Adoption: The Making of Me. An Oral History of Adoptee Stories

Rita: A Determined Spirit Finds Resolve

September 26, 2023 Louise Browne & Sarah Reinhardt Season 5 Episode 1
Adoption: The Making of Me. An Oral History of Adoptee Stories
Rita: A Determined Spirit Finds Resolve
Show Notes

Rita W. Miller was relinquished into the social service foster care system at 6 months of age. In her mind, Rita believes that her biological mother made this decision, not because she did not want her, but because she wanted a better life for her baby. She believes that perhaps the mother thought that she was in no way able, capable, or possibly would not gain the capacity to raise this child. This is only speculation, as with the lives of adoptees, much of what they think about their early lives are self-imposed scenarios.

Rita remembers being in two foster homes prior to her adoption. In each, she recalls feeling like ‘a little girl, who lived with these people’. Never feeling part of a unit, much less a family. Not receiving the care and love that is normally cast upon a very young child, she lived a lonely and neglectful life. Early on, she learned to become independent, self-sufficient…. a Survivor.

Throughout this early journey, Rita had a social worker, who she believed was concerned, caring, and always working on her behalf to find her a good forever home. This social worker did just that, rescued her to a forever home, with loving, caring, and committed parents. They not only opened their home but also their hearts to this soon-to-be six-year-old child. This chapter of Rita’s life was filled with many
things that were unfamiliar to her, which made the transition to a permanent home quite the adjustment. Although this new family provided most of what she needed, there was always the missing link of knowing who she really was. She worked hard to be who these parents wanted and needed her to be, all the while, feeling awkward trying to meet their expectations. However, their persistence to mold her in their way, committed her to be motivated and determined to look deep within and find who she was meant to be.

Rita is eternally grateful for her adoption; however, struggles remain. She is well aware and proud of who she grew up and prepared herself to become. However, she yearns to know who deep down inside, she really is. In all of this, she realizes that blood relatives will leave us, and we are often saved by strangers who will take us in and love us unconditionally.

Rita is the author of her memoir Determined Destination, Life’s Imperfect Journey of Learning and Love. She is married and lives in Virginia. She enjoys the outdoors, creative experiences, and special moments with family and friends.

To go directly to Rita's interview, you can just go to the timestamp: 9:39

Also in this episode, Sarah and Louise discuss the introduction of The Baby Thief by Barbara Bisantz Raymond 

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Joe Soll & other adoptee resources
Fireside Adoptees Facebook Group
Reckoning with the Primal Wound Documentary

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