What inspired you to write about your story?
It started out as a gift for my daughter on the 20th anniversary of our reunion. For the first two months before our physical reunion, we exchanged emails. Those emails were stored on floppy discs and still are. I started compiling them into a book, just one book. It snowballed from there.
Why did you decide to publish?
I wanted my gift idea (book) to be perfect, so I hired an editor, Marnie Woodrow, to help me. She suggested I write some context around the emails. When she edited the first chapter she immediately said, “You can’t teach anyone to write like you do. You have to publish this”. Still, I wasn’t convinced. The deciding factor was when she said that not only could my story help birth parents and adoptees but individuals who have survived the toxic love of an alcoholic.
What do you hope readers will get from reading your book?
There are two perspectives. First if any of my readers are in a similar situation, I hope you are inspired to be brave and loud until someone listens, until someone helps you make the right decision that you can live with. Second, for those who can’t wrap their head around why a mother would surrender her child to adoption I hope my story will give you insight into my internal trauma of life after surrender. For twenty years I mourned in the darkness of shame, alone in my silence. It’s not a safe place to be. If you know a birth mother please be kind and if she allows you in, please let her talk, let her cry, let her mourn the loss of her child.
This is a deeply personal story for you, what did you learn about yourself through the writing process?
What did I learn about myself through the writing process? That is such a great question. I asked my three daughters to read my book to get their blessings to publish. Even though the sub-title of my book is A Birth Mother’s Journey to Forgiveness my youngest daughter’s feedback was extremely profound. She said, “Mom, the only person you didn’t forgive is yourself.” I reflected on that and concluded that although writing my story was cathartic, forgiving myself will never be an option. I’m afraid if I forgive, I will forget and I don’t ever want to take this life for granted or for anything more than what it is in this moment…perfect!
Tell me a piece of wisdom you would like to impart with your readers.
Climbing the mountain of life is never easy. There will always be someone at the top of that mountain throwing guilt, shame and judgement down on you to bring you to your knees. When they do, find the lesson because take it from me there always is one, and move on. Don’t beat yourself up, become the better person.