I can't reiterate how informing this book was. I learned so much from it. Most of these women were girls from affluent families. Most of the women were from families who attained middle class status. Their families did not want to lose this status.
Some more common themes:
1. Betrayal at the hands of their families. Most of the families did not acknowledge the baby after birth. They shamed their daughter for getting pregnant. None of the birthfathers were held accountable for their part in the pregnancy. Many of these girls also faced physical and emotional abuse by their families.
2. Many of these women also feel that they betrayed their children that were relinquished to adoption. They felt that they should have fought harder to keep their kids. These women faced low self esteem. They made choices that led them to be further abused by their future spouses.
3. None of these women ever had any form of sex education. The one thing that they all wished that they had was some form of education. How a woman's body functions.
4. Many women felt fear at being found. Many including my own birthmother have a fear at being judged again at the hands of their families. Many also feel that they blew it when they gave the child up for adoption. Many also feel that they didn't have the right to search. They also didn't want to interfere with their child's life.
My own questions after reading this book for my birthmother were these: 1. I have to wonder if her parents especially her father ever apologized to her. My thoughts on my own periods of abuse at the hands of my stepfather is that alcohol was the root of it. He did later apologize in his own way. It took his death for me to completely forgive him. He did not seem to get that it did damage me. Many of the birthmothers wanted their children to know the medical history. Its funny I have my birthmother's history but because of the pain that she has been dealt. I don't have my birthfather's medical history. I feel that she doesn't need to expose herself to him because I would do all of that on my own. He is still living in the same town that her family was from.
I plan on rereading the book. I want to absorb the feelings, thoughts, fears, and ideas behind this book. I will probably be writing about this book for a while. The public really needs to read this book. None of the children given up for adoption were not loved. None of these children were ever discarded like trash that was inconvenient. They were all loved and wanted passionately by their mothers. Society and their families felt this way. Most definitely not the mothers in this book.