For a hold-on-tight spiritual adventure story about Baltimore author
Ann H. Hughes' search for her birth daughter, check out her book, "Soul
Connection: Memoirs of a Birthmother," at her Otter Bay Books website.
Also choronicled there, you will find links to some of the important
grass roots activist organizations that are fighting to win the right in
America to open adoption records.
Here's an excerpt from Ann Hege Hughes' Book: ...Nearly two hundred truth-seekers met in a large hotel ballroom that third Sunday
in June. It didn't matter that it was hot and sunny outside. We would be
freezing under florescent lights all weekend. We sat in seven neat rows of
straight-backed chairs, twenty-eight across. The room was carpeted in red and
hung with fake crystal chandeliers. We were surrounded on three sides by glass
mirror walls. Our trainer strode back and forth across a low wooden platform at
the front of the room, droning on and on. It was Father's Day, and he was in the
midst of a long, boring lecture about fathers and family relationships, when one
young man stood and made a claim that sounded perfectly logical to me.
"I don't have a relationship with my father," he asserted. "My father abandoned
me at birth. I don't even know who he is."
The trainer suddenly stood still. He turned to face us and pointed directly at
the young man. "Oh yes, you do!" his voice boomed. The veins on his neck stood
out in bold relief. "Oh yes, you do!" he repeated with intensity. "You have a
profound relationship with your father." He paused and dropped his hand to his
side. By now, everyone's mind chatter had stopped cold. "Even though you've
never seen him-even though you've never talked to him-you most certainly do have
a relationship with him." He said it slowly, letting every word twist into our
I held my breath, waiting for him to speak again. At last, he did. Now, his
words rolled out on a soft, safe carpet of tenderness. "Look at the effect that
father of yours has had on your life. Pretty profound, wouldn't you say?"
I turned my head to look at the young man standing. Shaking with emotion, he
nodded his bowed head and sank to his seat.
The trainer launched back into his lecture, but time had frozen for me. "Oh yes,
you do!" was still ringing in my ears. If that was true for this young man, what
about my relationship with the child I had abandoned at birth? All these years
I'd been telling myself we had no relationship. Suddenly, it looked like the
most important relationship of my entire life!
My eyes stared off into space while a picture formed in my mind. My little,
dark-haired beauty had been my guiding light, indeed. Later, the trainer asked
us each to write a letter to someone we'd never acknowledged about how important
they'd been in our life. I wrote to Jennifer, of course. Because of her, so many
good things had happened: I'd reconciled with my father; I'd gotten the
counseling I needed then, and there was so much more. She'd given meaning and
purpose to my work publishing family histories for thirteen years now, and she'd
motivated me to keep working on myself-to keep trying to understand myself
better, heal myself. I had to do this because, more than anything, when we did
meet, I wanted her to be proud of her mother...
Ann Hege Hughes
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Soul Connection: Memoirs of a Birthmother
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