“I had a letter from my daughter! Finally, I knew what I had longed to know for so long—Kelcey was real. And the fact that she had written to me gave me hope that someday, I might finally get to see her again.”
Letting Go Again is one birth mother’s courageous and compassionate account of giving up her baby daughter for adoption, and their troubled relationship once they are reunited almost two decades later. While many of us have witnessed the emotional “adoption reunions” on daytime TV, we rarely see what happens when the cameras stop rolling.
Kimberly writes with extraordinary vulnerability, sharing the highs and lows of becoming a teen mom and allowing her child to be adopted, as well as the darkest moments of the heartbreaking, roller-coaster relationship that followed when they were reunited.
This is a dramatic and complex story in which mother and daughter are challenged on almost every level by the harrowing choice Kimberly made to give up her child. Intense guilt, self-punishment, and the heavy burden of regret and loss color Kimberly’s actions. She shares how every cell in her body wants a loving connection with her daughter and the lengths she goes to make that happen, without success.
Leaving no choice or action unexamined, Kimberly reveals how her experience with adoption was littered with wounds she believed impossible to heal, as well as how she came to understand that looking to her daughter to find healing was misguided.
While Letting Go Again is a deeply personal story, the themes it deals with are universal: grief, loss, self-recrimination, and regret are archetypical emotions that we all encounter at some point in life. It also demonstrates that the journey to wholeness is not complete without self-forgiveness, for therein lies the only key that unlocks our self-imposed prisons.
Ultimately, the gift that Kimberly Smythe’s story offers the reader is a route to freedom by calling us to challenge our perceptions about acceptance, surrender, relationships, what it means to be ‘family,” and the true nature of love that finds the strength to let go… again.
All proceeds from Letting Go Again will go to support The Hanai Foundation.