Adoptees Connect, Inc. – We’re building person-to-person communities that provide validating spaces for Adult Adoptees. At Adoptees Connect, we focus on putting adoptee voices first by creating a safe and valuable adoptee-centric space, created by and for adoptees, where their voices can meet and be heard. In January 2018, the first connect groups were planted in Lexington, KY. The groups stray away from the traditional support group model by placing a larger emphasis on building strong, healthy relationships with other adoptees. In just two short years 45 connect groups have been planted in 42 cities and 27 states. It’s the hope of Adoptees Connect, Inc. to plant a group in every city, in every state in the country. This way, anywhere an adoptee might go, they will always have a community to fall back on. Our groups are designed to take online relationships offline, and to get to know the person behind the profile.
Adoptees Connect Book Initiative- At Adoptees Connect we believe one of the main sources of validating the adoptee experience is by reading adoptee centric stories, books, poems and memoirs. Not all Adoptees are fortunate enough to be able to obtain these resources and materials due to a variety of factors. Facts, Local libraries usually have a very limited selection of adoptee centric reading literature! We’ve launched our Adoptees Connect Book Initiative as a way for individials to be able to mail donated adoptee-centric books to our groups throughout the nation so they can start lending libraries in our connect groups. Please consider donating your old adoptee related books, memoirs, stories, poetry books to our Adoptees Connect Book Initiative. Maybe you are an adoptee author, or an adoptee who’s got a few adoptee books you are ready to part with? Maybe you aren’t an adoptee at all, but you’ve collected some adoptee centric books to learn more about the adoptee experience? Don’t let those books collect dust for another day and consider generously donating them to a wonderful cause designed specifically for Adoptees. To learn more click here.
Adoptee Merch Fundraising – For Adoptees – A unique blend of Adoptee Merchandise you won’t find anywhere else. We have something for everyone. All ages, All genders. Adoptee Merch was founded as a reflection of raising Adoptee Voices through branded clothing and merchandise. We desire to make a statement and let the world know how many of us feel through merchandise designed specifically for Adoptees. We take pride in dynamite Adoptee merchandise as well as putting our customers first with a focus on listening to and sharing Adoptee Voices. Empowering Adoptees one step at a time through wearing words. Wearing words Adoptee related will spark conversations and make a bold statement, “I’m Adopted – Let’s talk about it!” Nothing about adoption is normal, but normalizing the conversation of adoption can bring us closer together and healing in many ways. Our hope is that through Adoptee Merch. adoption will be talked about more than ever before, secrecy no more. 100% of the proceeds benefits Adoptees Connect, Inc. Click here to learn more!
Adoptees in Recovery is an adoptee-centric open share group of adult adoptees who are in recovery. Topic discussions are centered around our adoption and recovery journeys. On October 2, 2019 we launched our very first Adoptees in Recovery group in Lexington, KY. Our hope is that one by one, Adoptees in Recovery will find us and come so we can allow them a safe space to share their hearts and hurts and in return we can offer some hope. As we hold the torch by creating the first space for Adoptees in Recovery powered by Adoptees Connect, Inc.® we believe our vision for this resource will expand and reach many in our community and beyond. Adoptees in Recovery® is planting seeds of HOPE! To learn more, visit Adoptees in Recovery.
Adoptees Connect Transracial & Transnational Groups – In the Spring of 2020, we will be launching our first Adoptees Connect – Transracial & Transnational Groups. After lengthy conversations with many adoptees who are a part of the transracial and/or transnational community, we’ve learned there are significant differences in the journeys that those carry who are transracial and/or transnational than those who we’re adopted domestically. In a commitment to acknowledge these differences, we’re committed to creating groups designed specifically for them. We’re excited and honored as it’s so overdue for the adoptee community.
Adopteens Connect Groups – Our vision for Adopteens Connect is much different than our vision for Adoptees Connect. Coming Spring 2020 we hope to launch our very first Adopteens Connect group here in Lexington, KY to bridge the gap and create community among the adopted teen population. (Ages 14-18) These connect groups will be a place of fun and excitement, focused on building relationships with other teen adoptees. Community is everything, especially at this age. Our hope is the adopted teens will attend, and once they reach adulthood they consider coming to our Adoptees Connect groups, where the dynamics change significantly. To create the safest atmosphere possible, Adult Adoptees who are familiar with our connect groups, who have completed our volunteer application process will be hosts for these groups. Our activities will be focused around outings like swimming, hiking, volleyball, kickball, basketball, movies, dinners, ice cream socials, bowling, and anything fun we can think of doing together. Follow our social media and website to learn more about our launch!
Ask an Adoptee is one of our community outreach initiatives to share the adoptee experience with those who aren’t adopted like birth parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, or anyone in the adoption arena within our communities. All our panel participants will be adult adoptees who are well versed in their adoption experiences. We’ve learned over the years that many times adoptive parents or those in the adoption arena aren’t given many of the tools to understand their adopted children or the adoption experience. We believe adult adoptees hold the most valuable experiences in the adoption equation, because we have the lived experiences. Our mission with this initiative is to help bring awareness to the difficulties of the adoption experience that aren’t normally shared. To educate on the lifelong trauma of relinquishment, and the complexities from being adopted and how this adds to relinquishment trauma. We hope to shine a light on the adoptee grief & loss process, as well as complex-PTSD, abandonment & rejection issues many adoptees face. For now, we have a page on Facebook, that’s similar to this vision and you can find it by clicking here.
How Does it Feel to be Adopted? was created in 2012 by our founder, Pamela Karanova. This initiative was sparked during a specific time in Pamela’s life where she was in a small group meeting at Celebrate Recovery in Lexington, KY. It was the first time Pamela had openly shared about her birth mother, and an adoptive mom interrupted her, cut her off and said, “Honey, you don’t know adoption like I know adoption!” This experience created such pain in Pamela, as she realized there was really no safe space for her to share her adoptee experience. This situation happening was the fuel behind Pamela creating this public Facebook page, allowing adoptee ONLY commenting so her and her fellow adoptees won’t get silenced or shut down. This platform has grown over the last 7 years, and it’s a healing and validation space for many adoptees. With the page being public, we receive messages almost daily on how beneficial it is that the page is public, where non-adoptees can read and learn from us, but it’s one of the only adoptee only commenting platforms in Adoptionland today. You can visit this page by clicking here.
Adoptee Remembrance Day – October 30th, was founded by Pamela A. Karanova. This day serves several purposes.
It raises public awareness of crimes against adoptees by adoptive parents, an action that current media does not recognize. It also allows us to publicly mourn and honor the lives of our brothers and sisters who we have lost who might otherwise be forgotten. It raises awareness about adoptee suicide, shining a light on a difficult topic. Through these actions, we express love and respect for the adoptee community. Adoptee Remembrance Day reminds others that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends, and lovers. Adoptee Remembrance Day gives our allies a chance to step forward with us, memorializing those who have died too soon, and it also recognizing the loss all adopted people experience, before they’re actually adopted.
While this topic remains sensitive in nature, adoptees who are murdered by their adoptive parents is increasing around the world. It is a time to honor their legacy by setting aside a day just for them. While those who have passed away before us, are no longer able to speak and share their stories or voices, there are many adoptees today who are paving the way for the voiceless to become strong enough to share their voices and stories. We are the voice of the voiceless.
We also recognize that there are international adoptees who are living without citizenship and/or have been deported due to mistakes by adoptive parents, adoption agencies, attorneys, and ultimately, the U.S. adoption system. Some international adoptees must survive abuse and neglect, including in regards to their citizenship, from their adoptive parents. We honor the adoptees who did not survive or are struggling to survive their deportations to countries they left as children where they have no support network and limited access to support services, including mental health care, clothing, food and shelter. Lack of citizenship is a tragic and often unacknowledged issue facing the adoptee community.
This is what Adoptee Remembrance Day is all about.
To learn more, visit www.adopteeremembranceday.com