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A Twice-Adopted Person’s Path Toward Wholeness with Julian Washio-Collette - Ep 131

Unraveling Adoption

Release Date: 02/05/2024

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"I started meditating a lot, and eventually doing retreats, eventually going to monasteries, spending some time in a Zen Buddhist meditation center. So, yeah, I think that's kind of where I took my pain, my anguish, my existential questions, and I think there's some ambiguity there. I think there's also a kind of escapism, because I didn't know how to connect with the world or address questions that other people my age were addressing. Like livelihood, relationships, family. I just sat on a cushion." - Julian Washio Collette

Can you imagine the weight of not belonging and carrying the trauma of multiple abandonments? The struggle to find a sense of identity and stability after being adopted and then relinquished and adopted again is incredibly challenging. The lack of control over your own story and the feeling of being failed by the system can leave deep emotional scars. Julian's life story will help you understand the impacts of relinquishment, and will make you aware of the importance of finding support and community to help navigate the complexities of adoption.

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📆 Community Calendar: UnravelingAdoption.com/Calendar

✨Healing the Adoption Constellation database: UnravelingAdoption.com/Healing

đź’ŚSign up for our Unraveling Adoption email list: http://eepurl.com/hVIAVX

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In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Understand the unique challenges of being a double adoptee and how it shapes one's identity.

  • Explore the profound impact of abandonment and abuse on adoptees and their journey to healing.

  • Gain insight into the complexities of adoption and the importance of understanding its nuances.

  • Discover the need for better support systems for adoptees and how it can positively impact their lives.

  • Learn about the lifelong impact of multiple abandonments and how it shapes the adoptee's perspective and experiences.

My special guest is Julian Washio-Collette

Julian Washio-Collette, a former Catholic monk currently residing in Portland, Oregon, is our guest for this episode. As a double adoptee, Julian's personal journey of being adopted as an infant and then again at the age of nine provides a unique perspective on the complexities of adoption. With a passion for writing about spirituality, adoption, and healing, Julian's insights and experiences contribute to a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by individuals impacted by adoption or abandonment. His story sheds light on the resilience and strength needed to navigate such intricate circumstances, making him a valuable voice in the conversation around adoption.

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The resources mentioned in this episode are:

  • Visit Julian's blog site called Peregrine Adoptee to read his insightful writings about spirituality, adoption, and healing: peregrineadoptee.wordpress.com

  • Explore the Unraveling Adoption website to find information about upcoming events, webinars, and workshops related to adoption and healing, including Mee Ok Icaro's upcoming webinar about Sacred Plant Medicine 101 for the Adoption Constellation: unravelingadoption.com/events

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Other Resources:

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Unique Challenges of Double Adoptees
The unique challenges faced by double adoptees like Julian Washio-Collette are centered around the absence of family continuity and frequent displacement. The uncertainty, disconnection, and confusion induced by double adoptions can leave deep psychological scars. Their unprecedented experiences urge us to shed light on the hidden complexities of double adoption and foster understanding about their distinct needs and perspectives.

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Unraveling Adoption is produced and hosted by Beth Syverson

Music written and performed by Joseph Nakao

Email questions or comments to [email protected]

Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube

Support Unraveling Adoption on Patreon: Patreon.com/UnravelingAdoption

Check out our website: www.UnravelingAdoption.com

Create your own podcast through Libsyn: https://signup.libsyn.com/?promo_code=ADOPTION

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Timestamped summary of this episode:
00:00:00 - Introduction and Background
Beth introduces herself as an adoptive mom and certified coach. Julian's background as a double adoptee is highlighted, setting the stage for a complex and impactful story.

00:01:21 - Julian's Early Life
Julian shares details about his first adoption and the secrecy surrounding his birth and early years. The lack of information about his early life creates a sense of fuzziness and identity dissonance.

00:05:16 - Second Adoption and Family Dynamics
Julian recounts the circumstances of his second adoption at the age of nine and the abusive environment in his second adoptive family. The lack of support and bond with his adoptive parents led to a feeling of survival mode for both him and his sister.

00:09:29 - Support Systems and Coping Mechanisms
Beth and Julian discuss the absence of support for him from social workers, teachers, and extended family members. Julian's coping mechanisms, including withdrawal, guilt, and finding solace in punk music and skateboarding, are highlighted.

00:11:55 - Surviving and Coping
Julian reflects on how he navigated through his challenging childhood, highlighting the lack of genuine bond with his adoptive parents and the role of music and skateboarding as outlets for emotional expression and physical activity.

00:13:32 - Early Years and Spiritual Exploration
Julian shares his journey from skateboarding and punk rock shows to discovering healing and spirituality. He discusses his involvement in 12-step programs and Zen Buddhist meditation before becoming a Catholic monk.

00:15:28 - Escaping Into Spirituality
Julian reflects on using meditation and retreats as a way to escape from addressing societal and personal questions. He discusses his codependent relationships and the concept of "abandaholic."

00:17:13 - Transition to Catholicism and Monastic Life
Julian describes his intuitive decision to join a Catholic monastery and the impactful spiritual experience he had there. He explains his connection to the writings of Julian of Norwich and the significance of choosing the name Julian.

00:19:24 - Cultural Inheritance and Homecoming
Julian shares his experience of feeling a sense of homecoming to his native religion and cultural heritage at the monastery. He discusses the power of symbolism, rituals, and the impact of his Italian background on his spiritual journey.

00:23:19 - The Impact of Closed Adoptions
Julian discusses the lack of care and concern within the adoption system, highlighting the failures of the closed adoption process. He emphasizes the need for change and the impact on both adoptees and birth mothers.