Then I Found You [Book]

So I read the prospective adoptive mom diary (essentially what it was) titled Mothers: A Novel mentioned here in this post.

I don’t have much to say about it. It wasn’t awful. In fact, it was probably brutally honest, only another adoptive mother would know for sure. I found the main character annoying and whiny. I resented the fact the entire book referred to expectant mothers as birth mothers. You aren’t a birth mother until AFTER you have surrendered and even then you are only so if you view yourself that way.

I had visceral reactions to the agency professionals portrayed in the book. (And really, Smith Chasen? Why not just spell out Spence Chapin). The books perpetuates the crackwhore scammer birth mother myth. For a few pages it  made me want to revisit my essay proposal based on my Scam I Am  post to show that the same sorts of things happen to other members of the adoption plane.

A twitter friend asked me if the book ended with the PAP’s “winning” (interesting choice of words). Presumably, yes, they did but that is not covered. It appears to end when they are matched.

I have not listened to the NPR interview of the author/adoptive parent. I am not sure I will.

I do recommend this book for expectant mothers considering surrendering their child to open or closed adoption. It gives a VERY interesting and disturbing look into what happens to PAPs and what agencies do and say.

I am now reading another book that is hitting much closer to home – Then I Found You.

Gulp. I am probably only twenty percent into it and I have twice had to put it down due to being choked up with tears. Too many parallels between me and my life and the protagonist, Kate.

Has anyone read this latest book?  Would love to know your thoughts if you have.

Where We Belong [Book]

Have you read this book? 

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin

From ew.com “The book follows Marian Caldwell, a successful TV producer, who gets a shock when (minor spoiler alert!) Kirby, the daughter she gave up for adoption 18 years ago, arrives at her door. Giffin uses alternate point of views to tell the heartfelt story of Marian and Kirby, and how they both cope with their newfound relationship.”

I read it yesterday, cover to cover (well, sort of since I read it on my iPad). I highlighted a number of passages. 

In short I liked it and thought it was well done in terms of the accurate portrayal of the emotional dynamics of  search and reunion (at least as I have experienced, noting that I cannot comment on the adoptee narrative in the book but I could relate to the mother, particularly in one majorly whopping way).

I have some thoughts but would love to discuss interactively in comments if anyone here has read it. 

If you read, what did you think about Kirby?

What were your thoughts on Marian and her reaction to being found? What did you think about Marian in general? About her “choices”?

How strong was Marian’s mothers influence in relation to the adoption? Did Marian’s socio economic status contribute to the adoption?

How about Conrad?

Did the title of the book make sense to you? How did you interpret it?

If no one has read it, I will ramble on in a separate post about the passages I highlighted and why.

 

Progress

She did it. I don’t know if it was intentional, or if she was advised, or if it was a slip of the tongue but she did it — and it startled me.

Sitting on my mothers back deck today, discussing my upcoming surgery, recovery and possible challenges, I say:

“To add to it, I am allergic to opiates.  I had a terrible reaction to morphine following my c-section with my oldest son and just a few months ago I had the same reaction to hydrocodone.  Post op pain management may be a little challenging.”

Moms friend, Tara, sitting next to me makes one of those sounds that signals understanding.  Mom looks at me across the table. I continue.

“Surgeon says there are other meds, like diluadid, that they can give me. I hope they remember to do so” I say as I reach for my glass of seltzer.

“You had a reaction to demerol when you had [daughters amended name] as well, right?”

I am literally flabbergasted and it takes me a moment or two to respond.  My mother remembers that 26 years ago, as I experience labor with only my caseworker by my side, the hospital gave me pain meds.  Pain meds that the caseworker told me I was “lucky” to get. She told me other girls with other agencies did not get pain meds.  My mothers use of my daughters amended name  coupled with the memory of hallucinating with my caseworker by my side throws me.

“Yes, I did. Only in that case I hallucinated. In retrospect that seems odd, they gave that to me while I was in labor. Is it standard to give Demerol to mothers in labor? I was never given anything when I had the boys…at least not until the c-sections.”  I share.

The conversation continues. While I am there, I am not really aware of the conversation. My breathing is still a bit off due to mom using daughters amended name. I wonder why. Did my sister say something to her? Was it a slip? Was she even aware she did that? Is it something new since I shared my daughters contact details with her? Did that make the amended name more real to her?

After a few more minutes of thought, I decide I don’t care why. I am just glad she did.

Photo: Mommy and me taken earlier today