“The need for origins is more basic to a person than sex drive.” This arresting statement is from Carol Bowyer Shipley’s book, Love, Loss and Longing: Stories of Adoption
. She should know. She is the mother of an adopted child, a social worker specializing in working with adoptive parents, adoptees and birth parents, and was, herself, an adopted baby. Love, Loss and Longing
shines a light on a subject that is not often discussed and was once taboo. The laws, all striving for “the best interests of the child,” have changed dramatically even in the past few years. I read Shipley's book in two days flat. It is a scholarly report, a personal memoir and a hands-on book for anyone touched by adoption all rolled into one.
I next read an adoption memoir by Margaret Singleton with the intriguing title, The Box in the Closet: My Journey to Claim Who I Am
. The box in the closet described in the book contained information about the author’s birth family. As her adopted mother was dying, she directed Singleton to look for the box if she wanted to know about her birth mother.
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