How 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.
As 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 Heart, which 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