Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist for Autobiography/Memoirs (2009)

Editor’s Choice award and Rising Star Designation and is now part of Barnes & Noble’s Special Collections, “Catch A Rising Star”, a page dedicated to finding Up-And-Coming Authors.


"...Her story is unforgettable." -Kathleen Daley for the Star-Ledger


"Bauer’s yearning to understand her past the journey of her search and the resulting complexities make for captivating storytelling..... Bauer is able to make a personal narrative feel like a universal truth." ForeWord Review

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bill giving adoptees their birth certificates passes N.J. Senate panel

I was moved after reading about NJ Senator Allen's apology to adult adoptees before she voted in favor of the bill to allow adult adoptees access to their own original information. She said, "It's a civil rights issue and it's appalling to me we treat people this poorly.  We have made them a separate class, an inferior class, because they were adopted. How absurd is that?"
To read the full article click here.
Now we need Gov. Christie to approve it!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Open-Hearted Way To Open Adoption Book Tour


Even though open adoption was practically non-existent at the time of my birth (circa 1960's), this is the book I wish my parents had had when they adopted me and my two brothers.  Lori not only writes about the why's and how's of entering into an Open Adoption arrangement, but she also seamlessly gives wise sage advice throughout each and every page of this book.  Advice such as keeping the child's well-being as a focal point, viewing adoption as problem-solving for all within the triad, and explaining that which we resist persists. 

These may be simple statements, but when this advice is applied to how you deal with your child's adoption status, whether open or closed, a very big impact for the well-being of not only the child but for the entire family is made.

This book also has plenty of real adoption experiences often presented as a vignette. These views into the lives of Lori's children, their birth-parents and other families touched by adoption allows us to see and feel Lori's advice in action. The reader is gently reminded of the benefits of letting go of fear and accepting the people who are important to the one's whom we love, including our children. We know we should be honest and truthful and we also know we should treat others in the same way we wish to be treated (aka: the golden rule). Sometimes we just need to be reminded about these things and Lori's book, The Open-Hearted Way To Open Adoption, does just that.

When it comes to our children, how could we not love the people who brought them into this world?  How could we not also want to maintain contact with them in order to ensure our child is complete?  Lori tells us that it is okay and even necessary to provide this type of contact with the birth families for our children's healthy emotional development.

I took away so many things from this book.  One of my favorites is the school Genealogy Project advice.  Not only did I encounter this problem growing up, (being told by my teacher to pretend that I had the same nationalities as my adoptive parents) but when it came time for my children to do their own Genealogy project at school, they wanted to include all four sides to their family tree even though their teacher said the chart wouldn't allow them to do so.  Lori gives many different options on how one might navigate through these type of issues that arise when there is extended family.

Another favorite of mine is Lori's story about her son and how he answered his peer's question about why he didn't look like his Mom.  He stated, "That's cause she adopted me."   I always used to say "Because I'm adopted" to these types of questions and Lori is so right:  it's a subtle difference but I never liked the way it defined me as being different just because someone else gave birth to me. Yes, adoption should be a verb and should describe what happened instead of who a person is.

There are endless scenarios one may encounter with open adoption and over and over again the advice and examples given guide the reader to "create the right mind-set and heart-set" in which answers can be found.  This book gives you the necessary tools that will guide you to come to your own answers.

Not an easy task...

"Calm...Center...Open...Breathe...Listen...Assess..."

Yes, Lori wonderful advice!  Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, your open adoption how-to guide and your beautiful adoption experiences with us.

Now on to the discussion questions.


"Holden encourages adopted parents to embrace an 'and/both' mindset instead of 'either/or' thinking, through a careful process of fostering connections of an adopted child to both first parents and adopted parents. Why do you think this approach helps a child "grow up whole?"


As an adopted individual who grew up with the 'either/or' mentality, I feel I can give light to this question as it pertained to my emotional development throughout my formative years and beyond.  I was not permitted to know any information about my original parents.  I did not know their nationalities, their hair or eye color, their names, or even the reasons why they decided to relinquishment custody.  My birth parents were phantoms to me and the lack of knowledge compelled me to wonder quite frequently and to long to know anything about them.  The lack of information represented a piece of me that was missing. I was not complete because I did not know my own history. I was only allowed to know my adoptive family (either/or mentality). If I asked about my origins I was made to feel guilty for wanting to know anything about them, it was seen as an insult to my parents, by them and by others.  How could I possibly want to know anything about them when they gave me away? 
Ever wonder why history is a main subject throughout school?  Knowing where you came from and the circumstances of your birth is history, personal history and it is the same as knowing the details of your own particular culture and their history which helps form your identity. Everyone is interested in their own history and most people love to hear how they inherited their blue eyes from Grandma or their red hair from their father.  I could never boast about these attributes and felt left out whenever the family got together for holidays or a new cousin was born where the topic always came up of who looks like whom in the family.
Unless you've been there, like I have (and other adopted individuals), you have no idea how alienated this makes you feel and how it separates you once again that you are different from your own family. 
Lori's notion of 'and/both' simply means that it is okay and beneficial to the child to acknowledge that there are two sets of parents.  The set she/he lives with are her/his Mom and Dad and the other set are the ones who were the original parents but were unable to parent at the time.  Both are important in there own special way.  The original parents are not going to "parent" the child, but they are going to be in contact in order to provide a connection for all parties involved.  Everyone wins when you include and don't exclude or as Lori says having a 'and/both' mentality which focuses on abundance. 

How does everyone win? 
The child benefits from this perspective ('and/both') because he/she doesn't have to wonder or worry about who the original parents were and why they decided not to parent.  It's okay for them to know the details about their own birth history and therefore, their self-esteem remains intact.  Everyone knows what creative imaginations children have and the many scenarios they will conjure up about why they were given up for adoption when they don't know any of their own information!  With information and contact, the child gets to see exactly where they got their red hair from, etc...and thus their identity is aided in forming properly.
The original parents benefit because they get to see how happy their child is in their new family.  I know my birth-mother became depressed every year around the time of my birth because she was so worried about my well-being, she had no idea if I was dead or alive. 
And the adoptive parents benefit because their child will grow up knowing and feeling a connection to their original family and will never have issues relating to their identity.  It will give the parents comfort also that their child will have much more time and energy to focus their thoughts on other matters such as school work, sports, hanging out with friends and good old fashioned family time.  I think back to the hours spent wasted wondering and worrying about my origins.  I know I wouldn't want my own child to feel incomplete and to wonder with no answers to questions that everyone should be provided with.  Parents want their children to be happy, whole and loved and if providing them with periodic contact to their origins prevents self-esteem and other emotional issues, then I am sure all Adoptive Parents will want to be on board to provide this for their children.


 
In most of the cases that Lori describes, including her own relationship with Crystal, most of the contact occurs between the birth mother and the adoptive mother. To what extent do you see the mothers as the gatekeepers of contact for their respective families?


Women, in general, are the gatekeepers of contact within their own respective family, whether that family is formed from adoption or not.  I think this is a cultural phenomenon that exists throughout the world.  Women have typically taken on the nurturing type role.  They decide on the majority of the issues related to the health and well-being of the family including diet, clothing, healing and emotional support.  It's no wonder then that when it comes time to arrange open adoptions that it will primarily be the women who will take charge and coordinate the logistics of how to maintain a healthy relationship for the child between the birth and adoptive families.


It has been my pleasure to read Lori's book and to participate in this tour.
Please return to the main post to read more opinions on Lori Holden's The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption

Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Grandma

With Mothers Day just around the corner it felt right to acknowledge the important role Grandmothers play in our lives.  I was lucky enough to always have my Grandmother living close-by so there are so many memories of wonderful afternoons we spent together drinking tea in her living room as well as the many hours she would spend telling me stories of how life was back in the good ol' days. She loved to talk and she especially loved the fact that she had 21 grandchildren in total!  She is dearly missed here by all.
Here is a photo of me and my Grandma in 1988.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Many thanks to all the participants in the Book Tour

This has been the very first book tour that I followed and all I have to say is Wow!  What a wonderful diverse group of participants from the many aspects of the "Adoption Mosaic".  I have gained insight by reading your comments and views on your blogs about your reactions to my story and about the various universal issues that were brought up that touches each and every one of us no matter where we are situated within the mosaic.  There are still comments popping up on the various blog sites and it makes me feel so good that we are "talking" about these issues today instead of sweeping them beneath the carpet which was commonplace in years past.  I look forward to participating in future tours myself and hope to see you all along the way,
Blessings, Anne

Thursday, April 4, 2013

AdoptLit: Day 2 of the Sound of Hope book tour

Please join the second day of the Book Tour by clicking here to go to Lori Lavender Luz's page where the tour begins. It has been so refreshing to chat with all members of the Adoption Mosaic including fellow adopted individuals, adoptive parents and even grandparents and first-mothers. Read what others are saying about the many interesting topics raised and leave a comment if you so choose. Hope to see your presence there!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

AdoptLit: Day 1 of the Sound of Hope book tour

Please follow along on the Book Tour for "The Sound of Hope".
Follow this link where you will be brought to the first stop on the tour, Lori Lavender Luz's page, who is the tour leader.  Read her responses to the discussion questions posed by the participants in the tour and then move on to the next stop, links to the next stops are on Lori's page.  Please join in on the discussion by commenting on any issue you feel drawn to.
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The World of Ballroom Dancing

Every season as Dancing with the Stars premieres on television I am transported back to my origins.  My birth parents were Professional Ballroom Dance Instructors at the same studio back in the 1960's, hence why I came to be, and they often partnered for special event competitions. Their attire wasn't as colorful or flashy as the majority of the contestants wear today, however, the simplicity of long and flowing ballroom gowns the women wore back then does hold a certain allure even to this day. For that reason, I especially enjoy watching the stars dance the Waltz and the Quick Step on the show.
After I found my birth mother, she taught me and my husband how to dance as well. And believe me it is not as easy as it looks on Dancing with the Stars!  There are a lot of steps to memorize and practice over and over... What really impressed me about Professional Dance Instructors then and now is the fact that they have to know both male and female steps and be able to switch roles in order to demonstrate and practice with the couple they are teaching. I was having enough trouble with my role!  Like I quoted in my memoir, "I think I missed my calling to be a dancer" because I don't think I'd get very far if I was on Dancing with the Stars.
For my wedding we did dance a Waltz (bit of a spoiler here but you'll have to read my memoir to get all the rest of the wedding details!). In the meantime, another season of Dancing with the Stars is upon us again and I look forward to reliving the glamorous dancing atmosphere which dominated the circumstances of my beginnings.


Friday, February 8, 2013

AdoptLit Book Tour: The Sound of Hope, an Adoptee’s Quest for her Origins

My memoir is being featured in a Virtual Book Tour by Lori Lavender Luz, an adoptive mother and advocate for open adoptions.  She has a great blog, and an upcoming book of her own coming out soon, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption.  Go to her page at her Open Adoption Bloggers  site to sign up to participate in the Book Tour for The Sound of Hope. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Here is a link to Discussion Questions for my memoir

ReadingGroupGuides is a website that serves as an online community for reading groups.  The books listed has discussion questions, reviews and a synopsis of the story.  There is also a section with Interview Questions and my answers.
Here is the link for the ReadingGroupGuide webpage for The Sound of Hope.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Twin sisters reunited after 70 years apart!!!

I am always a sucker for this kind of story!  As I grew up as an adopted child, I used to wish that I had a twin sister somewhere out there in the world.  It was only after I was reunited with my birth-mother in 1989 when that childhood fantasy was put to rest;  I had no twin, only me!
This is such a nice story and what a happy ending, even if they did have to wait 70 years for it to happen!  Here is the link to read how they were reunited after so long apart.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Open Adoptions today are not always what you think

I just came across this short video clip on Huffington Post about a birth mother who recently entered what she thought was an open adoption which, in spite of her wishes will become a closed adoption next month.  As an adoptee who was denied any information about her own original family this leaves me heartbroken!
Yes, this is the year 2013 and this is still happening!!!
Unfortunately, the current public perception of adoptions are that they are all open and the birth mother receives updates and photos about her child on a regular basis and maybe even a yearly visit. I know many birthmothers who go into an adoption agreement thinking they are going to be "open", only to find out soon after the adoption is finalized that they are at the mercy of the adoptive parents.  The adoptive parents can then choose whether or not to continue with the openness of the adoption.  I know this is true in the state where I live, New Jersey.
I also know that there are many open adoptions that are working out very well and all within the adoption triad are benefiting. However, there are far too many that are not.
I think my memoir should be required reading for every adoptive parent because I clearly depict the harmful consequences caused when you keep your adoptive child in the dark regarding their origins.
Very sad to see that adoption reform has not completely come full circle :(

Thursday, January 3, 2013

ForeWord Review of The Sound of Hope

Here is an early review not listed in the links at the bottom of this blog.  It was written by ForeWord Reviews.  They concentrate on books that are independently published.  Click here to read.
Happy New Year!