My book can be purchased at amazon.com, bn.com, and other online bookstores.
Much as been written about healing our post-adoption trauma. Adoptees and birthmothers do need to express grief and heal festering wounds, but we should not have to spend hundreds of dollars on adoption seminars or therapy. Many will tell you that talking with another adoptee or birthmother is the best therapy–this is the best way to have one’s feelings validated. Many of us have had our experiences trivialized or negated by others. Negation of our feelings may cause anger, withdrawal, depression, etc. Support groups often validate our feelings, where we learn that other adoptees and birthmothers have felt the same way! Bibliotherapy (books) might help some individuals: Bradshaw teaches us to heal our shame, to heal our wounds, and most importantly, to love ourselves! Some individuals might find that the TWELVE-STEP principles help us recognize that we feel powerless about our strong emotions (evoked by adoption), and may encourage us to seek serenity through a Power or force higher than ourselves.
Wounds may heal but there will be psychic scars. Perhaps, more than anything, we need to accept those scars. They are part of us, part of who we became, part of who we are!
Giving Away Simone (Great reading for those in open adoption.)
I Hope You Have a Good Life: A True Story of Love, Loss and Redemption (Both birthmother and daughter die of cancer after reunion.)
The Other Mother (An archetypal tale by a birthmother.)
Reunion: A Year in Letters Between a Birthmother and the Daughter She Couldn’t Keep (Birthmother and daughter share similarities.)
Search for Paul David
Single Square Picture: A Korean Adoptee’s Search for Her Roots
Thank You Son for Finding Me: A Birthmother’s Story (Birthmother gets special-delivery letter, and painful memories mix with joy.)
Waiting to Forget (A birthmother’s well-written story of relinquishment, including the typical stay in a maternity home.)
Adoption Reunion Survival Guide: Preparing Yourself for the Search, Reunion and Beyond
Andrew, You Died Too Soon: A Family Experience of Grieving and Loving Again (About an adoptee’s suicide, told by adoptive mother.)
Twenty Life-Transforming Choices Adoptees Need to Make
Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Parents Knew
Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe vs. Wade (The only book that truly succeeds in presenting well-documented facts about birthmothers, this scholarly body of research unearths a wealth of facts previously buried in adoption archives.)
TRYING TO HEAL:
Healing the Shame That Binds You (May help anyone who has been shamed.)
Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child (May help the wounded soul.)
Twelve Steps for Everyone…Who Really Wants Them
ADOPTION EDUCATION (Birthmothers, Adoptees, Adoption Healing)
I am a birthmother. In 1964, I surrendered my first-born baby to adoption, and this had a profound and lifelong impact. The psychologicaI effects penetrated the core of my being. I began to write because I “had to” write. What had happened could no longer stay hidden and buried. My first hardcover book was published in 1991. In 1995, my book, SEARCH FOR PAUL DAVID, became available. My last hardcover is an expanded, revised edition, published by Schenkman Books in 1998 (Trumpi). In conclusion, I spent 1/3 of my life living without “my baby” and 1/3 of my life searching, researching, and writing.
There are millions of birthmothers like me! Many of them suffer from “birthmother trauma syndrome.” Until recently, few people recognized the long-term trauma suffered by birthmothers who had given their children up for adoption. Furthermore, the healing experienced by a mother and child reunion was often undocumented. In SEARCH FOR PAUL DAVID, I chronicle the search for and reunion with my son and my quest for psychological healing. My book also covers the ever-present controversy of agencies and institutions and their role in the adoption process.
Perhaps the psychological effects of child relinquishment were best summarized by C. Chandler, a birthmother, who recently wrote: “Giving a child up is a very deep trauma for a woman…a form of soul rape.” Birthmothers are not the only wounded souls–many adoptees are indicating that they, too, have been suffering from a set of symptoms (a syndrome) related to their adoption.
My son may be an exception: He insists that he hardly ever thought about me and had a wonderful life! Following our reunion, my son married. He and his wife pursued their dreams and careers. Much later, in their 30s, they were ready to have children and promptly conceived. A boy first, then a girl. A beautiful family, whose lives I share, though they live thousands of miles from me.
As for me, I can see that I’ve gone through the stages outlined by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her pioneering work, Death and Dying. The stages are denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Denial occurred in the perinatal period and didn’t last long! After that, I vacillated between anger and depression (while throwing in some life-saving repression and more denial). Reaching the stage of acceptance means that healing has occurred. Am I healed? On most days, I accept what happened. Complete healing may be an illusion.
Suggested Reading: Ann W. Burgess and Carol R. Hartman, Sexual Exploitation of Patients by Health Professionals (1986); Pauline Trumpi, Doctors Who Rape: Malpractice and Misogyny
|SEARCH FOR PAUL DAVID
“The story of a woman searching for her son–and for the part of her soul she lost at his conception and surrender…”
__Sue Martin, adoptive mother and spouse of an adoptee, search counselor with Truth Seekers in Adoption, Chicago
“A heart-felt cry for justice. An ‘unwed mother’ from the 1960s demonstrates the poisonous context in which she was coerced to relinquish her child–and the terrible toll of the separation.”
__Rickie Solinger, author of WAKE UP LITTLE SUSIE: SINGLE PREGNANCY AND RACE BEFORE ROE VS. WADE (Routledge 1992)
Many people believe that adoptive parents are saintly. Those in favor of adoption (vs. biology) are fond of saying: “Any animal can give birth.” Prospective adoptive parents rationalize that, while any animal can give birth, adoptive parents have the means to give a child a better life. This mindset might be a way to assuage any subconscious guilt about taking a child from his/her first mother.
A mother who gives birth may be good…or, in some cases, she may be a not-good-enough mother. The same holds true for people who adopt, people who may suffer a narcissistic wound due to infertility.
Authorities in Richardson, Texas, said Sunday they believe they have found the body of Sherin Mathews, the adopted 3-year-old girl who disappeared in the early hours of Oct. 7, 2017
The stories of “unfit” mothers dominate the news. Should we assume that adoption is the best answer? Sometimes, the answer is yes. But, not always. http://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/us-world-news/mother-of-dead-richardson-girl-arrested-for-child-endangerment