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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 children ages 16, 18 and 20. I'm very open with my children about my feelings regarding adoption, so they have grown up with the knowlege of what its like to be me, the adoptee. Because of this knowledge, they do see a lot of what goes on with my extended family and birth family. My husband totally gets the whole situation and can practically finish my sentence regarding adoption. Its amazing how they all understand what most people are clueless about! I have been to counseling back in 2002 to help me through my own loss and grief. I still struggle with the issues surrounding the entire "Birth Mom fantasy" that has been the most difficult issue to overcome, the reality that I will never have my mom is very difficult for me.
Do you mind sharing how you became an Adoptee? My birth mom was 17 & my birth dad was 19 when I was born. Because birth dad did not believe I was his child, my birth moms family decided for 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 would it be? I'd explain to others that being an adoptee does change your life experience. Its not the same as having a step parent, or growing up 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 my actual birth records. All of my birth records refer to me as an actual number. I often wonder if I was called by a name or just that number before being adopted. It seems unfair that because of adoption, I do not have the rights to my birth information. I'd like to know who took care of me, what home I was in for the first 6 weeks of my life, that should 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 getting married and having children, I realized who my birth mom really is, and its been a great disappointment to me and my children. She's never been interested in her role as my birth mom or grandma to my children. My birth dad has had a difficult time admitting that he was wrong and admitting that I am his child. My grandma's found it almost impossible to have any relationship with me, especially my birth dads mom because she was the deciding factor that I be put up for adoption. Most everyone on both sides have struggled to have a relationship with me because it has been too painful realizing their mistake. I ended up looking just like my birth father. I also found out that my birth mom & dad were married less than 9 months after I was born and relinquished. They did have another child, 10 years later, my brother Kelly whom they did keep. My birth mom is Lebanese with dark hair, skin and eyes, and my birth dad is blonde with lighter skin. I ended up with white 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 to be picked up, there was a big disconnect for me. I was ashamed of being in their family unit, because of the abuse which stemmed from being not of their blood. I always felt like the 5th wheel, and was reminded a lot that I was different, and that was not a good thing in my mind.