I was born in London and in foster care until my adoption, at six months.  I am Indian and was adopted into a white British religious family.  My adoptive parents took the approach of telling me everyday that I was Indian and adopted, so this was never a surprise.  I was thankful I had been saved, and easily modelled the good child.

As I grew older life became difficult.  I became more defiant and challenging, as I struggled with lack of belonging and identity confusion.  I thought running away to university might solve both mine and my parents problems, surmising that the common denominator in most scenarios was that I was the problem.

My identity confusion peaked aged eighteen, when I went to university.  Suddenly I was surrounded by more brown people than I ever could imagine.  I thought I had arrived at my destination of being accepted.  They rejected me as I did not have an Indian upbringing.  So here I am, brown on the outside and white on the inside, with no clear membership.

I completed a degree in psychology, which was nothing short of a miracle as sadness, loneliness and anxiety were always lurking around.   I returned home for a short period, before my adoptive parents retired and moved away.  The anticipation of this move created pervasive abandonment, for a second time.  The first time being when I was separated from my mother at birth.  I became mentally unwell and my adoptive parents struggled to deal with me.

I moved in with my boyfriend and some years later we married.  My absolute rock and lifeline.  I started a search for my biological parents with a clear message of support and intrigue from my adoptive parents.

I thought I was embarking on a life long journey, yet within a matter of months my biological half-sister contacted me.  She told me that my biological parents has lied about my birth circumstances to hide a family affair.  My biological father had died and my mother did not want contact as she was in an arranged marriage.  Rejected again.  Once again my life was spinning in front of me.  I was unrecognisable to myself.  The nugget of gold was that my half-sister became my soul mate.

I have committed to life-long personal development to navigate the ongoing challenges of being an adoptee.  I completed CAT therapy and I am now very happily married with two children.  I also, by no accident, work with people who experience trauma, attachment and personality problems.  

I believe very strongly that we have a long way to go in validating adoptee separation trauma and disenfranchised grief and how difficult it can be for adopters to support this process.  I look forward to a time when adopter and adoptee groups become one to learn from one another.  Adoptees don’t want to be saved, we want to become our secure selves.

Mona P