Di Riddell - Your Voice Matters

Di Riddell

Your Voice Matters - Confidence Beyond 50

About My Adoption Story

Life is amazing, challenging and wonderful, no one knows what will happen next. There are high spots and low spots. And it is safe to say that it gives us all plenty of opportunities for self-growth.

What are we talking about? Adoption.

Adoption

Why are we talking about it? Because for decades the whole process has been shrouded in secrecy, shame and disgrace. Today, files have been opened, societal attitudes have changed and softened. People are talking openly, there are avenues to trace for the adopted or the adoptee and find where you come from, where you fit in and to start consciously connecting.

hanging on hurts, self love, self belief

Is it all a happy story? No, however there are many that are and the act of searching and finding brings peace and closure. It fits the pieces together. Everything else is a bonus.

Adoption is not a subject that I ever thought I would be discussing. In the 1960’s when I adopted out two babies, it was a huge shame, drama and disgrace. It was certainly not spoken of and any girl who got herself pregnant (like she did it all by herself) was treated like a pariah.

Girls were trapped and felt powerless.

Do you feel trapped (1)

Girls ‘got on with life’, ‘after it was over’ and it was ‘never spoken of again’. If you or someone you know were one of those girls then your voice, your confidence and your life were totally suppressed.

This is my story. It may be your story also.

In 2002 my life changed irrevocably when my wonderful husband left for the heavenly fields (yes, I did marry and have an awesome 31 years despite being told no decent man would ever want me). In 2006 I self-published my story ‘Beyond Abuse’. It was my decision then not to try and trace the children, but I would be open if they came to me.

That did not happen.

In 2018 I re-published my book as 'Beyond Abuse - a recovery guide for men and women in an era of men and all of us too’. It was the catalyst for starting my search. The powerful thought and urge flooded through me when I saw the link on Amazon.

Beyond Abuse 2

The video tells the beginning of my search…

Video Link - https://youtu.be/7IdkNabNU8c

This video was taken on the spur of the moment when I spoke to a Post Adoption Support Group in June 2018. A few days later I posted it, raw and in its entirety. Being 18mins I was not sure it would be watched… it reached 1455 views and the feedback was incredible.

It showed the power of being raw, real and authentic when you show your vulnerability. It also demonstrated the sheer number of women affected by adoption. I had been looking at it as the baby, the birth mother and the adoptive parents.

The net is much wider, those teenage mothers are now mothers and grandmothers. They have begun reflecting on their lives. It is often a life changing experience that is the catalyst.

At this time, my decision had been made and I prepared myself for a possible rejection. After all, here I am coming along 50 years later saying ‘I am your natural mother’. I was mentally prepared and decided that the search would be enough if my approach was rejected. That was important, that my mindset be positive and accepting whatever the result.

self reflection, self love, self belief

In 2 short months I had found and met my daughter. It went from Adoptive Services telling me they had found her, to their writing (yes snail mail) to her to see if she wanted contact, to her replying with a yes.

Once they had that Ok, our information was sent to each of us, posted on the same day (snail mail). And… she lives in Brisbane, same city as me. I received the information on Wednesday, I sat on it just tingling with excitement and a feeling of ‘at last it is happening’ to the sliver of fear what if… I am rejected… what if she does not want contact.

BUT what if she does?

Thursday, I sent a warm email and Friday morning I had a most beautiful reply. How I felt is almost beyond words. I was shaking and tears of happiness flowed as I read and re-read the email. Later that day we spoke at length and decided … now is our time … let’s do it. Let’s do it tomorrow.

Saturday on the way I bought a miniature rose for Sue and a beautiful card with a message to her adoptive parents for giving her the life that I couldn’t. It was my small way of starting our connection and a conscious conversation.

adoptive parents thank you

I was so excited, the daughter who I dreamed of, who I thought I would never see, touch or hold.  I was meeting her, it was really happening. Hello Sue! How grateful I am that she has had a wonderful life with her adoptive parents and siblings and that she has a compassionate understanding of the circumstances surrounding her birth.

She understands that the only way I could cope when she was taken from me was to disconnect. There was no help available at that time, I had to disconnect to survive. I could not grieve or share my thoughts and emotions; I was locked in silence and shame. And now we have this amazing God given opportunity to meet and create a relationship.

 

It is now 2018, finding my voice and telling my story is part of a shifting humanity and raising consciousness – we are not playing ‘I’m going to get you, you bastard’ games. We are opening to more expansive views leading to deeper conversations

I am not done. Each time I write, I go a little deeper, each time I get up a different woman to the one who sat down. Writing my books has gone beyond the pen. Together we can help to make the world a safer place and I would love to say one free of abuse. Love will conquer all.

Now, who am I? I am a mature woman passionate about women living with joy and confidence.  My writing is for women who have been through, going through or wanting to go through the adoption process. For women to be empowered and seek to find love and respect and know that is the norm, not the cruel labels they were given as young women.

We are living in a time of massive societal changes in relationships, family, the workforce, community and consciousness and that can be overwhelming. My experience has been one of abuse, grief and loss. That unravelled my life for decades.

 

It can be different for you. I ask…

  • Do you have incredible pain and grief where an avalanche of emotions has left you wanting to run, hide and shut down from past experiences?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start your search?
  • Would you like to transform your supressed voice from feeling frustrated, not heard or invisible to one of quiet confidence and joy when you find the courage as you move through your search process?

When you heal and find your voice and confidence you become steeped in your own truth and faith. It is a wonderful place to be.

My journey is just beginning. Over time I will add to my story and share the stories of others.

My next step will be to trace my son, nothing came up in initial searches so that will be a longer journey. I will keep searching.

eyes

All adoption stories are not happy ones, outcomes vary, rejection can come from any party and initial delights can turn to deep disappointments. Others are raging successes. Like Forest Gump said ‘Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you will find’.

 

With the current raising of consciousness, the lifting of humanity anything is possible including healing from past hurts and discovering that there is more to your family than you thought.

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All I can say right now is WOW! What else is possible??? How can I help you?

If you have a story to share, I would be delighted to hear from you either through the contact page here on the website or email me at di@diriddell.com