I had always suspected that there was a deep grief that lay within me, because I had spent many years as a young child feeling it. As a teenager, I tried to suppress it by acting out in ways that were indeed extremely harmful toward myself. I was constantly running. I did not want to slow down and feel. I eventually reached a rock bottom and began to get help for myself. The topic of adoption was discussed, but not with someone who really understood the adoption dynamics.
I searched for, and reunited with, my birth mother. It was an incredibly difficult reunion, and without the right support, I mainly felt overwhelmed with my feelings and depressed when I had the clarity that the reunion itself was not going to fix me. If anything, it was going to make me have to face myself. I knew I was in trouble, but for many years I did not know how or where to get the correct help that I needed. I did not, during this time, seek comfort from my adoptive family.
I started to read every suggested book on adoption: The Primal Wound (Verrier, 1993), Journey of the Adopted Self (Lifton, 1995). You name it; I read it, absorbing every last word on the page. I finally began feeling a connection and understood.
I began to attend adoption support groups.
Parenting as an Adoptee
Before I became a mother, I thought that I had dealt with the many issues I had surrounding my being adopted. I had no idea, though, of what was about to be revealed to me during pregnancy and the early weeks that followed my children’s birth, particularly my first child, my son.
When I finally decided to write about my experience as a mother in my book, Mother Me; An Adoptee’s Journey to Motherhood, one of the driving forces was that I wanted to know if other adoptees had felt the same as me. I needed to know I wasn’t crazy and I longed for identification. I interviewed women adoptees that had become mothers, and I began to see a pattern. It was incredibly liberating.
There was a similarity in our feelings of connection to our babies, our fears, and our sadness.
Honest and Compassionate Adoption Understanding
Zara has spoken on the lifelong impact of adoption, topics covering
- Search and reunion.
- Addiction and Adoption.
- The Journey to Motherhood and the impact of an adopted person having their own children.
Zara is available for speaking opportunities involving these aspects of the adoptive life.