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Coming Out of the Fog with Melissa Brunetti - Ep 106

Unraveling Adoption

Release Date: 08/14/2023

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Coming Out of the Fog with Melissa Brunetti

"As an adoptee, you want to be wanted. I thought, well, shoot, if I don't take this guy, I don't know if anyone else is going to come along." - Melissa Brunetti

Even though Melissa was an adoptee with a FABULOUS adoptive family, she realized that she was "in the fog" of adoption trauma in mid-life. In this episode, we delve into Melissa's heart-wrenching quest to unravel the mysteries of who she is, her traumatic relinquishment and reunion story, and her healing path.

📆 Community Calendar: UnravelingAdoption.com/Calendar

💌Sign up for our Unraveling Adoption email list: http://eepurl.com/hVIAVX

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Engage with a firsthand account elevating an adult adoptee's voice

  • Appreciate the empowering role of support networks within the adoption community.

  • Delve into the intriguing, sometimes challenging quest for personal identity.

  • Grasp how novel healing modalities can bolster adoptees' emotional resilience.

My special guest is Melissa Brunetti

Melissa Brunetti hails from the heart of California, where she not only navigates the complexities of life as a domestic adoptee but also helps others on their paths as well. Having once navigated the societal expectations to perfection - marriage, children and career included - Melissa had hit a rather low point around her 40th birthday and realized there was more to life than just ticking boxes. This realization transformed her life and she has been sharing her valuable insights on her podcast 'Mind Your Own Karma the Adoption Chronicles'. Additionally, Melissa's leadership contributions at Fireside Adoptees have been commendable as she continues to spread awareness around the intricacies of adoption.

The resources mentioned in this episode are:

 

Other Resources:

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Unraveling Adoption is created by Joseph Nakao and Beth Syverson

Music written and performed by Joseph Nakao

Cover art by Joseph Nakao, photo by Beth Syverson

Email questions or comments to [email protected]

Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube

Support Safe Home on Patreon: Patreon.com/SafeHome

www.SafeHomeFamilies.com

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Unique experiences of adoptees -

Each adoption journey is unique, with adoptees experiencing a distinctive mix of emotions, challenges, and triumphs. Understanding these distinctive experiences helps to demystify the complex realities of adoption and raises awareness of the varied perspectives within the adoption community. Appreciating these individual journeys fosters empathy and validation, which are crucial for the emotional well-being of adoptees.


Mutual support and validation -

The universal need for support and validation is amplified in the adoption community. Adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents all benefit from shared experiences and collective understanding. By fostering an environment of empathy, encouragement, and mutual respect, adoptees can better navigate their unique circumstances, validate their experiences, and find solidarity within the adoption community.

 

Timestamped summary of this episode:

00:01:11 - Melissa's Adoption Story,
Melissa shares her adoption story, explaining that she was born in the Baby Scoop Era and was placed in foster care before being adopted at ten weeks old. Despite having great adoptive parents, Melissa struggled with self-esteem and unhappiness throughout her life.

00:05:45 - Positive Adoption Experience,
Melissa expresses her gratitude for having wonderful adoptive parents who supported her. However, she still felt the effects of adoption, such as fear and a loss of identity. She also discusses her health issues and how her mother believes the adoption agency failed to disclose them.

00:08:13 - Losing Herself,
Melissa reflects on how she always did what was expected of her, never considering her own wants and needs. She shares that she latched onto the first person who wanted her and eventually married him. However, she became increasingly unhappy and lost touch with her true self.

00:09:41 - Coming Out of the Fog,
Melissa discusses her mental and physical health decline, which led to feelings of anxiety and suicidal thoughts. After hitting rock bottom, she decided to fight her way back to herself and start living a more authentic life. She also mentions her current relationship and the growth she has experienced

00:12:56 - Initial Rejection and Reunion,
Melissa discusses her initial reaction to her birth mother giving her a book about adoption and the subsequent reunion with her birth mother. She shares her feelings of anger and confusion, as well as the challenges of navigating a new relationship with her birth mother while maintaining her strong bond with her adoptive mother.

00:14:28 - Challenging Expectations and Secondary Rejection,
Melissa explores the expectations her birth mother had for their relationship and how they differed from her own expectations. She shares her experience of receiving a letter from her birth mother ending their relationship and the feelings of personal rejection and sadness that followed.

00:16:01 - Lack of Adoption Resources and Guidance,
Melissa reflects on the lack of resources and support she had during her adoption journey, including not knowing about the concept of the "primal wound" or the impact it could have on her. She also discusses the common societal belief that having great adoptive parents automatically guarantees a happy and fulfilled life.

00:17:27 - Other Birth Relatives and Limited Connections,
Melissa shares that she is in touch with some of her birth siblings, but had limited connection with her biological father before he passed away. She discusses the surface-level nature of their relationship and the challenges of building deeper connections with birth relatives.

00:18:55 - Discovering the Adoption Community and Pivoting the Podcast,
Melissa reveals that she only recently discovered the adoption community and the different perspectives within the adoption triad.

00:25:45 - Creating a Safe Space on Fireside,
Melissa shares how Fireside provides a safe space for adoptees to share their stories, vent, and discuss various topics. The platform allows for anonymity and flexibility, fostering a sense of community and support for adoptees.

00:26:11 - Empowering Adoptees' Voices,
Melissa expresses the importance of adoptees having a voice without fear of rejection or abandonment. Being able to freely express oneself and have autonomy is crucial for their well-being and personal growth.

00:27:06 - The Journey to Self-Consultation,
Melissa reflects on the wish to have known that self-consultation and self-expression were valid and acceptable at a younger age. Overcoming the fear of displeasing others and prioritizing one's own needs is a common struggle for adoptees, particularly women.

00:28:18 - Authenticity and Relationships,
Melissa shares her personal experience of being authentic and facing resistance from her son during her divorce. Despite initially straining their relationship, her son eventually came to accept and understand her decision to prioritize her own well-being.

00:29:28 - Healing in Adoption,
Melissa discusses her focus on the healing aspect of adoption and her plans to pursue somatic hypnosis training. She believes that traditional therapy may not fully address the unique needs of adoptees and aims to provide alternative approaches to support their healing journey.