The celebratory way adoption is portrayed today—on television, in the movies, in magazines, by the growing list of celebrities who adopt—largely ignores that behind every happy adoption is another mother missing her child, and another family mourning the missing
link in their family tree. And there is a child who, no matter how successful and content, or how open the adoption, will one day wonder: Why didn’t she keep me? What was wrong with me?
|Birthday presents, circa 1985|
After my daughter Jane and I reunited in 1981, we built a relationship, and despite everything, we did reach rapprochement as well as had some wonderful times together. I do have good memories. But nothing was ever as if she had not been relinquished, as if I had kept her, as if she did not have another family, as if we had grown together rather than apart for so many years. Nothing could ever erase her sense of abandonment, nor my sense of knowing not keeping her was wrong. No matter what closeness we came to at times, we would always have this break to overcome, and we would never be able to bridge it completely. That was a given once I signed the relinquishment papers.
|Lorraine & Tony cut the cake,1981|
|Home in summer|
When I was a forlorn teenager I wrote a poem about someone who contentedly lived on a hill in a house with a red door. I am lonely now but I have hopes and dreams, it begins. My Lochinvar did come; I have that house now. The location on a hill was ostensibly coincidence when Tony found our home on High Street. Some years later I painted the door red and then was taken aback when my poem came whispering through layers of ancient memory.
I never thought that house with the red door would be mine, or could have imagined the zigzag path that would take me there. --lorraine from Hole In My Heart: memoir and report from the fault lines of adoption
"Birthmark changed my life. Dusky's words gave me the courage to search for the mother who lost me to adoption. Now Lorraine has done it again. I read Hole In My Heart cover to cover in one sitting. It is high drama--and a riveting case for adoption reform. Dusky shines a spotlight on the harmful outcome of closed adoption, and the lasting impact of secrecy upon relationships."
--Jean Strauss, adoptee, author of Birthright, filmmaker, A Simple Piece of Paper
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