Welcome to the Scribbler, Yolande.
This is her first visit to the Scribbler. I had the pleasure of meeting Yolande at a writer’s retreat and she was working on her story then.
A story very dear to her.
She's going to tell us about her book which was recently published and launched in Shediac, New Brunswick, making a dream come true.
The 5 star reviews are piling up.
Yolande Essiembre is an author, coach and workshop facilitator. Her passion for understanding human behavior and a lifelong interest in personal and spiritual growth led her to returned to university as an adult to pursue her dream of becoming a therapist. She holds a Master of Theology degree, along with a certification in social work, a certificate in religious sciences, as well as accreditation in various types of counseling and coaching. She is the mother of four children and grandmother to two beautiful granddaughters.
Working Title: Long-Lost Mom: My Journey Out of Hiding
At seventy-one years of age, she hears her son’s voice for the first time.
After forty-six years spent carrying a heavy secret, Yolande has built a good life for herself. A few days after arriving from an exciting trip to Japan, she stops at the local post office to pick up her mail. The clerk hands her a registered letter. Yolande stands motionless as she read the address of the sender, Department of Social Development, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Her mind somersaults back to the year 1970.
What if for nearly five decades you knew you had a long-lost child, one you had given up for adoption but who has been on your mind and in your heart for all those years? And what if-- because your son was conceived as the result of a sexual assault--his existence felt like something you had to hide?
Long-Lost Mom is the poignant story of giving up a child for adoption and the difficulty of remaining silent over the course of a lifetime. When Yolande's son, Trevor finds her, she is faced with confronting the truth of her past and a deluge of complicated questions. How could she tell her three other children? How would the life she has built be changed?
Their healing journey is captured through heartfelt and honest correspondence as they come together almost fifty years after his birth. A powerful and engaging memoir, Long-Lost Mom speaks to the healing power of reconciling with ourselves and with our pasts.
The Story Behind the Story:
Several months after my son found me, I discovered I was not alone in living this experience. Ours was part of a greater story. In Canada, historical data from Statistics Canada (1999) reveal that between 1945 and 1971 almost 600,000 infants were born to unmarried mothers and were recorded as illegitimate births. Because of social, cultural, and religious beliefs of the time, most unwed mothers were pressured to put their children up for adoption. This practice was also common in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
Adoption records were sealed which meant very little information was revealed to the adoptive parents, and no information was available to the adoptees or to the biological parent. I was one of these unwed mothers and my son was one of these babies.
After returning home from visiting my son in Vietnam in February 2018, I found out that in my province of New Brunswick, adoption record which had been kept sealed for one hundred years would be opened. Adult adoptees and birth parent would now be able to access the information. Gradually, this is also happening in other provinces and countries. My heart went out to all the long-lost moms still in hiding, wondering if they, too, still felt the pain and shame of the past. I also wondered about all the long-lost sons and daughters who were searching wanting to know the truth. I thought about the great number of adoptive parents who might worry about how this would affect their lives. My intention in sharing our story is that it will bring a ray of hope and understanding to those living similar experiences, or to those supporting them. It is a story about hope; about overcoming shame and self-doubt; about healing and making peace with the past.
A question for you before you go:
What is your favorite part of writing and the part you enjoy the least?
My favorite part is putting words on a page. They are an expression of self, a thought developed, a dream expressed. I Love painting pictures with words, organizing thoughts from the heart, describing awe, appreciating wonder; it is like putting words on the invisible.
What I enjoy the least is the hours spent at the computer. I like to write with a pen and paper but eventually it needs to be put into my computer. I must admit though, editing the work in the computer is a gift!
Thank you Yolande for sharing your touching story with us. Wishing you continued success with your stories.
And a big thank you to my visitors and readers. Comment box below – tell us what’s on your mind.