' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: HOLE IN MY HEART: Let's change the world

Thursday, June 4, 2015

HOLE IN MY HEART: Let's change the world

Jane and Lorraine, summer 1982
Hole In My Heart: memoir and report from the fault lines of adoption is for sale at Amazon.

I can hardly believe it--I mean I can, that is a figure of speech. But after so many years of writing and rewriting, of acceptance by a small adoption publishing house and then a contract I wouldn't sign, after almost a Lifetime TV movie (a script writer was already blocking out scenes), after agents calling to say they loved the writing, after hearing from editors at the usual publishing houses that "there wasn't a big enough audience for this story--but good luck with placing it elsewhere"--it does feel amazing to finally have Hole In My Heart in print and out there for the world to read.

I'm a little scared of course--what if? It just goes quietly into that good night and that's it?

Someone asked me about a week ago about what I hoped to accomplish with this book and I immediately answered before thinking: I want to change the way people think about adoption.

That's it.

You're not supposed to tell the ending of the story, but regular readers here know how my story basically turns out, and here is an excerpt from the last chapter that sums up what I feel about adoption and why I had to write Hole In My Heart: 
"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? 
"Life is messy and children often end up paying the price, and there will always be adoptions. Undoubtedly a need exists for families to raise the children of addicts and felons, yet in America the adoption of infants by the middle and upper class is largely a cultural phenomenon, not a necessity. The industry recruits, vulnerable teens and poor mothers provide, and babies end up being transferred in what is ultimately a cash transaction, even though the money does not go to the mother. The lawyers, the agencies, the social workers employed by the agencies, all must be paid. If the mothers could provide, almost all would keep their children—as they do in some parts of the world. Far too many adoptions in America are based largely on class and money, and are the unnecessary product of a billion-dollar industry selling adoption as: a good thing. Adoption is many things, but an unencumbered Good Thing it is not. 
"After Jane [my daughter] and I reunited, 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." 
How I got to this end, is of course the guts of the book. As the Amazon link above indicates, it's both a memoir and report from the fault lines of adoption. I am internally too much the journalist to make this book simply a memoir; I include five sections, as well as weave research material into the story line, from many many sources--that's why there are over a hundred footnotes, and that is why it's not available as a Kindle yet. We are having trouble figuring out how to make the footnotes work for the reader without a lot of trouble going back to the main body of the book. In truth, most readers will find the paperback easier to read. Some of the footnotes are further explanations that I wanted to include, rather than sources. 

What is my deepest wish? I hope many of you will read and tell others about it. "Word of mouth" is truly how most books make an impact. Reviews at Amazon or anywhere are MOST WELCOME. I'm going to be doing everything I can to get the word out--if I seem pushy to some, please understand right now I am a one-woman band. If you want to change the world, you have to start someplace. This is my someplace.--lorraine 
For some reason, Amazon is being funky, and I'm not able to include the cover here as we do for other books, so it's a sidebar. Oh yeah--I hope you like it. Of course I do. Now to work: Prepare to send out copies to the people who generously contributed to the Kickstarter (I don't have an actual copy of the book myself yet--only saw a proof I made corrections in!); contact local media; write a press release, etc. 

Previous posts from FMF
Why I wrote Hole in my Heart
What not to say to a natural mother
Getting to Know You: Good Times with first mother leads to guilt about (adoptive) Mom
A first mother brings her daughter 'home' to meet 'Grandma'


  1. good on ya, Lorraine !! I know you put your heart into this project, I will read it with mine :) thanks for all you do :) <3 !

    1. Thank you and you're welcome!

      Now, I admit, I am bone tired.

      I spent the day writing a press release and trying to drum up local coverage. I'm giving a talk in Sag Harbor on the 20th. I know the place will be packed because my friends are coming!

  2. I just ordered my copy of your book from Amazon and couldn't do it fast enough. What a great price and bargain as well !! I can't wait to begin reading it. Your forum has helped so much in my healing process. Thank you (and Jane as well) for all you do !

    1. CodaSylenz (yes i get your name, very clever...

      Thank so much! I hope if you like the book you will leave a review. So far it's pretty lonely, of course, but I did add the comments that are on the back of the book.

  3. Ordered!

    And I basically told the nutshell of your post to my youngest son on the way back from dinner the other night. At twenty-two, adoption, marriage, childbearing, etc., are far from his mind.

    But the way his eyes widened when I referred to the present-day adoption system as "tarted-up human trafficking," and the incredulous way he said, "REALLY?!? I never thought of that before"--well, I don't think he'll forget in a hurry. I hope not.

    Best of luck with the new new book, Lo!

    1. Thanks, Mrs.TBb!

      Good thing to mention to your son. Maybe he won't be in line for a child one day.

  4. Best wishes to you for success with your book, Lorrraine. For myself, I was never able to know what a relationship with my birth mother is because,at the end of my search I found a grave. If ever anybody needed to find a living birth mother it was me, after all I went through in the adoptive home. However, I know from my relationship with my own adopted-out daughter what you are saying is so true. It is never natural, never the way it should be. If people could just understand what a tragedy this all is, so unlike the myth uninvolved people believe. I hope and believe that your book will opens some eyes, and change the world..

    1. Barbara, I'm sorry you had trouble with a capital T. I hope I wrote well enough to make people understand. Adoption for mothers is a tragedy--capital T also.
      Thank you for your well wishes. I'm just exhausted and beat up today.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, Lori! It is always nice to hear encouragement.

  6. Congratulations, Lorraine! I know the hard work of writing your truth and the thrill/anguish of putting it out there for the whole world to read. Kudos for including information on the trauma of adoption. I look forward to reading it and recommending it to others.

    1. Thanks, Denise...! You know how much work it is.

  7. I'm anxiously waiting for the arrival of your new book. I ordered it as soon as I heard it was out. Thank you for all that you've done to support us and share you're experiences. I've gained so much from this site and your first book.

  8. Cool - I've been waiting for this! Good luck with your book Lorraine - and I thank you and Jane for this site!! I have learned so much... I'm ordering my book as soon as I post this.

  9. Congratulations on your new book Can't wait to read it You're such a good writer Is it in Barnes and Noble too I've never ordered anything from Amazon-am not too computer savvy By the way,where in Sag Harbor are you speaking-or is it not open to the public(I live on Long Island) I am a reunited firstmother,too

    1. Oh dear...I hope you can figure it out--just click on the box in the upper right corner where it shows the book and you can order it there. It is not likely to be in Barnes & Noble, and so you will need to order HOLE IN MY HEART through Amazon. It's easy.
      And I hope it fulfills your expectations.

  10. Congrats to you Lorraine. I look forward to reading it.

  11. Amazon assures me my book has been delivered - yet there is no package notice in my post office box. Hoping tomorrow is the day and that the post office was just slow in distributing on Friday. Ah small town life...lol...

    Hope you had a great birthday yesterday!

    As always, I remain a fan. :o)

    1. Thank you both, Jackie D and Second Mom...I live in a small village too and get my mail at the post office. Media mail has a tracking on it, and I am sure that Amazon uses that.
      Let's hope you should have it tomorrow. I was having a slow...time getting mine.

      I had a wonderful but very busy day yesterday, capped with dinner at a fab new restaurant with friends....

  12. Lorraine, I know you have put so much heart and mind and soul into this book, and I want to thank you so much for doing so.

    Speaking up about the experience of losing a child to adoption makes a person extremely emotionally vulnerable. Unfortunately it also seems to prompt those with hard and ugly hearts to make a lot of judgmental, inhumane noise. Whenever you are faced with such people, I am by your side.

    I simply cannot imagine the depths of emotion and energy it has taken you to write this book. Actually I can imagine it and it is breathtaking.

  13. Hi Lorraine, No worries. My e-mail is ..mmm, being difficult, so I must go this route to reply. I have bought your book and have read through once and hope to do so again soon. So much there. I don't have it in front of me to reference specifics, but there were some very poignant (only a mother of loss could feel the depth of) things you wrote that spoke a lifetime of meaning. As a mother who lost her only child and found that her child had surrendered their firstborn too... oh Why can't the rest of the human race understand what this practice is doing to .... the world? I feel for the parents in China who have been forced to ""decide"", I feel for all the parents in the world who are put in this most soul crushing place... and for those who have experienced having their dream children taken from them by infertility (often the reason to adopt) I do not understand why they cannot fathom the loss to the mother of their adopted child... or to the adoptee. .. I just can't. Why is this pain so easily dismissed or allowed, encouraged, promoted by others when very often they have endured an agonizingly similar pain? Today is a very hard day. I'm just tired of all the ''prettying up of separation of mother and child''. just tired.



COMMENTS ARE MODERATED. Our blog, our decision whether to publish.

We cannot edit or change the comment in any way. Entire comment published is in full as written. If you wish to change a comment afterward, you must rewrite the entire comment.

We DO NOT post comments that consist of nothing more than a link and the admonition to go there.