Friday, April 30, 2010

My Reaction

I wake up every morning thinking today is the day my birth mother and I will find each other. Then I think about what my reaction will be when the reunion actually happens. Will I be angry? Will I run into her arms praying that the hole in my heart will automatically be healed? Will we talk non stop about how our lives have been without each other?

What if she's deceased? What will I do then? Will I be angry at all of the people who held the keys to my search and told me too late to get to know my mother? I hate to be consumed with my finding myself but this friends, is what a lot of adoptees go through on a day to day basis. Just thought you'd like to know.

Maybe I'm just a Sleigh ride away from finding myself.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Word Adoption (Adult Content)

When we look at someone we view them simply by what we see. How pretty or handsome they are, how they dress, the expression on their faces, where they live, what they drive and the list goes on and on. How a person looks however, gives no clue as to what or who the person really is. It's when we can sit and hold a conversation with people we really gain insight into what makes them who or what they are.

I'm adopted. You wouldn't know it by looking at me, but sit and talk with me for more than a half hour and I will tell you that I'm adopted and looking for my birth family. I tell everyone I can because I never know when someone may have the information I'm looking for. I remember coming out of surgery years ago, and the nurse responsible for getting me up and making me walk gasped when she saw me. She stated I looked exactly like someone she knew. I was still suffering from the affects of anesthesia but I remember distinctly saying in one breath, I'm adopted.. I was born on (I gave her the date)... I was born in Indianapolis and my name was Infant Sleigh. I prayed she would come back into the room once I gained my good senses so she could tell me who it was I looked like. But of course, it was her long weekend to be off and I would never see her again. This is the way I live my life, praying and hoping someone will recognize me or have the information I need to move forward in finding myself.

But now remember there is a downside to telling people you are adopted. It becomes your title. It labels you and the word doesn't always feel so good. The word adoption can sometimes have the same connotation to a child as bitches and whores to a woman or boy or nigger to an African American man. It's been said that we are what we learn and when you grow up with titles placed on you, you find yourself limited in what you can become. Most adoptees have been able to shake off the title and move forward. Some however stay paralyed and can't focus on anything but finding their biology.

I'm still praying and hoping that I'm just a Sleigh ride away from finding myself.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Disappointed Daily

Okay, you're a small child and it's Christmas Eve. You can hardly sleep in anticipation of what Santa Claus is going to bring. Even if your parents have warned you that things are tight this year and there may not be much under the tree, you just can't imagine that God, Santa Claus, your parents, somebody, anybody will disappoint you. You run for the tree early Christmas morning and much to your chagrin, there are a few clothing items, mainly socks and underwear along with a couple small toys. You were warned but just could not believe that all involved were derelict in their duty to you.

As an adult, my husband and I give each other gifts all year long. We have chosen not to wait for Christmas, we've decided to celebrate God's blessings to us all year long. However, I still have to admit, I'm always a little disappointed to wake up on Christmas morning and there is no surprise awaiting me. In fact, it isn't until we go to sleep Christmas night that it actually dawns on me that I won't be getting anything.

That is the same feeling I have as an adoptee. I awaken every morning thinking today may be the day my birth mother will find me or I will find her.

Maybe I'm just a Sleigh ride away from having my Christmas.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Every Adoption is Different

Just as every birth is different, every adoption is different. You should never attempt to tell me how I feel or should feel about being adopted. You have no idea. Especially since day to day my feelings change. I have had people tell me that I shouldn't look for my biology because I was so loved by my adoptive parents. I know they loved me but like Tina Turner sang "what's love got to do with it?" I love them too and appreciate all they did for me. But those feelings were reserved for them. Those are not the same feelings I have for my birth mother. Loving my adoptive parents cannot measure to the bond I shared for 9 months in utero with my birth mother.

There is no politically correct way to discuss adoption; you have your opinions and I have mine. You can listen to me, you can even give a few pearls of wisdom. I don't mind hearing about how great your adoption was, how great your adoptive parents were, how great you turned out but excuse me if I listen to those discussions with a deaf ear.

You will always find adoptees who just love everything about life and think being adopted was the greatest thing since sliced bread, but you will also hear from those who need to know more, want to know more, deserve to know more. Maybe L. Sleigh will come forth to give me the information I'm seeking.

Just a Sleigh ride away from finding myself.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lost Soldiers

We've been losing our greatest by the handfuls! But the recent deaths of Rev. Benjamin Hooks and Dorothy Height have hit me the hardest. My parents were lifetime members of the NAACP and I can remember them speaking about Rev. Hooks. My father who was diagnosed with cancer after he retired, had to have at least 20 major surgeries to try to get rid of the disease that was robbing him of his life. When we went to the hospital, the doctors and nurses could not wait to tell us about how Daddy was forever trying to recruit them to become members of the NAACP. When they wheeled Daddy into the operating room for each one of his surgeries, he would tell the attendees: doctors, nurses, surgical techs, etc that they couldn't work on him until they signed up to join the NAACP. He thought so much about the organization, he wanted everyone to belong.

My mother and I were both members of the National Council of Negro Women. Mary McLeod Bethune and Dorothy Height were two of my mother's role models. She in turn became the role model for hundreds of young women in and around the state of Indiana.

Both of these soldiers were instrumental in our home. They will be missed. R.I.P. Rev. Hooks and Dorothy Height.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Word "Real"

There is no politically correct way to talk when you are an adoptee or when you talk to an adoptee. Everyday language does not always apply. "Real" is one of those words that seems to pop up quite often. Are those your "real" parents? Are you their "real" daughter? Do you know your "real" mother/father? I even got the question, is that your "real" hair? What's up with that?

I don't like it, but I understand it. However, the fact that people would ask those questions of a little girl who really hadn't grasped the whole adoption idea and obviously would not have had answers, now makes me shudder. Now of course, if they asked me those questions now, I would know how to respond. I once worked with a woman who had adopted a son. She and her husband didn't want the son to know that he was adopted. That would've been okay until the fellow started being asked those questions and at the same time was being told that he looked just like someone who lived close by. Totally unprepared for the the questions or the feelings those questions brought, he had a major breakdown and for years didn't have anything to do with the parents who gave him their last name. By the way, the person everyone said he looked like happened to be his identical twin brother! Imagine that.

What I want adoptive parents to understand is that you have to arm an adoptee with all the tools necessary to protect their feelings. People in the city where you live know you adopted because they never saw you pregnant. But you want the adoptee to act like everything is normal. Teach your adopted child about the words they will hear, especially the word "real"

Was Popeye an Adoptive Father?

I loved the cartoon Popeye! I loved it that once the bumbling Popeye ate his spinach, he could conquer almost any and everything. His relationship with girlfriend Olive Oyl was so sweet and he was so protective of her against his arch rival Bluto. I can remember almost to the day when baby Swee'Pea came onto the scene.

Now, I have the following questions: Did Olive Oyl get pregnant by Bluto and Popeye protected her and her reputation by raising Swee'Pea as his own son? Did Olive Oyl get pregnant by Popeye? Was Swee'Pea actually Olive Oyl's son or was he adopted even by her? I wonder if the creator of Popeye, Elzie Crisler (E.C.) Segar understood the relevence of his message back in 1919.

Once Swee'Pea grew up, I'm sure he had lots of questions about his biology. I can hear it now as Popeye explained to him "You yam what you yam."

So the message today is, simply put, I yam what I yam! Have a great day!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My True Feelings

I write in the hopes that my birth mother and birth father will find me! I want to become a well known author so that my face appears on magazines and on television so someone in my birth family will recognize me. They will contact me and welcome me back into the fold with open arms. My birth mother and I will be the best of friends. We will visit each other often and speak on the telephone two or three times a day. My siblings will invite me to their children's events and celebrations. My birth father will apologize profusely for not knowing about my birth. He would have raised me himself. I would have been his princess. He would have been my king. My children will benefit greatly from this newfound relationship with my birth family.

There I've done it! On the most primitive level possible, I've just revealed my deepest and truest feelings.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Birth Fathers

Usually when an adoptee is searching for their biology, they search for the birth mother. We have to remember there is also a birth father out there somewhere. Hopefully the birth mother will be able to reveal that information once she is found.

I often wonder if this is the reason birth mothers sometimes don't want to be found; they don't want to, can't or won't reveal who the birth father is. Again, there is that element of secrecy. As Troy Dunn says at the beginning of his show The Locator; "you can't find peace until you find all of the pieces."

Just as I think birth mothers should be more active in locating the children they give up for adoption, I also think birth fathers (who are aware of the child) should come forth as well.

Step up birth fathers. Reveal Yourselves.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Does She Remember?

My birthday is coming up soon and I wonder now as I do every year: does my mother remember my birthday? I've watched The Locator with Troy Dunn since its' inception. It never ceases to amaze me the number of mothers looking for children they gave up for adoption and they can't give the actual birth date. What! One of the most important days and perhaps the most traumatic incident in your life and you can't remember what day it was? I don't understand, but some days I don't even understand the whole concept of adoption. How a mother can just give her baby away to strangers. People she knows nothing about. Thank God we now have open adoptions. But even with that, how much can the birth mother really learn about the family she is giving her baby to. The adoptive parents have put on their best game faces in order to get that baby. What's behind the mask?

My adoptive parents used to always say "you were chosen." I guess that was supposed to make me feel better. But as I grew older, the visual it gave me was tantamount to looking for an animal in a pet store window. Not exactly an image I like to think about. And what I learned later during my research about adoption was that when a birth mother tells the authorities she wants to relinquish her baby, that baby is then placed in a separate room away from the other babies in the hospital nursery. Isolated. And that about sums up how adoption can make you feel some days. Isolated. A secret. Something to be hidden. Unseen.

So does my mother remember? Does she remember my birth date? Has she tried to find me? Did she love me enough to give me away hoping for a better life for me? Or was she selfish in her decision? Would I have been a burden to her? Would I have ruined her image? I have so many questions. I wonder if I will find her while she can still answer.

Maybe I'm just a sleigh ride away from finding myself.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Adoption: A Cure or A Curse - Part 2

Adoptive children have lived inside their birth mothers for a period of nine months and have become quite accustomed to the smell, touch and sound of the mother. Once born, they are prepared biologically to be taken care of by the mother who gave them life. Once that has been taken from them, they are put into a world for which they are unprepared. According to Nancy Verrier,

"..the connection established during the nine months in utero is a profound connection, and that the severing of that connection in the original separation of the adopted child from the birth mother causes a primal or narcissistic wound which effects the adoptees' sense of self. It manifests itself in a sense of loss, basic mistrust, anxiety and depression, emotional and/or behavioral problems." (Statistics 13).

Adoptees are placed in homes where they have to make several adjustments. There is so much secrecy involved in the act of adoption, the adoptee has to play the game of "don't talk about it". Everyone who knows the family is aware that the child is adopted, but the child still has to pretend that this is "mommy and daddy". Then the child "acts out" by being promiscuous, rebellious, may perform poorly in school, troubled or disturbed, provoking feelings of misunderstanding and helplessness in the parents. Therefore creating an "unloving" environment in the home, which cannot be corrected because the adoptee cannot articulate their feelings and the parent cannot react appropriately. Adoptees seem to always have to "test" the adoptive parents' love for them.

When we look at secrecy in adoption, the adoptees' original birth certicate is altered to name the adoptive parents instead of the birth parent. Secrecy is so pervasive that adoption records are exempt from the Freedom of Information law, (Landsberg, sec. 3). A fact I found out trying to obtain my own records. While the agencies that assist in the relinquishing of the child, promise the mothers confidentiality, there is no promise or protection for the cild. Not having your own unaltered birth records is an extreme form of denying who the adoptee is.

Adoption has become so socially acceptable, that no one thinks twice about families who adopt children or even about the child who is adopted, no one except the adoptees themselves. And everything that the adoptee is thinking is not positive. Some adopted people think all of their problems are related to being adopted. Others think adoption has not interfered with the ability to live a happy and fulfilling life. Some people feel very positive about their adoption, but they do realize that adoption brings with it certain issues. (Clearinghouse, 4).

When exploring the feelings of adoption, the same feelings are echoed by most adoptees. Every paper written could have the same information; identity and self-esteem problems, feelings of abandonment and an interest in genetic history. My cousin expressed her feelings of being afraid of being abandoned again. She also stated that she felt being adopted prevented her from becoming emotionally attached to people, therefore making it difficult to have friends or intimate relationships. Another adoptee expressed exactly the same feelings when I spoke to her in 1998.

It is easy to ascertain that stress related illnesses in the older adoptee may have been brought on by the simple act of being adopted. The situation is made more stressful when the adoptee decides to try to get information about their birth mother. Gina Stronum, who was interviewed by People Magazine said it best when she said, "It was like everyone who was adopted was turned into a vicious animal out to stalk their birth mothers." (People, 104).

The climate for adoptees may change as the make up of the parents who adopt are now more willing to seek professional help for the adopted child with problems. In an early study of nearly five hundred privately arranged adoptions, nine to fifteen years later, the children were only marginally behind in social adjustment, where the family relationships were good. (Humphrey, 74).

When potential parents first think of the idea of adoption, the usual fear is that they know little or nothing about the childs' background. The parent(s) also do not know the full ramifications of the long term effects of adoption. Unbeknownst to the parent, is that the adoptee has problems based on their hidden background. It is the responsibility of the adoptive parent to obtain as much biological information as possible to share with the adoptee. So much more information needs to be revealed and more research needs to be done to bridge the gap of the unknown for the parent and the child.

Adoption: A Cure or A Curse - Part 1

For years I have wondered who I was. Since I was adopted as an infant, I had no familial background and could not focus on anything but who I was. I needed to know who my birthmother was. I wanted to know facts about myself. I had several medical problems that I felt were inherited and I needed to blame somebody.

Recently, I was home from work early enough to watch an episode of Oprah. Gary Zukav, author of The Seat of the Soul, was the guest. He was describing an "ah ha" moment. That is the moent when something becomes clear to you. I guess it was at that moment I had my "ah ha" moment. It finally dawned on me maybe it was not my birthmother I needed to find, but perhaps it was me that I should begin to look for. Maybe all I needed to look at was the dynamics of adoption to understand more fully what I had gone through for too many of my previous years. I began to wonder if there were more people out there who felt like I did and had the same issues that I had. Certainly, when the bond is broken between the mother and child, some damage has to be done. And certainly some of that damage could have long term effects.

So when you examine the motives of why mothers give their children up for adoption and why parents adopt, it is not surprising that the event of adoption is stressful for the child in the middle. When we look at the medical problems that are exacerbated by stress, then we can look at adoption as being the root cause.

We will look at two adoptees in particular; myself and an adopted cousin (name removed to maintain privacy). I have vitiligo (loss of pigment) and fibromyalgia, which is described by Dr. Shankland as a chronic, painful muscle condition. (Shankland, sec. 1). My cousin suffers from the effects of lupus, an autoimmune disorder. These conditions are known in the medical field as being stress related illnesses. And although, both of us were adopted by a loving family, "being wanted by our adoptive families did not make up for not being wanted by our birth mother(s)." (Verrier, sec. 21).

There are many reasons that a mother may decide to relinquish or surrender her child for adoption; too young to cope with having a baby, conceived out of wedlock, conceived outside of a marriage, rape, health issues of the mother and health issues of the child. All of these reasons are stressful to the mother who must make the decision to give the baby up for adoption. That stress certainly has to be passed on to the baby while still in utero.

Now let us examine the make up of the adoptive parents. According to M.E. Humphrey;

They are usually well educated with middle class standards. The adoptive
parents may have waited rather late to adopt children and the family usually has no more than two children. Couples who have waited a significant amount of time before adopting, have grown dependant upon each other and do not realize until too late that the prospect of being childless because of marital disharmony or sexual inadequacy, the couple may be ill suited for parenthood. Reproductive failure may cause depression and that could be a factor for inadequacies in adopting a child. The couple may have biological children before or after the adoption which may also affect their ability to parent an adopted child. (Humphrey, 73).

We have looked at why people should not adopt, now we need to look at why some people choose adoption. Some parents may have girls and want a boy, but do not want to leave it to chance that they would conceive one. Many parents may think adoption is better than bringing another child into this mixed up crazy world we live in. In some families, a child of a relative is adopted by other family members. Some people want to adopt because of the inability to conceive a child. And there are people that simply want to adopt for all of the right reasons.

With the aforementioned in mind, you now have to look at how the adopted child is the beneficiary. Adoptees make up a large percentage of the residential treatment facilities according to Dr. Claude L. Coleman, M.D., a child psychiatrist in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He advised that it is a well known fact that a large percentage of the patients seen by mental health professionals are adopted. (Coleman). Also, according to the Statistics on the Effects of Adoption, adopted 'children' are disproportionately represented with learning disabilities and organic brain syndrome. Adoptees are more likely to have difficulties with drug and alcohol abuse, as well as, eating disorders, attention deficit disorder, infertility, untimely pregnancies and suicide. Adoptess are also more likely to choose alternate lifestyles. (Ginni, sec. 2).

Copyright©2000 Rosa Ferguson

Friday, April 9, 2010

Those Who Do and Those Who Don't

In my research over the years as an adoptee, the one thing I've noticed is that the adoptee who is privileged enough to have their birth information is usually the one who doesn't want to know anything more about their birth. Those of us who have no information about our biology are the one's who want to know. Why is that? Is it because our curiosity is piqued by the unknown? Would having the information be enough for me or if I got the information would I want to reach out to my birth family? Perhaps that is why the Confidential Intermediary held back just enough information to keep me from trying to find my birth mother on my own.

Several years ago, when I sent letters regularly to Montel Williams, Sally Jesse Raphael, Jenny Jones, Phil Donohue, Oprah and all of the talk show hosts who periodically featured reunions on their show, I was home from work one day and I still swear to this day Montel was speaking directly to me. He said "if you've been writing to us about finding someone from your past and you don't hear back from us, it's not because we haven't looked. If we find who you are looking for and they tell us they don't want contact, we have to stop the search and pretend like it never happened." He apologized and went on to introduce the adoptee and her birth mother who were the guests on his show that day, leaving me in tears because once again, it wasn't me who had been found.

Does my birth mother think about me? Does she miss me? Does she remember what it was like to give birth to me? Does she remember my birthday? Has she ever tried to find me? These are the questions that I would like to ask her. Of course, I would love to have a relationship with her and maybe that's what she's afraid of. But I would settle for answers to the questions above.

I still have to believe I'm only a sleigh ride away from finding myself.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It Has To Be Talked About

This is a hard subject to talk about because you don't want to step on anyone's toes or hurt people's feelings, but why people adopt is a question that must be answered. If you were to ask an adoptive family why they chose adoption the most common answer would be "we couldn't have children and wanted a child to love." Okay, that's a good answer and for the most part it's an honest one. But let's look at the other reasons people choose adoption.

There is the couple who has had trouble getting pregnant. They adopt because they really and truly want a child to love. But what happens when they become pregnant? Some love both children equally. Others... well, they don't. They sometimes treat the biological child better and differently than the adopted child.

Then there is the couple who can't have children of their own. They want a baby by any means necessary. That's commendable and to those parents I take my hat off to.

You have the person(s) who adopt to imitate someone else who has adopted. They see the other person as a martyr and want the accolades that person has enjoyed. Imitation is a form of flattery but perhaps adopting a child to be like someone else goes a bit overboard.

There are couples who want to adopt because their marriage is in trouble and one or both of them think a baby will be the glue to hold the marriage together.

Some potential adoptive parents think their community or society in general will look at them in a new, different and better light. That probably goes back to the martyr issue.

Then you have those who want to adopt to make up for a lack of relationship with their own parent(s). They want to treat their "child" better than they feel they were treated.

And please don't get me started on the parents who pick out a child to adopt simply because of how the child looks. Agencies used to try hard to pick children who matched the potential adoptive family (white children with white parents, light children with light parents, dark children with dark parents). I don't know if they still do that or not. And it certainly wasn't done in my adoption.

There are some parents who pick out a child because they remind them of someone else. Then they dislike the child because they remind them of that same person.

I know I've only touched on a fraction of reasons why people adopt and I haven't started trying to tell you the affects and the effects that these reasons have on the adoptee. Parents, please understand the adoptee feels whatever you put into their adoption. If you love them they love you back it's that simple. But if you had ulterior motives for adopting, the child feels that as well. Think about why you chose adoption and if your motives weren't pure, you can turn that around.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I Love My Parents

It amazes me that when I tell people I am searching for my biology, the number one concern people have is about my love for my adoptive parents. They actually question whether or not I love my parents. Well, let me set the record straight. Yes, I love the people who wanted me enough to adopt me when I was five days old and raised me into the woman I am today. However, that does not preclude me from wanting to pursue the search for the woman who actually gave me life.

I'm excited there are more open adoptions now than ever before. Every child has the right to know about their birth family. People don't understand that the bonding process begins in utero. When a newborn baby is handed over to a "stranger" that bond is broken. It sometimes takes years for a connection to occur between the adoptive parent(s) and the adoptee and on occasion it may never happen. The book that explained this phenomena to me is The Primal Wound written by Nancy Verrier. Mrs. Verrier is a psychotherapist and an adoptive parent.

The primal wound is described as follows "The core premise of the "primal wound" theory is that a child separated from its mother at the beginning of life, when still in the primal relationship to her, experiences what she calls the primal wound. This wound, occurring before the child has begun to separate his own identity from that of the mother, is experienced not only as a loss of the mother, but as a loss of the Self, that core-being of oneself which is the center of goodness and wholeness. The child may be left with a sense that part of oneself has disappeared, a feeling of incompleteness, a lack of wholeness. In addition to the genealogical sense of being cut off from one's roots, this incompleteness is often experienced in a physical sense of bodily incompleteness, a hurt from something missing." (Wikipedia) I often think adoptees suffer from more health issues and emotional issues than people who have been raised with their biological families, quite simply it is a primal wound and should be treated as such.

So when I tell you that I am continuing the search for myself, don't question my love for my parents. Just know that I love me enough to want to know everything about me.

Friday, April 2, 2010

No Image in the Mirror

Can you imagine what it's like to pass a mirror and not see anything but a blur? Okay, well that's the story of my life. When you see your reflection it's easy to see Aunt Bertha's eyes, Grandma Joan's nose, Uncle Bernie's mouth.. you get the point. You see the collective you are a part of; a family. I don't see that. I do see something but without the family parts to put it all together it leaves too many blanks to try to fill in. The only collective I feel like a part of when I see myself is the fictional pseudo-race of cybernetic organisms depicted in the Star Trek series known as the Borg.

Troy Dunn, The Locator says in the opening of his show "you can't have peace until you have all the pieces," Without my biological history I will never have all the pieces. When I was in elementary school, classmates would tell me that I had no mother or father because I was adopted. So it is obvious that someone out there knows who I am and where I came from.

Recently I hired a Confidential Intermediary to find the information about my birth. She did find out that my birth mother's name is/was L. Sleigh. She was 19 years old when she had me. She was from South Carolina but lived in Muncie Indiana while pregnant with me. She even found out that my birth mother stayed at a local church parsonage in the Muncie area. I think that should be enough information to put the pieces together. But I'm still searching. Who knows, maybe I'm only a Sleigh ride away from finding myself.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Different But Similar

I just finished reading The Women Who Raised Me by Victoria Rowell. Ordinarily I wouldn't give my opinions on a book simply because I'm not a book reviewer. However, I have to say something about this work of art. It was amazing and although Victoria's story is different than mine, they are so similar that I could've written this book myself.

I have to admit when I first started reading I struggled with all of the details. Then as I read on, I struggled with all of the details. No, I’m not crazy...I think I’m jealous! First of all Victoria Rowell either has an incredible memory, she’s a heck of a researcher or she has a great research team to have all of the information about not only her life but the lives of those she was surrounded by.

In the beginning I found it hard to read the book because it was chocked so full of background information it got convoluted, but as I continued reading I realized I wish I had the same kind of information she had about my own biology. This book affected me deeply. As an adoptee, I have searched for my birth mother or anything I could find about my past and all I have is L. Sleigh. Yeah, L. Sleigh is my birth mother. She was 19 when she had me and was from South Carolina. I need Victoria’s people to do some research for me. Had I been a “foster” instead of an “adoptee” perhaps I would have had all of the information I needed to establish who I was.

As of now, I’m an “adoptee” That is who I am, what I am. It consumes me. And not that I didn’t love my adoptive parents, but once they both passed on, I felt free; emancipated, I could finally embrace who and what I was. While they were alive, we weren’t supposed to talk about it. Who wants to be a secret all of their life?

There were several parts of Victoria’s story that I could have written. I guess clich├ęs apply to fosters and adoptees. I only wish I had all of those women in my life to nourish and nurture me. This was a great story. My only complaint was that by the time, I began to get a sense of one of the women in her story, she had moved on to the next one and I felt like a stranger to the person I was just reading about.

But after all that is said and done, I realize that Victoria, just like other fosters and adoptees, led a chaotic and constantly changing life. I felt that confusion in the book.

This is a story worth reading.