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Book Excerpts from "For the Love of Jeremy..."

Melissa A. Shepard-Cesareo, PhD
Mother, Counselor, Author

"For the Love of Jeremy,
and other adopted kids...

a self-help book for members of the adopton triad."
Dedicated to my son, Jeremy Scott
Original manuscript copyright 1986
Electronic copyright 2001 MASC
No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.


Whether you are an adoptive parent, adopted child, birth parent or a concerned person, you've chosen this book for a reason.
I hope you find what you are looking for within these pages.
The intent of this book is to dispell some of the myths surrounding adoption and to help all parties concerned to understand the subject, people, and the options involved.
If you are an adoptive parent, I encourage you to read through this and share it with your child. It may help to answer some of those difficult questions your child has been, {or will be}, asking.
If you're an adoptee, please share this book with your parents-- it may just be the ice-breaker you've been looking for to open a discussion.
If you're a birth parent, this book may help you to understand the "other" side of this issue. To understand that your feelings are normal; to understand the feelings your child and his parents may be struggling with.
May it comfort you to know that they may be reading this book.


the birth mother
Anyone can talk to you,
Can even be your friend,
But I the one who gave you life
Must not see you again.
You're someone else's child now
The law says this is so.
Tho you are flesh of my flesh
Someone else will watch you grow.
Someone else will hear your laughter
And wipe away your tears
While I will grieve in silence,
For my child, and our lost years.
The smile you give to strangers
Is one I cannot see.
When they sealed the records of your life
They stole a part of me.
You'll never know I love you,
Or how much I regret.
There is no way to tell you
That I did not "forget."

the adoptee
I search for you, my parents
who gave me up.
I seek you
through my restlessness,
my drifting from one face to another,
Seeking my reflection in you.
I've never heard you say my name;
you are mysterious
and unknown.
Shadow parents.
You dwell in my heart,
which is bursting
to bring you into the light of day
and make me real.

By Cynthia J. Bell, PhD, Coordinator, Governor's Youth Services Initiative, Chicago, Illinois.
(Reprinted with permission)

A Birthday

the adoptive mother
It's my child's birthday today
and he just went dashing by me.
His eyes are sparkling with the excitement
only meant for today.
Presents, kisses, hugs, cake, ice cream...
It all seems so natural.
It's a day for looking back and looking forward.

It's my child's birthday today
But there is something very different happening
inside of me.
This should be a day of complete joy
a day for thanksgiving
but I am stopped in the midst of all this excitement
I'm stopped because my thoughts are with "someone else" for a time.

It's my child's birthday today
I have no memories of the pain and struggle
as he entered this life
Another "someone" was there...
another "someone"suffered for my joy.

It's my child's birthday today.
But "someone", somewhere, is feeling an emptiness inside.
I wonder if she is wondering...
wondering who he looks like
wondering how small
wondering if he laughs much
Wondering if he will wonder some day too.

It's my child's birthday today
And in the middle of this blessed day that was given to me,
I have a prayer:
Oh, God, that I may never forget
That someone suffered so much to give life
to my child, that someone loved my child
so very much that she gave him the right to live.
May I never forget for a moment, especially now,
to offer a prayer of thanks for that "someone"
and that You, dear God, can always be there
by that "someone" to help her through the hurts
she will have when she stops to think
today is "my child's birthday."

By Sue Westrum,an adoptive mother, Illinois
(Reprinted with permission)


As incidences of teen and untimely pregnancy continue to rise, the alternative of adoption is being exercised more frequently. These children are born and placed in presumably good homes. If the children are raised knowing they are adopted, they may become curious about their "roots". They have questions which deserve answers, possible insecurities, formed by the unknown, that need to be dispelled.
Adoptive parents secure in themselves and their child's love will try to be open and answer those questions. They will assist their child in solving any mysteries surrounding his birth, and help him to deal with any subsequent problems.

This book is meant to help both child and adult to understand some of the problems and explore some possible solutions in dealing with adoption, after the fact.

SECTION ONE-- For the "Kids"

CHAPTER ONE-- So you're adopted...

Pick up a local newspaper from any relatively large area.
Look in the 'personals' section of the classified ads.
There you may see an ad like this:

Young, financially secure couple wishes to adopt healthy newborn.
Have nice home and boundless love and energy to offer.
Legal fees paid.
Call John and Jane Doe Collect.

Your parents may have found you this way. Or perhaps they filed an application with an agency, had to go through endless interviews and investigations,only to have their hopes dashed and hearts broken a few dozen times before they finally got you. Maybe they found you through a doctor, lawyer, or clergy. The point is-- they wanted a child and couldn't or didn't have one biologically. So they searched and waited until you came along.
THEY are your parents.

But ever since you found out you were adopted, you may have been wondering and imagining who and what the OTHER people are.
Your birthmother, for instance, did you imagine she was like a fairy princess? A glamorous movie star? Or is she a famous balerina who couldn't possibly have taken time from her busy career to raise you?

Or have you been thinking that maybe she was a drug addict, alcoholic, or criminal? Or just a stupid girl that didn't care, that didn't want You "messing up" her life?

Well, it would be nice if no one were born to a mother like that. But let's face it-- even kids who are raised by their birthparents don't always have the best of families; of lives.

If it turns out that your birthmother did have any of those problems, try to be thankful that she had the sense, and cared enough to not involve You in them.
If she had any of those problems and had you, and gave you up-- she cared enough to want a better life for you. It may have been easier to have an abortion, or to just keep you in ruins, but SHE CARED.

Although it may be very hard, it is best not to make any judgements about your birthparents until you know the FACTS surrounding your birth....

CHAPTER TWO-- "But my parents just don't understand."

The most common problem curious adoptees face is their parents' lack of understanding. Alot of adoptive parents fear losing the child they wanted so badly. That fear sometimes causes anger and parents will say things like, "If you look for THEM, I'll have nothing to do with you!" or "You don't love me!" or "Wasn't I good enough for you?" It's very similar to the push me/pull you that often goes on between divorced parents.
Jealousy, insecurity, and fear of the unknown all play a part.

If your parents could just understand that you love them and wont give them up-- they'd probably be alot more willing to help and support you in your search. If you are negotiating with your parents for information about your history, be sure to reassure them of their place in your heart and life. Let them know that even if you find and develop a relationship with your birth family, that they wont lose theirs with you.
A kid can love more than one set of parents, just as a parent's love expands with each additional child.

I can't advise you to go against your parents' wishes to search for your birth parents, but you do have a right to know where you came from. Once you're eighteen, it is your decision. If you think that you want to search at 18, and your parents are uncooperative about it, I suggest talking to them--again and again. Get books dealing with the issue from your local library. Ask for all of you to see a counselor experienced with adoption. Keep asking. Whatever you do, TRY to keep the love and reassurances coming through to them.

If you allow yourself to become angry and let your quest for knowledge get between you and your adoptive parents, you may destroy a wonderful relationship. Be patient. In time, they may come around and realize that you're not looking to "trade them in on a new model."

Allow your parents the time they need to adjust to this new you. Allow them time to get past their fears; to accept your need to know. Some adoptive parents may not come around completely, until after you've found your birth parents and they see for themselves that you're not leaving them; that you DO still love them. If you do decide to search without the support of your adoptive parents, keep the love coming. Keep the lines of communication open. Finding your past does not mean you have to give up everything you have today....

More to be added soon!

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