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Published Friday June 26th, 2009 at 2:08pm

Original Article by Amanda W.

Tell us what you'd like us to know about YOU as a person: I've been happily married for almost 22 years with three great childrenages 16, 18 and 20. I'm very open with my children about my feelingsregarding adoption, so they have grown up with the knowlege of what itslike to be me, the adoptee. Because of this knowledge, they do see alot of what goes on with my extended family and birth family. Myhusband totally gets the whole situation and can practically finish mysentence regarding adoption. Its amazing how they all understand whatmost people are clueless about! I have been to counseling back in 2002to help me through my own loss and grief. I still struggle with theissues surrounding the entire "Birth Mom fantasy" that has been themost difficult issue to overcome, the reality that I will never have mymom is very difficult for me.
Do you mind sharing how you became an Adoptee? Mybirth mom was 17 & my birth dad was 19 when I was born. Becausebirth dad did not believe I was his child, my birth moms family decidedfor her to give me up. Her pregnancy was blamed on another boy.
5.If you could give a message to anyone (or multiple people) what wouldit be? I'd explain to others that being an adoptee does change yourlife experience. Its not the same as having a step parent, or growingup with your birth parents and having issues within the family unit.

Do you agree with opening up unconditional, uncensored access to birth records? Why or why not? Yes,I believe I have the right to my original birth certificate, and myactual birth records. All of my birth records refer to me as an actualnumber. I often wonder if I was called by a name or just that numberbefore being adopted. It seems unfair that because of adoption, I donot have the rights to my birth information. I'd like to know who tookcare of me, what home I was in for the first 6 weeks of my life, thatshould be my right to know!

Have you been reunited with any of the members of your Triad? If yes, what was the experience like? Yes,I have been in reunion for 24 years with birth dad, birth mom,grandma's aunts, uncles, and sibling. I was nervous in the beginning,and excited finding out my heritage and who I look like. After gettingmarried and having children, I realized who my birth mom really is, andits been a great disappointment to me and my children. She's never beeninterested in her role as my birth mom or grandma to my children. Mybirth dad has had a difficult time admitting that he was wrong andadmitting that I am his child. My grandma's found it almost impossibleto have any relationship with me, especially my birth dads mom becauseshe was the deciding factor that I be put up for adoption. Mosteveryone on both sides have struggled to have a relationship with mebecause it has been too painful realizing their mistake. I ended uplooking just like my birth father. I also found out that my birth mom& dad were married less than 9 months after I was born andrelinquished. They did have another child, 10 years later, my brotherKelly whom they did keep. My birth mom is Lebanese with dark hair, skinand eyes, and my birth dad is blonde with lighter skin. I ended up withwhite blonde hair and looking almost identical to my birth dad!

Have you ever been made to feel shameful or to blame? What made you feel this way?As a child growing up I felt sad and lost, as though I was waiting tobe picked up, there was a big disconnect for me. I was ashamed of beingin their family unit, because of the abuse which stemmed from being notof their blood. I always felt like the 5th wheel, and was reminded alot that I was different, and that was not a good thing in my mind.