Books offering support and encouragement...
The Adoption Reader
the Fear and Do It Anyway
A dynamic book with practical solutions for turning passivity into empowerment. Afraid to speak up to authority? We all feel that way ...at first! Learn how to overcome all those bad feelings about yourself and direct your anger and frustration at the proper target (which is not you!) It's really only by standing up for your rights that you can ever begin to heal the wounds. So do it already!
"I was safe at last, on an island of truth that floated
far above the sludge of adoption bureaucracy."
Ann Hughes was a young unmarried woman in 1966. She was also pregnant with a child,
conceived during a summer weekend in Paris. In 1966, a young unmarried woman surrendered
her baby for adoption. There was no choice.
"When you're grown, I'll come back and find you. First I'll need to somehow find
myself, but we will meet again." This double pledge to her infant daughter sets the
dual theme for Ann's story. She first must find herself somewhere at the center of a
welter of low self-esteem, guilt, buried emotions, insecurity and loss. Only then will she
be ready to reunite with her child.
Using a combination of spiritual processes ranging from massage therapy to Gnostic
Christian philosophy, to astrology, Ann launches herself on a journey towards personal
healing. Her spirituality sustains her through the exhilaration and the crushing
disappointment of not one, but two contacts with adoptees who prove to be not the daughter
she seeks. Nonetheless, she continues to believe that there are lessons to be learned from
these experienceslessons of patience and empathy for the feelings and needs of others.
Eventually, at the urging of friends, Ann somewhat reluctantly attempts more familiar
search strategies to find her daughter. It is these which provide her with the first
genuine lead in all her years of stumbling about. Ultimately a reunion does take place,
and she finds a kind and sympathetic young woman who understands the decision to surrender
and is willing to open a door and permit Ann to become a part of her life.
Delaware readers will recognize some local references in this book. The author now
lives in Baltimore, and she participated in the first annual CERA March as it moved
through Chester and Wilmington. But her references to what is obviously an upper middle
class life style assume advantages which most searchers do not have. Ann's involvement
with the human potential movement, the ease with which she is able to take time from her
work to see her astrologer or to just go home and "chill," the fact that she is
able to hop a flight to Boston without a second thought about the expenseall these
details may make her story seem remote for many. At other times, the very detailed
interpretations of Ann's astrological chart or her careful analysis of specific classical
music pieces and the emotions these pieces touch in her psyche might, to a reader
unfamiliar with the topics, seem tedious. It is possible, however, to skip over these
sections without losing the flow of the story, and for those who are more familiar with
the specific topics, the passages undoubtedly serve to make the narrative more meaningful.
Birthmothers of all backgrounds will, I believe, recognize the stress, the alienation from self, that characterize this woman's life. Ann was not readyspiritually, psychologically, emotionally to reunite with her daughter until twenty-four years had passed, although she may have felt ready at some level before that time. Given her accomplishments during that time of separation and healing, one can only wonder what she might have accomplished had the wounds of separation and loss not been inflicted in the first place.
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