Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness

Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness

Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness

Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness

Synopsis

Betty Jean Lifton, whose Lost and Found has become a bible to adoptees and to those who would understand the adoption experience, explores further the inner world of the adopted person. She breaks new ground as she traces the adopted child's lifelong struggle to form an authentic sense of self. And she shows how both the symbolic and the literal search for roots becomes a crucial part of the journey toward wholeness.

Excerpt

"Then I shan't be exactly human?" Peter asked.
"No."
"What shall I be?"
"You will be Betwixt-and-Between," Solomon said, and
certainly he was a wise old fellow, for that is exactly how
it turned out.

--JAMES BARRIE, PETER PAN IN KENSINGTON GARDENS

MANY PEOPLE IDENTIFY WITH THE FAMILIAR condition of being Betwixt and Between, just as they identify with Peter Pan, the boy who did not want to grow up and face the responsibilities of the real world.

Peter, James Barrie tells us, is "ever so old," but really always the same age: one week. Though he was born "so long ago," he never had a birthday, nor is there the slightest chance of his having one. He escaped from his home when he was seven days old by flying out the window to Kensington Gardens.

Barrie doesn't tell us what was going on in Peter's family that after only seven days he knew he had to take off. But adoptees recognize Peter Pan as a brother. They, too, became lost children when they separated as babies from their natural families and disappeared into a place very much like never-never land. Like Peter, they are fantasy people. Denied the right to see their real birth certificates and the names of those who brought them into the world, they can't be sure they ever had a real birth . . .

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