It's okay to feel what you're feeling.

Adoption begins with trauma. The initial loss of the woman we were carried inside and born from is often repressed and denied. If we are among the fortunate to be adopted to loving families, we may feel too guilty to acknowledge our deep-rooted pain which may manifest in other ways. And if we were sent to dysfunctional and abusive homes, our original trauma is compounded—with each added trauma likely resulting in CPTSD. The insult to that injury is being repeatedly told to be grateful. Many are adopted as minorities into communities that are rife with racism. We may feel our loved ones do not understand or honor who we are beyond who they want us to be. Transracial and transcultural adoptees often have difficulty feeling we belong anywhere. We may feel forced to perpetuate or rebel against stereotypes resulting in internal turmoil, destructive behaviors, or substance abuse. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the weight of it all, your pain is valid. But there is hope. There is always a chance to create a life you will find worth keeping.

Seek Validation

Maybe it's a good friend, a good book, an online or local support group. Finding understanding can get us through the toughest moments and remind us that we are not alone.

Talk to a Stranger

1-800-273-8255 for 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

Get Outside

Sometimes the best way to get out of our heads is to get outside. It can get our blood pumping, ignite the endorphins, and remind us that there's still so much beauty in the world.

 Ask for and accept help.

Ask for and accept help.

It can be humbling and uncomfortable to ask for and allow others to help. We don't like to feel indebted or put anyone out. However, allowing someone to help can be a mutual gift, creating deeper connections. Sharing your feelings can lighten the load and empower others to do the same. Maybe you just need someone to listen. Or maybe you could use some financial assistance. Sites like Gofundme and Youcaring might provide just enough to get you through a rough time and a boost towards a better life.


Want to offer someone support but unsure of what to say or do?

Personal Stories

  • Holiday Hell

    I try to get into the holiday spirit every year for the sake of my son. Before him, I tried for my husband and his normal, happy family. I don’t like feeling like a scrooge or ruining other people’s joyous moods, so I spend most of the season disengaging or forcing a smile–which reminds me […]

    Read more Holiday Hell

    You’re Not Weak

    I’ve been debating whether or not to share my story but I’m doing it in case it helps someone else… particularly other men. Men aren’t supposed to talk about feelings. We’re supposed to be brave supermen who brush things off and grunt with other men. Even taking our anger out on others is more socially […]

    Read more You’re Not Weak
  • The Ongoing War

    This is a pretty difficult thing for me to do, but I wanted to share in case it could help someone else. People who’ve never experienced this won’t understand it, but those who have, will. I pray that it’ll help you. I’ve struggled with constant thoughts of suicide for a very long time, and learned […]

    Read more The Ongoing War

    Nobody Knows

    Nobody knows how much I struggle with choosing life. It’s an every day fight. I don’t want to bog them down with my heaviness. It feels pathetic to have people worrying about me. But it feels even worse thinking that once they know, they might not care enough to make a difference. I grew up […]

    Read more Nobody Knows
  • The Rabbit Hole

    I’ve pictured my death in many ways, especially in the last two and a half years; two and a half years after my return from Korea. You know when you can’t take the pain and loneliness anymore? You know when you just don’t give a flying fuck anymore? You know when you just want to give […]

    Read more The Rabbit Hole

    You’re Okay

    When both of my children were babies, I would find myself rocking back and forth even though I wasn’t holding them. Often, when they would cry, I assumed they needed closeness. I would pick them up, place them on my shoulder, gently pat their back, and repeat, “you’re okay,” like a mantra in their ear. […]

    Read more You’re Okay
  • Exit Ramps

    Disclaimer: I have never been diagnosed as suicidal. No one knew I thought about it as much as I did, even the people who probably should have. I didn’t tell them. Very few people would believe me if I told them how glad I was to have the option of self imposed death. It started […]

    Read more Exit Ramps

    Keep Your Light On

    I put on a brave face to the world but the truth is, every fucking day is an effort. The good days are spent wrestling with gratitude because my experience has shown that it’s only a matter of time before any one of my good fortunes or feelings will prove me a fool for believing […]

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  • You Need to Find Something

    For days now, I’ve been trying to write something about overcoming suicide with respect to KADs. I have about a half page written and you know what? Every single flipping time I read it back, I’m like “yeah, whatever”. Just another person telling someone “pull yourself up”, “it’s not “THAT bad”, “You CAN do it”. […]

    Read more You Need to Find Something

    Share Your Story

    It helps to read about others who’ve been to the depths of our lows and managed to make their ways into better lives. Would you like to share your personal story of overcoming difficulties that were in some way attributed to your adoption? It may be anonymous or credited. Please submit it here. Keep in […]

    Read more Share Your Story