There are books that come along and effect you more than others. The book by Lisa Wingate, Before We Were Yours is one that stirred several deep-seated emotions in me. The book is fiction, yet it is based on factual events surrounding Georgia Tann and her Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society horrible episodes.
I had heard of occurrences involving the illegal adoption, but I didn’t realize this one existed for over twenty years. The fact authorities, politicians and people of wealth were aware, profited, and did nothing to stop it is appalling. How so many victims from a small region of our country were afflicted for years without intervention is unthinkable. No rationale is conceivable except inhumanity.
What stirred the hurt and anger in me was the story of the sisters and their fight to hold on to their sibling roots. When they found each other, their heritage and its potential effects on their new lives imposed their secrecy. A secrecy they were willing to take to their death.
I recommend Before We Were Yours not only because of the genre, but the author’s quality writing is superb. You will understand why the accolades and praises it receives. Lisa Wingate’s writing is no stranger to the literary world and she is a recipient of numerous awards. This book adds to her well-deserved honors. Don’t let this bestseller slip by without reading it.
So why did this book stir the emotions with me? When I was fourteen months, I was adopted. It was an adoption to provide an additional child they could not have naturally. I was to fulfill my dad’s desire for a boy and carry the family name forward. What evolved were years of their resentment, anger, and their child abuse. They left me with emotional scars I carried into adulthood.
When I retired, I wrote my book, What Did I Do? I share with my readers my years of mental and physical abuse. It is my story where I spent years struggling to please my parents without succeeding. It is my story where they told me I was unworthy of being their son.
I share with my readers the stigma attached to child abuse. I admit to the resulting shame, anger, guilt, low self-esteem, and depression other survivors and I experience. I want the reader to know the desire for love and acceptance other abused children and myself sought.
Child abuse is a world where the victims are invisible and witnesses shun an involvement. It is a dark area of our society screaming to come into the light. With my book, I wish to draw attention to the atrocity that continues with little abatement. I beg for your involvement.