The long and seemingly never ending winter, has allowed me the time to write a third book. So, that’s one positive of cold and snow!
This book is entitled, “Letting Go”. It’s a novel, but (very) loosely based on my own adoption story.
I born to a teenage girl and twenty year old young man. I was adopted as an infant, way back in 1963. Over the years, I’ve searched off and on for my birth parents. My adoptive parents, who were absolutely my real parents in every way but biologically, gave me their blessing to search.
In the years since they’ve been gone, my curiosity regarding my birth parents has increased and decreased as time has passed.
About eight or so years ago, I started seriously looking for my birth mother. I had some basic information provided to me by the adoption agency, that gave me just enough to pull some threads.
All adoption records in the state of Michigan are permanently sealed. But there are other ways to find information if you keep looking. I ended up with a large binder, full of contacts, leads, a couple grainy year book photos, my birth mother’s actual name, and I managed to find four first cousins!
However, my birth mother seemed to have disappeared in 1969, after the death of her father. The first cousin I spoke to had vague memories of his Aunt Judy and even contacted a family friend who would have known her. The only information that person was able to provide was that she recalled Judy giving up a baby for adoption.
In my dogged research, I made many phone calls, sent letters, spent money and logged tons of notes, but I never have found my birth parents. I believe God reveals to us just enough of what we actually need.
One of the very best things that came from my research, was meeting a woman who went to the same high school Judy did. She didn’t know her, but she helped me tremendously in my search. She also has become a very dear friend that has stayed in my life ever since. Her name is Carol and I’m proud to call her my friend.
I spoke to countless people from former students of the same high school, to record clerks, funeral homes, cemetery staffs and the cousins that I located and each one has been a blessing to me.
Adoption is a many sided coin, with countless facets of decisions, choices, consequences, truths, lies and memories. Every story is different, with infinite roads that stem from that adoption.
I don’t know my birth mother’s story. The book I wrote is what I hoped it was like for her. I do know that her name was Judy and I know her last name. She turned 18 just 2 days before I was born. She herself was motherless. She had a distant father and a much older sister with her own family.
I only know that my birth father was 20, with brown hair and eyes. He offered to marry her, which is comforting to know. He was willing to try. She turned him down, for all the right reasons.
Whatever ‘wrong’ choices Judy made, she knew they were too young, too uneducated and too poor, to take on having a child to raise. She made the right decision and I’m so thankful that she did.
I know she named me Shelly, which tells me that she did love me and didn’t throw me away like trash. This is also comforting to know.
God gave me wonderful parents. I miss and love them every single day.
So to any birth mothers out there and fathers too, that made the most unselfish decision ever, to let their baby have a better life, I thank you. Your bravery and love is unlimitless.
‘Letting Go’, ‘Emery’s Promise’, and ‘The Dandelion Picker’, can all be found on Amazon and locally at ACE Hardware in Winamac and the Montgomery Mercantile in Francesville.