In January 2019, I discovered through DNA testing that I was adopted.
I was devastated and confused and didn’t know quite know what to do or who to turn to. Although I worked in the field of child welfare and had an adopted sister, I was wounded and needed help. A coworker referred me to Betsie Norris at Adoption Network Cleveland. I talked to Betsie, and she told me of the great resources that Adoption Network Cleveland offered and put me in touch with Traci Onders who gave me some direction regarding how search for my birth family. Through Adoption Network Cleveland, I was referred to a Columbus General Discussion Meeting that was facilitated by Marni and Mindy, where I met monthly with people who were experiencing so many of my same feelings and experiences even though our stories were different. It was a place that I could share my feelings and not feel embarrassed, alone, or ashamed. They understood me! They helped me to breathe. I also started attending the online Virtual General Discussion Meeting with Barbara and Dan where you would meet people from other parts of country. I attended some of the Monday Evening Speaker Series, which talked about different topics that related to adoption and they also gave you more resources to help you in your journey. Also, this series shared different perspectives from birth mothers, adoptive parents, and adoptees, which enlightened me and helped me to see possibly what my birth mother and adoptive mother might have been experiencing. In 2020, I attended the virtual conference hosted by Adoption Network Cleveland and Adoption Knowledge Affiliates and listened to different experts in the field of adoption.
Through participation in General Discussion Meetings and other events at Adoption Network Cleveland, I can get support, support others, and gain skills on how to maneuver through my new life. Adoption Network Cleveland has been a godsend for me. I talk about the organization to my family and friends. My husband has attended a few meetings with me, and it has helped him to understand my journey too. I have met so many great people. Thank you for helping me in my journey and keep up the great work!