deeply hidden in the darkest folds of the primitive brain long ago. Are you haunted by secrets and faced with unsolvable dilemmas that you have been unwilling to share with others? Do you opt out of open conversations because you are fearful about what others might think of you, or say behind your back? Have you ever felt like wearing dark sunglasses, a high collar, and a hat to keep from being noticed in public, or a defendant masking the truth to protect a secret? Are you the quiet type who suffers in silence, who prefers to keep out of sight, avoid the spotlight, shun public forums, and avoid public speaking?

Adoption is a multifaceted topic, with many layers and dimensions that trigger powerful intrinsic emotions in response to cavernous thoughts about unanswered questions and painful events in our lives. Parenting sparks debates based on conflicting viewpoints generated from all sides of the adoption triangle. Governments at all levels react to world crises, military conflicts, and natural catastrophes. Hundreds of individuals, medics, social workers, clergy, philanthropists, and charitable institutions with piecemeal budgets and manpower provide temporary comfort while recognizing national sovereignty, laws, and cultural preferences. And yet, problems encountered by children in need of love continue the same as they always have over the millennia.

Many individuals and organizations are spokespersons and advocates for a wide variety of topics related to adoption. Social media are filled with support groups and task forces formed to address critical issues and provide aid and comfort to those in need. But, what about all those individuals who never participate—those who conceal their secrets and carry their burdens in silence? They intentionally sweep their problems under the rug to keep from being exposed—out of sight, out of mind. Where can they go for help and advice? Would it be helpful for them to share their secrets with you or someone you know? Would you volunteer to hold their hand and allow the curtain to be lowered? Who are the best mentors and sources of information for adoptees and adoptive parents? Who is best able to deal with the sufferings and misfortunes of others and guide them to a better life?

Have you ever encouraged someone to rid themselves of the shackles of secrecy and lift the awful burden of guilt from their shoulders by offering to be a good listener and lend a helping hand? Did they breath an enormous sigh of relief?

Judith Land


Judith Land Website

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A radio Interview with Judith Land

Judith Land | Adoption Story | Adoption Detective

“If a parent can love more than one child; then a child can love more than one parent.” Judith Land, Author of the book Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child

Why did you write a book about adoption? 

Media, social workers, parents and adoptees encouraged me to write a book.
Audiences showed high enthusiasm for my story around campfires and dinner tables.
The topic of adoption has universal appeal for individuals of all ages and cultures.
I was passionate about the need to discover my true self-identity and family heritage.
I wanted to share my ideas with others who could benefit from my experience.
To prove to others that negative beginnings can have positive outcomes.
I wanted to speak for those without a voice and inspire others to take action.
It is important to leave a legacy and make others proud of me.

What makes your book Adoption Detective unique?

It describes the evolution in thinking over time from childhood through to adulthood.
It is written from the perspective of an orphaned, fostered and adopted child.
It describes the universal spiritual connection to mothers and my passion to find her.
It captures emotional reactions to the pivotal events in the life of an adoptee.
It highlights the power of the individual to overcome obstacles and determine outcomes.
It proves that destiny is not always preordained—life is an adventure of our own making.

What outcomes can readers of your book expect?

Readers will be entertained and carried along by many of their own experiences.
Awareness of adoption issues on all sides of the adoption triangle will increase.
More birth mothers and fathers will be inspired to keep in touch with their babies.
Orphans, foster children, and adoptees will be inspired to search for their roots.
Parents will be inspired to do a better job of raising their children.
Parents will become more aware that children are forever and always.
The public will pay more attention to adoption legislation, laws and policies.
Charitable giving to children’s organizations will increase.

How would you describe your writing style?

Writing styles serve as a brand similar to a favorite ice cream flavor. Adoption Detective is a true story that blends the elements of a nonfiction memoir with the written style of a novel. Novels highlight individuals that have reasons for their actions, who are distinguished, alluring, and realistic, that the reader wants to know more about. The theme is profound and the setting, time, and place easy to imagine. A good memoir deals with desire–what people want; what they do to get it; what helps or hinders them; and describes what it all means then and now. Pivotal events in life are specific and interesting and the interrelationship of events and feelings are vividly linked based on the cause and effect. I combined elements of both formats to keep the story lively and interesting.

Would you advise other adoptees to search for their roots?

Yes. With increasing age and maturity most adoptees think of their birth parents with an ever-increasing sense of forgiveness. Adoptees have a need for a curative breakthrough reality that will finally make sense of their disrupted life stories. Adoption reunions have the potential to make seekers well in this age of illness and anxiety. Adoptees eventually grow up to be mature adults with their own opinions and ideas, but many adoptive parents who oppose adoption reunions may disagree with me because they believe that adoptees are “forever” children in need of lifelong supervision. Adoption searches may create feelings of jealousy and be viewed as self-serving by adoptive parents withholding their emotional support.

Do you encourage adoptions?

Safeguarding the mental and emotional well being of children should be a universal priority for humanity in all cultures and societies. I have compassion for mothers and fathers separated from their babies who endure countless anxious days and nights of tormented suffering. For the infant, separation from the birth mother is a confiscation of a child’s soul, a mutual occurrence that rips apart and exposes the primal heart of the child. The traumatic tribulations that haunt afflicted unwanted children, selflessly orphaned, abandoned, clueless and left to be raised by strangers can cause highly severe and predictable negative lifelong psychological effects. It is difficult to keep up with all the discussions about the longterm effects of primal wounds and PTSD related to adoptions. All children feel the need to be loved. For that reason, I view the permanence associated with adoption as far superior to orphanages and institutional care when it comes to safeguarding the mental and emotional well being of children in need of parents, but adoption should only be viewed as a desperate last resort. I much prefer, whenever possible, that children stay with their biological relatives.

What was it like to meet your birth parents?

I find it difficult to find the appropriate words to describe the enigmatic, mystifying, and passionate psychological potency that motivates some adoptees hoping to reunite with their roots in order to discover their true self-identity and natural place on this earth. The way home for many adoptees is a highly emotional journey through the government bureaucracy and a mysterious labyrinth of the mind and soul. Once a quest to discover one’s roots has been initiated, it is often difficult for seekers and wanderers to change course, or halt the pursuit of their goal, until a conclusion has been reached. It was a difficult emotional journey for me, but the rewards of finding my birth parents and extended family far outweighs the trauma, apprehension, and mental angst I experienced along the way. I also conducted additional searches to find my foster parents and maternal grandparents, which were great adventures and just as exciting and rewarding. Adoptive parents are often opposed to reunions, usually for selfish reasons, but the most important thing I learned from my adoption search is, “If a parent can love more than one child; then a child can love more than one parent.”

What do you have to say in conclusion?

The positive feedback I have received from all over the world is hugely rewarding. Knowing that I have made a positive contribution to the lives of others in search of their true identity is very important to me. It is gratifying to hear readers thank me for being their voice on many difficult issues by leading through example, inspiration, and entertainment. Every new generation of unskilled adolescents needs to be forewarned of the perils and heartbreaks of exerting their desire to experience love. We learn by reading. And in conclusion, I would like to say that those who don’t read have no advantage over those who can’t.

Thank you.

Judith Land, Author & Adoptee


Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child


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“Adoption—Life is a Dance!”

ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" - Season 18 - Week Ten

Life is a dance. We learn as we go, whether we lead or follow. Look at them sway with it, roll in the hay with it, wow (huh)! Younger than spring again, feeling that zing again, wow (huh)! He goes to, she goes fro. He goes fast, she goes slow. He goes left, she goes right, and now she’s nowhere in sight.


“Dancing with the Stars” is an American dance competition that has aired on ABC television for twenty years. Each dance couple competes for judges’ points and audience votes. What if our daily performance was broadcast live around the world for everyone to see and rated 1 through 10 by a panel of judges and voted on by the public? Would the audience release a cascade of applause? Would they wax lyrical over our style and grace, reward our perseverance, praise our intelligence, and acknowledge our professionalism?

If you are an adoptee or foster child with an emotional need for a curative and breakthrough reality that makes sense out of your disrupted life story; if you are a birth parent tormented by difficult choices and loss; or if you are an adoptive parent struggling to make the right choices, remember that life is a dance. We all go at our own pace. Sometimes we lead. Sometimes we follow. Sometimes taking a chance on love brings turtledoves and sometimes things blow up in our face and we lose the race.  The path to more crying is most often the result of not trying, rather than injury, poor health, and withdrawal. If only I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t feel so hollow. In every situation there is a time to walk, a time to talk, and even a time to crawl back. Nobody can learn the long, continuous flowing movements of the foxtrot and glide across the dance floor without significant training and rehearsals. Don’t fear what you don’t know; trust your instincts and learn as you go.

Life presents us all with challenges and adversity. Inevitably, everyone struggles at times and experiences the consequences of our shortfalls. Life is a learning opportunity and positive lessons can be learned from facing hardships and failure. The way we respond to difficulties we encounter and the choices we make is what defines us. Our attitude and how we respond to trying circumstances is how we learn to dance and how we find our path in life. Trust your instincts and know that inaction is a waste of life. With patience, practice, and maturity, you too can be a champion. Don’t worry about what you don’t know today because life is a dance—we all learn as we go. So, step lively and wisely!

Judith Land




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Adoption—Are you an egghead or a potato head?

Why do some adoptees think it is their inalienable human right to know their true identity while others seemingly don’t care? Boiling water softens a potato and hardens an egg. When we find ourselves in hot water, and in danger of being criticized or punished, our “flight or fight” response is triggered. Our reactions to fear either harden or soften our chances of survival. Adoptees who fear confrontation react by withdrawing and escaping into isolation, darkness, and oblivion (flight). They are unwilling to play detective or rock the boat because they are afraid of the consequences. Other adoptees strive for validity, genuineness, truthfulness, and open communication. They are highly motivated to solve the mysteries of their origin and discover their true identity (fight).

An egghead is a professor, virtuoso, whiz, or brainy scholar intellectually gifted in the field of academics.

An egghead is a professor, virtuoso, whiz, or brainy scholar intellectually gifted in the field of academics.

Eggheads are hardened by the adoption experience. They have an emotional need for a curative and emotional breakthrough reality that will finally make sense of their disrupted life stories. They possess a nostalgic spirit and a wistful sense of homesickness. Awkwardly suspended in a bewildered state of confusion, they restlessly long for an intimate view of days gone by. They seek verity and a genuine sense of legitimacy. They have a natural curiosity about the past and a strong desire to reconnect with missing family members. Separation from their ancestral roots increases their passions and strengthens their desire to reconnect with the lost. Reality doesn’t scare them because they believe in self-determination. They are empowered to fight against injustices and correct previous wrongs. They seek wisdom, honesty, truthfulness, validity, mutual consent, reconciliation, and positive connections; while abhorring deceit and vagueness. They are hardened by the daunting challenges of initiating a quest for self-discovery by rummaging through historical documents, interviewing strangers, cultivating an historical literacy, and the difficult task of building a family tree. They possess an innate psychological drive that motivates them to validate all facts, and reject falsehoods and unsubstantiated legends. They are motivated by an innate sense of destiny and driven by a belief that the most worthy and noble course of action in life is to solve the mysteries of their origin. They want to know why their life’s trajectory has been so radically altered and they willingly fight for what is inherently theirs—a true self-identity. Seeking reality, genuineness, and truthfulness in all things, they are naturally drawn to individuals who seem “intuitively familiar” and they have a sentimental sense of forgiveness toward those who have trespassed against them.

“How precious! Oh and look! She has your nose!” Mr. Potato Head is an American toy consisting of a plastic model of a potato with replaceable ears, eyes, shoes, a hat, a nose, and a mouth.

“How precious! Oh and look! She has your nose!” Mr. Potato Head is an American toy consisting of a plastic model of a potato with replaceable ears, eyes, shoes, a hat, a nose, and a mouth.

Potato heads are softened by the adoption experience. Innocence comforts them. Lacking a natural curiosity about their family history, ancestral pedigree, geographic place of origin, and inheritance, they have a callous ambiguous ambivalence to the past and an indifference to their apparent lack of a coherent identity. Their memories and recollections of past events and people are foggy and unfamiliar because they are unenlightened and blind to history. They naively accept without challenge the legends and fabrications that have been told to them. Vagueness, deception, delusions and even crass naiveté don’t annoy or trouble them. They are unconcerned knowing that anonymous strangers unlinked them from their genetic antecedents, native language, and cultural heritage. They fear close examination, scholarly investigation, and public scrutiny. They are apprehensive about the reasons for the radical shift in their life’s trajectory, but they are unwilling to take any actions that may land them in hot water with adopted family members who might interpret their intentions as self-serving. Current circumstances and relationships are what define legitimacy to them. The love, gratitude, compassion, and appreciation they feel for adopted parents, who are perceived as virtuous individuals, trumps any negative feelings they may have of being isolated, anonymous and unheralded. They happily embrace the status quo and their current family relationships by dancing to the words of the song, “If you can’t be with the ones you love, love the ones you’re with.”

Which kind of adoptee are you—a softened potato head or a hardboiled egghead?

Judith Land



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