One last word… A final post.

By Michelle Riess

Throughout my adoption discovery, writing has been very therapeutic for me. Unfortunately, writing about my adoption on this website is no longer providing me with the peace or clarity it once brought.

While I am pleased to have reached so many other late discovery adoptees through this website, I am ready to move on to different projects relating to adoption, and adoptee-focused issues in general. I am also going to be working heavily on healing from this life-shattering discovery and everything that this event has allowed me to finally open up about without fear or shame. Obviously, this is not the end of our story, but this will be the final post on this website. We will keep this website online indefinitely, but I want to make some final comments and close out this chapter of the story on my own terms.

The purpose of this website has always been to share our story with other late discovery adoptees, and to provide hope to other biological families searching for their adult children. It is also a poignant reminder to adoptive parents on the importance of honesty and openness regarding adoption from day one. I have never set out to make anyone from my life (past or present) look bad by sharing our story — that has never been the intention. However, if the facts of my fraudulent adoption DO make anyone look bad, that is not my fault.

In early 2018, I made the decision to walk away from my adoptive father because the pain was too intense and the depth of the manipulation was four decades too deep. I have never regretted that decision or the manner in which I have handled this life-changing discovery. (Related: When Adults Discover They Were Adopted)

For four decades, my place in the world as a baby, a child, a teenager, a young woman, and eventually, a mother, was artificially filled with lies and a completely fabricated backstory that tended only to the needs of the adults around me, and never took into consideration my unique needs as an adopted child. This created a tremendous amount of inner confusion and conflict for me from my earliest years and made it extremely difficult for me to develop into a healthy, whole human being. I acutely felt those discrepancies within myself even if I couldn’t articulate it or understand why I felt the way I did. From a very young age I was trained to believe these issues were strictly my own, and, as my adoptive mother put it, there was just “something wrong with [me] from day one.” This is a sentiment my adoptive mother drilled into me from my earliest years, and I felt it to my core. I absolutely believed I was bad, ugly, stupid, worthless, unlovable, and a burden because she told me these things — with her words and with her actions. “I love you” is a phrase I have no memory of her saying to me — not even onceoutside of the context of discipline (ex. being told “we’re only doing this because we love you” during the course of a physical punishment.) I will spend the rest of my years rebuilding the self-confidence, self-worth, and life that she systematically destroyed in order to gain complete control over me as a child and young woman. Ultimately, my adoptive parents were more concerned about protecting their lies and fulfilling their own fantasies than my long-term well-being.

Michelle Riess as a baby (1977)

A good analogy to describe my life before my discovery is to compare it to the game Monopoly. My life was the Monopoly game board, but my adoptive parents gave me the instructions, game cards, and game pieces from Candyland and expected me to turn out completely normal. I could go through the motions and play “Monopoly” the best I could with what they gave me, but none of it made sense and I didn’t understand why. Meanwhile, they were telling me that any problems I experienced in life weren’t because of the faulty game pieces or instructions they had given me; the problem was strictly me. They set me up to fail. That is not an act of parental love; it is an act of selfishness.

The impact of these internal conflicts regarding who I felt like I was trained to be — versus what I felt inside biologically — is still deeply felt. It’s been almost five years since my discovery and I continue to deprogram myself from the learned behaviors and thought patterns of the toxic environment I was raised in. For the first time in my life, I can see things as they really are and can make fully informed decisions regarding myself, my life, and my family. I feel free of the burdens of my adoptive parents’ lives, and have made peace with my past, even though it all still heavily impacts me in the present. (Related: What is C-PTSD?)

My adoptive parents had 40 years, or 14,898 days to tell me the truth, but instead, they chose to maintain and build upon their lies 14,898 times. Forty years… This was not a parenting “mistake;” it was a thought-out, planned, and conscious decision they perpetuated over the course of four decades. Make no mistake about it — this is exactly what they wanted to do regardless of how it could negatively impact me, my physical health, my mental health, or my future (including my children.) It’s almost as if my adoptive parents had absolutely no foresight, or just simply didn’t care enough to consider the problems their lies would so obviously create in the future. The reality is that they never wanted me to know the truth about how they unethically acquired me, my actual origins, or my own personal history as a human being. They destroyed all documents pertaining to my adoption when I was very young to ensure there was no evidence left behind for me to find. They limited my exposure to their own family members who knew the truth to avoid the possibility of anyone telling me. They lied to me about virtually everything in life to maintain their story at great expense to me. It is inexcusable.

To this day, some people close to my adoptive parents see me as the sole offender in this situation because I had the audacity to walk away from the man who did this to me (along with his now-deceased wife, my abuser.) Typically, they cite vacations, a nice house, parties, gifts, and other material wealth as the reasons why I should forever be grateful to my adoptive parents for taking me in when “nobody” wanted me; but completely fail to recognize the very serious problems that existed within that family dynamic which caused me very real harm. They also fail to understand that walking away was not an act of “rebellion” or the actions of a “troubled” person; but actually the direct consequence of my adoptive parents’ own lies, behaviors & abuse — learning I was adopted was just the final breaking point. The long-term (and ongoing) acceptance of their lies by the people closest to them has enabled them to continue the charade and, I believe, has ultimately fueled my adoptive father’s unwillingness to be fully accountable for what they did, for what he allowed my adoptive mother to do to me, and all that has happened as a result. (Related: Why Adult Children Cut Ties with their Parents)

As a parent of three children, it is impossible to imagine a scenario like this, where I knowingly and willingly do something life-shattering to my children. What’s even more impossible to imagine is doing something like that to my children, and then just turning on them; abandoning any hopes of helping them heal — even from a distance — or at least trying to lessen their burdens since I would be the one clearly at fault in that imaginary scenario. I’d also be doing some serious deep reflection, working with a mental health professional, and doing whatever I could to fix the situation that I created. I feel like this is what a caring and devoted human being does after causing such massive & irreparable harm to someone, but this never happened following my adoption discovery.

I am not a perfect parent or person. I have absolutely made (and will continue to make) mistakes because I am human. However, the mistakes that I make will never cost my children their self-esteem, their dignity, their sense of identity, their self-worth, crush their spirits, or negatively impact their health (physical and mental.) There is a big difference between “making mistakes” in life, and willingly subjecting a vulnerable child placed in your care to decades of abuse and carefully crafted lies for your own benefit. That is twisted and cruel.

Christina Gellura - Michelle Riess - Fraudulent Adoption - Illegal Adoption - Edward Kent
Michelle with her adoptive parents (1977)

At this point in my life, I have accepted that there will never be a genuine apology from my adoptive father, being wholly accountable for their actions towards me, or any affirmation of the massive & irreparable impact all of this has made on my life (and the lives of my children, too.) Any half-hearted attempts at “apologies” my adoptive father made in those first few months lacked sincerity and always somehow looped me back into the story to hold me at least partially at fault for their own lies, behaviors, and failure to disclose. Clearly, these are not the actions of someone who knows they were wrong, sees the serious damage they caused, and wants to make positive changes for the benefit of the people they claim to “love.” When someone is truly remorseful you can feel it, you can hear it in their voice, and you can see it in their eyes. I never once felt, heard, or witnessed anything that showed me my adoptive father genuinely regretted anything they did; only that he regrets I found out… Just like my adoptive mother did, I am certain my adoptive father fully intended to take this secret to his grave. (Related: signs that someone is genuinely remorseful)

On December 4, 2017 — just two months after my initial adoption discovery, and in the middle of my heaviest, darkest days — my adoptive father sent me an email proclaiming “Happy Gotcha Day!” I remember reading his message with my mouth open in shock and being blown away by his blatant insensitivity, especially considering he and his deceased wife were the ones who caused ALL of the pain I was experiencing at that time. Also, he was fully aware by that time that I was discovering various aspects of my adoption that he had not previously disclosed to me, including the true circumstances of my illegally arranged adoption, and their willingness to participate in it & conceal it. (Related: the problems with Gotcha Day written by an adoptive parent)

This was one of the first times I can recall thinking that the relationship with my adoptive father wasn’t going to survive because it was becoming very clear (very quickly) that he was not capable of recognizing the enormity of what they had done to me, what he allowed his wife to do to me, and that he could not (or simply would not) acknowledge why all of this was such a big problem.

Like everything in the life I had with my adoptive parents, inevitably even my own adoption discovery became all about them:

“We did the best we could.”
“What about me?”
“This isn’t fair to me!”
“You know how important this has always been to me!”
“What about my grandchildren?”
“I don’t appreciate how you’re treating me.”
“You gave no consideration to me.”

You can get the idea…

Around that same time, my adoptive father started sending me messages signed as “Dad?”with a question mark. As soon as he started openly questioning his own role, which most adoptive parents would probably consider to be permanent and irrevocable, I knew there was no real hope for the relationship. As a parent, there is nothing that could ever make me add a question mark after signing ‘Mom’ in a message to my children. Never. Not as children, and not as adults. Obviously to him, this title was optional and fully irrevocable, and it completely changed my view of him, and our relationship. His behaviors towards me over the next months ultimately showed me his true colors, and that he was willing to go to extremes to protect his secrets.

After a few very intense and painfully difficult months, I made the decision to walk away from my adoptive father in early 2018 — less than six months after my initial adoption discovery. To this day, I have no regrets about that decision; it was absolutely the right choice for the circumstances I was placed in. My adoptive father’s poor response to the inevitable fallout from their own actions & lies has been one of the most difficult aspects of this entire process (though there are many very difficult aspects…) There is a complete lack of accountability and an acknowledgment on his part regarding the very serious and very real harm they caused me. Honestly, how privileged and entitled does someone have to be to destroy someone’s life and well-being over the course of four decades, and then, when finally confronted about it, just skips off into the sunset in complete denial that any of it happened? It just reconfirms that I absolutely made the right decision leaving him behind. (Related: I am not your little orphan Annie)

Michelle, age 11, after her black hair was bleached & dyed to match the adoptive mother's hair (pictured)
Michelle as a child after her dark hair was bleached & dyed to match the adoptive mother’s hair

At some point, I will revisit writing about my experiences with adoption and continue working on my book, but for now, this is the end of our story on this website. I will continue working behind the scenes for adoptee rights, adoptee-focused organizations, and using my experiences to help other adoptees and biological families. This website will remain active and I will make occasional posts on the Facebook page relating to adoption because it has been a useful tool to other late discovery adoptees — which has always been the purpose of sharing our story. Since 2018, this website has had 50,000+ visitors from all over the world! I have been contacted by many new late discovery adoptees who are just learning the truth about themselves, are feeling shattered, and looking for someone who deeply understands their pain. I will always be here to support these individuals as they navigate those confusing and often traumatic first few months.

Finally, I am so grateful to everyone who has reached out to us about our story, and to those who have shared with me deeply personal details of their own adoption discovery. I’m also so incredibly thankful for my biological family (I just refer to them as “my family” now) who have welcomed me and my children into their big, beautiful family without hesitation. More than anything, I am simply thankful to know the truth about myself and my origins. I am thankful to know my real name (Michelle Riess) and my actual family history. My life makes sense now knowing these important details and having a relationship with my biological family. I feel broken but at the same time more whole because of this experience.

The complete Riess family (2017)

“Change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.” -M. Hale

Updated 5/16/23


  1. I can surely relate. Gray and Black market adult adoptees need to come together. This is a healing story of such cases. Best wishes in your continued journey, and thanks for the share.

  2. Adoption is NOT what society thinks it is, and until they know better they won’t do better. Congrats on owning your autonomy- I’ve decided that I may not fit or belong, and that’s ok – I’ll stand out instead.
    Sad to see your voice muted, your writing is great and your message should be heard ❤️

  3. Just found your page, I have a lot to read up on. Thank you for keeping it open. I hope you just are taking a break from writing. My life have been like yours, been lied to for 47 years.. I am only 2 years into my discovery. I have made peace with my older a-siblings, but will never ever forgive my a-mom who was the one that took the decision to be dishonest. No way a person who does that have the right to ever speak to me. I hope you are just taking a break.. your words matters!

    1. Author

      Thank you, K! I completely understand that feeling. I don’t hold onto the anger, but I also don’t want anything to do with them. I feel more at peace now that I am a few years out.

  4. Michelle thanks for posting. I hope you write more esp in the adoptee forums. You always write with a kind of humor that rings with me. Your also very kind for those words considering this trauma they caused to you. If you were so bad isn’t that a reflection of the kind of parents they really were? HAAA Msg me on FB soon.

  5. You are a strong, smart, and amazingly creative force, and I am so glad that you finally have the honesty you’ve always deserved.

    1. Author

      Thank you Kate! You are one of the most creative people I know, so I appreciate your kind words!!! Love, Michelle xoxo

  6. Michelle-you are and always have been a beautiful person inside and out. The fact that you told your story publicly and made yourself vulnerable to nasty comments to help others going through the same speaks volume. I hope the next four decades bring you happiness, love, and peace, Karma will catch up with that lawyer. I am honored to call you a friend.

    1. Author

      Thank you Meg! You are so kind! And I am honored to call you a friend as well!!! xoxoxo

  7. Michelle,
    As a fellow Late discovery myself all I can say to you is thank you! Thank you for being a voice of so many silent adoptees! Your list of signs was certainly my life ! Your courage and strength is beyond what many can only imagine! I admire you and when I’m ready…. Will you write my book? ! Hang your head high and be proud! Look in that mirror and say… I am beautiful, confident and strong! You rock this life for all of us adoptee!

    1. Author

      Kelly, thank you so much for sharing. I am so thankful that what I’ve written has resonated with you–this has always been the purpose of this website–to reach other LDAs. –Michelle

  8. One of the most inspirational, devastatingly raw stories I’ve ever seen. I don’t say “story” as an insult. I’ve always viewed/read them as a tale… Filled with characters and plots you couldn’t have quite spelled out. You have navigated this tale amazingly. I wish you nothing but peace, love, and bacon (😉) for you and your future. ❤️

    1. Author

      Thank you Erin! I really appreciate this. Thank you for the kind words and wishes of bacon!!! (vegan, right?!) Love, Michelle xoxo

  9. Michelle, I’m happy to have met you many years ago and to be able to call you a friend and sister. You have shown such strength and grace (imagine that!) during this entire process. Your story has helped many, not just adoptees but those of us that have watched you navigate this situation. Even after the negativity and deceit you’ve never wished ill will or harm and that speaks to your character, something that is wholly yours. My hope is that you continue writing in some capacity, even if it’s not about your adoption story. It truly is one of your greatest gifts. I’m sending lots of love to you and your family.

    1. Author

      Thank you Robin! You are so kind! I hope to write again in the future, but maybe about something other than adoption. I don’t know… I’ll see how it feel again in a few years and go from there. Love, Michelle xoxo

      1. Michelle- I am just begining to read your story. It is stunning to me that adoptive families brainwash themselves in the process. Any criticism is ingratitude. I am glad you are claiming autonomy of your story and writing the chapters in your own voice Instead of the one prescribed by our culture. I hope writing eventually becomes comforting for you again. Best wishes -B

  10. The fact that after everything you were put through- sure it wasn’t a terrible childhood but that doesn’t negate the lie- your instinct is still to use your words to help others…. You’re very strong to share your truth.

  11. Sending you lots of love and you can be proud of surviving where you came from and also be proud that you found the truth and ended up in a better place. XO – Ron

  12. I have been trying to cut back on writing about it too.. It brings the past back to me which makes me sad, angry and depressed. I try to get “over it” as so many think I should do but it’s a part of who I am and who I have become and It will never be over or forgotten. I am lucky, Happy, Blessed, excited (so many more adjectives that I could add) ❤️ that the past 4 years (almost 5!) now, and the future has you in our Lives. I’m sorry this has caused you any distress. I know you started this to help other Adoptees. You are amazing and have had enough pain in your Life. wasn’t there to comfort you in the past..I’m here now whenever you need me..Love you forever my amazing daughter..Love, Mom ❤️

    1. Author

      Awww! Thank you so much Mom! You are such a great mom (and dad is too!) and it brings me so much happiness to see what wonderful people you are and how amazing my sisters are. They are truly a testament to how awesome you guys are as parents! I see so much of myself in all of you–it’s so helpful to finally be able to see myself in others. Knowing all of you has helped me get a better grasp of who I ‘REALLY’ am inside. Thank you for being so supportive always and for welcoming me (and the kids) into your lives. I am so grateful. Love, Michelle xoxoxo

  13. As a late discovery adoptee myself, there’s so much you have written in this last post alone that deeply resonates with me. Nobody understands us better than another LDA. Reading about other LDA’s journey and thoughts and being able to relate to it makes things just a little bit easier for me. So thank you so much for sharing yours.

    1. Author

      Thank you Kris! I agree. I had a difficult time finding sites like this when I first made my discovery in 2017, which is the main reason I created it. I will keep this website active so others can always read it. -Michelle

  14. Michelle, you are an amazing and courageous woman! Thank you for so eloquently sharing your story with everyone. I wish I had the courage and words to publically share my story, feelings of not “belonging”, feeling misplaced and the anxiety and PTSD that resulted from all the lies. I will never understand how people felt ok with lying to us How did they sleep at night? I guess that is where the alcoholism came from! 6 years into my discovery and search for myself I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I will never know my truth. Many have passed. Some still living won’t say a word staying sworn to secrecy and others continuing on with the lies. I’m so happy you found your truth and have had such a wonderful reunion like many of us dream of! I hope the anxiety fades as you heal. I’ll always keep you in my prayers! XOXO

    1. Author

      Thank you Erin! I feel like I could have written this message! I genuinely appreciate your kind words and support. –Michelle

  15. I’m so sorry you have been made to feel like sharing your journey is wrong and others have made it their place to ridicule…

    Sending you gentle hugs and positive light..Wishing you a lifetime of peace and happiness ahead.

  16. Thank you, as a late discovery adoptee, the isolation and disconnect between what I feel and the total lack of understanding is maddening. Like a nightmare when you’re the only sane person in the room, screaming, except it’s real. Stories like ours deserve to be heard.

    1. Author

      Thanks April! I completely agree. I hope to write again sometime in the future, but it won’t be anytime soon. I will keep this website open so new LDAs can access it. -Michelle

  17. I have gone no contact because there is no scenario possible which doesn’t keep me in constant CPTSD trigger mode. And forgiveness doesn’t change them or make them less angry. I still can’t talk about the truth to anyone even remotely associated with my “mother-stole-me-from-father-1/2 family” as I get shut-down with clichés of “life’s too short”. Seriously!!!!!!??? Thanks for sharing.

    1. Author

      Thanks Indigo! It’s a difficult journey we’re on, but we will keep pushing through! -Michelle

  18. I found out at 24 yo, after a psychic told me to ask my parents about my birth, that I was given to my aparents at the hospital in Japan. I was taken to he embassy where they told them I was theirs. I could finally understand why I felt like the black sheep of their families and why my amom said things like, “you should be grateful someone changed your diapers” as a young child in elementary school.

    Three years ago at 54yo, I found my bfather’s family. And when I told my adad, he was happy and said that he was praying that I would. He died two weeks later. I’m sad that your aparents are not happy for you. Unfortunately, those who have not experience this deep seeded pain of LDA cannot ever understand what we go through. Many blessings on your healing.

  19. Fellow LDA…… I am just shy of the 10th anniversary of Discovery Day. At least, for me, adopted family is all deceased. That doesn’t mean that they are forgiven. I was 51 when I found my adoption papers by accident. I was LIVID, especially since I was their 24/7 caregiver to three at the same time all to their dying breaths in the family home.

    Here I am now, at 61, TRYING to work past the 50 plus years of several types of trauma and abuse from the adoptive family…..because of their lies.

    I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS, though they sure tried to make me feel guilty about being livid over the lies.


    I am only responsible for my own now. I have wiped my hands clean of that family and making a new start when I should be getting ready to retire.

    Their needs were all that mattered. Doing ANYTHING for myself was considered selfish and stealing from the family.

    Keep using your voice as you move on to the next stage of your recovery process. We fellow LDAs are here right by your side!.

    1. Author

      Thanks Lisa! I was also a caregiver (not by choice) to my adoptive mother’s mother starting when I was 15 years old until she died in 1999. I always felt it was strange that my adoptive mother didn’t do anything (literally) to help care for her own mother–especially since I was only 15 when most of her care began and she was absolutely physically able to do the things I was doing. It was literally my JOB to come home from school every day and be her caregiver. I would administer her medications, help organize all of her pills, check her blood sugar, transfer her in and out of bed, take her to the toilet, transfer her to the toilet (she was not able to walk or even really stand on her own) wipe her after she used the toilet and even change her diapers. : (

  20. Fellow LDA here, congratulating you on your work and on your decision. I am nearly 7 years from discovery and I say with conviction that the worst part is navigating the casual negativity toward and dismissal of my experience in favor of The Narrative, not only by those who know me but also by complete strangers. I hope your freedom from that emotional labor propels you in much more satisfying directions. Best wishes from Alyssa.

  21. I am so glad you have made so much progress in reclaiming yourself. I am a late discovery adoptee on that same continuing journey. When I think of the people who have not supported your difficult journey, I’m reminded of author Ann LaMot’s quote, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.” After a break, maybe you’ll publish a memoir book. Blessings to you now and in the future.

  22. As another late discovery adoptee, so much of this rang true. I still see and talk to my adoptive family regularly, but how I feel about them has changed. As a mother myself, I cannot fathom lying to my child for decades like my adoptive mother did. It’s a level of hurt and betrayal that I will never get over, even if I’ve chosen to “move on.” I loved what you wrote about the conflict between your biological self and your environmental self. It’s so true. When I talk to my biological mom, I see so much of my true self in her, and it’s so incredibly hard. Thank you for being brave and writing about all of this. It means a lot to me.

    1. Author

      Thanks Melissa! I think being a mother has also made me realize how screwed up it truly is. I’ve tried imagining trying to lie to my children about something like this, and I always came to the same conclusion–I would never do this to my children. Never. And even in that imaginary scenario where I do something like this to my children, I certainly do not handle it the way that my adoptive family did once I discovered the truth. Thank you for your support!

  23. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Upon my own discovery, reading the ups and downs of your discovery allowed me to get through many dark days. As sad as many of us are to not see these updates, we certainly understand the need to step away. I wish you nothing but the best and again thank you for sharing one of if not the most vulnerable aspects of your life.

    1. Author

      Thanks Marilyn! I’ve found that nobody understands our journey and our pain except our community. We all rely on each other and support each other on our darker days. I’ll still be in the LDA forums, but not posting publicly anymore.

  24. As a friend of yours since the 6th grade I have always admired your grace, sensitivity, depth of character and ratio of seriousness to wittiness. You deserve all of the love and happiness that life can provide. I pray that you will get that from all of the people in your life.

    1. Author

      Thank you so much Courtney! You have always been such a wonderful friend and I cherish you! Thank you for your support of me all of these years. xoxoxo

  25. It’s been a joy reading your blog and I’m sad you aren’t writing anymore. What about the book?

    1. Author

      Thanks Adam! I was in the process of writing a book, but I found putting all of my experiences into printed words was causing me a lot of distress. I will pick it up again in the future, but for right now I’m on a break. Thanks for all of your support! -M

  26. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It sounds like you have had to go through an awful lot, and are making the best decisions you can for your own well- being. Too often we are told as adopted people to remain silent, and to put others needs before our own. We are often not given permission to feel the entirely normal feelings that arise from being systematically deceived for so long. Several years ago, after decades of attempting to be heard and respected by my adoptive family, I made the decision to sever contact. This has been seen as selfish by many of the people I was raised with; they seem incapable of acknowledging how painful their attitudes have been, and how their continuing behaviors contribute to that pain. While this whole process has made me very sad, I am also experiencing huge relief as I move towards understanding how adoption has affected me. Reading stories like your own has been a part of helping me recognize that I matter, and my voice matters. So, thank you. You matter. Your voice matters. 💚

    1. Author

      Ande, everything you’ve said here is so relatable. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your support!

      1. Oh the sweet taste of autonomy!!!

  27. Michelle, you have handled all of this with such grace and compassion. You have to take care of yourself now. Thanks for sharing your story with us these past years. Hope to see you two soon.

  28. Thank you for sharing your story and for keeping this up. I just heard about this so I have lots of catching up to do. I am an LDA and can relate to some of what I’ve read so far.

  29. I’m also a late discovery adoptee and I share many of the same feelings. It’s so much to take in. I found out that my life was a lie at 49. It hurts both ways for me. My bio mother and full bio siblings want nothing to do with me. I have a relationship with my bio father but it hurts not being wanted again from my bio mother. Hugs to you, crib mate

  30. Michelle you’re very loved by our family. Your story is inspiring and moving. Keep sharing and being true to yourself. Jimmy

  31. Hello, I’m in the process of discovery right now. A few years ago I overheard my mother in the phone with a friend of hers and she said four words to her friend that I will never forget, she said “We are living adoptive parents”, now recently I asked her if she had any photos of herself when she was pregnant with me, she said no because she did not want people to see how big she was. I believe that is exactly the same lie that you Michelle heard from your adoptive mother. I’m going to be 47 in October, 47 years of lies.

    1. Author

      Douglas, I am so sorry that you have been lied to for so long. Nobody deserves this. It’s been four years for me and it’s still very difficult, but I am doing well. You will get there too, but please allow yourself to feel whatever you need to–anger, sadness, betrayal, confusion. Please let me know if you want to talk. -Michelle

  32. Love you! I am always here for you..You are such a strong woman and I am so proud to be your Mom! 😍❤️

  33. I am now seriously questioning literally everything that I’ve believed since…well, forever.
    As a little girl, I too had Annie shoved upon me (I was much more enamoured of the musical Cats, as I felt less like a human child and more like a stray cat picked up off the street), and in my teens I had Harry Potter shoved rather forcibly down my throat by my ‘mother’ (at the time, I was a hardcore Star Wars, X-Men and LOTR fan).
    The name I’ve taken as an adult (and plan on legally changing within the next few months) is derived from my favourite character, who was of quite questionable heritage and has had multiple retcons explaining her back story; despite my ‘mother’ being a comics fan herself, I was never permitted to read those specific comic books as she claimed they would ‘give me ideas’.
    For YEARS I insisted that I had a brother–or several–writing stories about him in first and second grade got me put in ‘resource room’. My ‘mother’ dropped the bomb on me in 2015 before I cut contact that I was supposed to have been twins, and that the twin boy died in utero and it was why she gave me a boy’s name.
    While I looked nothing like my Portuguese family, I was told that I resembled my father’s side of the family (who I conveniently never met), and was always dressed and groomed to resemble a boy, even given a boy’s name (long since changed).
    No pictures exist of my ‘mother’ during pregnancy, none exist of her after birth in the hospital despite my ‘father’ claiming it nearly killed her and that she was in the hospital multiple times with false labour (my ‘mother’ claimed to have gone back to work a couple days after giving birth, and that I was a month late…WHICH IS IT????). In contrast, her sister gave birth out of wedlock, at 19, living in poverty, a baby sired by her college professor, and yet she had dozens, maybe even HUNDREDS of photos of herself during pregnancy and homebirth–a situation which had a LOT of stigma at the time, yet she had nothing but love and pride in her son. So why is it, that my ‘mother’ who had been married for five years and working highly paid jobs at the time I was supposedly born, couldn’t do the same? She bragged about not having a baby shower too.
    She was stick-thin, no evidence of any swelling.
    She was always borderline asexual, and she and my ‘father’ slept separately most of the time, I never even remember them kissing or anything. Supposedly my ‘mother’ was infertile, too–supposedly PCOS, or just too old to conceive, and smoked 3 packs a day. It would have been impossible to conceive.
    My birth certificate copy–I had to request a copy, as all the originals were ‘lost’ in my ‘mothers’ hoard. Convenient. I didn’t even know what my social security number was until I was 25, because I was never allowed to access it. Had to request a copy of that and my birth certificate when I moved out at 26, and it indicated that the original had been amended a week after my supposed birthday. My ex’s mother found this suspicious, and questioned out loud if it was possible I was adopted, but her son insisted that no, I looked ‘jUsT LiKe tHeM’. He ended up going to jail for some really evil things (the same sort of things that my ‘father’ did to me when I was a baby and toddler).
    No hospital pictures exist of me. I was shown an ultrasound picture that was supposedly of me when I was 7, but it promptly disappeared in the hoard. Who even knows if it was even of *me*? No evidence of my birth, nothing. Just pics of me when my ‘mother’ was staying with her sister when I was around 6 months old (supposedly).
    Speaking of which–every picture of her holding me at that age has me either laying across her lap precariously, with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, her looking gaunt and smirking at the camera. I’m always just staring out into space in those pictures, vacantly. A few where I look upset, or distressed, or about to cry.
    I confronted my ‘mother’ and ‘father’ about these things numerous times, as well as their abuse, and was eventually falsely diagnosed with every mental illness under the sun and forced to go on disability in order to silence me. Thankfully I managed to escape, and I found happiness…but these questions STILL haunt me, even now.
    Finding your blog might have saved me. Maybe I should do the DNA test. If I find out I DO have a twin brother out there I will probably break down and cry.

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