I am a birthmother, Kathleen, who has been in reunion with my firstborn daughter, Cathleen, since June 20, 1989.
This blog is drawn from a book we began to write together in 2003 about the turning points in our relationship and the obstacles and challenges we face from our unique perspectives. Eight years later, we are closing in on the finish line of Kathleen~Cathleen (working title). Now we are seeking interest and support to bring our story to bear, pending completion of the final draft.
We have chosen not to share our writing with each other until we have finished. We often work together, laptops touching for hours at a time. When the book is done and the story is finished, we will read it together. Until then, it is you as our readers, who will hear both sides of the story through each of our voices in our blogs and public readings.
This blog exists to introduce you to our unique process and to experience what may arise from the themes in our unreleased memoir, Kathleen~Cathleen.
My daughter has started a parallel blog “ReunionEyes” to establish a platform from the adoptee side of this experience, and to create a forum for adoptees and people related to reunion to share their stories.
Our discipline to maintain the autonomy we’ve used to write our book also applies to our blogs. We will include links to each other but continue to avoid exposure to each other’s writing until we are ready to publish Kathleen~Cathleen and go public with all of our words.
We appreciate your comments and hope you will “like” us on facebook and help us to spur a unique and meaningful dialogue related to our experience with people interested in the inherent issues of identity, adoption, loss and reunion.
In 1997, Betty Jean Lifton (Journey into the Adopted Self, Twice Born: Memoirs of an Adopted Daughter), considered the “founding mother” of adoption writing, told Kate Power and Cathy Heslin that they should write their story. Talking with Ms. Lifton at the American Adoption Congress Conference, Cathy had told Ms. Lifton that she would love for her to write about reunion stories that have longevity and tell of the whole experience rather than merely the beginning. Betty Jean replied, “You are the ones who should write it, you know the experience.”
Although there are books, articles and information on the reunion between birthparents and adoptees, first-person accounts of the experience past that initial reunion are rare. Kathleen ~ Cathleen tells the story of reunion over the course of two decades and describes all the challenges, joys, complications and growth that occur from such an experience. This story will inspire anyone who has questions about or interest in the adoption experience. Even more, Kate and Cathy’s experience will challenge people to explore the unimaginable.
Kathleen (Kate Power) is a successful songwriter and musician who has been writing songs for nearly forty years. She won the “Music to Life” Grand Prize at Kerrvillle Folk Festival in 2006 for her song, “Travis John.” Her music instruction book, Ukalalians Songbook: A Beginners Guide to Ukulele Fun, co-authored with artist-musician husband, Steve Einhorn, was self-published in 2010 and led to touring with dozens of ukes-to-lend around the USA to teach non-musicians how to play and sing. This resulted in Homespun Music Instruction producing a 2 DVD-set of Kate and Steve’s Ukalalians® method of teaching. Kate & Steve have been featured on “A Prairie Home Companion” and perform in concert with Pete Seeger.
Cathleen (Cathy Heslin) is a mother and is a Department Manager at Portland State University with over eleven years of design and marketing experience from her career at Nike in Design Operations Management. Although this is her first memoir, Cathy has written blogs, as well as website content and articles for Portland State University. She has created a blog to share her adoption and reunion experiences and to offer a place for other adoptees to share open discussions on adoption and reunion.