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Community of adopted adults: Adopted people often feel they're alone

Annika Kadak and Siiri Urbas on
Annika Kadak and Siiri Urbas on "Hommik Anuga." Source: ERR

The Estonian community of adopted adults brings together people who have learned that they were adopted as kids or when already grown-up. Members Annika Kadak and Siiri Urbas told their stories on the "Hommik Anuga" talk show and explained how the community can help adopted people feel accepted.

Siiri Urbas (35) learned that she was adopted when she was 25. "A lot of things started making sense once it happened. I believe that what needed to happen did. It has turned me into the person I am today, and everything is okay," Urbas said.

Kadak also learned she was adopted in her 20s, unexpectedly and not from a family member. "I agree with Siiri in that we don't need more polarization. Things aren't good or bad, things just happen. That it was shocking at that moment is perfectly normal," she remarked.

But the new information upended the young women's worlds. "Not just how I felt mentally changed, but also physically. I suddenly felt like a stranger in my own body," Urbas described.

Kadak said that when she confronted her mother, she was not overcome by anger but curiosity in terms of why she was not told sooner. "It was a quiet conversation of few words because she was caught off guard. Her shock may have been as profound as mine. Once the illusion comes crashing down, it is very difficult for both sides to put the pieces back together," Kadak said.

Urbas talked to her mother about it on her 25th birthday and learned she had been born three months earlier and had a different name. My mother decided not to tell me in order to protect me. She was planning to tell me when I became a mother myself. She figured that it would make me more understanding of why she hadn't told me initially and about the relationship between a mother and her child in general," Urbas said.

"While the attitude was to never tell anybody during the Soviet period, we tend to gravitate toward the everyone must tell everyone else policy these days," Urbas pointed out. "It amounts to going from one extreme to the other. There is no one right answer here," Kadak said, with Urbas adding that the women feel the decision when to tell someone should be carefully considered and supported.

Annika Kadak said she does not feel like a victim. "I have been given a brilliant opportunity, I grew up with very nice parents, and everything is well in my life. But thinking about my biological mother, I cannot imagine the heartache and dilemma of having to make that choice."

Both women decided to find their biological mothers after learning the truth. "It was not easy and would have been impossible legally. It was difficult emotionally. The search was a devastating process," Urbas said after having found most of her biological family by now. But she is not talking to her biological mother today. "It was not my choice," she added.

Kasak also no longer stays in touch with her biological mother. "I think neither of us were ready when I finally found her. I did not get all the answers."

"People who have found out they are adopted often feel they're alone with their feelings. Many have said in our community of adopted adults that it feels like coming home, understanding others' stories and feeling listened to. Sometimes you need different kind of support, to know you're normal," Kadak said.

The community can be contacted via the omapere.ee website or its Facebook group.

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Editor: Rasmus Kuningas, Marcus Turovski

Source: "Hommik Anuga"

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