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Your Adoption Journey

Carolyn's Story
My name is Carolyn - it used to be Leslie Anne Barnett.  I was born July 21 1965 at the Bethesda Home for Unwed Moms in London, ON.  I'm not sure who the foster parents who looked after me for the first 3 months were (though I'd sure like to be able to thank them).  I was then placed with a "family".  I was close to my one adoptive brother, Bruce, but other than that, things always felt odd.  I remember going to friends' homes, and thinking how neat it was to see a family unit that actually looked like they gave a crap about each other.  I suffered from several physical signs of severe stress from the time I was about 6 or 7 (patches of hair would fall out, and I wouldn't be able to turn my head without powerful muscle relaxents).  I had extreme anxiety, fear, and lonliness, mixed with partially blocked memories and visions.  When I tried to talk to mom about it, she just blew me off, and changed the subject.  I never talked about it again, until the past five years or so, when my healing started. I was kicked out of the house when I was just about to turn 16 - I was a slut, and the pig of the family.   When my Adad found out he was dying of cancer, he phoned me, and gave me the creapiest apology I'd ever gotten before.  He was sorry for what he did to me.  Even after that, I couldn't accept what he was telling me.  That was easy enough to ignore, and block out as well.  Church was always a fairly negative part of my life, but when I knew I couldn't take the way my life was at the time, talking to God was the only thing I could think of doing.  It's been about 5 yrs., of everything falling into place, and realizing that I've been blessed with empathy, and the ability to see beauty and good in the simplest things in life.  I wouldn't trade that for anything.  I still feel like a cabbage patch kid sometimes.  I believe I found my birthmom's family, but though they strongly believe I'm their sister's babygirl, they won't tell me where she is, or what her last name is now.  She was told that I died, and had a nervous breakdown a couple of years later, and has apparently been a "nasty alcoholic" since.  I don't care what she is. I feel she has the right to know if I am in fact her daughter - even if it brings shame into the family, and forces skeletons out of the closet.

Thank you for giving me somewhere to share, and if I can do anything to help with the fight to unseal our past, please let me know.  The general public still doesn't understand the concept of not having the right to know who we are, and where we came from.  I've been a "dirty little secret" all my life - I don't want to stay that way.


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