Posts Tagged ‘ adoptee ’

Unless you have all the facts…

Double vision: an adoptee’s view of family

Every once in a while I stumble across something from a fellow adoptee that sums up exactly how I feel about my adoption, but conveys these emotions so well that I would rather “copy and paste” their thoughts (with permission, of course) than try to echo them with my own sentiments.

Like the following blog by Rebecca Hawkes, adopted daughter and adoptive and biological mother – I think what she says is simply brilliant…

I sometimes wish I knew what it would be like to not be adopted. If you are not adopted, please think about that for a moment. Think about the things that you take for granted. Think about the simple, natural connection between you and the people to whom you are related. Even if your relationship with your family is not 100 per cent positive, there is a quality of your connection to them that you have probably never questioned; they simply ARE your family. They didn’t choose you; you didn’t choose them. You are connected to them by the interwoven threads of shared experience and biology.

For me, as an adopted person, things are not so simple. It occurred to me recently that being adopted is a bit like having Strabismus, or “Wandering Eye,” a condition in which the two eyes don’t quite work together as they should to create a single, unified picture. As a metaphor for the adoption experience, this translates to two separate visions of family. One eye sees the world through the lens of experience and upbringing. This is the “nurture” lens, connected to a definition of family as those people with whom I grew up, who cared for me, and shared the experiences of family life with me. The other eye is the lens of “nature,” or biology. It sees family as those people who share my genetics and genealogy, who are related to me in spite of our lack of shared history.

Some people with Strabismus compensate by favoring one eye over the other, and some adopted people do so as well, metaphorically. There are adoptees who will tell you that their real family is the one that they grew up in. Period. There are even those who express distance from, and disdain for, their biological mothers by referring to the them as “incubators.” On the other end of the spectrum are those who refer to their adoptive parents as “adopters,” rather than parents, rejecting the adoptive definition of family in favor of a strictly biological one. But many of us find ourselves in the middle, struggling to hold two (at times contradictory) definitions of family simultaneously, striving to create a single, unified vision from these two divergent points of reference.

Can I say that my life would have been better if I hadn’t been adopted? Would I be happier or psychologically healthier today? I can’t say that with any certainty at all; who knows where that unknown path would have led. Most of the time I am able to accept, and even celebrate, my life for what it is and to see the duality of adoption as an enrichment rather than a detraction. Usually, I am thankful that I have the love of not just one but two families. But to be honest, I’m not always in that place of acceptance and gratitude. Sometimes I wish that instead of families, I simply had “a family”.

Follow Rebecca’s blog at

Reader review: “I could not put your book down!”

Kirsty Simmonds writes: “I absolutely loved your book; I could not put it down. It is an amazing and courageous walk you have lead, Aurette. You dealt with it so frankly and honestly and have faced your absolute worst fears! You have come through victorious – I was inspired, moved to tears and in joy for you – so proud of how you pushed through and refused to accept nothing less than the absolute truth, even if it meant shattering any “feel-good illusions”.

I was truly affected, moved and impressed. You truly are an inspiration – you have lived as you speak and abide in the Word. Your life bears such great testimony to how necessary and how wonderful faith in God is an can keep us through our darkest trials. Without Him we will be truly lost to the darkness and despair. Thank you for being so brave to write this all down and share your unique life story. So many will be saved beacuse of your faith and ability to put into words what so few would have been able to.

Letter to a birth-mother

In celebration of my birth-mother’s birthday this month, I am publishing this letter (with permission) from adoptee Shefalie Chandra, who wrote to her birth-mother this last Mother’s Day. Her words really moved me and echo so many of my emotions, which is why I wanted to share it… 


I am really sorry that I never got to reach the stage in my life and yours where I could have emotionally adult responses and choices in a relationship with you. I am sorry that I never actually got the chance to have a relationship with you, except mostly in my head where I am writing all the scripts and narratives.

I wish I could have got to the place where I could have shown more respect and care for you, without having to change you into who I thought I needed or wanted, or become critical and judgmental.

I can now see that I expected you to be almost perfect in meeting my relational needs as a mother. I never got to be able to appreciate you for who you are/were as a whole individual and person in your own right. For the good and bad, and
not for what you could give me or make up to me, filling in the voids.

I have been learning how to deal with all the fallout of being relinquished and all that comes with being fostered and adopted and being raised by people who don’t reflect back to me who I am.

I am learning to take responsibility for my own thoughts, feelings, goals and actions, so that when I am under stress, I don’t fall into the victim mentality or blame game as I used to.

I am also learning to state my own beliefs and values to those who disagree with me, and that includes how others perceive adoption and birth-mothers and I don’t have to become adversarial.

I am learning to self-assess my limits, strengths and weaknesses and be able to freely discuss them with others who are swimming in the same waters. I am even swimming into the emotioanl world of others, meeting them at their place of need without getting sucked in and down. I think that means Mum, that at last I am becoming more emotionally mature; like more of a grown-up adult adoptee, and not the emotional infant or child I once was.

I wish you could have known me as this person. I wish I could have helped you learn to swim in these waters as well with me, but I couldn’t. I didn’t know how to then, so what I am going to do is try to help other people and I hope
you would have liked who I am becoming.

Oh, just one more thing, Mum, something else that I am learning to hear and know that I am loved by Christ, and that I have nothing to prove. And so that means as well, Mum, neither do you.

Happy mothers day Elizabeth, I hope you can hear me, because I mean it.


Book Review: GROWING UP BLACK IN WHITE by Kevin D Hofmann

As a South African who grew up in the Apartheid era, from the first page of Kevin’s book I couldn’t help but draw comparisons between his description of America’s racial discrimination during the 1960s, and that which existed in my own country prior to April 1994.

Kevin was born in 1967 in Detroit, at a time when racial segregation was the norm in the US. The Ku Klux Klan, for example, was demonstrative in the extreme in expressing its hatred of the black minority. Meanwhile, here in South Africa, our non-white population living under the then government’s Apartheid legislation was dealing with pass book laws, the Group Areas Act and disenfranchisement, among numerous other so-called legal discriminatory practices.

Born to a white mother and a black father, Kevin is adopted by a white Lutheran couple at a time when, as he puts it, “different pigments can’t get along”. Indeed, while most babies are lavished with beautiful gifts to welcome them into a community, Kevin’s reception takes the form of a burning cross planted on his parents’ front lawn.

How Kevin and his family choose to deal with this incident and others which follow makes for insightful reading and gives all parents, especially those who choose to adopt across the colour and culture line, much to think about. As a white parent, while reading Kevin’s story I found myself constantly asking: if he was my child, what would I have done?

Kevin’s book is not about adoption. It’s about racial discrimination. He simply relates the experiences of his transracial upbringing, and the subtle and blatant discrimination he often had to endure, even from members of his own extended adoptive family. He tells his story candidly and objectively, allowing the reader to form his/her own opinions. Towards the end of the book he does touch lightly on the personal emotional issues he deals with as an adoptee, but the primary theme of his story is contained in the book’s title.

For readers who are, or on their way to becoming the adoptive parents of a child of a different race, Kevin’s journey will provide valuable insight on what being part of a transracial family entails – from the most important perspective of all – the child’s. Because when all is said and done, Kevin is no different from any other child – all he wants is to fit in.

No, LDAs are not exempt from adoption issues

I am often asked whether, as a late discovery adoptee, I experience any of the issues other adoptees – who always have known about their adoption – have to contend with while growing up.

The short answer is yes.

As a child I felt surrounded by people who I believed didn’t like me – from aunts, uncles and cousins, to friends at school. Although I excelled academically and at some sports, I never felt good at what I did, or that my achievements were good enough to ensure approval, which I was constantly trying to earn.

I was extremely afraid of rejection, and would unconsciously go about sabotaging relationships with my friends and family. I reasoned: “I know you are going to leave me eventually, so I will push you away so that I don’t get hurt.”

When the person did eventually leave because I had pushed them away one time too many, my response would be: “See, I knew you would leave.” I was completely unaware that it was me who was causing the very thing I was most afraid of.

Closely related to my fears of rejection were issues of distrust – especially of the feminine. I could never understand why I always felt more comfortable around men than women. I have always had more male friends than female. One of my closest friends at high school, and at the university I studied, was a boy.

When I applied for my first job I was asked whether I got on better with men or women. Immediately I answered men. The interviewer asked why. “I don’t know,” I replied. “I just don’t trust women. They have a hidden agenda.” But I could not explain what this hidden agenda was.

When my husband and I started dating he noted that I always seemed to be “hanging out with the guys”.

“They’re just my friends,” I responded. “I have more male friends than female. I don’t know why, I simply prefer it that way.”

I have since learned that because of the rejection/abandonment experienced at birth, adoptees often view women as abandoners – people who cannot be trusted. Generally, we feel unaccepted by girls or women or uncomfortable around them. While adoptees may have one best friend of the same sex as themselves, for most of us the rest of our friends tend to be boys or men.

Then there is that little matter of control. I am a control freak. I have always been one. I can even be manipulative if I want to, owing to my insatiable need to be in control at all times. To not be in control leaves me feeling extremely anxious, and the less in control I feel the more anxious I become, until eventually I feel completely overwhelmed. Then I break down, have a good cry on my husband’s ever-present shoulder, and feel better.

Low self-esteem, coupled with guilt is another issue I have had to contend with all my life. Thankfully, I now believe I know the root of all this emotional baggage.

One of the first books I read after finding out about my adoption was Nancy Verrier’s The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child.

From the first chapter, it was as if Nancy had written her book about me. I could relate to almost every aspect she addressed. All the emotional issues I experienced before knowing about my adoption and could not explain, suddenly made perfect sense.

Nancy is a registered clinical psychologist and the mother of an adoptive daughter. In her book, she explains how, no matter how much love she gave her daughter, the child continued to push her away and act out. In an effort to understand her daughter, Nancy wrote her doctoral thesis on adoptees. Her research culminated in the identification of what she calls the primal wound.

According to Nancy, this wound is formed immediately after birth when a baby is not placed in the arms of their birth mother, but given to a complete stranger. After having gone through the trauma of birth, all the baby wants is to the comfort of the woman in whose womb they have spent the last nine months.

Research shows that during this time they have come to know the woman who carried them so well that they can even identify her by smell. Thus when they are placed in the arms of a stranger, they experience no sense of safety, wellbeing and comfort, but rather intense abandonment. What’s more – they are expected to bond with this strange person, but how is that possible when they are yearning for their birth mother?

These intense emotions of abandonment, rejection, neglect and betrayal create an emotional wound so primal, Nancy says, that it is indelibly etched on the child’s sub-conscious memory. These fears never leave the child.

Consequently, most adoptees, regardless of when they learn of their adoption, grow up with issues of rejection, trust, intimacy and loyalty, together with guilt and shame, power and control and identity.

I firmly believe that it doesn’t matter at what age you find out about your adoption – the emotional impact of being separated from your birth-mother begins on the day of separation and is profoundly and permanently life-changing.

My belief is based on my personal experience and confirmed by Nancy Verrier’s research.

Thanks to my Christian faith, however, and a wonderful support system, I have been able to confront and deal with these issues. I have experienced considerable healing, but I have also come to accept that I am a work-in-progress, and will always be on a lifelong journey of healing.

The final chapter

I did not write the final chapter of my book. It was written by my husband Sean, for a very special reason.

During my journey of discovery and healing, Sean was always at my side – physically, emotionally and spiritually.

One on occasion he accompanied me to a support group meeting for adoption triad members. There we met not only adoptees, birth mothers and adoptive parents, but also their spouses. Like Sean, they had come along to provide support.

One young man, the husband of an adoptee, expressed how helpless he felt as his wife battled to deal with all the emotions that engulfed her. He admitted that sometimes he struggled to understand her pain, even though, as her husband, he experienced it almost first hand with her every day.

Sitting next to me, Sean nodded his head in agreement, now and then whispering a quiet “yes” as the young man spoke. Clearly he could relate to what the man was talking about.

In that moment I realised that I was not travelling my journey alone. The pain I felt was not limited to me , but also affected those close to me, especially my immediate family – my husband and children.

When I made the decision to write my book I asked Sean to contribute a chapter. I wanted him to write about his experience of my adoption journey – how he felt through it all and most importantly, how he dealt with it. I wanted Sean to speak so that others like him, whose unwavering support is indispensable, who feel our pain as they carry our burden with us, could feel heard.

I was not prepared for my reaction when I read Sean’s chapter. He wrote from the heart and his honesty moved me to tears. I had been so self-absorbed, so intent on what I was going through, that I never gave a minute’s thought to how he was being affected by it all. Yes, learning about your adoption as an adult is traumatic, but the trauma is not isolated. The spillover effect on those closest to us is considerable and as adoptees, we need to be aware of this.

Although our pain causes our loved ones pain, mostly they remain silent because their primary role is to provide support. How unselfish is this love.

Sean’s chapter is entitled A Little While of Winter, taken from Song of Solomon 2:10-12. A  talented friend of mine put the words to music and recorded the song, which I gave it to Sean as a gift as our pain turned into healing:

My beloved spake, and said unto me,
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For, lo, the winter is past;
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the singing of birds is come,
And the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land.

Interview on Adoption Journey Into Motherhood

Mary Beth Wells chats to Aurette about her discovery as an adult of her closed adoption, and her journey of healing.

The Interview Project: Interview with Von

Open Adoption Bloggers recently invited adoption bloggers to participate in The Interview Project as a means of getting to know other voices in the adoption world. I was once of the 60 bloggers who signed up and was paired with an adoptee called Von. She writes a very informative and thought-provoking blog entitled Once Was Von. This is my interview with her:

Are you one of the Forgotten Australians? Please tell me more about this (I can Google it but I prefer to hear about it in your own words).
Thank you, there is plenty to Google, but each story is so personal. I had a dear friend and neighbour who was one of the Forgotten Australians. He was sent from The Barnardos Homes to Australia as a young boy. He seems to have been one of the lucky ones, unless of course he never told the truth of his story, in order to protect us all from his pain. I admired him immensely for his fortitude, his humour and the success he made of his life despite it all.

My father and uncles were institutionalised as boys, although not transported. The repercussions of this have reverberated down the family. They are numbered amongst the 500,000. My Mother, Dorothy also of course was affected, as are all the descendents of these people, no longer forgotten

In your adoption story you mention that your birth mother nurtured you for some time before you were separated. How has this affected your life – are you better off emotionally than those children who are separated immediately after birth? Is your “primal wound” smaller (for want of a better word) than that of others?
Absolutely better off, which I have only recently come to fully appreciate. I have always had a sense of who I am. I think the “primal wound” is not smaller; separation is separation and that trauma is significant for us all. I too suffer from a multitude of effects from that time, but have been able to turn that into a survivor mode  for myself because I have had that sense of being who I am. Of course, as for all of us, there have been times of great distress and pain, still are, but I’m never felt I wouldn’t come through it. I was better off I believe, but of course the big question has to be, was Dorothy?

Having spent those few months with your birth mother, did you feel a connection with her (the second Dorothy) when you were eventually reunited?
I spent six weeks after birth with her, heavily supervised and restricted. I did feel a connection, respect and great sadness for her suffering, but sadly I never came to love her as I would have liked to. I tried to make up for the lost years, to treat her as well as possible, by making sure she felt like a mother and grandmother. I am grateful to her for the information she gave me, the family history, the awareness of her feelings and suffering and of course for my life.

Do you know anything about your birth father? Do you ever think about him?
I thought about him all my life. I didn’t know his name until I was 50, when Dorothy told me about him and their story. Once I had met two of my five half-siblings and talked to a cousin, I had plenty of information about his life and his history. I think of him more now, but have no regrets about not meeting him, despite that being the only missing piece of the jigsaw of my life.

Are you happy with what you have learned about your biological roots, or do you feel there is still something missing?
I am extremely fortunate and feel I now have a firm foundation for my life, which I did not have previously. I am very proud of my ancestors and knowing where I came from has explained much in my life. For instance I lived in Bristol for 14 years and knew Somerset well. I very often travelled within a few miles of where one side of my family lived from 1700, the side who’s name I bore originally. Of course I didn’t know that then!

Why did you choose to blog about adoption at this stage of your life?
My meeting with my half-siblings only happened last year. I believe I’ve pretty much travelled the whole adoption journey. I had already started blogging and thought it a good way to convey information that might be useful or helpful to others. I’ve always believed in turning what has been difficult into something useful.

Your blog contains many links to news articles and other adoption-related issues. What are you trying to achieve with your blog?
I feel very strongly that people who are not adoptees do not know the extent of the adoption industry’s harm and of the suffering inflicted on adoptees. Many do not grasp or ever think about what it means to be an adoptee and a minority of around 3%, in many places with no right to know who they really are. I feel fortunate to live in a country with a more enlightened attitude and I have the time in my life now, the motivation and commitment to open up information. I am committed to adoption activism for the sake of those who do not know and the ones to follow.

Your blog topics capture beautifully and comprehensively the extent of issues adoptees are faced with . Although you write in the third person, are these posts a reflection of your own feelings about adoption?
I write in the third person because I find emotive issues are sometimes clouded by the personal. There is a place for the personal as long as it is not expressed as a call for sympathy or done in martyrdom. Burdening others with unresolved issues has never been my habit or practise. I greatly appreciate the blogs of others who research, resolve and can write about their experiences. Adoptees always have scars, it’s how we manage them that’s important. I never write about anything I don’t have strong feelings about.

Do you find blogging about adoption cathartic?
No, I find other ways for resolution. I do find it wonderfully empowering to be part of a blogging community where others understand, respond and are so generous with their comments and time.Like many of my generation, contact with other adoptees has been infrequent, my best time was decades ago on a training course being with three other adoptees! It can get lonely out there and blogging has provided such helpful contacts, validation and a sense of being part of a group. I appreciate it enormously.

How do you deal with the emotional pain when it strikes?
I front up to it, am pro-active and treat it like any other chronic pain It has been buried for so long by ‘the good adoptee’ and now having the space in my life to deal with it has been useful. Of course I have dealt with it a number of times previously…therapy, counselling, but this time I’ve really got to the nitty-gritty. I’m very lucky to have a wonderfully supportive family who are professionals and know what they’re doing. They don’t of course counsel or therap me, but know the right way to be supportive and the best way to ask the right questions. I’ve been a professional too, so I know the right questions to ask myself and I sometimes get good answers!

I find giving any difficulties full attention and working out what is going on and just recognising, honouring if you like and accepting that the wounds never go away, but there are always better ways to manage the pain, works for me. I’m learning all the time and expect to do that all my life.

Currently I’m reading the work of Evelyn Burns Robinson and am finding her books wonderfully helpful, informative and life changing.

I make full use of most of the techniques I’d recommend for physical chronic pain. Currently I use Bach Flower Remedies, Tibetan Healing Chanting and visualisation. Pain levels can always be improved and pain can be dealt with.

Despite the long journey and all it has entailed, I’ve always been very optimistic and had a ‘can-do’ attitude to life, it helps!

Click here to read Von’s interview with me.

Interview with a transracial adoptee

I met Kevin Hoffman through the social community network Adoption Voices. He is currently writing a book entitled Growing Up White in Black, an account of what it’s like as a black child to grow up in a white family. Given that transracial adoption is becoming increasingly popular in South Africa, owing to the considerable number of babies orphaned, abandoned and given up each day due to Aids and poverty, I thought it fitting to interview Kevin on his experiences…


Kevin Hofmann

When and how did you first become aware that you were “different” to the rest of your family?
I often joke that the luxury of being a transracial adoptee means you never have to wonder if you were adopted or not.  I remember a segment from the popular TV show Sesame Street, called “which one of these is not like the other?”  In our family it was obvious I was not like anyone else.  I can never remember a time when I didn’t feel different.  But I always felt a part of the family even though my “tan” was a little darker.

How did this make you feel? 
I actually liked being the different one with an unusual story.  In the family I just felt like one of the kids.  I was never aware of anyone in the family seeing me as different.  Outside of our house I felt different more because I was black than adopted.  The first neighborhood we lived in was a black neighborhood and my brothers and sister and I were sent to a school that was 98 per cent black so initially I didn’t feel different outside the home. When I was eight we moved to a white neighbourhood and there I really noticed on a daily basis I was different for the first year or so.

Did you and/or your parents ever have racial slurs thrown at you while you were growing up?
My brothers called me a nigger all the time when we would fight.  I am not sure they knew the gravity of the word and did it really just to disarm me during the fight.  During adolescence there is no such thing as a fair fight.

I can remember clearly the first time someone outside the family called me a nigger and I was devastated.  In my book, there is a whole chapter dedicated to that called, “My First”.

I am sure my parents heard more insults than I did but they protected me from most of that.

If so, how did you (personally, and as a family) deal with this?
I was very disarming and there was no way to combat against that word.  That word is such a powerful word that it just hurt me so deep.  I would usually just go off by myself.  The first time this white kid called me a nigger, I kept it to myself.  I knew it would hurt my mom and dad to know that so I kept it to myself.

As a family, we never talked about it.  My brothers would get in trouble for it but they would still use it when my parents weren’t around.

A portion of society believes that children adopted by parents who are not of the same race are racially and culturally deprived. Do you agree with this statement?
Yes and no. Because you are not raised in that culture and don’t come home to that culture you will never be like those that have been.  This was the one things that I mourned and grieved about the most.  I wasn’t as  in touch with the culture like my black friends were.

But I was so blessed to have been exposed to my culture through my close friends at school that I was able to develop my racial identity and pride in my race. My parents did some extreme things, like moving us to a black neighbourhood, to assure that I would be in touch with my race and culture.  That has made a HUGE difference in my upbringing. It allowed me to feel normal around people like me and feel a sense of belonging. So in that aspect I don’t feel deprived at all. 

Adoptees generally have a lot of emotional issues to deal with. Did the fact that you are a transracial adoptee add to your “baggage”?
A lot of my emotional issues originate in me being adopted.  I have the typical rejection issues a lot of adoptees have.  So the need to be accepted is huge for me.  You talked about this in your book and you made it very clear for me. There are two ways that adoptees respond to this rejection issue.  One is to rebel and the other is to do what you have to do to be accepted.  I was the one doing what I could do to feel accepted. Again, being black in a country that has some very big issues with race added to my rejection issues. The fact that I didn’t feel accepted in many situations because I was black added to my baggage more than being a transracial adoptee. When I was away from the family, no one knew I was a transracial adoptee, I was treated differently because of the colour of my skin.

Are you in favour of transracial adoption? Please state why you say yes or no.
I am a big supporter of transracial adoption if done correctly. If a family adopts a child of colour thinking they can raise that child as if that child is white I have issues with that. I would never go so far to say they shouldn’t adopt, but they really need to change their way of thinking and make sure that child has some consistent connection to their culture. 

There are more children of colour in need of adoption than there are people of colour adopting so I don’t understand those who are against transracial adoption.  It is absolutely necessary.  If whites don’t adopt children of colour this means that manym many children will live a life in horrible conditions or in foster care.  But it has to be done right and by the right people.  I have always said it takes a special person to adopt transracially.

Do you see transracial adoption becoming more acceptable in future?
Yes. Out of necessity it has to be. The alternatives are horrible and not acceptable.  It is my understanding that in the States there was a large group of black professionals who strongly opposed transracial adoption and were very vocal about it.  Recently, they have relaxed their stance against it because the numbers say it is necessary.

Is growing up “white in black” just as common as your story – growing up “black in white”? If not, why do you think it isn’t?
Very rarely do you hear of a black family adopting a white child and that is because white children are in demand and blacks and people of colour don’t adopt was much as whites.  I think that has to do with culture too.

What happy memories do you have as a transracial adoptee, humorous experiences and encounters that you would like to share? 
The funniest story I can remember is when we moved to the white neighborhood, I was the only black kid on the block.  Soon after we moved in a father of one of the kids in the neighborhood came to our door and asked for my dad. The father accused me of vandalising his car. He had no proof but since I was the newest and darkest kid on the block it had to have been me.  My dad started yelling and I can remember being in my room on the second floor of the house and hearing my dad yell, “If you don’t get off my porch, I am going to put my fist through your face.” The other father turned around and walked away.  It was funny to hear my dad the minister threaten to punch someone and it was great to hear he was sticking up for me.

What advice would you give to adoptive parents who have adopted or are considering transracial adoption?
If you’re going to adopt transracially or if you already have make a commitment to surround your child with people who look like them. In doing so you will help your child build a strong sense of who they are and give them a connection to their culture. When you do this there will be times when you may be the only white person a certain events.  his is a valuable and necessary experience because if helps you to see what it is like to be the minority.  It will help you understand how your child feels most of the time.   

Any final comments you would like to add?
Transracial adoption is tough, but possible.  Stay encouraged. You can do this; you just have to stay plugged into the right people and groups.  If anyone has any questions for me you can contact me through my websites and I will definitely help in any way I can.  I am here to support anyone interested in adoption.

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