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  • Writer's pictureMary Ellen Gambutti

Season's Greetings!

Our delightful toy poodle puppy, Timmy, is lighting up our life!

I hope you have stayed well this year. Phil and I have been fortunate, although too many family and friends weren't so lucky. Here's to boosters and social distancing! A toast to your good health, and the steady decline of various viral curses! I hope this season of love and goodwill and the brighter light that follows the solstice brings us cheer at this year's end and through the next!

forest in solstice
Photo by Robin S for Unsplash

If you're like me, you'll take time for self-care this winter, and curl up once in awhile with a selection from your stack of books, perhaps with a cup of hot tea or cocoa, and an iced cookie or two! I plan to steep in a slew of both fiction and non-fiction -- stories that await in my kindle.

Here's an updated link to a list of "books written and recommended by adoptees." Adoptee Reading You can find my memoir, I Must Have Wandered, listed among a wide range of story and reference books to inspire and enlighten all affected by Adoption.

Please support independently published--indie authors--and independent bookstores.

I am pleased and honored to feature my guest writer, Nicole Johnson, an adoptee and birth mother who writes under the moniker, Nic Johns, and shares the journey that the duality of these roles presents. She started her blog Rebranded to share her experiences as she has reunited with her birth mother and son in hopes of helping other adoptees, birth parents, and anyone considering adoption. She is currently working on a memoir by the same name.

The holidays are not always kind to adoptees. The focus on family can cause feelings of loss to surface and bring up complex emotions around the concept of “family.” I love this time of year because December is my birthday month. Instead of setting New Year Resolutions, I set Birthday Resolutions.

Although the day I was born was the same day my mother relinquished me, I do not view my birthday as a day of loss. I celebrate that I survived birth, relinquishment, foster care, adoption, rebranding, and the self-inflicted trauma of continuing the adoption cycle by relinquishing my son when I was a teenager.
When I was a child, I believed that if at no other time, my birth mother would have to think about me on my birthday, five days before Christmas. That thought comforted me as I gushed over the German Chocolate cake my adoptive mother had made just for me. Baking was her gesture of love, as she was not adept at showing it any other way. I felt loved on my birthday.
After I relinquished my son, I constantly thought of him and even more so on his birthday, which falls on St. Patrick’s Day. While others were boisterous in their celebration and looking to pinch someone not wearing green, my celebration was more reserved. I simply celebrated that he existed and, hopefully, like me as a child; if he didn’t think about me any other time, I hoped he did on his birthday.
As my birthday approaches, I still have the same excitement, but as I reflect on my past year, I wonder if I am locked in survival mode as an adoptee and a birth mother. I will celebrate Christmas with the family I grew up with, where it doesn’t feel like home, but it’s familiar. I will call my birth mother and wish her well, feeling disjointed but thankful she is in my life. I will FaceTime my son and hope that he answers.

My birthday resolution this year is to live like I belong and not as an adoptee celebrating the trauma that I survived.

You can connect with Nic through the following links:


Thank you for your beautiful words, Nic.

As many of you know, I launched my memoir in August, 2022, and have been absorbed in writing, revising, publishing, promotion, and marketing my work all year.

I want to thank you for your continued support. I appreciate you all! This is a collage of excerpts and images from my journey

Wishing you the joy and peace of this blessed season.

See you in the New Year!


(c) 2022 Mary Ellen Gambutti

all rights reserved

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