Books
A.K. Snyder

Redefining Family

In an unconventional blend of poetry and prose, a birthmother shares her experience of an open adoption. The fear and uncertainty in planning. The heartbreak of losing her child. And the work of healing and building a life after placement. This memoir hits every emotion on the way to the happy and hopeful ending.
I am not ready, not able, to raise you.
Ten years too early, I need time to grow up.
To offer you, I have love.
And nothing else.
You need more than I have to give,
Unless I give you up.
To parents who are ready, waiting, to raise you.
Ten years wanting, with a ready home.
Parents who have love,
And everything else, too.
If I do it,
If I break my own heart to spare yours,
Will it work?
Will you be happier, healthier this way?
And will I ever be okay again?

Twenty years of a birthmother’s experience—the fear, grief, healing, and acceptance—are exposed in this intimate narrative. It will break your heart, then heal it, with new perspectives on adoption, openness, and the complex ways we define family.
Summary
Seventeen and pregnant, Alycea spends her senior year planning for the future. The only way she can give her daughter a stable childhood is to place her for adoption.
Even in ideal circumstances—a voluntary placement in an open adoption with generous adoptive parents—a birthmother grieves the loss of her child. With a broken heart and heavy past, Alycea must figure out how to keep moving forward, build her own life, and walk the fine line required to keep the adoption open.
Her path to healing means redefining what it means to love, to be a good parent, and to be a family. This memoir hits every emotion on the way to the happy and hopeful ending.
128 printed pages
Original publication
2020

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