I received an email from a young lady who shared with me the story of her reunion. It was horrific. She then told me about her adoption - again horrific. She told me how she wanted to share her story and it is a story that needs to be told, so we conducted an interview via e-mail. Here is Kara’s story.
Carrie: Tell me about your adoption.
Kara: When I was 8 years old I was removed from my adoptive parents.
I was taken out of their home because I was mentally, physically, and sexually abused. I went to a foster home. I had just found out that my parents were not my real parents and I didn't understand what was going on. I moved into this foster home and there were 10 other kids living there. I needed all the attention so I started acting out on my anger and I ended up in a group home. From then on it was group home after group home and foster home after foster home. I have never had a home to call my own or for that matter a family. Thank you for letting me do this now. I just want someone to know everything that I went through.
Carrie: Were you ever reunited with your adoptive family and if so how did they react to you searching?
Kara: My adoptive parents' rights were terminated. I haven't seen my adoptive parents since I was eight years old.
Carrie: How old were you when you decided to search?
Kara: I was 22 years old.
Carrie: How long did it take for you to find your birth family? How did you find them - search angels, registries, on with a private investigator?
Kara: It actually took me 3 weeks from the day I started. I went through Relinquished Triads, I don't know if you're familiar with them, but that is who helped me.
Carrie: Who in your birth family did you locate and contact? How did you go about making contact?
Kara: Well, I received two numbers. The first number was my uncle and his wife. I called and his wife answered the phone. I explained to her the situation. When I heard her say, "OH MY GOD," I knew that I had finally found her. The lady asked me to hold on, and she called my uncle. So I had to wait for them to call me back. Finally after thirty minutes my uncle called me back. He said, "Hi, I am your Uncle Larry." I started crying tears of joy. Well, little did I know that those tears of joy would quickly turn into tears of horror. My uncle told me that my mother was never going to take responsibility for me and that he was quite sure that she wouldn't have anything to do with me. That was unacceptable for me. So he told me all about her and who he thought my father might be. To this day I still have no clue as to what my nationality might be. So when I got off the phone with him I called the second number which was my grandmother’s house. My mother also lived there along with my younger sister whom I am not allowed to talk to. My grandmother answered the phone and was clearly in shock.
She told me about the medical history in the family and that was it. She said that she never wanted me to call her house again or she would get a restraining order against me. She said that my mother didn't want anything to do with me then so why would I think that she wants me now. My whole little life cracked to pieces, I waited 22 years for that?
Carrie: What kind of a response did you receive when you finally called your mom?
Kara: I continued to talk to my uncle. He was very nice and helpful to me. His family disowned him because he talked to me. He and my mother never got along from what he told me. He gave me my mother’s work number and I called it. I guess it hurts worse when you hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. She told me that if she knew when she had me that I was ever going to find her that she would've had an abortion.
She wouldn't tell me who my father is and said that I won't ever find him. I write her sometimes and tell her that If her heart ever changes to call me. I just hope that she doesn't wait until it’s too late, she is dying of diabetes. Her kidneys are failing. I just hope that the first time I see my real mother isn't at her funeral.
Carrie: How did you or do you cope with the rejection and statements that were made by your birth family?
Kara: It is very hard for me because I had my hopes up for so many years, and I really lived a rough childhood being that my adoptive parents were not good people. But I am a strong woman and I have lived a long hard life to only be 23. I just pray and believe that God has brought me this far, He has a purpose for me. I just keep having faith in Him.
Carrie: Why do you want to tell your story?
Kara: I want to tell my story because it is helping me to heal. I also want other people to be aware of what might happen because as I was growing up everyone would tell me that my mother gave me away because she was too young, or because she couldn't take care of me, or because she loved me. None of that was true. I received my adoption papers and files from the county. She refused to hold me, and she refused to look at me, and she refused to name me when I was born. I know deep down in my heart that there is more to the story, but I will probably never find out.
Carrie: What advice would you pass on to searching adoptees? What do you want adoptees to know?
Kara: My advice for any adoptee searching is that it is really important that you never give up because you have a right to know who you are and where you came from. You have a right to answers. You have a right to be able to tell your kids who their grandparents are. Just always remember that you have come this far don't give up on anything no matter what. Your feelings are always valid. Nobody ever told me this because my adoptive parents were cruel people and I thank God that I made it to 8 years old alive.
I want to thank Kara for sharing her story. She is living proof that sometimes you have to create you own happy ending. Her faith and belief in something better after tragic beginnings are a testament to the strength of the human spirit.