Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A good read

I just read this book The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman. It wasn't my intention to sit on my butt all day last Sunday and read but once I started I just couldn't stop. I started and finished this story in one sitting. It wasn't adoption themed but in a way it was. It was the adoption loss core of me that it touched. Through the story you see isolation, grief, joy, prejudice and what happens to a child caught in the middle of adults who are grieving, overwhelmed, needy and delusional.

*Spoiler alert*

A woman still grieving the recent stillbirth of her baby hears a cry. She finds an infant crying and left alone with what appears to be the body of the child's deceased father. They're in a small boat that washes ashore an isolated island where the woman is living with her lighthouse keeper husband. She convinces her husband that they don't have to report finding the dead man and infant. In her grief she tells herself the story that the child's mother surely must have drowned and God brought this child to her to raise. She decides she is meant to be this little girls mother through divine intervention. Where have we heard that before?

A few years later, back on the mainland a mother is still grieving the loss of her infant daughter and husband. The small boat is found but no bodies. Of course all assume that both are dead until she receives a note telling her that her baby is alive and well cared for. With new hope she fights to find her child and finally succeeds. By the time the mother is reunited with her daughter, the girl is 4 years old and of course doesn't understand what's happening. She has no memory of her mother and all she wants is to go back to the woman who found and kept her. The scenario brought to mind all the recent articles of parents fighting for the return of their children from people who were trying to adopt them, people who know the child is wanted by their mother and/or father but still hangs on to the child along with the delusion that the child is supposed to be theirs.

This is the story of 2 grieving women and the little girl caught between them. It's also the story of a man caught between his love for his wife and doing what he knows to be right - returning the child to her mother.

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