A Message for Every Adoptee: How You Came Into This World Is Not Who You Are

MMB_Blog_55_girl by waterHow you came into this world is not who you are.

I mean that! There has never been a more important time to make clear, to every adoptee living and breathing today, that you are not the sum of your earliest circumstance.

So often, we can become trapped within the earliest story of our lives. I call it the “primal story.” It’s real and, for adoptees, the primal story can relay messaging that we are not safe, loved, wanted, or worthy of being heard and seen.

I hear from beautiful souls, on a weekly basis, that have been left emotionally annihilated by their primal stories, especially if those stories include feelings of being “unwanted” at birth. I’ll paraphrase from one of these souls that I heard from only days ago. She will remain anonymous for the matter of privacy. Her words read: I was the product of an affair. My mother gave up her rights to me. The abandonment hurts, still. I also feel like I am an abomination because of the way I was brought into the world. My story brings up feelings in my heart of unworthiness. 

My own personal story follows a very similar plot. I was the product of an affair and both of my parents turned their backs on me after I was born. This abandonment hurt me, deeply. And, like the story above — I felt dirty…as if I was a curse. I walked through my days with a heavy feeling of unworthiness.

I cannot say that I am completely over the pain of my primal story. I work on these feelings each and every day. You learn in life that healing and happiness are choices, and these choices take daily practice.

There was a time when I felt that I could not speak of my earliest beginnings. I felt ashamed and silenced by the labels of “illegitimate” and “unwanted.” Then, I grew to learn that when one says, “I can’t,” then one has to shout, “I must!” For, to stay silent is a slow and painful death. To speak of what hurts — to let it out — is how we find our way back to life.

MMB_Blog_55_sistersAs adoptees, we need each other. We need to lean in and learn from one another. We need to — once and for all — declare that the story of how we came into the world does not determine our worth, or our potential. It was only a moment in time… And, that moment doesn’t hold the power to control our destinies, unless we allow it to.

I love my adoption community. Every person of adoption carries a unique perspective on their experience. There is no wrong or right. And, every perspective should be valued and considered. I know the pain of adoption, I walk with it still. I also understand the beauty of adoption. I honor both.

What I want to say today is: don’t let how you came into the world determine the outcome of your life. Don’t give the primal story that kind of control. Consider the possibility that you might be stronger, better and more equipped for greatness due to what you have survived.

Choices are made through a moment in time. Our parents made choices. And, yes, perhaps their choices hurt us. Perhaps, their choices left us with feelings of confusion, sadness, aloneness. If we can see our parents as innocent then we free ourselves to be innocent, as well. For, within innocence we find forgiveness. And, forgiveness is the gateway to freedom.

Freedom allows for space where gratitude can take root. Gratitude erases fear. Gratitude promotes abundance. You deserve abundance. You were created for abundant life.

Beautiful souls of adoption, you were never unwanted. You were never abominations. You were never a curse. What you are is a blessing. Now, go be that blessing. Go share your stories so that, in the doing, you will free yourself and begin to free others.

Your life is a gift, no matter how it began. Your life offers immense opportunity and the responsibility of giving back as you become more. Think about that…

I’ll end on a quote that, I believe, speaks a good bit of truth to the adopted soul. It reads, “When people walk away from you, let them walk. Your destiny is never tied to anyone that left.” ~TD Jakes

Let’s work together in letting go of the primal story that keeps us from the beautiful lives we were born to enjoy.

Onward to true destiny,





Michelle Madrid-Branch is the author of the book, Adoption Means Love: Triumph of the Heartwhich was named a “Top 5 Inspirational Book” by Dolce Vita Magazine. Real and raw, the book explores the many experiences and emotions of adoptees, adoptive parents, birthparents, foster youth, and foster parents. Buy Now


7 thoughts on “A Message for Every Adoptee: How You Came Into This World Is Not Who You Are

  1. I enjoyed reading your last blog. It touched my heart. Yes, adoptees need to stick together however adopted parents need to educate themselves on how to help their adopted child grow up.
    I was blessed with amazing adoptive parents but I still struggled with abandonment issues. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t look in the mirror searching for someone that looked like me. Bio Children are blessed they don’t have to deal with the issues adopted children do!
    I’m sick of hearing get over yourself be thankful you have amazing adoptive parents that wanted you!!
    Bio Children need to keep their damn mouths shut. They will NEVER UNDERSTAND WHAT AN ADOPTEE ENDURES!

    1. Hi Christine. Thank you for being with me here on the MMB blog. It is true, adoptees need to stick together as we are “in this together.” We walk a very unique experience and when we share these experiences, we find opportunity to grow stronger individually and collectively. And, your honesty about looking in the mirror and searching for someone who looked like you — well — that touched my heart as I know this experience all too well. I have done the very same thing along my journey as an adoptee. And, you know, there is nothing to “get over.” If someone says that, then they likely just do not understand our walk. Adoption is not a diagnosis. It is an experience that becomes part of the very fabric of who we are. Navigating these two worlds — pre and post adoption — is not an easy one, no matter how loved we may or may not have been within our adoptive family unit. Being honest with each other and with ourselves — as adoptees — is our best source of healing and rising up. We’ve been quiet for far too long, and the deafening silence has not served us. It is my goal, each and every day, to get up and expand the conversation, grow this amazing community, and transform our lives from broken to whole. I’m so very grateful that you are here with us.

  2. I have just read your story and it broke my heart. Children who are adopted are still precious children. Not every child wasn’t wanted. Not every child adopted was ‘given up’. Maybe the adoption societies need to tell the adopters to make sure every child knows the truth yes, about their beginnings; there must be many a baby, taken from his mum, not allowed to stay with his parents for reasons other than the parents didn’t want him. Perhaps he was much loved but couldn’t be brought up with those who loved him. If the situation is handled well, if a child told of their adoption is also told that their mum loved them but couldn’t keep them. Or told that she felt she couldn’t give her baby the life she wanted to give him and gave him a chance of a better life, he would feel lucky and not abandoned. In my professional role I know many women who wanted to keep their child, born maybe out of marriage, the result of an affair or whose partner turned their back on her. She had no choice but to give her beloved child the best she could. Adoption offered that. In some cases children are taken from their parents or from a single mum, against her will, that mum is then left heartbroken and thinks of her baby every single day of her life. Please don’t see all adoptees as having been abandoned. Please don’t see every adoptee as unloved child. Also, spare a thought for all the mums out there who were, for whatever reason, denied the chance to have their child grow up with them, with their love. If the child is assured from the beginning that they were loved, even though they didn’t stay with their mum, the child will grow up knowing that they have been loved my her and now loved by their adopted family. Maybe it would save a great deal of heartache for the adoptee. Birth mothers suffered in a way that you don’t seem to understand. From a mum who lost her son through no fault of her own and thought of him every single day of his life and still does. Social services admitted to having ‘got it wrong, after I wrote and wrote to them over 21 years and eventually they helped me be reunited with him. We are now a lot closer and I am thankful for that but it will never make it right, or give me back the 21 years I never knew him. Think of us please. Thankyou for reading.

    1. Hello Carol, thank you so much for your comment. It is thoughtful and appreciated. My work is to uplift all children of adoption. It is also my work to be honest and open about my own adoption and my walk as an adoptee. I do much to uplift and include birthmothers in my work. My children’s book, and also my book Adoption Means Love: Triumph of the Heart is hugely inclusive and gratitude-filled toward all birthparents out there. How could I not understand the suffering of my own birthmother? I love her deeply and have walked many a year with her along our path of healing together. Birth parents are givers of life and, as an adoptee, I love mine dearly. Each of our stories is important, and expressing them honestly and openly is essential. Thank you, Carol, for reaching out. Bless you!

  3. Hello michelle,
    I am the full blood sister of an adoptee, I am also older than the sister who was given up, I remember the years of sadness our mother suffered longing for my sister. If only I could tell her, she was loved, she was wanted. If only…

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