gallery Dear Adoption, I Will Not be Anyone’s Dirty Secret Ever Again


Dear Adoption, I Will Not be Anyone’s Dirty Secret Ever Again

*Trigger Warning (Abuse)

I left this page blank for so long. The idea of putting into words a message to you, for you, about you…left me at a loss. How could you not know already what you cost me. What you did to me. What you meant to me. Then I realized, it is not FOR you. It is for me.

You came into my life when my biological mother – Judith – had fallen in love with her college sweetheart – Michael – in 1969. I was a product of that love. But I did not bring joy or anticipation like new babies sometimes do. From the documents I have, it’s clear I brought sadness, panic, secrets and lies. Michael and Judith were both in school in Northern Virginia. Both living away from home and able to keep me hidden from everyone they knew and loved. That was the first time I became someone’s dirty little secret. It was not the last though. Judith lied to her family and told them she was staying for summer school and would be home during her next fall break. In August, she drove to Richmond, VA to have me and before she gave me up, she even named me Ann Marie. At 8 hours old, I was handed over to a foster family and 8 days later, to my Mom and Daddy who loved me the very best they could until I lost them both way too young.

When I was 27, my Mom helped me get my non-identifying information. Through that process Michael was found by the Department of Social Services and when asked, he responded he did not want to revisit a mistake he’d made 27 years before but he wished me well. He left me feeling more confused and more like a shameful secret than ever before.

Meanwhile, back in my home, there was someone I was related to. Not much older than me, but old enough to want to teach me to play house starting when I was 5 years old, to teach me how to touch him and that my actions would lead to his attention and love. That became the second of my dirtiest little secrets. This one I kept. For 40 years. And I added to them with abandon and relish. Convinced I was no better than a dirty throw away human.

Those secrets and lies, taught me how to keep secrets and how to lie. They taught me I was disposable, unwanted, something to be ashamed of and hidden. No amount of love and kindness from my Mom and Daddy could ever break through to the deep dark brokenness inside me. I did not feel I deserved any of it. I was unwanted from the womb.

Adoption, what you cost me was confidence, trust, honesty, and unconditional love. What you gave me was brokenness, shame, addiction, and self-loathing.

But I am done with you. I have taken back my life from you and I am a sober woman, walking with courage to help those who have suffered from childhood trauma, addiction or other mental health issues. You wanted to break me, but you cannot. I am NOT broken, I am not a dirty secret and I am not someone to be ashamed of.

I want to find Judith now. Michael as well. He does not have permission to hide me any longer. I will do it as a full, rounded person though and not hidden away under the weight of you, Adoption. I have every right not to live in the shadows, exist as an object of fear from someone who may “discover” me. I WILL NOT SIT IN SHAME for you any longer, Adoption.

Before I let you go, Adoption, I want you to know that I forgive you and I thank you for the pain and I will use it in kindness to serve and help those you, and things like you, try to break. I am not my Adoption and I never will be again.

The author was raised in southern Virginia but lived in New York City and Washington, DC where she worked for some of the largest nonprofits in the US. While battling the disease of addiction, she decided to return to school and pursue her Master’s in Social Work. Our author plans to graduate in Spring of 2019 and work with survivors of childhood trauma and substance use disorder. She shares her home with her beloved husband and a myriad of foster and adopted pets.



  1. I am so sorry that you felt all those destructive feelings from being adopted. This is happily not shared by many other adults that were adopted. Fortunately there are plenty of adoptees that are thankful they were adopted ❤️ I wish you well on your journey with help and support along the way ! God bless you 🙏🏼😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is not accurate. Many adoptees try to be happy because they are told to be happy. It is obvious that in the arena of mental health, adoptees are overrepresented in treatment. Adoptees are 4 times more likely to commit suicide than non-adopted peers. There is something called the adoptee in the fog. This is where the adoptee continues to remain trapped in the ideas that are pushed on them from the beginning by society at large- be grateful, be thankful, angry adoptee. You just negated everything this adoptee had the courage to put on paper. Adoption equals trauma. Many adoptees, who are in the fog, wonder why their life just won’t work out for them. Some look great from the outside, while crumbling inside.

      Liked by 7 people

    • And there are way more who aren’t thankful they were adopted. Something which no one should be thankful for in the first place. Adoption is a crime against children. Adoptees owe no one thankfulness for anything, especially adoption. You just put a knife in the heart of every abused and rehomed adoptee. At least the ones murdered by their adopters didn’t have to read this gaslighting bs.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. EGEE2. I read your comment on this story. I am an adoptee. Are you? I relate to this story too! Good job putting into words!! ❤


    • Hi Jen. Actually I have two adopted children. My daughter was born illegitimate in S Korea. Because she would never have been allowed to be named in the “City registry “, she would have grown up on the streets !! It was 35 yrs ago. I’m very sad for these hateful comments by ppl who are probably not adopted or have any experience in adoption!! Imagine all those adopted would have been aborted instead ! I hope you had a happy upbringing and felt the love from your adopted family !! I think they’re r feelings are in the very low %. Take care & God bless 🙏🏼❤️


      • It is rude and hateful of you to assume our mothers would have aborted us had we not been adopted, and this is hardly the place for you to do your virtue signaling. It might do you some good to listen to adoptees, rather than dismiss our feelings as being in the minority. All of our stories matter, regardless of your opinion of them egee2.

        Liked by 2 people

      • How dare you?

        Were you raised by hyenas? What kind of person tells another human they should be glad they weren’t aborted? That’s so unbelievably rude we need a new word for it.

        Also, you are neither entitled or qualified to speak for adoptees. Stop trying to invalidate our stories and voices with your “not all” adopter anecdotes.

        And finallyexistence is not evidence that my mother was anti-choice. Stop using adoptees to further your anti-choice agenda. We are not your tools.

        Sit down and shut up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Everyone who commented was an adoptee. And it’s no wonder you have such a distorted view of adoption when you’re an adoptive parent. Lots of adoptees would rather have been aborted. Non-existence is a far better option than a life of pain and trauma. You’re a horrible person hiding behind religion. I feel deeply sorry for any adoptee who had to endure you as a parent.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I personally gave my son up for adoption after just turning 18. It was the absolute most difficult thing I have EVER done!!! Not every parent who chooses to put their child up for adoption is evil, wrong or doing it with malice. For those who are adopted, I may not understand how it makes you feel but I can certainly tell you that you DON’T know what each and every biological parent is going through and what made them choose this instead of abortion. My son will be 29 in December and although I was too young to understand what a closed adoption meant…I have been looking for him since. I also know that sometimes, as in my case, growing up with your “biological parents ” is not necessarily a trauma free life. I have had my own father molest me so PLEASE don’t be so very judgmental! I am certain there are horrible “adoptive families ” but understand there are horrible biological ones as well. I am so sorry for what you have dealt with, truly…I am but I also think that “most” people either being the ones to give up a child or to adopt one, mean well. Simply putting everyone into one category is just not fair or right. Posting about your own “personal ” circumstances is great and cathartic and I pray that you grow stronger every day and someday get some type of resolution with your birth parents as NOBODY, especially YOU should EVER be treated like a secret, mistake or abused in any way, shape or form! May God Bless and keep you!


  3. Dear all, I am very delighted to find this site, loved the comment ‘were you raised by hyaenas’ because basically anything in adoption can happen and re my adopted siblings, i sometimes think it was just who was lying next to me in the transparent baby hospital at the time. For my part, adopted at six weeks and product of a camping trip to scotland, i was then loved well by my adoptive parents and by my adoptive brothers, but i have a sort of existential loneliness that doesnt go away, though i have great kids, .i think having marital problems kick starts the loneliness again, but i am working on it everyday and hope to findmy way back to full embeddedness….and that is the is either the fish in the tree or that lovely rooted feeling. Growing and re-growing roots after any crisis takes time and nurture of the self and is fully possible i believe.could the fish just more fully incorporate itself into the tree, or be a salmon of wisdom in a pool jumpingmi.


  4. Blaming adoption is like blaming the band-aid when the actual pain is due to the wound underneath. I acknowledge the pain and the wound, but the the blame has to be rightly attributed. All I want is the adoptees to be happy, and by being happy, I do not mean superficial happy to please the adoptive parents. The happiness should come from the soul, and that can happen only if certain facts are acknowledged, and accepted by the adoptees. They must then put that behind them and march forward. This I say out of my own personal experience, hoping it will help others.


    • You don’t get to tell anyone what hurt them. Not adoptees, not anyone else. You don’t know what caused another adoptee’s pain. You also don’t know ANYONE else’s path to healing. You’re ignorant and unqualified.

      I have a freaking therapist. Neither I nor anyone else needs you–or your condescending BS. Piss off.

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s