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January 11, 2018
Hello I am currently 22...I was adopted from Russia when I was a year and a half! I would really like to find my birth parents!! Any suggestions or people I could call?! Thanks

January 9, 2018
HELLO I M LOOKING FOR MY TWIN SISTER. WE WHERE BORN IN ROMANIA BUCHAREST ON 10 OF JUNE 1985 ON FILANTROPIA HOSPITAL CAN SOMEWONE HELP PLEASE. THANK YOU[img]https://adoption.com/community/PF.Base/file/attachment/2018/01/ee9bdf722108afa2aa073a678625d260_view.jpg[/img]

January 8, 2018
This is my first blog/post. I'm new to this group. I'm not American, but I hope to heal by taking my first step and here I am. I'm not sure how this works, or will work, but I do have a goal - I hope to start a Facebook group to support the people in my area so I'm hoping to learn a thing or two from Adoption.com. Here's my story - in brief - because we can all write a book about our own lives, so. I was adopted when I was a baby. I was raised by a beautiful family, I was only told I was adopted when I was 18. When I was told so, it wasn't under any normal circumstances. I was told I was adopted when I was pregnant with my firstborn - I was assaulted by my boyfriend and he knocked me up - and left me to rot. I decided to put my daughter up for adoption because I couldn't give her anything good, let alone a home. This was in 2001. Fast forward to 2017, she was told that she was adopted. And then she found me. It was a closed adoption, but she found me, her parents found me, for her. Our story isn't unique, but it can be empowering to some. There are so many emotional and mental rollercoasters that we've both went through. It's too difficult to write them all unless I decide to be a hermit and start writing a book about it to help people like me, like her. I was wondering if anyone could advise me what do I need to do if I were to start a local association or a help group of any sort to bring together people like me or the wonderful parents who've adopted my daughter, together. Often times, we feel trapped because we have no one but online strangers to talk to. But I hope to change that in my community, or even country. I want to help. Thank you for listening.

Michelle MadridBranch
January 5, 2018
If there is one thing I know for sure, it’s this: the adoption community is a healthier one when its experiences and stories are shared out loud. We’ve learned, over many years, that silencing the voices and perceptions of those within our community will never help to forge deeper levels of understanding and inclusion. What was once thought as a healthy choice: distancing adoptees from the truth of their birth stories, is now known to be of great disadvantage to their overall well-being. We’ve learned the importance of supporting and hearing all members of the adoption triad. We’ve arrived to an empowering place within the adoption conversation as we speak this declaration: the adoption community will no longer be treated as a secret society. Every member of this community — adoptee, adoptive parent, and birth parent — has a story that needs to be heard. We’re standing up, speaking up, and sharing truths that were once kept in the shadows. It’s a brand new day! I have launched a new Facebook group called, Adoption Out Loud. This group exists as a channel of communication for all those touched by adoption. No matter the experience, or point of view, there is a place for everyone here. Adoption Out Loud represents a safe space and an opportunity to expand our community’s ability to understand and to be understood. When we share our voices, authentically and respectfully, we heal and we grow. Join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/365091660591515/ [img]https://adoption.com/community/PF.Base/file/attachment/2018/01/e066bd989d75ad921112aa872daf9481_view.png[/img]

Michelle MadridBranch
January 4, 2018
I once believed that adoption was my weakness. I no longer think this true. Adoption has become my strength. There was a time in my life when I thought of myself as fragile. I had been internationally adopted out of foster care, as a child. I viewed myself as broken. After all, I questioned, what parent would leave behind a child that was whole? There must be a kind of brokenness about me. I was convinced that the shattered pieces of me were the driving force behind my parents’ decision to walk away. I had done something wrong. I must have committed some sin that mom and dad could not forgive. That’s a heavy burden for a little one to carry on her shoulders. Yet, I did. I carried it; this feeling of brokenness followed me everywhere. Many adoptees describe this feeling as loneliness: a sense of chronic loss and alienation. It’s a sensation of being different and of never quite fitting in. Adoption is a life-long journey, and a part of that journey often involves navigating the fallout of abandonment. An adult adoptee recently wrote to me that, “You never get over abandonment. You live with it. The scars are always there. You have lost something that can never be returned to you.” For countless adoptees, these types of feelings get buried until the pain becomes unbearable: a pain that will surface without warning — sometimes sabotaging relationships, dreams and goals. Trust doesn’t come easy. Joy seems like a distant fairytale. Sadness takes root, settling within the deepest parts of self. I understand this struggle, intimately. I know, all too well, this companion called sadness. Yet, as I have grown in my faith — I have been awakened to a truth that was not shared with me as a younger person: we were created for joy. Each and every one of us was made for joyful living. This does not mean that we won’t face difficult times in our lives, or that people won’t let us down. No. It means that living inside the walls of sadness is not a natural state of being. It means that weakness is a lie fed to us in order to silence the inherent voice of joy. Read more: http://michellemadridbranch.com/adoptees-stronger-than-you-know [img]https://adoption.com/community/PF.Base/file/attachment/2018/01/796fe7f857490515e3a5c9dd0464265d_view.jpg[/img]

Michelle MadridBranch
December 29, 2017
My son will be thirteen-years old, this August. He was delivered into our family via adoption, from Russia. When we brought him home, he was just eleven-months old. Over the years, he’s not been one to speak much about being an adoptee; he’s somewhat quiet regarding the topic. As an international adoptee myself, I don’t press the matter. My son knows that we carry an open-door policy on the matter of adoption discussion. In other words, there’s never a bad time to ask a question, and there’s never a bad question to ask. As his mother, I want my son to know that he is safe to explore his feelings and emotions with his family. I want him to understand that, in our home, transparency is held as top priority. It’s important for my son to feel safe as he enters into his teen years: safe to discuss his adoption story, openly and honestly. Just this week, my son asked my husband, “Dad, do you think that my birthfather has a beard like you?” My husband replied, “I don’t know. Do you think you’d like to meet him someday and find out?” There was a slight pause, and then a reply. “Yes, I would.” This statement was a big development. My boy has never mentioned his birthfather before. Yet, even though we were never given information about this man … somewhere deep inside, I know that my son can sense his birthfather’s presence within him. As our son nears his thirteenth year, it’s really a beautiful thing to think that he is probing — for himself — who his birthfather is. I can remember, prior to my own adolescence, becoming very curious about my adoption story. It’s a time in life when I wanted answers that were more factual than, perhaps, I’d been given as a child. I became keenly aware that to be adopted meant that someone, at some point, had to make the decision to let me go. Adolescence is a confusing time — whether adopted or not. Here are important “why” questions that adopted teens will have. I know because I used to be one. Read more: http://michellemadridbranch.com/teen-adoptees-5-important/ [img]https://adoption.com/community/PF.Base/file/attachment/2017/12/3563ebf7e62ff8f89c3ec1883f4a7a77_view.png[/img]

Michelle MadridBranch
December 28, 2017
Light the sparklers and slip into your sequins, we’re getting ready to say goodbye to 2017 and welcome in a new year. As I look back on this year, I can truly say that I’m grateful for each and every moment. No matter the challenge or the triumph, I’m learning and growing into the person that I was created to be. I’ve learned a lot this year about the importance of community. We were created, each of us, for relationship. We humans cannot thrive alone, in isolation, on our own. In other words, we need each other. In November of 2017, I started a Facebook Group called, Adoption Out Loud. I wanted to create a space where anyone who has been touched by adoption could come and share their stories and their experiences. I wanted to ensure that their voices could be heard and honored. I’ve been amazed that how, in a few short weeks, this group has grown into a community of hundreds, with hearts open wide for each other. A group whose vulnerability and empathy is a life-changing gift for all involved, as members seek out support and guidance from one another. Adoption Out Loud is fast becoming a transformational look into the power of community and of togetherness: the gift of giving of ourselves freely, with no recompense. Learn More: http://michellemadridbranch.com/the-gift-of-community [img]https://adoption.com/community/PF.Base/file/attachment/2017/12/e88738f501c9eb4d2da0cc7d94375043_view.jpg[/img]

Michelle MadridBranch
December 27, 2017
How you came into this world is not who you are. I mean that! There has never been a more important time to make clear, to every adoptee living and breathing today, that you are not the sum of your earliest circumstance. So often, we can become trapped within the earliest story of our lives. I call it the “primal story.” It’s real and, for adoptees, the primal story can relay messaging that we are not safe, loved, wanted, or worthy of being heard and seen. As adoptees, we need each other. We need to lean in and learn from one another. We need to — once and for all — declare that the story of how we came into the world does not determine our worth, or our potential. It was only a moment in time… And, that moment doesn’t hold the power to control our destinies, unless we allow it to. Read full post, here: http://michellemadridbranch.com/message-every-adoptee-came-world-not/ [img]https://adoption.com/community/PF.Base/file/attachment/2017/12/b5b4c47714c86d21e152e1cfb23fb5af_view.jpg[/img]

Michelle MadridBranch
December 22, 2017
“I was so afraid of being seen as imperfect. What happens to imperfect things? They get sent back…” The above words were my reference of thought for much of my childhood life: you better be perfect or you might get sent back to foster care. I can recall, as a little girl, the panic I felt each time my adoptive mother would leave the house. I was certain that my foster care giver, in England, would come to America to get me while mom was away. Mom would surely have learned what I already knew — that I wasn’t her perfect girl — and I’d be returned to the place from where I came. Adoption may seem like a simple equation: a child needs a family and a family longs for a child. The process of adoption serves as the cement that fills this gap between need and longing. Only, the cement that fills the gap in an adoptive parent’s life can be the very binder that leaves a gaping whole in the adoptee’s life. This contrast is difficult for many people to understand. I’m not every adoptee and my thoughts don’t represent the whole. However, I do want to offer what I believe are ten important needs that many adoptees have in common and, therefore, would want you to know about. You see, adoptees hold a wealth of wisdom on family, love, relationship, identity, pain and healing. We’re just beginning to allow this wisdom the light it deserves. Read about the 10 needs adoptees have, here: http://michellemadridbranch.com/10-needs-adoptees-want-you-to-know/ [img]https://adoption.com/community/PF.Base/file/attachment/2017/12/1d5c86231047db75c4cfef4f611c480b_view.jpg[/img]

Michelle MadridBranch
December 20, 2017
Beyond the bounds of birth heritage and birth history, I have come to learn a deeper sense of identity. One that has been, on many levels, unexpected: my nationality — over and above all else — is adoption. What does this mean? For me, it means that there are no people on this planet of whom I feel more akin to than those who live within the skin of adoption. No people of whom I could be more proud to say I’m related to. Adoption is a proud heritage, even though the history often comes with pain and sorrow... Read more: http://michellemadridbranch.com/adoption-is-my-nationality [img]https://adoption.com/community/PF.Base/file/attachment/2017/12/c4e8d80ef2070d046a88db3d4f5db9ef_view.png[/img]