I met Candi Byrne about a decade ago at a Story Circle Network conference in Austin, TX. We sought one another out because we had learned, in emails exchanged prior to the conference, that we were both adoptees. Adoptees understand adoptees. Though our stories may be different, we get one another.
I wanted to have people. To be of a people. To be one of the bright stars in a constellation of people, twinkling in and among the other stars. I longed to have strong roots, deep roots, grounded roots to sustain and support me as I grew and thrived.
I was thrilled when Candi’s book was available for pre-order and couldn’t order it fast enough! I’ve read a lot of memoirs written by adoptees and, have just finished reading Candi’s, Regifted: An Adoptee’s Memoir of True Belonging. Like many adoptee stories, Candi’s story is mine—though aside from our adopted-ness, the only real thing they seem to have in common on the surface is that our birth mom’s name was Mary.
I wanted to know what I think most other adoptees—hell, what most everyone wants to know: Who and where did I come from? Who do I look like? Who are my people? What is my history?
I. Love. This. Book. It’s a real and raw story told as only Candi can—with a little sass thrown in.
For my entire life, I’d carried the message that I wasn’t worth fighting for—I believed it on a cellular level . . . and I had proof. My birth families had given me away.
Take my advice and run, don’t walk, to get a copy for yourself. Canadian Amazon link. US Amazon link.
- Quotes from Regifted: An Adoptee’s Memoir of True Belonging.
Candi Byrne is a gregarious introvert, nomadic homebody, and pragmatic woowooist. She lives in an enchanted forest on the south side of North Mountain in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Her cozy, colorful cottage contains a bounty of art supplies for the “Magic on the Mountain” creative retreats she facilitates, as well as the “Let’s Get Messy” sleepovers she has regularly with her two granddaughters, who live over the creek and through the woods. She lives in Martinsburg, WV.
Linda, as I read your comments about Candi’s memoir, I couldn’t keep my daughter [stepdaughter] out of my thoughts. Suzanne and Candi could be sisters with many commonalities in their personality and in their adoptive life and questions. Suzanne’s now in her 40s. Do you think this would be a suitable book for an adoptee at this time in her life. She has met her birth mother, who has since passed on. Her birth mother couldn’t identify her birth father. Bob and his first wife adopted Suzanne when she was three or four days old.
It was obvious in hearing about Suzanne’s finding her birth mother and meeting her that a lot of Suzanne’s personality traits and mental issues, i.e. bipolar, ADHD, etc., were in her mother’s gene pool, and Suzanne’s son, now in his 20s carries some of those mental health issues with him.
Let me know what you think about an adoptee who can’t identify one birth parent but has met the other can get from this book. I think it sounds fascinating just because of your description of Candi.
Sent you an email, Sherrey.