Friday, July 27, 2012

There is peace in understanding....from an adopted child

Let me start out by telling you a little about me and my experiences and that will help me explain what I want to share with you in this blog. I was born in Akron, Ohio in July 1966. I was immediately put in Children’s serv.  I was there and between foster homes for 4 yrs, before I was adopted. I was born with several birth defects. Stuff that was easily fixed, but still required surgery. I believe that’s why I wasn’t adopted as an infant. Once I was adopted, I found out real fast that I wasn’t welcome. My adoptive parents wanted the social status of having 2 children, but not the responsibility of it. My adoptive mom (amom) didn’t like boys (for whatever reason) and didn’t like me. My earliest memories were her telling me she was going to take me back.

Now I have been reading allot about feeling, emotions, subconscious, DNA, etc. for most of my adulthood. I research this topic, because it helps me deal with all the people I in contact with through the homeless shelters, food banks and other ministries I work with. Yet across the yrs, I am finding allot of understanding about why I am the way I am.

I am 6’6” tall 240 lbs, shaved head, goatee, earring, etc. And I look mean to allot of people. It is all a facade. On the inside I am an overly sensitive, heart broken, guilt ridden, unlovable, failure. To see my life….(I am almost always smiling, I don’t have high and low moods, I am always consistently positive, I am Director of Operations (Plant Manager) for a local company, with about 50 people under me.) You would think life is great for me. It could be, if I’d let it. But I won’t / can’t.

In my reading lately, I am starting to follow a direction that deals with more of my issues, opposed to the issues of the people I help. One thing that I have connected with some of the reading is the fact that I am adopted and the correlation between my feelings and others who have been adopted. One in particular is I feel unlovable. I have had 2 failed marriages, and many failed relationships with women, because subconsciously I can’t accept the love that they want to give me. Believe me, I want to be loved. I even wrote a poem when I was a teen about wanting to be loved, and had it published. Yet it never works. #1) the women I choose to be with, are generally needy, emotionally damaged themselves. 2ndly) Once they get to know me, and get upset with me about anything, no matter how insignificant. I convince myself that they have seen my faults and now they don’t like me, so I emotionally separate myself from them, to protect myself. It’s a vicious circle.

Anyways, I have been reading a book called “Feelings buried alive, never die” By: Karol K Truman. It is a very good book and makes allot of sense. If you think about it. Think about our connection to our biological mother. Think of the way a babies or child’s mind would work when it is whisked away from its mother and dropped into a household of strangers. One minute you’re in your mommy, you feel her warmth, the next minute you are cold, alone, lights, strange voices. All you want is the comfort of your mom and her voice and it is gone. That’s traumatic to a baby. Or  being a few months or a yr or 2 or 3… old.

You are familiar with your surroundings, the people, noises, etc. Then you are whisked away to a strange house, strange noises, strange routine, etc. There is a ton of proven studies, showing that by the 3rd trimester our subconscious is actively gathering information. And our personalities and characters are fashioned by our DNA and subconscious.

One thing I have learned lately, that was hard to swallow, until I thought threw it for a long time across a few weeks, is the fact that not only is physical traits passed down through DNA / RNA but also personality traits and experiences. If you have never heard this idea, right about now you may be questioning the validity of this claim. But if you consider what is referred to as “instinct”  The question is raised where does that come from?

Take for example Salmon. The trek they make “instinctively” up the river, 100s of miles to lay their eggs. Where does that come from? How do they know the way? There are many examples of instinct, but one really stands out to me.

“The migratory habits of the species of bird called the red knot. The red knot is a sandpiper that each year journeys from the southern tip of South America to the eastern shores of the United States and beyond and then back again. That round-trip expedition, which covers more than eighteen thousand miles every year, takes the red knot through the arctic islands of the Canadian North, making brief “refueling” stops on the beaches of Delaware Bay and Cape Cod.
The birds begin their northward journey in February each year, hundreds of thousands of them, up the coast of Argentina, over Brazil, with periodic stops to feed. From the northern coasts of South America, they take to the air for a nonstop week of soaring above the Atlantic that brings them around mid-May to touch ground on the marshy shore of Delaware Bay at the very time horseshoe crabs are laying their eggs by the millions. When you consider that during their sojourn in Delaware each red knot might consume 135,000 horseshoe crab eggs, you know they need that stop and time it perfectly. Plumped up for the remainder of their marathon across the vast Canadian terrain, they make their final stop north of Hudson Bay. There, in ideal northern summer conditions, they mate and breed, each female laying four speckled eggs, which she and her mate take turns incubating.
Baby red knots build up their bodies soon with the feathers growing fairly rapidly. There is an incredibly scripted schedule for everything in the process. By mid-July, the females leave the males and their offspring, and start heading south again. The males leave almost exactly one week later. The little ones fend for themselves and then, in late August, they commence their nine-thousand-mile journey to Tierra del Fuego. They begin that flight, their first of such magnitude, without parental companionship. Somehow, with a precise “destination” in mind, as if equipped by flawless radar and instruction, they make their way from northern Canada along the eastern American coast and across the Atlantic to Guyana, Surinam, knowing precisely where to make their sojourns for food. And then, in what appears like a date and timed appointment, “coming in on a beam,” they rejoin the family at Tierra del Fuego for the southern summer.
Here, on the balmy beaches of Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America they feast, fattening themselves. A long molt and ideal temperatures combine to replace their beaten-up feathers so that they are ready for the long journey back north. What it takes a whole crew of highly skilled men and women at a pit stop in the Indianapolis 500 or a coterie of mechanics and ground staff to get a plane ready for its return flight, the red knot does by its own wit and understanding of natural resources.”

If what I have been reading is right, then the learned behaviors of the past generations have been passed on through DNA to the next generation. (instinct). And if this is the fact then past experiences, hurts, victories, ideas, etc could all be stored in our DNA and past down to the next generations. A friend made a profound analogy about this when I was talking to him over dinner a week or so ago. He said (and I am paraphrasing) that, this would explain why an adopted child would feel so distant from their adopted parents, opposed to a biological child. Because the bio child already has a mental/emotional connection to the parent. Part of his or her DNA already understands responses, moods, ideas, etc. So an adopted child wouldn’t have that connection and would feel like a total stranger, especially in contrast, when there is a bio child in the family too.

I am sharing this with you, for 2 reasons. One: If you have any of the struggles I do, I hope you can look further into some of these ideas and maybe answer some questions, maybe find some peace in realizing that events in your life haven’t been in reality the way they appeared at the time. That maybe you were looking at things incorrectly and with the ability to see things clearly and truthfully, you can find some comfort. 

Also I am sharing this with you because by sharing it, I find (like with talking to my friends) that I can learn more from other people’s ideas, experiences and beliefs which I haven’t considered. 


  1. Oh dave... you just really really hit the nail on the head.
    Because the bio child already has a mental/emotional connection to the parent. Part of his or her DNA already understands responses, moods, ideas, etc. So an adopted child wouldn’t have that connection and would feel like a total stranger, especially in contrast, when there is a bio child in the family too

    I just got done texting with adoptive mom and at the end I said you really have the talent for when I feel bad finding a way to make me feel worse- of course she does not try to do this- but she does it- each and every time.
    I do not have this issue with bio mom- she and I totally get each other and what each other needs to hear, wants to hear, can handle hearing, etc. I hope you continue to write more.

  2. I started my own blog on wordpress