One of my goals for this blog is to provide a forum for fellow writers. Today, I'm proud to announce, my first guest blogger, Linda Hoye. Without further ado, here's Linda.
There are approximately six to eight million adoptees in the United States and seven million adoptees in Canada. Despite the fact that 64 percent of Americans and one in five Canadians have a personal experience with adoption in that they themselves, a family member, or a close friend were adopted, the subject remains on of society's most stigmatized poorly understood phenomena.
The secrecy of closed adoption hurts those the process was intended to protect and my goal with Two Hearts: An Adoptee's Journey Through Grief to Gratitude is to help bring awareness to the need for honesty and openness in the adoption experience.
I was given away at birth and joined my adoptive family when I was five months old. My name was changed, records containing information about my birth family were sealed and I was given a new birth certificate with the names of my adoptive parents on it. It was as if I had never existed before I was adopted. I grew up feeling like I had been dropped onto the earth from nowhere. I had no concept of having been born.
My adoptive parents died when I was barely in my twenties and while I eventually connected with some members of my birth family, there was never a reunion with the woman who gave me life and I continued to feel lost, rejected and disconnected from everything and everyone. I struggled to cope with profound grief related to the loss of my family of origin and my adoptive family.
When I was fifty-years old, my granddaughter was born and my world shifted. That little red-headed girl changed everything for me and in order to be the kind of grandma I wanted to be, I knew I had to come to terms with the bitterness I still carried toward my birth mother. By that time, laws had changed in Saskatchewan, Canada, where I was born and I was able to get a copy of my adoption file where I found what I needed to allow me to forgive my birth mother and find the sense of personal rightness that had eluded me.
I hope Two Hearts will offer hope to other adoptees who, for whatever reason, may never be able to be reunited with their birth mothers. Healing from adoption-related grief is possible.
I fervently hope Two Hearts will be a voice to those who make the laws around adoption. People need to understand the wounding and shame many adoptees carry and the importance of allowing them access to the truth about who they are and where they came from.
Alex Haley, bestselling author of Roots: The Saga of An American Family summed it up: "In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage--to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hallow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness and the most disquieting loneliness."
Linda Hoye is a writer, editor, adoptee and somewhat fanatical grandma. Her memoir Two Hearts: An Adoptee's Journey Through Grief to Gratitude will offer hope and inspiration to anyone whose life has been touched by adoption. She currently lives in the state of
Washington with her husband and their
two Yorkshire terriers, but Saskatchewan, Canada will
always be her heart’s home. Connect with Linda on her blog, A Slice of Life Writing.