Welcome to 30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days, hosted by Portrait of an Adoption. This series will feature guest posts by people with widely varying adoption experiences and perspectives. 

By Rayshawn Milton

My name is Rayshawn Milton and I was adopted at three days old to a very versatile family who I know love me and I love them, but for some reason, I still feel all alone. I’ve met my biological mom a couple times while I was younger. We never discussed the reason she didn’t want to raise me, which was confusing.

I’m becoming a very brave person and this Adoption Awareness Month I want to share my story with everyone so all my friends and family could honestly see the real me and how I feel inside. A lot of my close friends don’t know that I’m adopted, so I feel like this would be a great way for everybody to hear my story!

I don’t know who my biological father is and I definitely would love to know who he is but I feel like God blessed me with an amazing adopted dad who shows me nothing but father love and I’m really grateful for him.

My adopted mom is a very beautiful lady who raised me until she just wasn’t able to anymore, due to her having a lot of problems.  Being human, we all have our own problems and it’s harder for some people to deal with their issues.

I’m nineteen years old and my adopted mom and I have been through so much. As far as I can remember, we’ve been moving from house to house. I’ve never experienced having my own bed and room up until now. Growing up, my mom would have to hustle for us to have food to eat; she would have to beg people to let us stay in their house for a few days.

It used to be hurtful and confusing to encounter this instability. Because I was so young, I felt like I was incapable of helping and I hated for us to go through those hard times. When I reached eighth grade, I lived with my dad and stepmom because my mom was incapable of still raising me.

My dad got into an incident and had to serve time in the penitentiary, and my mom left me to live there with my dad’s other baby mother. I was distraught, although I do love my father’s other baby mother for everything she’s done for me, but I really just wanted to be with my own mom.

At that point, I felt like my mom just didn’t love me anymore. I felt alone and I used to cry and pray every night and text her and let her know about my uncomfortable living situation, and she didn’t really show concern.

After I completed eighth grade, my living situation got too bad for me to handle, so I called my mom’s sister and asked her if she can please let me live with her and she came to rescue me.

I lived with my aunt from my sophomore year of high school up until I graduated. If it wasn’t for my aunt, I would probably would be homeless living on the streets. I love my aunt to the core. She definitely came into my life and showed me mother love and I thank God for her every day.

All the things I’ve been through are shaping me to become a stronger man. I know there are so many kids and adults out there who’ve been adopted, and I still feel alone, just like I feel that’s why I want to spread awareness about adoption and let people know that we adoptees need authentic love too, just like all the other human beings in the world.

The pic with my white blazer on is my adopted mom and the one with the purple cap and gown is her sister, my aunt. I would like to say that I love both my adopted and biological family and I believe some things just happen for a reason but you got to stay strong, optimistic and put your faith in God. I truly appreciate everyone in my life that has helped me stay grounded from the bottom of my heart.

What inspired me to speak out during adoption awareness month is I don’t really hear about it much, and I’ve been affected by it tremendously. Being adopted and feeling abandoned twice by two people who I thought would love me really taught me how to just love myself more. I’ve been really shy and embarrassed to talk about my life but I feel like I have a purpose and that is to help inspire people who going through the same thing or just going through things, period.

I know there are so many children and people out there who’s been damaged by adoption. I’m not saying adoption is a bad thing, but there are different stories for everyone. I’ve read some beautiful stories. Another reason to speak out is that my adopted family doesn’t seem to see that I’m hurt to the core. I’ve watched all my adopted cousins with their real relatives and I use to just pray I could see my biological brother and sisters.

I’ve been through a lot and I think I found my purpose really early in life, so I’m going to work until I have fulfilled my destiny. I pretty much have a strong relationship with everyone from my adopted family but not my biological family. Thank you again for reading my story. I really appreciate it and I do hope my story will inspire someone!!! This means a lot to me.

rayshawn rayshawn-and-aunt rayshawn-and-mom

Rayshawn Milton is nineteen years old. He is working full time and will begin classes at Truman College in the spring of 2019. His main hobby/interest is music. He is an aspiring singer-songwriter and he is using his gift to share his story. He hopes it inspires the world.

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Carrie Goldman is the host of Portrait of an Adoption. She is an award-winning author, speaker, and bullying prevention educator. Follow Carrie’s blog Portrait of an Adoption on Facebook and Twitter