I am Kate Vaughn, sort of.
I am a mother who surrendered her first born child to a closed adoption in 1986. Unlike Kate Vaughn, the protagonist, in the book titled And Then I Found You, I did not do so willingly and unlike Kate Vaughn I did not have family support and keep raise my child. However, much like Kate Vaughn, I was deeply traumatized by the loss of my child to adoption. All future relationships were negatively affected by that experience and I am still in therapy attempting to work through it 27 years later. I did find my child and I remained in love with her father for more than half my life. Unlike Kate, I did not get to marry him and have a happy ending (well, I did but not with him).
I offer that context to explain why I feel Patti Callahan Henry did it a very good job showing effects of adoption surrender on a mother – regardless her reasons for placing. It is clear the author is related to the person she based the book on for only through direct experience, in depth knowledge, could an author capture the feelings so well.
I don’t want to spoil it but I do want to say I recommend it for my readers here. There is not much about Emily (the daughter) in the book, there is even less about the adoption process, agency or adoptive parents (though the adoptive mother Elena is a tad bit infuriating at points). The story is all about Kate, her feelings, her loss, her managing following that loss, her inability to connect and maintain relationships. All very familiar concepts for me.
If you have read or do intend to read, come back here and tell me your thoughts! (Very interesting to also compare the prospective adoptive mother in the earlier book I read to the expectant mother in this one.)