Julie's Genealogy & History Hub

Julie's Genealogy & History Hub -

Book Review – The Other Mother: A Woman’s Love for the Child She Gave Up for Adoption

Title:  The Other Mother: A Woman’s Love for the Child She Gave Up for Adoption

Author:  Carol Schaefer

Format:  Paperback, Kindle

Published: 1991; reprint, 2013

Synopsis:  (from Amazon) In 1965, Carol Schaefer was 19, a freshman in college and deeply in love. She was also pregnant. When her boyfriend’s family opposed their marrying, her parents sequestered her in a Catholic home for unwed mothers a state away, where she was isolated and where secrecy prevailed. She had only to give up her baby for her sin to be forgiven and then all would soon be forgotten she was told. The child, in turn, would be placed with a “good” family, instead of having his life ruined by the stigma of illegitimacy. Carol tried to find the strength to oppose this dogma but her shame had become too deep. “The first time I looked deep into my son’s eyes, I felt like a criminal. As I unwrapped his hospital blanket and took in the heady fragrance of a newborn, I feared the nurses or the sisters would come in and slap me for contaminating my own son.” Finding no way out, she signed the fateful papers leaving her son in the hands of strangers, but with a vow to her baby she would find him one day. For years, Carol struggled to forget and live the “normal” life promised, not understanding the consequences of the trauma she’d endured. On his eighteenth birthday, she set out to find him, although the law denied access to records. Her search became a spiritual quest to reclaim her own lost self, as she came to understand the emotional and psychological wounds she and other mothers like her had endured. Against all odds she succeeded in finding him and discovered that in many ways they had never really been apart. With her son’s encouragement and his adoptive mother’s cooperation, she tells their story.

My Rating: 

I have done some adoption research for a few people, which were all successful, and I am currently working on an adoption case using DNA.  I’ve contemplated if this is an area I’d like to specialize in, but I feel that I need to really understand all of the implications of conducting such research before I go any further down this path.  There are several books I want to read to gain more insight, but this one called to me, begging to be read first.  I’m glad it did.

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Book Review – Out of the Shoebox: An Autobiographic Mystery

Title:  Out of the Shoebox: An Autobiographic Mystery

Author:  Yaron Reshef

Format:  Paperback and Kindle

Published:  2014

Synopsis: (from Amazon)  A mysterious unexpected phone call hurls Yaron Reshef into an intensive two-year journey, during which he has to solve a mystery that took shape in the 1930s and gradually unfolded in the present.  A mysterious lot, a forgotten bank account, a people long gone along with their memory which were obliterated during the Holocaust.  All of these rise to the surface, bearing with them memories and emotions previously hidden away in the shoebox.  Out of the Shoebox is a fascinating journal that reads like a detective story, comes across as an imaginative quest into the past, yet is the true personal story of the writer, Yaron Reshef.

My Rating: 

I don’t typically read memoir-type books, but it caught my attention over at the Kindle for Genealogy group page on Facebook.  After reading the comments there and then reading reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, I decided to take a chance.  I’m glad I did.

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Book Review – Finding Dolores: An Adoptee’s Mid-Life Search for the Beginning

FindingTitle:  Finding Dolores: An Adoptee’s Mid-Life Search for the Beginning

Author:  Thomas W. Muldary, Ph.D.

Format:  Kindle

Published:  2011

Synopsis:  (from Amazon) Finding Dolores is a compelling true story of perseverance and triumph over failure and adversity. It details an extraordinary journey against all odds to learn the truth, connect with genetic history, and claim a birth right. For some, Finding Dolores is a virtual guide for adoption searches, with informative resources and facts about the experiences and challenges of adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, and anyone touched by adoption. Above all, it is a source of inspiration and hope, which are essential for adoptees if they are ever to learn the most fundamental truths of their existence: their origins.

My Rating: 

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Book Review – Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret

Title:  Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret

Author:  Steve Luxenberg

Format:  Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle eBook, Nook eBook

Published:  2009

Synopsis:  (from the author’s website) “My mother was an only child. That’s what she told everyone, sometimes within minutes of meeting them. When I heard that my mother had been hiding the existence of a sister, I was bewildered. A sister? I was certain that she had no siblings, just as I knew that her name was Beth, that she had no middle name, and that she had raised her children to, above all, tell the truth.”

My Rating: 

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