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.

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