Monday, November 28, 2011


In the summer of 2002, my wife and I took our two youngest sons to Indiana to do some detective work. The object? To find out anything we could about the woman who gave birth to me. We had no idea what we were doing.
For the first forty years of my life, I was quite happy as an adopted child who knew nothing about his origins. But as my sons began to grow up, I realized the gaps in my knowledge were being transferred to them. I was like a piece of dead wood, lying precariously on the family tree.
Our trip turned out to be one of the most memorable weeks of my life. The only thing missing was our oldest son, who was in New England teaching sailing at the time.
Not only did we gather information about my birthmother, but we found her. I learned that she’d never stopped thinking about me and loving me and missing me. I reunited with three half brothers and a step-birthfather who have since...
See the full essay at

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

No Biking in the House Without a Helmet

Read my review of Melissa Faye Greene's ultimate book about adoption and parenting in general...

Once that last child begins to drive, most of us realize our capacity to parent is fading. We get a few years of empty-nest freedom before grandparenting kicks in. But the marathon is over. We finished!

Then there are the Melissa Fay Greenes of the world—and her attorney husband Don Samuel, a man who practices courtroom statements on his kids instead of reading them bedtime stories. Samuel and Greene, a journalist, had four children using their own DNA: Molly, Seth, Lee, and Lily. But then, in their early forties and with encouragement from their biological kids, the Greene-Samuel team adopted five more in less than a decade.

It began in 1999 with Chrissy (whom they renamed Jesse), a four-year-old boy of Romani (“gypsy”) descent from a Bulgarian orphanage. Then they adopted... 

To read the full review, click on the title of this entry. Check out all of Talking Writing when you're done reading.