A year and a half ago author Linda Hoye wrote a guest post for this blog with the release of her memoir TWO HEARTS--AN ADOPTEE'S JOURNEY THROUGH GRIEF TO GRATITUDE. Sadly it's taken me this long to finally read her book.
When I was a kid, I always thought adopted kids were kind of a revered enigma, special and cool. Interestingly, Linda feels weird, tainted in some way. Her parents are part of the hardworking, middle class but spend their evenings and weekends a little too attached to the bottle. Like so many kids of this generation, Linda's physical needs are met but emotional nurturing is tragically absent.
Typical for someone who has unmet emotional needs, as a young adult, Linda gravitates to what is familiar. She marries an alcoholic. And it exacerbates. When Ken is sober, he's a decent guy, but when he's drunk, he's abusive.
Underlying all of Linda's issues is her belief that she's not good enough. She is sure that her birth mother didn't want her. I find it interesting how universal this assumption is. Kids who are neglected emotionally will think badly of themselves. They believe they are faulty in some way. They never blame the negligent on the selfish adults. They blame themselves. This is so sad.
As time passes, Linda gains access to her adoption records. Upon reading, "[Birth] Mother is quite disturbed in separation from child" written by a caseworker, she realizes that she indeed was a wanted child.
The "two hearts" are a very special part of Linda's story that I don't want to give away.
TWO HEARTS, although heartbreaking at times, is ultimately a story of triumph, of overcoming obstacles and healing past hurts. It will offer comfort and insight to those who've been adopted but there are universal truths that will mean something to the rest of us as well.