This is the third book that I have finished for the Adoption Reading Challenge that Jenna is hosting at The Chronicles of Munchkinland. Be sure to follow the link through to read other people's book reviews.
Reunion - A Year in Letters Between a Birthmother and the Daughter She Couldn't Keep.
The book is a collection of letters between Katie, a 27 year old lesbian adoptee and Ellen, her birthmother. Each chapter is a letter which mostly alternate between the women, letting the reader see the development of their relationship from both sides. I first read this book just after I had found my own birthmother and we were starting the letter writing stage of our relationship. For me, at that time, it was a great source of comfort, as their story seemed to so closely mirror my own - I was the same age as Katie and I was a lesbian who had to come out to my birth mother. I also could relate to her emotions and fears from finding her birthmother and making that first connection. Unfortunately for me, that is pretty much where the similarities ended. While Katie and Ellen went on to form a close relationship, even friendship, my first letter from my own birthmother, Iris, pretty much said that she wanted nothing to do with me, could I please go away and not interfere with her life.
Reunion is a great book that looks at the good, the bad and the hard parts of adoption reunion. Seeing it unfold for both women at the same time gives great insight into how 2 people can have completely opposite reactions to the same situation. From the adoptee side it really illustrates that even though the adoptee may have grown up thinking that they do not have any “issues” from being adopted, opening the door of reunion can bring a whole lot of unexpected emotions flooding through.
I would strongly recommend this book for all members of the triad, but it is especially powerful for adoptees (and presumably birth parents) about to embark on reunion. Seeing someone go through the honeymoon stage, being hurt by misunderstood wording and coming around the other side to form a lifelong relationship gives hope that it could happen to you.
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