The Angels of April

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NOTE: Taking a brief blog-cation, as I’m immersed in novel-writing and ongoing downsizing of stuff. (See The Great Photo Purge, published last Monday. I’m happy to report that CLARA AND THE HAND OF GANESH is moving forward. Enjoy one of my favorite posts from the past, and have a beautiful April, a month with very special gifts.

“April is the cruelest month.” T. S. Eliot

April is full of dazzling sunlight and the earth seems greener

April is full of dazzling sunlight and the earth seems greener

“April, the Angel of Months.” -Vita Sackville-West

April is full of surprises: one day sunny and mild, the next day snowy.
Here in northern New Mexico, April is luminously beautiful. Fruit trees blossom, our deciduous trees turn that electrifying shade known to painters as “sap green.”  Darkness diminishes as our own special Season of Light increases in strength.

Like many in the adoption world, I’ve learned to “flip the script.” On the one hand, I will never know what it is like to have blood-related family. My biological parents were a fact essential to my being in the world.  In the final analysis, however, they were distant figures who I ostensibly got to know, but actually merely encountered. On the other hand, I was fortunate to end up with wonderful adoptive parents.

It’s been said that every problem is also an opportunity. April has proved this to me. When I recently pulled a back muscle during a yoga class, the pain was excruciating. I went to Urgent Care, then to my regular medical doctor…nothing helped. It was hard to walk. All I could think about was how much my back and leg hurt. This led to a most fortunate discovery: a community acupuncture clinic. After five consecutive treatments, the pain had nearly vanished. What’s more, the clinic’s doctor (of Oriental Medicine) prescribed various supplements and minerals.  The alternative measures, in addition to relief from the injury, cured leg cramps and dietary imbalances. I was given a regimen of back-strengthening exercises. What might have been a disaster turned out to be a blessing.

Easter brought the best gift of all. My granddaughter, age 12, chose to visit me during her spring break. She is not a granddaughter I get to see very often, as her mother and father, my son, are divorced.

Angels can arrive as the young ones in our lives.

Angels can arrive as the young ones in our lives.

During the week this lively pre-teen spent with me, we went to see “Cinderella,” lunched at favorite restaurants, read together, toured the local botanical garden, visited art galleries and museums.  The paints and drawing supplies I’d put in her room were put to good use. I gave her my favorite Walter Farley Black Stallion books. She had such a good time, she wants to come back this summer for another visit.

Since the publication of The Goodbye Baby, I’ve heard from hundreds in the online adoption community—adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, men and women who are still searching for reunions with their original parents. This response has deepened my understanding of why people are seldom happy that they were adopted. Even though adoption may have been “for the best,” it leaves one with  the feeling of a shaky foundation. Despite all that, it is possible to create happiness.

Is April cruel or is it, as Sackville-West maintains, the angel of months? I’ll let you decide. In the meantime, the angels are there. Even for adoptees!

Join Elaine every other Monday for a look at the world through adoption-colored glasses.

Join Elaine every other Monday for a look at the world through adoption-colored glasses.

5 Ways to be your Own Best Friend

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Some days it’s hard to realize you are gaining on it.

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing, and face us with the reality of our powerlessness, that is the friend who cares.
-Henry Nouwen, Dutch-born priest and writer

For the most part, I enjoy a sense of progress in my adoptee’s journey toward wholeness. Some days, however, I feel like Sysiphys, the character in Greek mythology who pushes a massive boulder uphill, reaching the top by sundown but the very next morning being forced to start again at the bottom and push uphill all over again.

As I talk with friends about challenges they are facing, I realize that I am not alone. One does not have to be a “recovering adoptee” to find life full of problems to be overcome, tasks to be accomplished and conundrums that seem to have no end. And while I am blessed to have wonderful and compassionate friends who are never to busy to listen to my latest thorny scenario, one solution I’ve found is to be my own best friend.

Having said that, I’m offering five ways to nurture and appreciate yourself:

1. Let the past be the past. Do not hold grudges against yourself.
2. Remember, when troubles seem to be ganging up against you, that “Mama said there’d be days like this.”
3. Be true to YOU. As far as your self-definition is concerned, be an island. Quit comparing yourself unfavorably with others. Jealously isn’t called the “green-eyed monster” for nothing.
4. Work on fine-tuning your sense of humor. Learn to laugh at yourself.
5. Remember that YOU are not your thoughts.

Life is like a river. We can either enjoy the journey, rowing gently down the stream, or we can let our emotions control our thoughts, feeling a vague dissatisfaction and lack of contentment. One very powerful way to row gently down the stream is to treat yourself as you would a dear, cherished friend.

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Join Elaine for blog posts, published monthly on Mondays. Wide-ranging topics, from travel, hiking, nature, daily living, to personal development. If you are involved in the adoption triangle (adoptee, adopted parent or birthparent) and would like to contribute a guest post, please contact her. We’d love to hear from you!

March Meandering

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On March 17th, 2020, I first learned about the Pandemic. A day I’ll never forget.

I’d been to the nursery to buy veggie starts for the garden. When I returned, my son grimly announced that it was no longer safe to leave home. Time to shelter in place. The lockdown had begun. Now, 12 months later, as people here in New Mexico and around the country are getting vaccinated, it is safer to go places. But– fewer places are available. Who knows, for example, when we’ll again be going in person to the movies?

Horses prance at a gallery entrance

February flew: It seemed to be over just as it started. I focussed on revisions for The Hand of Ganesh. The weeks bloglessly slipped by. After a four-week Blog-cation, it’s great to return…. I’m immersed in reading James Joyce’s Ulysses for the third time, reading plays aloud with other Shakespeare buffs, playing bridge on Bridge Base Online. While all that is fine and good, I’ve missed the connecting with you, dear readers. So here is an update.

Out and about in the city: Canyon Road, aptly dubbed “the heart and soul of Santa Fe,” is one of the most delightful places to walk if you’re visiting New Mexico’s capital city. My friend Ann and I walked Canyon Road on a late Sunday afternoon. The weather was fine and we enjoyed not only the outdoor sculptures but a cavalcade of people out walking a variety of dogs.

And importantly, there was a birthday to celebrate. My gal pal Kathy and I met in the tent outside Claroutis, a popular French. Though the restaurant offered indoor dining at 25 per cent capacity, It felt safer eating outdoors. Kathy ordered buckwheat crepes, and I had French toast with fruit. Totally delectable! Kathy and I have celebrated our birthdays together for more than three decades.

I’ve decided to accept “the new normal,” to live each day for itself. Travel may still be a ways off; I’ll probably focus instead on writing, making home improvements and hikes. My motto: “Stay within the confines of the day.” With so many people in dire situations — illness, homelessness, hunger, joblessness — I’m incredibly grateful for good fortune. Now, more than ever, it’s time to adopt An Attitude of Gratitude.

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Join Elaine for monthly blog posts on the writing life, hiking, reading, gardening, urban adventures Your comments are invited.

Looking at the world through adoption-colored glasses.

 

Digging into Dickens

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China tea, the scent of hyacinths, wood fires and bowls of violets—that is my mental picture of an agreeable February afternoon. — Constance Spry

Here we are at the beginning of a new month. In January I survived yet another birthday. A lady doesn’t reveal her age, so I won’t, but in the meantime, I’ve decided that the best gift I can give myself is gratitude.

Charles Dickens would have been 209 years old on February 7th



New Mexico has a governor who is applying strict measures for stopping the pandemic’s toll. She’s working hard to insure that those who want the Covid-19 vaccine can get it. I was lucky enough to receive my first injection; in six days I’ll receive the second. This non-opening of businesses is hard. It means no eating out (except for frigid picnics), no going to movies or musical events, and missing all the festivals, markets and celebrations that make Santa Fe  the unique town that it is. To celebrate my birthday, friends and I went not to lunch but to the forest for snowshoeing.

In addition to being grateful for daily doses of outdoors, I’m thankful for books. The new order of things has allowed us bibliophiles more time to read. I belong to an excellent book club.The members are adventurous in their literary choices, and it’s been fun reading books that, on my own, I might never have discovered. I’m a lifetime fan of Victorian literature, especially Charles Dickens. When it was my turn to select, I proposed A Tale of Two Cities. To my relief, everyone seemed to love reading (or in most cases re-reading) the dramatic story of Charles Darnay, Lucie Manette and her father the doctor, Jerry Cruncher, Miss Pross and Jarvis Lorry.. The backdrop of the French Revolution and scheming Madame Defarge, the storming of the Bastille, and Sydney Carton’s heroic sacrifice…all of it was reviewed in our two-hour online get-together. The discussion was lively, rewarding and affable. Several of us, in addition to the next book club selection, are going to be reading more Dickens on our own.
These are troubling times, but there is much for which to be thankful. That said, I’ve adopted a new role: curator of my own contentment.

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Tune in to Elaine’s blog posts on alternate Mondays for reflections on adoption, the outdoors and the writing life. Her third novel, The Hand of Ganesh is headed toward publication in late 2021.

Snowshoeing is a great way to celebrate Winter.

Letting Go of Letters

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“Things are in the saddle and ride mankind.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
January, a great month for new beginnings. Inspired by Marie Kondo, queen of the Declutter World, I once again vow to sweep through the entire house and prune the excess, reduce the redundancies, eliminate the irrelevant. It’s not the first time I’ve embarked a declutter campaign, but this time, I am being non-negotiable. My constant mantra: OHIO (Only Handle it Once). Years of selling stuff at neighbors’ yard sales, donating to charities, giving things away: I still felt hopelessly cluttered. The “things” grew back, multiplied, maybe even reproduced at night while I was sleeping.
Correspondence collections are close to my heart, harder to part with than books, photos, or just about anything else. Because it would be tough, I decided to start there. I recently tackled a column of banker boxes that resided in a closet, unopened, for several decades. I’d do my heirs a favor by going through, keeping a precious few letters, and taking the bulk of them to the recycle bin.
As an adult adoptee, I’ve always believed that the best way to know where to go, one must see where one has been.
“The past is not dead. It is not even past.” —William Faulkner
Not surprisingly, most archived letters were from my parents, both biological and adoptive. Giovanni Cecchini, the birthfather I got to see three times after I was adopted, was a Navy photographer during WWII. When he and his new wife Margaret moved to Amelia Island, Florida, he became a well-known photographer in the town of Fernandina Beach. He gardened and photographed for many years before his death in 1998. I travel yearly to Amelia Island to visit Margaret. On 12/29/91, Giovanni wrote “Another letter from me — lucky you (I guess).”
My birthmother Velma and I had a long correspondence, and I came across her epistle of 2/13/94. She wrote “Dearest Daughter, I had to peek at my Valentine on Friday (I sent one to her every February) but put it away until Monday…Your four parents are very proud of how you grew up to be beautiful with many talents.”
My adoptive dad’s WWII letters provided the material for my book From Calcutta with Love-The WWII Letters of Richard and Reva Beard (published in 2002 by Texas Tech University Press, due to be re-issued by Pajarito Press in 2020). He also wrote to me every Sunday until his death in 1997. His letters were filled with reports of his life with my adoptive mom Reva, observations about everything from world events to the weather. On February 18, 1990, he wrote “Dearest Elaine: This week has featured several wonderful springlike days, but today and to some extent yesterday were more like typical February weather. It has been dull, overcast, and just cold enough to be raw and uncomfortable outside — I know, I tried walking around the lake and even the Canadian geese looked discomfited.”
I am reading through the boxes of letters, keeping a precious few but relegating most of the epistles to the recycling bin. Typed and penned words from the past made time fall away. I was reminded of a time when letter-writing was the way to keep in touch. Those missives kept us close despite the miles in between. Now, with Email, Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp and other channels of communication, letters are nearly obsolete. With their passing, we will have lost something irreplaceable. On the other hand, think of that person who’d love to hear from you, not instantly. Perhaps it’s not too late to revive the custom of letter-writing.
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Join Elaine once or twice a month on Mondays for reflections on life as seen through adoption-colored glasses. Do you enjoy writing letters? Comments are welcome!

The Goodbye Baby gives an insider view of growing up adopted.

Poetry Live: May it soon Return

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The pending new year is filled with promise. With the development of a Corona virus to end the pandemic, we will, hopefully, be able to join live audiences. Zoom will still be around, of course, but there will be other options. I can imagine a time when we will sit with others, in person, to share music, movies, dance and theater performances. I am ready to adopt and embrace that time. Lately, I’ve been remembering Coleman MolanaBarks, the famous translator of Jelaluddin Rumi. In the past, Barks regularly came to Santa Fe. His show, “Rumi Concert—A Feast of Poetry, Humor, Music, Dance & Story,” offered a mesmerizing combination of poetry recitation by poet/professor Coleman Barks, music by David Darling and Glen Velez and dancing by Zuleikha, international Storydancer. And it led me to offer you, dear Reader, my favorite Rumi poem.
The following masterpiece fits my topic because the adoptee’s journey is about being at home in ones own skin.
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The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes 
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house 
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out 
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice. 
Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes 
because each has been sent
 as a guide from beyond.– Jelaluddin Rumi,

********************************************************************** Although he wrote seven centuries ago, the Persian poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic Rumi provided insights that serve us well today. The “guests” are emotions and thoughts to which one awakens each morning. Rumi advises welcoming them all rather than disdaining some as unwelcome pests and others as “right” and correct. It is true that we enjoy those guests that empower, buoy us up, and make us feel successful, capable, happy. But as I’ve traveled the adoptee’s road to discovering who I really am, I’ve found that we need to accept all the feelings and learn to live with them.
The emotions that appear in our personal guest houses can, after all, serve as guides from beyond.

Looking at the world through adoption-colored glasses.

Running to my Roots, Part Two

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As an adult adoptee looking back, one of my regrets was not growing up with my Italian heritage. In my recent memoir The Goodbye Baby: A Diary about Adoption, I lamented this “deprivation.” However, I DID meet my Italian-American birthfather. I was able to travel with him to Abruzzo, where he was born. It was to be the last time I saw him, as he passed away shortly after our return. This is the second part of my essay about our trip to Italy…

My relatives in Abruzzo welcomed me, their American cousin

My relatives in Abruzzo welcomed me, their American cousin

I ran every morning of our two-week stay in San Martino Sulla Marrucina. The miles melted away. Propelled by fascinating sights, smells, sounds and sensations, I was hardly aware of moving. I glided by the town’s gothic style cathedral, the tobacco shop, the nursery school, multistoried buildings with flower-laden balconies, graceful patios, tiny cats peeking from doorways, sheep, chickens, olive trees and grapevines. The town’s dogs barked and lunged as I ran by. Lucky for me, they were chained or fenced in. By the third day, I thought I’d run every cobblestone street and traversed every steep, narrow alleyway.
But I was wrong. One of my rewarding outings came about as a result of a funeral. A village dignitary had died, and I was invited by my cousins to join a procession to the “camposanto.” Thus on this morning, I walked rather than ran. The entire population of San Martino had joined in the solemn on-foot parade to the final laying-to-rest of the deceased. After interment, my cousin Carlo pointed out many tombs that contained his (and my own) late kinsfolk. All the while, I made mental notes of possible new running sites. I discovered a narrow path, just beyond the village proper, that descended to a lovely valley and forest.
After the funeral and from then on, this path was my favorite running destination. I went from my aunt’s house to the “camposanto” to pay respects to anyone who might have been related, however distantly, to me. That accomplished, I explored the paths beyond. In the marvelous way that running has of leading us to we don’t know where, I powered my way up small roads through cultivated fields and olive groves. During several forays, I rambled through dense forests, each time discovering something new.
One day, I spotted a garden plot of red chile peppers that looked just like those of my native New Mexico. Another time, I spotted a prickly ball along the road, a small animal something like a round porcupine. Was it dead or just hibernating? When I returned, cousin Carlo told me, “These animals are very useful. They kill garden pests and are also good to eat.” When they feel threatened, he added, they curl themselves up into balls.
A week before the end of my Italian sojourn, the weather turned colder. Until now, it had been summer. The sky became moody and the moist air promised rain and the coming winter. On one of my final runs in Italy, I took along a bag and collected fallen autumn leaves to press and take back to America.
On my next-to-last day in San Martino, I ran through town, passing my favorite little lady and her three cats, the post office,the tobacco shop. Just as I was heading back to my aunt’s house, Carlo and his wife Bianca drove up beside me, stopped their car and invited me to go shopping with them. When we reached the town of Guardiagrelee, it became obvious that their mission was to buy presents for me — handmade lace, a brass oil lamp, pottery, a cookbook written in English and Italian.
The day of my departure, I took a predawn farewell run, and then it was time to return to Rome and the United States. My wish to meet with the dad I’d never known had been granted, at least partially. So much time had passed, “water under the bridge” my father called it, that we might never become closely bonded father and daughter. However, sharing San Martino with my father was precious beyond words. Miles of running through his village enriched my memory bank forever.

Discovering my brth father's homeland expanded my horizons!

Discovering my birth father’s homeland expanded my horizons!

Running to my Roots-Part One

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In Italy, I traveled through miles of my birth family’s history…

As an adult adoptee looking back, one of my regrets was not growing up with my Italian heritage. In my memoir The Goodbye Baby: Adoptee Diaries, I lamented this “deprivation.” However, I DID at last meet my Italian-American birthfather just a few years before he passed away. I was able to travel with him to Abruzzo, where he was born.
When organizing my office last week, I came across this account, written in 2007 but never before published. As you, my readers, will see, I was heavily into running at the time. In retrospect, I realize how special that father-daughter journey it was, what a privilege that I got this glimpse of my heritage. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed re-living the experience…

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Growing up adopted, relived through diary entires

I was an adopted child, five years old when my new parents took over. I met my biological father many years later. Together we visited the town in Italy where he was born, and there I spent an unforgettable week getting to know cousins and doing a lot of running. Giovanni Cecchini began life in the tiny village of San Martino Sulla Maruccina. It’s on the east side of the Italian boot, 17 miles from the Adriatic Sea. Even though I had been adopted by a loving mom and dad and my young life improved dramatically, I longed for many years to find out more about my heritage. Shortly before Giovanni’s death, that wish came true.
Giovanni left the old country at age two. He’d returned to his home village every year since World War II. I spent most of my life without knowing him. Our reunion did not bring the communication I’d hoped for. My father, in ill health, was taciturn and grouchy. Despite this disappointment, I was able to get in touch with my roots. And I discovered the joys of running in Italy.
Being with long-lost Italian cousins, hiking through the fields, hills and olive groves that had belonged to my ancestors, enjoying the scenic beauty of San Martino, with snowcapped mountains to the west and the sea to the east were magical. Best of all, however, was running in my newly-discovered native homeland.
Nikes on my feet, I explored the streets and pathways of tiny San Martino (population 800) as well as nearby countryside. No doubt I was an odd sight. I like to think of myself as the first American to have jogged through the village for the sake of simply running. If the citizens of San Martino were running, it would be to catch a stray sheep, goat or child.
For one thing, the villagers are elderly. The young leave for Pescara or Chieti or Guardiagrele to attend school or take jobs. Furthermore, why would people need to run? The San Martino way of life incorporates vigorous outdoor activities: harvesting olives, gathering firewood, tending animals, plowing fields. My spoken Italian was not versatile enough to know what the natives thought of my running through their streets every day.
But run for the sport of it I did, and for the sheer beauty of the landscape. Running was not only a way to enjoy the incredibly beautiful countryside but also to work off the delicious pasta consumed during three-hour lunches.
San Martino-ans are not into lycra and singlets, so early each morning I donned pedal pushers and an oversized t-shirt borrowed from my teenage sons. I decided it was better to look like a nerd than a shameless exhibitionist. Shortly after the roosters’ last crowing, I left my Aunt Guisipina’s house and jogged up a narrow cobblestone road to the main street of San Martino. Sweeping their porches, small elderly ladies in black stared at me, first in disbelief, then with amusement. After a day or so, they began greeting me with a friendly “Buon Giorno.”

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Looking at the world through adoption-colored glasses.

November is National Adoption Month, so I’m publishing another adoption-themed post from the past. The trip to Italy was life-changing, life affirming, and inspirational. Join me, Elaine Pinkerton, on alternate Mondays for adoptee perspectives.

Feedback is invited. Click at the top right to leave your comments.

Adoptee Reunions: Be Prepared for EVERYTHING

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Note from Elaine: Guest blogger Pat Goehe passed away last month. She was loved and appreciated by a host of friends in Santa Fe, New Mexico and around the country. To honor her memory, we are republishing one of her contributions to The Goodbye Baby website. For Pat, meeting her daughter for the first time after 32 years was a life-changing experience.

Birthmother/daughter reunion - Pat knew the day would come and it did!
Birthmother/daughter reunion – Pat knew the day would come and it did!

In Pat’s words…

As I think about the reunion with my daughter after she found me, the thing that benefited me the most, was knowing that in fact she had been adopted by a wonderful couple.   Those who have read my original blog posts may remember I indicated  something had happened in one of my classes which made me wonder if my daughter had a negative experience similar to one of the students in that class.   So it was such a relief to meet her adopted parents and see that they were so wonderful.

I was pleasantly surprised at the time of the original reunion that she was involved in the arts, and that she had moved to California the very same year that I went there on a years’ sabbatical leave from my college.  Her field was music and also management and an agent for film composers.  I was dabbling in the film industry as well.   Another surprise was to discover we both were in love with the song from a Disney movie …. “somewhere out there….”    In fact, while celebrating one of my birthdays shortly after the reunion  at a favorite place, one of the singing waiters came and said there was another request for me.  He went on to say my daughter had called and requested it.  She knew I would be there that evening.

The old “nature or nurture” question was back in my mind.  At our very first meeting she ordered the same salad dressing I always do.  At one point where I excused myself to go to the restroom, she commented “So that’s where I get my pea sized bladder from!”.  And as originally talked about, when she called me for the first time, I couldn’t get over how much she seemed like me.  So much more than the daughter I had raised.  She’s also a “worry wart” like me, usually overbooked in the “to do” lists, and there’s no question that we are both sensitive, emotional people.

What advice can I give to adoptees or the birth parents seeking a reunion?  Be prepared for anything.   If you have a scenario developed where it’s a glorious reunion, it may not be.  If you have other children and you hope all will become one big happy family, that too may not be.  It hasn’t been in my case. If you are haunted by needing to know, then by all means search.  I hope you have a happy outcome.   To me, the not knowing was the most difficult of all.   I was prepared for whatever I would find, good or bad.  She found me,  and it has been good.  Perfect?  Is anything ever that?

Editor’s Note: Pat Goehe was a lifetime teacher who worked in all facets of communication and related arts. She taught students at the secondary and university level. Perhaps the most meaningful communication of her life, however, occurred when her daughter Linda, after decades of separation, contacted her. Pat was a frequent contributor to The Goodbye Baby website and the author of Annemarie and Boomer wait for Grandma and Annemarie Learns to Whistle. In keeping with National Adoption Month, we pay tribute this wonderful birthmother and to all birthmothers. Pat, you are missed!

Pat relaxes in Santa Fe's Rose Garden Park
Pat relaxes in Santa Fe’s Rose Garden Park

Why I Write about Adoption – Part Two

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Note: Welcome to the second installment of a two-part post by author/ adoptive mother Jessica O’Dwyer. For part one go to https://tinyurl.com/y3uff7xz

A novel was begging to be written, but I couldn’t find my way in…

Then one summer, we hired a driver who took us to Nebaj and Rabinal, in the highlands of Guatemala, the epicenter of the country’s armed conflict. It turned out our driver had been a little boy during those hard times. He took us to graveyards and memorials, churches and village squares. We met other survivors of the conflict and visited Rabinal’s museum honoring the victims. Everything came together in my mind. The beginning and end of the novel, the entire narrative arc.The story in Mother Mother is told from two points of view: Julie, a white adoptive mother in California, and Rosalba, the Ixil Maya mother in Guatemala whose baby Julie adopts. Both mothers grapple with power and race, deception and love as they navigate their life circumstances, and life choices.

I love my children and our lives together. Adoption is how my family was formed, and my family is the best thing in my life. But after nearly two decades as an adoptive mother, I know our lives together started at chapter two. My children’s first chapter was written before we came together, when they were formed in their mothers’ wombs and later separated from them. As a writer and adoptive mother, I honor that first chapter by acknowledging and exploring it.

After the publication of my second book, people ask if I’m planning a trilogy. Possibly. To me, adoption is the most fascinating subject on earth.

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Jessica O’Dwyer, an adoptive mother, lives in California with her husband, son, and daughter. Her essays have been published in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Adoptive Families and Marin Independent Journal.