Dieck shares personal journey of adoption
By Holly Neumann
Paula Dieck discusses her personal journey of adoption in a non-fiction book entitled “I Look Like Me, A Celebration of Self Love.”
Dieck is a 1984 graduate of Iola-Scandinavia High School.
“I decided to write this story because I felt like I had an important message to share, a message of self-love,” she said. “I thought I would be writing a story that would be read by a multitude of adoptees who could relate to the feelings and the journey I had experienced. However, as I began to actually write the book, I realized that the message was for a greater audience.”
Adopted at 9 weeks old, Dieck admits that she always felt different.
“I was raised in a very loving family, but I always had mixed emotions,” she said. “On one hand I felt loved and extra special. I was the only girl in my family, I was the baby and I was adopted. On the other hand, when I began to understand what it meant to be adopted, that I wasn’t a blood-relative, I often felt like I was on the outside looking in.”
Dieck shares stories of her childhood throughout the book.
“I was the only person I knew that had two birthdays each year,” she said. “One on April 12, the day I was born, and the other on June 17, the day my parents got me.”
Though she loved her family and knew that they loved her, subconsciously she felt like she wasn’t good enough.
“I wondered if it felt different to be raised by your biological parents,” Dieck said. “I wondered what it felt like to look like your family.”
According to Dieck, being adopted has been an amazing blessing in her life because of the journey she has experienced.
“Finding my birth mother didn’t ‘fix’ the problem,” she said. “Fortunately, my path led to many wonderful experiences, mentors, personal growth seminars and self-help books and ultimately to a place of self-acceptance and self-love.”
She went on to say that writing the book gave her the opportunity to relive, release and heal.
“I wrote this book in hope of sharing a very specific message,” she said. “If you have ever dealt with feelings of abandonment, low self-esteem, low self-worth, or have ever felt like you just weren’t good enough, you can find true happiness by finding self-love. Every person on earth is perfect as they are and has divine purpose.”
Paula is the daughter of Del and Karalee Dieck, of Scandinavia.
Her book was recently honored with the Book Readers Appreciation Group medallion.