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adoption truth for adoptees

The Truth, the Whole Truth & Nothing But the Truth for Adoptees

Why are truth and trust so important in adoptive families? In all families, really? Isn’t it okay sometimes to keep some things under wraps, for someone’s own good? Isn’t is sometimes OK to keep the truth from adoptees?

I’ve written before about the Greek word sorites, which means “heap.” It’s a philosophical paradox based on the idea that no grain of sand is a heap of sand, but over time, grains of sand become a heap of sand. The conundrum is that the moment of transition is not clear. This also been called the maňana paradox, an “unwelcome task which needs to be done, but is always a matter of indifference whether it’s done today or tomorrow.”

Avoiding a Hard Thing Is Normal, and Also Harmful

We can consider secrets this way. Specifically adoption secrets, or hard-to-tell parts of an adoption story, and the sometimes dreaded task of disclosing them. Of course, there is a time and a way to tell, but too often, somehow the day marked TELL THE HARD PART never seems to arrive on the calendar — and this can create huge problems.

No single day that you don’t tell somebody part of their story is a big deal. Waiting one more day is never a problem…until it is. Over time, the days pile up and seemingly overnight, you’re gobsmacked with a big secret you’d meant to deal with, and, on top of that, now you ALSO need to explain why you kept a secret. Double punch in the trust center.

adoption truth for adoptees

No one is saying that you need to be having frank conversations with your 6 year old about their conception story or the heartbreaking details of all that led to them coming to you. Age- and developmental-appropriateness always need to be taken into account when disclosing difficult pieces of the story.

What we’re talking about here is the cost of never having these conversations, or of somehow waiting too long. And what happens when truth, as it almost always does these days, comes out. On the adoptee side, what happens when something you thought you knew about yourself turns out not to be so? What happens to your relationships when you discover you have a heap of days behind you in which trusted people allowed you to live in ignorance of your story?

When the Truth Finally Comes Out

Guests for Episode 403 of Adoption: The Long View are Brad Ewell and Fred Nicora, two men who have had to reassemble themselves after shocking truths became known to them well into their adulthood. Brad and Fred are known as LDAs, or Late Discovery Adoptees, and it’s important you see the impact breaches of trust have.

We are still, as a culture, not adept enough at knowing how to disclose and discuss hard parts about adoption.

Brad Ewell on Truth for Adoptees

Brad Ewell is a husband, father, writer, police officer, and late discovery adoptee. He made his adoption discovery in 2019 at 48 years old. Brad is in reunion with several members of his biological family and been an advocate for his father’s release from prison. He has written micro memoirs, had an article published in Severance magazine, been interviewed on several podcasts – and guest posted here in this space.

Ep403: Brad Ewell, late discovery adoptee on Truth for Adoptees

Fred Nicora on Truth for Adoptees

Fred Nicora has an undergraduate degree in business administration, and masters’ degrees in Management Technology, and Architecture, in addition to a lifetime secondary teaching license. He was the last in his family to know he had been adopted, when someone spilled the beans accidentally when he was 41. Today, Fred is committed to bringing truth and transparency to the entire adoption process.

Ep403: Fred Nicora, late discovery adoptee on Truth for Adoptees

Show Notes: Ep 403 with Brad Ewell and Fred Nicora

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Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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3 Responses

  1. The burden of keeping secrets gets heavier and heavier over time and requires more and more layers to keep suppressed. Imagine how it feels to be the last one to learn the truth about oneself, to know that everyone around you knew EXCEPT YOU… The fallout is likely to be cataclysmic, and the sense of betrayal will be intense.

    1. I’m still amazed that no one slipped in 48 years. The sense of betrayal was made worse by excuses and reasoning. It’s that old apology with a but in the middle. “I’m sorry I did this, but you_______”. As for the fallout, it gets easier with time, but it’s something that never goes away, or at least hasn’t yet. Thanks for listening.

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