Where our stories of losing our children to adoption have much in common, when it comes to reunion and creating relationships after reunion all bets are off. The complexity of buried emotions, present life circumstances and relationships, and expectations of the individuals involved make each reunion unique. In reunion, the support and understanding of our loved ones is invaluable, but little attention has been paid to how they are being impacted and how they impact us. For years, I've been wanting to write a followup to The Other Mother, but never knew where to begin in trying to help others overcome the hurdles to creating enriching relationships, given each story is so different. Finally, twenty-eight years after our reunion, I feel I have something to offer.
Ever since beginning the search in 1984 for my son and realizing the scope of all our issues, I have actively sought to help others by facilitating support groups and speaking at conferences nationwide and in Canada, and have been an advocate for adoption reform. With The Other Mother's publication in 1991 and the movie in 1995 I have been priviledged to listen to countless stories. Meanwhile, Jack and I and our loved ones were experiencing all the problems that I was hearing about from others, and I was actually grateful, knowing I could be of little help without the compassionate understanding that comes from shared experiences. So, in Searching ..., I've told our story and the struggles of all those who love us, but I've also included some of the most powerful stories I've heard over the years. Woven throughout is the remarkable creative journey that meeting my son set in motion: from the decision to write The Other Mother, despite my fears, to its publication and media attention and the incredible experience of the film that resulted. So many of us feel compelled to write a book about our story, and I hope my experience will be of help to others with the same desire.
In many ways, what we are being asked to do, as we reconnect with the family lost to us, is to embark onto unchartered waters. Still, when our greatest wounds are allowed to emerge from the darkness, they transform us in ways we never could have imagined. Then we learn that what has been lost can only come back to us in higher ways - maybe not in the relationship we had wished for, but the opportunity is there for a deeper relationship with ourselves than we could have ever believed possible.
My hope is that Searching ... will inspire you on your sacred journey.