|Betty Jean Lifton|
Like other members of the adoption community, I was saddened to learn that Betty Jean Lifton passed away November 19. I never met her although I heard her speak at American Adoption Congress conferences. She did, however, have a profound affect on my life.
Thirteen years ago, my surrendered daughter Rebecca and I connected. I exploded with emotions, curiosity, dread, joy; more emotions than I have words for.
I had discussed my loss with no one in the 31 years since I signed the papers and walked out of the social worker’s office into the rain on a December day in San Francisco. I knew little about adoption except that it was my own private hell. Living in Salem, Oregon I was largely unaware of the adoptee rights movement.
Shortly after our first conversation, Rebecca emailed me the name of a birthmother in Vermont she had met on the Internet, Judy Sullivan. Judy sent me a list of books recommended by the American Adoption Congress, an organization I had never heard of.
Among the books on the list were those by B. J. Lifton.
I was drawn to Twice Born, Lifton's book about search and reunion, because I hoped it would help me understand why Rebecca searched for me. It did that and much more. When I finished it, I immediately read Lifton's other adoption books, Lost & Found and Journey of the Adopted Self. I knew these books were true. They validated feelings which I had never dared talk about; more, they served as a beacon leading me through the adoption labyrinth.
I sent copies to Rebecca. “You must read these!” I wrote. She did.
I have re-read Lifton’s books many times. I recommend them to all triad members and I have given away many copies, replenishing my supply from Powell’s bookstore and Amazon.
Thank you Betty Jean!