“You’re Adopted!”

My eight birthday is a day I’ll never forget.

Come sit beside me on the couch. I have something important to tell you,” my adoptive mother Rosella unexpectedly blurted out while nervously extending her hand.

judith-land-adoption-detective-celebrity-author

“Awareness leads to understanding, understanding gives rise to acceptance, and acceptance is where self-confidence and self-esteem begin to grow. Children facing the challenges of adoption want to be mainstreamed and prefer not to be separated out or have to sit on the sideline. They want to have fun and be accepted like every other child. They want to understand the simple truths—and they certainly never want to feel isolated or be left all alone.” —Judith Land

I hesitatingly complied. My senses were heightened in response to her uncharacteristic manner of speaking. The dark living room curtains were only partially open, leaving the air inside muggy and the lighting subdued. I automatically sensed that something out of the ordinary was about to happen. My mother’s odd tone of voice was much too high pitched for this to be an ordinary conversation. I sat rigidly at attention with my hands folded politely on my knees. The couch was ergonomically designed for adults and unfit for my small stature. The bristly fabric was scratchy on the back of my legs. I still remember that it was a dark, drizzly, cloudy day outside. My adoptive mother was not a warm, intimate hugger and her overbearing physical proximity caused me to writhe in my seat. She cleared her throat rather rudely before introducing the topic with a very bold statement.

“I am not your real mother. You had another mother before your father and I adopted you.”

I stiffened my back and sat upright. My mouth was closed; my lips were pursed tightly together. I had nothing to say. I didn’t know how to respond. Prolonged silence heightened the tension between us. Rosella had never understood why I had always been somber, withdrawn, and introverted probably because she had never been informed of the trauma of separation from the loving foster family I had already bonded with before I was adopted. The fact that my internal suffering had never been resolved had imposed a great strain on my adoptive mother. In response, her patience with me had often been overtaxed. I was an only child and when things went wrong and she became flustered with my inquisitiveness her normal reaction was to walk away and leave me in my room to play by myself.

She continued speaking. “You had another mother before me who gave birth to you. She named you Judith. She wasn’t legally married. You were an accident. She gave you up for adoption because you were illegitimate. She was too young to take care of you.”

My eyes became dry from not blinking. I reacted tentatively as I attempted to absorb what she was telling me. My rigid body language probably made a pretty strong statement that I was uncomfortable and confused. I had no comprehension about what the word “illegitimate” meant, and I was completely baffled about why I would ever be referred to as an “accident.” I understood the concept of adoption in an abstract way, but the underlying ramifications were more mysterious than clear. I was merely a child and stood dejectedly off to the side with my eyes lowered with an injured expression on my face. At that very moment, I needed spontaneous love and reassurance. I desperately wanted my mother to stop talking, hold my hand, and give me a big hug, but no warm hugs or reassurances were forthcoming. Our conversation ended abruptly without any sense of resolution. Rosella turned her back and returned to her normal duties in the kitchen. I could tell that she felt an enormous sense of relief now that the moment she had dreaded for so long was finally over. The events that transpired that day formed a lasting memory that I will never forget.

Perhaps, an opportunity for positive bonding could have occurred if my mother had simply hugged me and invited me into the kitchen to help decorate my birthday cake or engage in some other mother-and-daughter activity. Instead, I was coldly left alone to clean my bedroom and finish my daily chores. My adoptive mother had given me a lot to think about. I never forgot that day. I closed my eyes and pensively dreamed of my mystical connection to another mother far away that I knew nothing about.

Judith Land

 

 

 

 

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About Judith Land

Judith Land lives in Colorado and Arizona with husband and coauthor Martin Land. Judith is a former nurse, retail shop owner, college instructor and avid outdoor person. Her book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" is a true story detailing the journey of Judith Romano, foster child and adoptee, as she discovers fragments of her background, and then sets out to solve the mystery as an adult. "Mothers and fathers everywhere in the world need to understand that children are forever and always." --Judith Land
This entry was posted in Adoption, Children, Parenting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to “You’re Adopted!”

  1. Their is so many hidden names for children cared for by others We are under the Fostering name where local authority can change this pattern at anytime they wish. Families really need to open eyes and see why so many wee ones are being pretty much palmed off to people with either by education or to families with money, or to anyone they UK wish to send a child/children. I don’t pray for the child or family WE EXPOSE the Social Services for WHO they are. Evil and cruel or to The Heads they are deemed to be.

    • Judith Land says:

      There are four kinds of adoption—nefarious, forgivable, warranted, and praiseworthy. Those who suffer 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 most burdensome and wearisome hindrances to conquer in life are our own internal fears. Believing in oneself and trusting our own instincts is what is needed to overcome our greatest internal fears that prevent us from taking action and discovering the joys of sunshine, flowers, and children and a happy life.

  2. PS Lovely site put nicely together. x

    • Judith Land says:

      Butterflies serve to remind us that adoption is just the beginning of life’s big adventure, not an ending. Remarkably, there is nothing in the early life of a child or a little green caterpillar that gives a hint of the hidden beauty within. With maturity they both eventually metamorphose into an entirely new form.

  3. Oh, Dear Lord.
    I am dumbstruck, and searching for words.
    First as a birth mother who has been searching for 30 years, my heart wrenches with what your little ego may have experienced at that moment. Selfishly, I need to believe it must have been as difficult for her to deliver the message in an unprepared manner. Moreover, no matter what the scenario/circumstances that your life coursed up until then, and the subsequent trauma you experienced, it all happened for a reason and because it is all so inexplicable, we are left in such tumultuous turmoil – – even today.
    I pray your loving spirit carries you above the fray of confusion and unnecessary worry. I pray you connect with your birthmother and/or family – – you certainly deserve it.
    Very sincerely,
    Michelle

    • Judith Land says:

      Thank you Michelle. We are all born with a need to be loved—and we never outgrow it. Everything that ever happened to me lingered in my imagination. The ghostly image I had of my birth mother was something that haunted me throughout my childhood. Even though I had never seen her face, I often thought of her. My visions of her were inspired by obscure memories, mystical dreams, and childhood fantasies. Many obstacles were placed in my path, but I learned that, with maturity, they could be overcome with patience and perseverance. Knowing the truth is what I ultimately wanted to achieve. The process of searching required resilience to conquer adversity, perseverance to overcome injustice, and persistence to make my dreams come true. I was shaken knowing that I was adopted but my sense of optimism and hope that my life would turn out all right in the end were unwavering.

  4. Lara/Trace says:

    Judith, I read you ALL the time. I thank you. This takes real courage. You have it in bulk.

    • Judith Land says:

      Thank you! Worldwide we agree that all children need to be hugged. Hugs give us positive feelings of security and better health. Separation from a mother is equivalent to the loss of the king’s crown.

  5. mariablake87 says:

    I really enjoyed reading this and in some respects I can totally relate to what you are saying. I’m fairly new to this, I have also written a post about adoption. Feel free to have a read and let me know what you think x

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