Welcome to Roots and Branches!

Thanks so much for joining me as I explore the common language of those touched by adoption, and universal themes such as family, kinship, loss, separation, identity, quest, and reunion. The collage of stories, letters, vignettes, and photos I assembled for I Must Have Wandered: An Adopted Air Force Daughter Recalls reveals the fragmentation of one adoptee’s experience. Putting the pieces together has helped in my healing because setting out our personal stories — our truths — has healing power. Like a broken clay pot, re-assembled using lacquer and gold powder, in Japanese, Kintsugi, or "golden joinery", we become even more valuable.

round brown and white ceramic plate
Photo by Riho Kitagawa on Unsplash
About the Author

Mary Ellen’s work has been published in many literary journals. She recorded the events and impressions around her cerebral vascular accident in Stroke Story: My Journey There and Back, and its sequel, Coming to Terms: My Journey Continues. Her creative compilation of both books is Fortitude's Footing: Coming to Terms With Stroke. Her book of autobiographical essays and vignettes is Permanent Home: A Memory Collection. Her recent memoir, I Must Have Wandered: An Adopted Air Force Daughter Recalls


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Themes of identity, impermanence, loss, survival, adoptee rights, gardens, nature, courage, and empathy might intertwine. I may write fiction one day, but until then, it's truth, or hybridized prose and poetry, memoir, or auto-fiction. Hope you like it!


Mary Ellen is one of about four million adopted persons from the "Baby Scoop Era" (1950-'75), an author, and advocate for adoptee rights. She's a great listener, enjoys a good melody, and when it's matched to a fine story, she may sing.