Letting Go Again: A Birth Mother’s Tale of Adoption, Reunion, Separation and Growth
“Birth mother—That’s how we refer to the natural mothers of adopted children these days. The term is hardly endearing and it doesn’t represent the sacrifice that many natural mothers have made in allowing their child to be raised in another home, often never knowing their child’s ultimate fate. As a young mother, I tearfully watched tabloid talk shows and television specials where children were happily reconnected with their birth mothers, but I always wondered what happened when such long-sought reunions didn’t work out the way everyone involved hoped they would.
When Kimberly Smythe’s book, Letting Go Again, came into my hands, I learned just what can happen when meeting a birth child or birth parent isn’t as joyful as expected and doesn’t have the ‘lived happily ever after’ ending that is so often portrayed on television. In a very compelling and honest way Kim shares what it was like to be a pregnant teen in the Seventies as well as the emotional struggles she faced as she gave her child up for adoption and, many years later, reconnected with her, and ultimately had to give her up again.
Letting Go Again will give you an entirely new perspective on birth mothers, adoption and the reunion of birth parents with their natural-born children. Just as those tabloid shows had me tearing up with emotion, Kim’s recounting of her experiences with the child she gave up pulled my heartstrings and struck a chord with me on a very deep level. Even though I had not offered a child for adoption, I easily identified with Kim’s desire to know her child and her struggle to let go of her a second time.
—Carol Holaday, author of Crafting a Magical Life
Kimberly Smythe has shown great courage in sharing her story. As I read her words, I felt a myriad of emotions and marveled as she plumbed the depth of her shadow to find her true self. Her words of self doubt, fear, hope, and determination not to be swayed from the journey of self-discovery will strike a chord not only in those who have given birth and made the decision that someone else be given that gift of life, but also those who have lost a child through divorce or other family disconnects. The echo of Kimberly’s story speaks as well to those who have taken a child either through adoption or marriage and becoming the dreaded “step-mother.”
The sometimes chaotic and painful dance that occurs between parent and child as the child becomes an adult is made even more so when other circumstances are included. Loving someone often isn’t enough and one must be willing to love without expectation of love in return. Kimberly has shone a light into the darkness of this personal pain, sharing openly of herself with the reader. I admire her for her courage and respect her for the woman who has developed from that frightened child. One can only hope that the ending of this story will be a happy one, and that a family will be forged, albeit not what is commonly thought of as “normal”—whatever that is.
−Serena Poisson, author, teacher, healer, and founder of Mountain and Mist Reiki Center, CA