And Yes, I Plan on Publishing It

Dear Ms. Feverfew –

Someone asked me if I had plans to publish the memoir  I am writing. Yes, I will publish it when the time is right. They then asked me if I thought it was “fair” to profit off of your story and your loss. I gently reminded them it was just as much my story and my loss and that I will make every effort to balance privacy concerns with how the story is told.  I also reminded them of my plans to establish a center that focuses on family preservation and adoptee rights issues.

I want to be able to offer scholarships for natural parents and adoptees to attend important events and demonstrations. I want to be able to provide life skills education for single mothers. I want to be able to offer child-care scholarships for young single mothers who are trying to finish school. I want to offer counseling services for adoptees and natural families at this center. I want to fund research projects that examine the life-long affects of adoption on natural families and adoptees. I want to do more to help the forgotten children in the adoption constellation – the natural siblings of the adoptee – people like your brothers and your sister. I have big plans but I don’t have a big bank account. Since I am not independently wealthy nor do I have a trust fund, I need some money to do accomplish those goals. This book will help me do that.

The bottom line is the hurt from adoption in my life has not been healed and I do not see wholeness on the horizon, no matter how much I beg and plead with God to remove these wounds from my side and my heart.  As a faithful daughter of God, it then becomes my duty to ask three questions.

  1. What can I learn from this pain? 
  2. What can I change based on what I learn?
  3. Who can I help?

Writing this memoir helps me sort through the lessons adoption has brought into my life. Hopefully, it will provide the means to apply those lessons to empower and enrich others’ lives. I don’t know if any of that makes sense but I hope it helps you understand part of my motivation in writing this book.

So what do you think–am I being unfair?



11 thoughts on “And Yes, I Plan on Publishing It

  1. No, I do not think you are being unfair. You are telling your story. You are not divulging personal information about your daughter, publishing her picture without her permission or telling her story. There are some mothers (adoptive and first) who have done this, and I have little respect for them. Ok, I lied. I have NO respect for them, and less than zero respect for those mothers who have minor children.

    • I recently read Mikal Gilmore’s autobiography “Shot in the Heart” about his life as Gary Gilmore’s brother (Gary Gilmore was the first person executed after the death penalty ban was lifted in the late ’70s). Towards the end of the book, Mikal talks about how it felt to lose control of the narrative of his life after his older brother was executed for murdering two young men in Utah. Needless to say, it was very surreal to encounter other people’s interpretation of his family’s life and experience in the media. It was hard on him, too. While he understood that his story was tied up in Gary’s, the loss of the ability to control the narrative about his life was troubling at times.

      I imagine (though I don’t know for certain) it might feel the same way for an adoptee (or a natural parent) whose family member writes about them publicly. Trying to tease apart my story from any of my children’s is hard. Trying to do so with a child I am not in communication with is even harder.

  2. I’m so glad that you’re going to publish it – I love the ideas you have for your future center and hope that your book makes tons of money so you can help put your dream into a reality! YOU.GO.GIRL!


  3. No, you are not being unfair. Yes, you speak of your daughter, but you don’t speak about your daughter ~ if that makes any sense…

    You have a beautiful, powerful voice that needs to be heard. Your writing is amazing ~ it is a gift that tells a story that needs to be shared.

  4. Melynda, sad to say writing an adoption memoir is not the way to make lots of money to fund your very worthy goals of helping others. Most people are lucky to make back their initial investment if they self-publish, and getting a publisher interested is almost impossible today. Not that you should not publish it, but realistically you cannot expect much in the way of profit. The market for adoption reform literature is very small, no matter how well-written or relevant, and the memoir market is saturated.. Write for yourself, write for others, but if big money is the goal, this is not the way to go.

  5. Definitely publish. It’s your story, and it’s beautifully written. If I were your daughter, I would feel proud that you were working to change the way adoption is practiced.

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