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Forever Grateful or Forever Lost? Adopted Bipolar and Happy With my Dutch Family

Updated on May 31, 2013

Part two and Part three for sure belong to the rest of my story

Happy to be adopted!
Happy to be adopted! | Source

The Weakest Babies Die

"So where are you from?" The typical question you get when people meet you for the very first time. In Spain, where I live right now, I tell them I'm from Holland. And I am. I have a Dutch Passport and my native language is Dutch.

"You don't look Dutch at all." And I don't. I was adopted when I was nine months old. An orphan I was, waiting for my new Dutch parents, somewhere in Bogotá, Colombia. I was sick like most of the babies at the orphanage.

Medical care was lousy and still is. It was all about survival of the fittest. The weakest babies died before celebrating their first year. I didn't. I wanted to live.

That Special Girl

The bonding process with my biological mother has never had a chance. I'm not sure what the impact has been on my adult life. I don't feel abandoned by my biological parents and I can't remember hating them, for leaving me behind.

My Dutch parents told me from the age of four that I was adopted. To me it was a fun thing to know. I was different. I had something the other kids in my class didn't have. My skin color wasn't the pale one, my parents had. I was proud for being that special girl. The one with different parents. It made me feel good.

Then when I got older, puberty made things complicated. I suddenly felt extremely lonely. I didn't fit in nowhere. I was insecure and my self esteem was low. Depression got a hold of me although I never went to a doctor. My parents assumed it had to do with puberty in general and the fact that I might be struggling with my identity. I never felt that way. I knew there was something wrong, but I could never guess how my life was about to be turned upside down.

Ashamed

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder when I was 23. It all fell into place. The depressions, the mood-swings, the extreme behaviour and the problems I had with my adoptive parents. The fights we'd been having and the misunderstandings, which made me feel completely alone in my struggles as an adolescent and later on in life.

In the midst of my twenties, my parents saw a mentally ill, Latina woman, looking quite different from the future daughter they had in mind. Very ill and very lonely I was, but I finally reached some stability after six long and exhausting years. By that time, I had cursed my adoptive parents more than a million times, trying to make them feel as lousy as I did. For years in a row, I felt so ashamed, for having cursed my parents and for having hated them so much. Bipolar Disorder is a bitch for most of us and can indeed destroy lives. In our family it almost did.

Forever Grateful

Having fun with my mum next to me, my dad on the left with one of our dear friends. One of the few recent pictures I have with both of my parents.
Having fun with my mum next to me, my dad on the left with one of our dear friends. One of the few recent pictures I have with both of my parents. | Source

Love in Her Heart

Forever grateful I am, to the parents that raised me. They taught me so much about life and even more important.....they gave me their unconditional love. The fact that they couldn't have children of their own, maybe made them more committed to their role as a parent.

When picking me up at the orphanage in Bogotá, they couldn't have known about my Bipolar Disorder, hidden somewhere in my DNA. A serious mental illness that would test their love for me, until the bitter end. I wished for many times they didn't have to go through all that, but life somehow likes to test us human beings.

Such as my biological mother was too. A human being, love in her heart for the little girl she gave birth to. Forever grateful I am to her and my biological father, for having given me the opportunity, to live a life with so much more quality and chances, in order to develop myself into a happy, balanced and strong woman, always determined enough to reach new goals in life.

A
Bogotá:
Bogotá, Colombia

get directions

Where I was born

B
The Netherlands:
Nederland

get directions

Where my adoptive parents were born

C
Valencia, Spain:
Valencia, Spanje

get directions

Where I live currently

A Birthmother Has Three Options. One of Those Is Abortion. Mark Was Adopted and Tells You Why He's Forever Grateful.

Fighting Demons

Most parents being able to give up their precious baby, must be doing this out of an enormous amount of unconditional love. True, mine were just 17 and 18 years old. Still in school and not in the position of raising a child, but it must have been tough, leaving their baby-girl behind.

Somehow I hope for adoptive children to see, there is more to being adopted than just you. Mostly when adoptive children start a family of their own, they suddenly start to think differently. Or they feel even more abandoned, or they see how difficult it must be, to leave your child in the hands of some strangers.

How to feel when you're adopted, is of course extremely personal. No one can dictate how you should feel, nor can anyone dismiss those feelings, however I seem to be an exception to the rule. My adoptive brother, also from Colombia, and friends I have, who are adopted like me, appear to be haunted by that basic feeling of being left behind by their biological parents.

Forever lost they seem to be, looking for answers, fighting their demons, in order to gain some peace in what they call....that cruel reality. Left behind, thrown away, not important, forever lost. What's it like to feel that way and how come I have never felt like that? Why am I forever grateful, honestly happy and completely satisfied? Even more interesting....Why haven't I searched for my biological parents yet? How come I have never looked for my roots?

Answers I will find, knowledge I will share in part two of my memories as an adoptive child.

Mark's Song and Touching Videoclip

Comments

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    • Escobana profile imageAUTHOR

      Escobana 

      6 years ago from Valencia

      Dear Wendy,

      This is new to me. The idea your chemistry could change for losing someone. It gives me something to think about for sure.

      Lately someone told me, my birthmum is looking for me. Was an interesting conversation with someone who is spiritually connected with a world I don't know anything about.

      Your comment comes a few days later and as I said...you triggered some thoughts I have about finding my birthmother or not.

      Thanks for stopping by Wendy:-)

    • profile image

      wendy 

      6 years ago

      hi escobana we have two things in common. both adopted and bipolar diagnozed in early 20 s. it is said that you can become bipolar because of a lost one. somehow it changed or chemistry. i have wonderful parents and i choose not to find my birth parents. i have prayed on this my answer was i am not ment to know in this lifetime. may god bless your heart love wendy email wesandadamsmom@yahoo.com anyone may respond.

    • Escobana profile imageAUTHOR

      Escobana 

      6 years ago from Valencia

      Hi LauraGT,

      Thanks to YOU for stopping by:-) I like your choice of words....the complicated landscape of being adopted.

      It sure is complicated. For some more than for others.

    • LauraGT profile image

      LauraGT 

      6 years ago from MA

      Thank you for sharing your experience on your personal journey navigating the complicated landscape of being adopted. Great insights.

    • Escobana profile imageAUTHOR

      Escobana 

      6 years ago from Valencia

      Hey Izetti!

      So wonderful to see you're one of my followers now and thanks for your informative comment. Everyone who is adopted must have his or her own view on this for sure but there is a common feeling to it as well.

      I'm an easy talker and your friend maybe finds it harder to really tell you what it feels like. I'm glad my Hub made things easier for you to understand what it could be like when you're adopted.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 

      6 years ago from The Great Northwest

      THis was a great hub! my best friend was adopted from Bangladesh and she is Indian, but lives in Washington state. I know she covers up a lot of what she thinks about being adopted. I always wondered what it felt like. She was in an orphanage until she was 4 so she was adopted much later. She also has an adopted brother from Africa and they are very close so that's good.

      Very interesting thoughts on this hub!

    • Escobana profile imageAUTHOR

      Escobana 

      6 years ago from Valencia

      Hi there Glassvisage!

      Don't know that much adopted Colombian people here. I do meet a lot of South American people here in Spain, which is nice too, because I recognize a lot in their behaviour. It's the whole Latina vibe I like! I do have one Colombian friend, but she is with here biological mum.

      Thanks so much for commenting! Happy to see you dropping by here:-)

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 

      6 years ago from Northern California

      A wonderful Hub. You are lucky to have your parents and they are lucky to have you. I've never known anyone adopted from Colombia. That must be interesting because, being adopted from Korea, I know a lot of others adopted from Korea and we can share our stories. I love the photo of you and your family - a happy family indeed :)

    • Escobana profile imageAUTHOR

      Escobana 

      6 years ago from Valencia

      Dear Lady-E and friend,

      I woke up today and read your comment, thinking what a great way to start my day! It seems to me, you know very well, what to write.

      It's an amzaing compliment to my work, making it easier to continue and believe in what I do.

      As for motherhood. I'm convinced of the healing factor of it, but my last and third part will be about my road to 'never having children'.

      You are a Blessing too, for commenting on my Hubs from the heart! Big Hug and have a beautiful day!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 

      6 years ago from London, UK

      Escobana

      Times like this, my heart is touched so much and I never know what to write.

      You have a beautiful spirit - it comes across in your Hubs and even though you hurt, I admire your spirit of gratitude towards your parents for giving you life.

      I pray with all my heart that some day, you will have your own kids. I believe your spirit/heart will heal more when you experience motherhood.

      Your beautiful spirit will always attract good people and good opportunities to you.

      You are a Blessing. ((Big Hug))

    • Escobana profile imageAUTHOR

      Escobana 

      6 years ago from Valencia

      Ooowwww, You're too kind MissOlive:-)

      Life sure offered me quite a lot of challenges. I often wish for everyone living in this amazing world, to overcome fear and fight their demons, in order to land in a world of mere happiness.

      I know that's quite difficult for we are all so different, but I hope to reach people who lost faith in life, by writing about my own challenges, giving them some motivation, to persevere and stand strong.

      Be blessed with love and a big abrazo to you too my friend!

    • Escobana profile imageAUTHOR

      Escobana 

      6 years ago from Valencia

      Dear Sueswan:-)

      The unconditional love I received from both of my families, made me end up in this beautiful life I have right now.

      The real reason for not having searched yet, is different than you think, but it could be one of them. Part two will explain the complete reality behind it.

      Hope you'll like the second part as well. Thanks for the voting dear Sueswan. Always nice to hear from you!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Escobana

      Un abrazo amiga -

      This is such and incredible story. The juxtapositions in your life are amazing. Yes, you are a strong and powerful woman. A woman with a wonderful perspective and insight. I am glad to see through your writing your acknowledgment of not only your own development, but the many crossroads you faced with your adoptive family. You have obviously faced many challenges, but you have triumphed. May your determination continue to carry you through this journey we call life. And thank you for sharing and being so candid. May you and your family be blessed with love, peace and with the continued conviction to persevere.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 

      6 years ago

      Hi Escobana

      Thank you for sharing your story.

      Your biological mother wanted the best for you and because of her unconditional love gave you up for adoption.

      Motherhood is more than giving birth to a baby. Your adoptive mom is your mom because she raised you through the good and bad and that is why I think you haven't searched for your biological parents yet.

      Looking foward to the next chapter.

      Voted up, up and away

      Take Care

    • Escobana profile imageAUTHOR

      Escobana 

      6 years ago from Valencia

      It must have been hard not knowing what was really happening when you were a teenager. The fact that you're adoptive parents didn't help you through it, could be out of not knowing how to deal with it.

      It took my parents at least ten years to really understand what went on inside me. They still find it hard to understand but I'm stable and happy which is a great relieve to them ofcourse.

      Untill now I don't know anything about my biological parents, nor do I know about the roots of my Bipolar Disorder. I will know one day I guess.

      I wondered after reading your comment how things worked out for you, after the Navy. With your son having it? He lives in a different time I guess. There's more you can do these days, to have a healthy and stable life with BD.

      Are you doing ok? Did you kick Bipolar's ass like I did? I hope so....Maybe reading my other Hubs about BD will help you in any way...

      Thanks for taking your time and passing on your story! I really appreciate it! Blessings to you:-)

    • Leaderofmany profile image

      Leaderofmany 

      6 years ago from Back Home in Indiana

      Your about story having the Bi Polar is similar to mine. I believe it runs through the blood line of my biological mothers side of the family. I have it, she has, and my grandmother had it. The line stops there due to my grandmother being adopted as well. I believe that I have passed it on to my youngest son as well. I clearly remember having the depression as a teenager and not knowing what it was. My adopted parents took no interest in helping me get through it and I didn't find out until I went into the Navy I had a serious mental illness.

    • Escobana profile imageAUTHOR

      Escobana 

      6 years ago from Valencia

      Dear Cathy,

      The struggles in the adolescent years for adoptive children are a bit more different than those of biological children, although we all go through certain struggles in life.

      I see you're new here:-) Thanks for commenting on my story and hope to read some of your Hubs too.

      Blessings to you and have a great day!

      Valencia, 8:57 a.m.

    • Escobana profile imageAUTHOR

      Escobana 

      6 years ago from Valencia

      Dear Bobbi,

      It's so great to know how blessed your best friend is, just like his parents who got the chance to choose her.

      The fact that she prays for her birthmother is a true sign of understanding the big sacrifice her birthmother made.

      Thanks so much for reading and have a great week too!

    • Dontsassme profile image

      Dontsassme 

      6 years ago from Washington

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! My husband and I have children who are adopted. We have seen them struggle through their adolescent years, it seems to be a common theme. They are getting through it though, we all are. Blessings, Cathy

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 

      6 years ago from Florida

      Escobana,

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. My best friend was adopted, here in America, and her parents told her this: Darling, when children are born to parents, they are very blessed indeed, but when two people who have so much love to give--get to choose their child, then that is a very special blessing. And my friend was always happy growning up. She said she prays for her mother that gave her up, because she had more love for her baby than she did for her own feelings and concerns.

      Life should be lived looking forward---and so many children in this world are waiting to be adopted--I pray they will be blessed like you and my friend and find wonderful parents.

      Have a great week,

      Bobbi

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