Monthly Archives: May 2015

Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age

Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age, edited by Laura Dennis, is an a eclectic collection of reflections and insights by adopted adults and others affected by adoption.  Practices in adoption are changing, (hopefully), and so are the ways in which adopted folks contact and communicate with potential family members and others serving as leads and search angels for pursuing their original identities.  

Regardless of which era an adoptee comes from, many issues and feelings are universal, and this book adresses these issues effectively:  the need to know, the sense that there’s something more to our assigned “story” and a pervasive desire to learn about the truth of how we came to be in this world.  Most adoptees wish to contact their birth family members, and, similar to that sensation you experience when nearing the front of the line of the hugest roller coaster you’ll ever ride, there’s both dread of rejection but also the anticipation of possibilities and enlightenment.

Not every adopted person/ family member has a sunny, perfect outcome once they acquire their documents or make their first contacts with long-lost relatives, but what remains the same is that in each essay presented in this collection, there’s an element of hope, energy and no regrets for pursuing this unique journey of self-discovery.  

The easy access of technology and social media makes everything we pursue happen faster than ever before.  This is true also with discovering new and sometimes delicate relationships with long lost family members.  It can come upon you very fast, thanks to Google and sites like Facebook. Names, faces, blogs and ancestry records abound like never before, and this can be very overwhelming for all involved.  There’s little time to savor and digest the new information which can change lives and heighten awareness.

Advice in this anthology about how to cope and negotiate for the best reunion outcome is worthy and valuable, whether or not you are tech-minded or from an earlier era. Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age is ideal for anyone interested in exploring adoption themes and concerns and presents sound advice with a focus that’s both realistic and positive.



Adoptee Book Review: A Legitimate Life: A Forbidden Journey of Self-Discovery

Melinda Warshaw’s adoption memoir book, A Legitimate Life: A Forbidden Journey of Self-Discovery, is a sweeping tale of her first memories in the Dayton, Ohio area to coming of age in California, to college in Arizona, to California again and back eastward eventually to New York state. She addresses the themes of genetic memory and mirroring plus surviving abuse and family dysfunction as she takes the reader along on her adventures and thoughts which culminate in finally finding her birth family, true heritage and peace within herself.

Warshaw is multi-talented in both music and art (painting), and discovers through her artistic expressions and general hunches, hints about the biological family from which she came during the era of sealed birth records, falsified info and closeted birth parents who lived in shame and scorn for what happened in their pasts. She discovers just how accurate her intuition is about her biological ancestry, thus legitimizing and validating her life’s journey, spanning through the 1950s to the 2000s.  

This is an interesting story for readers who enjoy and identify with college life and the youth movement in the 1960s and 70s and or those who appreciate a more “mystical” perspective about the curious synchronicities in life.  Warshaw shares the pain and angst of growing up feeling different, unaccepted and even abused emotionally and beyond by most of her adoptive family. She struggles to find ways to combat these issues through study and forming new relationships, but negative interpersonal patterns are not easily broken.

Also, the author is deeply driven to provide a sense of true history and self for her two sons, and with their support she finds completeness, comprehension and closure as her once-locked past is slowly revealed.