Adoption Trauma

  • As an adopted person, do you know the true story of your birth or your name at the time of your birth?

  • Do you know the true story of why you were placed for adoption or by whom?

  • Have you seen your true birth certificate or only the amended copy?

  • Is your ‘truth’ something that your adoptive parents or other parties may have told you?

  • Adoption, sadly, often holds many secrets and little truth for the adopted person.

  • The truth of all adoption is that is starts with trauma and loss. That is part of the true story of your adoption.

  • The primal wound of separation from your biological mother at birth or later in life may be causing you Complex Trauma, identity confusion, abandonment fears and  attachment insecurity. Neurobiology tells us that this separation at birth has had an enormous impact on the brain and an adopted person’s safety in relationship.

  • This developmental trauma may be causing you to feel anxious, angry or deeply sad.

  • Through trauma supportive therapies in a safe setting, let’s work together to better strengthen your internal resources, support your nervous system, deepen your connection to your true self, and explore your true story.

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Work with Adopted Adults

and the Entire Adoption Constellation

 


An expert in adoption, having been adopted all of my life (infant/domestic/in reunion), I deeply and intuitively understand the complexities and trauma inherent in the world of the non-parental identified (NPI) population, and how it often impacts the entire adoption constellation (birth family/adoptive family).


Knowing that living as an adopted person is exceptionally complex, I have extensively studied relinquishment and adoption issues for much of my life to become an adoption competent counselor. 

What Is An Adoption Competent Counselor?

A great explanation can be found here - mariedolfi.comAdoption Competent Counselor Expertise

 

Having completed my Masters of Social Work thesis around the area of Adoption Trauma in 2007, I truly have been immersed in this topic for 15 years since that time both through reading, writing, attending trainings and conferences, and informally connecting with the adoptee community both virtually and locally in Rochester, NY.
 

My search for self and my biological family blossomed into a personal passion to help adopted others find their identity and truth. I realized I could use the clinical skills that I had been cultivating as a Social Worker working with Veterans and Caregivers for the past decade and connect them with both my rigorous self study of trauma and my lived experience healing Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD).

True Story Counseling marries my education, professional background and search for self into a practice helping others heal from the primal wound of separation from their biological mother.


I began my search and reunion journey at age 36 and I have been in positive reunion with my birth mother, birth father, siblings, and extended biological family, while maintaining positive relationships with my adoptive family since that time. I am very understanding of the deep resilience required of the adopted person who navigates these complex relationships in their day to day life because I am living it! I know what it takes to establish, cultivate, nurture and sustain these life changing relationships while most importantly nourishing the relationship that you are ever so uniquely building with yourself as an adult adopted person. 


Additionally, I am a Second Generation Adoptee as I was raised by an adopted Mother who was also adopted.  This means I also have the unique life experience of having an adopted parent with their own trauma and inability to access their birth records which is generational trauma. Throughout my life I observed my adoptive mother’s own CPTSD surrounding her being an adoptive person. Sadly, she was never able to obtain her own truth during her lifetime, due to New York State laws in place at the time of her death.


I am a believer that the first mother often undergoes a significant moral injury at the time of relinquishment of her child that is a lifelong wound. I am skilled and compassionate in working with the first parent population, and enjoy helping them navigate their often long standing disenfranchised and ambiguous grief. I have first hand knowledge of this lived experience, having observed my own biological mother's ongoing journey through healing her PTSD. 


The nature of adoption and trauma's impact on my own life allows me an unique ability to evaluate myself in and amongst the role of religion, misogyny, patriarchy, and capitalism in the adoption industry. These are complex concepts that we can explore together. If you were adopted, you were affected by these systemic concepts too, and you also hold a unique and extraordinary perspective on the world. Lets work together to discover what this means for you now.


Let me help you find the hope that you may not be able to see and help you carry the weight of the enormity of coping with separation from one's family and one's true self. You are not alone.

Reunion Coaching


To me, reunion with your first family is the most poignant and personal quest an individual could ever embark on.  It takes tremendous courage, mental resilience and support. It is often a profound restoration of identity and self.

 

You deserve a journeymate. And someone who has lived it.

Allow me to guide you through the process, helping you to understand the complexities of reunion with your first family, and more importantly the complexity of reassessing and restoring your identity and sense of self.

 

Together, we'll explore the multitude of emotions, possible outcomes and impact of the reunion experience. Work with an adopted person who has lived, and is still living - having two families. You deserve to have someone by your side who understands the intense feelings and complex choices that come along with this time. 

I am of the belief that all adoptees deserve to discover their roots.

Let me help you explore who you were intended to be from the very beginning.