ELEMENT #21 - Lorah

Lorah - she/her(s) - Adoptee

Instagram - @thedoptedchameleon

Facebook - The Chameleon

Special date: 01/03/1966

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Lorah. I go by the Adopted Chameleon. I feel that I am so many things that a chameleon seemed like a fitting totem. I am not working right now. I use to work as a social media/marketing manager for Whole Foods Market and several local businesses. I also worked as an interior designer. I have started writing my book and just launched my Facebook and Instagram pages. I also became a kundalini yoga instructor and Reiki Master this year. I have been busy this year. It feels like this is how I am going to heal myself.

How are you impacted by adoption?

When I was in my mid20’s my Acousin found my mother. She told my Acousin that she didn’t want her husband and MY sisters to find out about me. That she would get a restraining order. I suppressed that memory. I wrote her some letters years later. I also tried calling a couple of times. I never heard back. She died in 2016 from breast cancer. I have tried to contact the man I believe to be my father and he has never responded either. I have been ignored by both of my parents. I also found out that my grandmother, mom's mother, ignored me too. The state of Tennessee had contacted her too. I have been ignored, rejected, hidden and lied about.

What is the biggest challenge you faced related to adoption?

I feel I lack self-confidence. It seems like I try twice as hard to get a fraction of the recognition as others. Whether this is real or imagined, it's a feeling I had to come to terms with. I want to move forward with my big ideas but then I think, who cares? I get stuck in freeze. I also suffer from anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. Since I never knew either of my birth parents, I feel a loss in my life that I can never fill. I am angry at the way they treated me. Also, the way the law allows it to happen.

What do you wish people knew about adoption?

I wish people knew how painful adoption can be. I want them to know what the fog is. How it is possible to have good adoptive parents and still have trauma. What it is like going to the doctor and not being able to fill out those forms. It makes me mad that I don't have basic health history from my family and that adoption laws say they are for the best of the child. That all adoption starts with grief and loss. That there is a lifetime of healing that comes along with adoption. Also a huge financial burden.

What have you done to support the adoption community?

In the past year, I have joined adoptee groups. I participated in Zoom meetings, getting to know other adoptees and listening to their stories. I have taken a writing course from adoptee author Anne Heffron. It gave me the courage to write my book, which I am working on now. I started my social pages on Instagram and Facebook. I share content that I hope will be educational, informative and healing. I have talked to adoptees in person, through Messenger, Zoom and on the phone. I want to hear as many stories as possible. Every one of them is as different as a snowflake but there are many similarities in the way we feel.

How has your opinion about adoption changed as you got older?

I just came out of the fog last year when I was 53. So I am only a year older. It feels like it has been much longer. In one year, I found my half-sisters through my mother's obituary on Ancestry. I have met them and gotten to know them over the year. I still speak to one of them. The other one seems to be ignoring me right now. I guess that runs in the family. Ouch! I also met some bio cousins. I still talk to a couple.

What has helped/supported you through learning your adoption story?

Having my husband support me and one of my sisters is everything to me. She accepted me and that meant so much. It probably wasn't easy for her to hear my story but she gave e space. The feeling when I first touched people with my DNA, it was like touching the hand of God. I had dreamt of it all my life. I felt like I grew up with them but couldn't get to them. With their support and my kundalini training, I have the tools to work through the trauma. I also support myself with Zoom meetings, classes, books, webinars and any resource I think will help bring a new perspective and knowing.

What is your favorite quote/lesson you learned?

In my life there has been great trauma and remarkable triumph. There have been horrible choices and tremendous healing. For some I have been a villain, for others a love, a healer, a blessing. My life has been a kaleidoscope of truths and I accept myself in all of them. Dr. Heidi Green

Tell us a wacky fact about yourself no one else would expect!

I love to dress up in costumes. I like to be other things and personalities. I still have my very first silver aluminum Christmas Tree. I love to decorate for Halloween and Christmas. Our neighborhood has holiday decorating contests and we have won the past 2 years!

Tell us anything else you want people to know.

After I heal from the surgery I am having next week. I hope to get to start teaching kundalini and do more Reiki sessions. I want to start healing my fellow adoptees and all who need help. I hope my social pages and eventually my book will help me heal while helping others heal.

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