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a lyrical hybrid memoir of letters, vignettes, and images, a journey of wondering and wandering

from a 1950s SC birth, sealed record adoption by a military couple, through a woman's quest, recovery of self, and the joy of reunion.


From the Foreword by Brooke Randolph, LMHC, therapist, author, speaker, and trainer specializing in adoption and Brainspotting ~ 

"I believe adoption memoirs are important for members of the adoption constellation in providing an opportunity to discover one's own personal ambiguous thoughts and feelings crystallized in another's words. Gathering these phrases and stories can be a way for us to come out of the fog of the false narrative about adoption. As you read, I hope you will find both truths and perhaps your own experience crystalized in Mary Ellen's words."

  Joanne Wolf Small, MSW, LCSW-C  

          "Shortly after reading Mary Ellen Gambutti's first book "Stroke Story: My Journey There and Back," I recall asking her if she would author a book about adoption. So, it particularly pleases me to say I found reading "I Must Have Wandered: An Adopted Air Force Daughter Recalls " an exceptional memoir. Because in telling her personal story, Mary Ellen hits the core issues most adopted people experience. Including concerns about belonging, differentness, loss, and loneliness. Besides combining excellent writing skills that reflect her poetic side, and leaving no stone unturned regarding her research, citations, documentation, and photographs...true examples of the diverse ways people in Mary Ellen's adoptive family handled adoption differentness; the various levels of acceptance Mary Ellen experiences after adoption into her new family; and step-by-step examples of Mary Ellen's unrelenting determination to reclaim her familial heritage and know her ancestral relatives. I highly recommend this book to adopted people and their parents, both birth/first and adoptive, as well as pre-adoptive parents, and child welfare professionals, for its authenticity, readability, and wealth of information."


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