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Monday, March 31, 2014

Akin to the Truth: A Memoir of Adoption and Identity


By Lynn Grubb

Had I not known beforehand, I would have never guessed this was a book about adoption.  Author Paige Adams Strickland describes a very funny, quirky, interesting family that reads more like a biography than a typical adoption reunion book.  Paige’s memoir is an everyday story of life growing up in the 60s, 70s and 80’s. It made me laugh and it made me cry, but most of all it draws the reader into her life growing up adopted. 

Paige was raised in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio -- an hour away from where I grew up in Dayton.  Paige grew up in a very similar way as I did and many times, I felt as if I was reading about my own feelings from a journal.   I could identify with her vivid descriptions of popping Jiffy Pop popcorn and watching Lawrence Welk with her grandma Frances and playing card games like Fish and Old Maid.

I was smitten with the beautiful descriptions of Paige’s grandmothers -- wanting to crawl right into the book and experience those two amazing ladies.  I felt like I went along as a passenger on Paige’s annual family vacation to Florida to lounge on the raft she shared with her dad.  It was easy to get drawn into Paige’s book into another time and place.

The Importance of Photographs

Photos are important. They document the moment in time and freeze it for generations to come. Photos can remind us of people, events, or the beauty (or pain) of a place. I've always loved photos for the emotions they can invoke. One of my favorite activities as a child was looking through old photo albums with my grandfather, especially the pictures from when I was a small child. My parents' wedding album was another favorite book of mine, showing how much love they had for each other that day. Everyone looks so happy in those photos and I could always see the foundation they laid for an amazing 36 years of marriage. My desk at work has a few photo collages from various day trips I've taken with my husband when we were dating. I love the photos of changing leaves over a lake, and I can almost see the jellyfish from the aquarium dancing off the page. I'll never forget those moments, and I have the photos to remind me of that.

Lately I've been going through a lot of photos. We lost my adoptive mother this month and photos have been one part of the healing process. We put together photo boards and slideshows for her wake and funeral, and in the process remembered many fun times. I have several pictures of my mother smiling and happy, clearly loving life in the moment that I look at whenever I start to doubt things. I'm instantly brought back to that moment and remember how much I was loved. We shared some great memories over the years and we have reminders now to prove it.