Sunday, May 07, 2006

Books of Interest

The following list is an ongoing one that will be updated with new books as I read them. As a MSW student and adoptee who has been reunited since 1992 I am looking to read books that focus on the post reunion experience and the stages of integration and development of self and identity. I am particularly interested in books and articles that speak to adults in their 30s and beyond. Much of the literature out there doesn't address these years deeply. As adults in our society tend to live much longer lives, I am interested in the quality of the lives of adoptees and the tools and supports they need as they move through the adult years of development and their sense of self or identity.

Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self
by David M. Brodzinsky, Ph.D.

Publishers Weekly commented that "This illuminating book should help and comfort adoptees, adoptive parents, and others who search for their identity."

The back cover description reads:
Being Adopted uses the voice of adoptees themselves to trace how adoption is experienced over a lifetime, and their reflections are moving, keenly self-aware, and very personal. Replete with vital and astute analysis by the authors. This book offers a place to turn for thousands of adoptees who, at one time or another, have questioned the validity of their feelings but have had no one to compare their experiences with.

Adoption and Recovery: Solving the mystery of reunion
(A companion volume to Adoption and Loss: The Hidden Grief)
by Evelyn Burns Robinson

A reviewer of the book states: "With this powerful and insightful book, Evelyn Robinson has created a completely new paradigm within which to understand adoption reunion."

Quoted on the Dedication Page of the book:
A Tear and a Smile
I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart for the joys of
the multitude. And I would not have the tears that sadness
makes flow from my every part, turn into laughter.
I would that my life remain a tear and a smile.
A tear to unite me with those of broken heart;
a smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.
kahlil Gibran
Evelyn and her son Stephen write this book together. Evelyn is a birth mother and Stephen is the son that she found after relinquishment. They are both from Australia.
From the back cover:
"Experiencing an adoption separation brings its own challenges, lessons and opportunities for growth and development. This original and dynamic book will help many people to meet the challenges that adoption and separation bring, to learn more lessons, and to take advantage of those opportunities.

Synchronicity & Reunion
The Genetic Connection of Adoptees and Birth Parents
A facinating exploration of surprising coincidences in the union/loss/reunion stories of families separated by adoption.
by LaVonne Harper Stiffler

"We must be grateful to LaVonne Harper Stiffler for illuminating the mysteries of the connections that bind us to each other - and connect us to the cosmic mystery. A masterful work."
-Betty Jean Lifton
(Author of Twice Born and Lost and Found as well as Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness)

"This i s not only a terrific job scientifically, it is also highly practical, useful, and a spine-tingling read!"
-Berthold E. Schwarz, M.S. Author of Psychic-Nexus

From the back cover:
"Carl Jung knew "synchronicity" to be a subjective experience with significant timeng and meaning for the participant, a clue to an underlying system of science and spirituality. Paul Kammerer used simply physical analogies for such coincidences and defined the "law of seriality" as a unifying principle at work in the universe, correlating by affinity. He believed this pull toward unity produces concurrent or serial events in space and time, bringing like and like together.

After search and reunion, adoptees and birthparents begin to piece together the long years of separation and to seek their own explanations for uncanny coincidental behavior and meaningful information transfer that occurred when normal sensory contact was absent. This psychophilosophical exploration of the anecdotes of 70 reunited families will certainly stimulate subsequent investigation. LaVonne is a reunited birth mother.

Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness
-Betty Jean Lifton

Publishers Weekly:
Lifton has written before on this highly charged subject ( Lost and Found and Twice Born: Memoirs of an Adopted Daughter ), but this is a more profound investigation of the trauma she sees as occurring when a child is separated from his or her birth mother and is brought up by people not of his or her blood. Lifton is for "open" adoption--meaning, to her, not only that the adoptee should have a chance to find out about his or her birth mother, but preferably that both sets of parents should get to know each other. She discourses at length, with reference to myth, legend, folklore, science, psychiatry, as well as to many personal experiences, about the crippling effect of the loss of the birth mother on the adoptee's sense of self; she even cites evidence showing that adoptive sons are more likely than natural ones to murder their parents.
-Quoted from book review of this book.

From the book's back cover:
"A brilliant contribution to the work of healing in adoption. I highly recommend this to all members of the adoption triad and to professionals."
-Sharon Kapland Roszia
Co-author of The Open Adoption Experience

Chapter One begins with...

Betwixt & Between
"Then I shan't be exactly human then?" Peter asked.
"What shall I be?"
"You will be betwixt-and-between," Solomon said, and certainly he was a wise old fellow, for this is exactly as it turned out.
-James Barrie
(from Peter Pan in the Kensington Gardens)

Betty Jean Lifton is an adoptee.

Coming Home to Self: The Adopted Child Grows Up

-by Nancy Newton Verrier (Author of Primal Wound)

On the back cover:

Who should read this book?

All members of the adoption triad, anyone related to them, all professionals working with triad members, anyone who feels her or she is living an unauthentic life.

What you will learn:

The role of trauma in our lives, how trauma affects our neurological system, how the fearful child may be ruling our lives, how the meaning we give to events controls our beliefs, how beliefs control our feelings and behaviors, how to uncover the authentic self, how to gain power and by becoming accountable, how to improve our relationships and reunions.

Carol Shaefer, author of The Other Mother: A Woman's Love for the Child She Gave Up for Adoption writes:

"With enormous compassion and caring and exceptional knowledge and insight, Verrier reveals not only how to finally heal but also how to actually be better for the journey."

Nancy Verrier is an adoptive mother.


Blogger Askinstoo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:37 PM  
Blogger suz said...

wow. this post hit me in the heart. i know most of the books, have not read them all, scrolling down i see that painting. my father did a paint by numbers of that and it hung in my childhood home my entire life.

5:05 PM  
Blogger said...

Nancy Verrier is an adoptive mother so I believe.

1:44 PM  

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