Out of the Shadows: Stories of Adoption and Reunion

Out of the Shadows: Stories of Adoption and Reunion by Linda Back McKayWhat happened to young women in the 1960s when they had to say goodbye forever to their own babies? How did they deal with the grief and loss? How did they go on with their lives?

Then, when mother and child eventually reunited, what emotions, reactions and realities did they have to deal with? How strong is that initial birth bond? How do families handle the roller coaster relationships of reunions?

Out of the Shadows: Stories of Adoption and Reunion includes original stories, updates, insights and viewpoints from all sides of the adoption triad, advice for reuniting families and discussion points for book clubs.

This book should be read by everyone who has adopted a child, as our family has. To say that love conquers all is not enough when the day-to-day work of building a family tests love as well as courage and what we thought we knew of our own capacity of patience. If it sounds impossible, it isn’t. Linda Back McKay shows us the human capacity to love is our best gift.

– Laura Waterman Wittstock, retired nonprofit executive, author, parent and grandparent

These young women who were set aside, sewn up tight, told to swallow their feelings and keep their secrets. Their stories need to be told, for the women’s sake and that of their children and other loved ones, and I thank Linda Back McKay for making that happen. You and I also need to hear their stories and see through these women’s eyes, regardless of whether adoption is part of our own life story.

-Marti Erickson Ph.D., Director Emerita, Harris Training Programs, University of Minnesota

As an adoptive parent, I know what sorrow follows when children are separated from their original mother: Did she love me? Then why did she give me away? The intimate, heartfelt life stories of American birthmothers collected in this volume will help adoptees discover more truthful, satisfying answers than the ones they may have been given, not least because they expose the shaming judgments and unjust practices that governed the mothers’ decisions. We as a society will become more enlightened about these matters only as more “Shadow Mothers” speak their truth.

– Cheri Register, author of Beyond Good Intentions: A Mother Reflects on Raising Internationally Adopted Children and “Are Those Kids Yours?” American Families with Children Adopted from Other Countries

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