Kindle book review by Thomas Graham editor of AJA

Memoirs of an Adopted Person 16 January 2015

By Thomas Graham

Format:Kindle Edition

Melinda Warshaw's memoir is an engaging story of her prolonged journey to unravel the mystery of her biological roots and the essence of who she is as a person.

It is a journey many adoptees from the closed adoption era are familiar with – the sense of disconnect with their adoptive families; the need to search and search to recover their own personal information about their original identities; to find their mothers and their authentic selves while having to deal with uncertainty, pain and the frustration of overcoming each obstacle placed in their way. As journeys go Melinda's is one of unwavering determination and courage to break through the fog that engulfed her inner world to emerge, after a long struggle, with a firm understanding of where she belongs, supported by a comfortable sense of self.

Her memoir is compelling reading for any adopted person, natural parent or adoptive parent who wishes to understand the inner forces that drive the adoptee in trying to understand their lives and to live full, meaningful lives when denied information about their origins while kept captive to the silent world of closed adoption. In recording, and reflecting on her journey, Melinda finds many answers and her authentic self releasing her from an inner solitary confinement where she is no longer a prisoner to her own life.

Thomas Graham
Australian Journal of Adoption


A big thank you to Thomas Graham who wrote a great review of my book on the Australian Journal of Adoption site. To read it and other great articles click on Table of Contents and scroll down to the book review of A Legitimate Life. Tom gets The

What he leaves out is the reason why I lived in so many places. It was because of the sexual abuse and PTSD I was living with plus when my drunk adoptive father came on to me I ran away. I was way too young back in 1970 to know anything about the traumas and PTSD to understand my behavior other than I knew I had to keep the secrets to protect my adoptive mother from knowing about her biological son and husband. Thomas did not mention that my natural attractions to certain people in my life reflected my biologicals when I found them and reuntied in 2009-10.  For instance, most of my paternal 2nd cousins were athletes ie runners and basketball reflecting my attraction to John Carlos and athletes who were like them..upon further revelations and truth I received from my bios it was obvious that they were like me in hundreds of ways  (flutist, graphic designer, abstract and fashion photographer and artist, model, writer, dancer,singer, teacher,athletes, equestrians, designers, funny ones, smart ones, tall ones, handsome ones, pretty ones, nice ones, kind ones, same shoes size, health issues, personality traits) as were many of the people (total strangers) I befriended before I even knew who my lost bios and true roots were. This is genetic attraction and genetic sexual attraction known by many adoption professionals. I was the loser because no one talked about these things back in 1970 and yet I managed to find my biological mother and roots in spite of the ignorance of the times. Thomas blames my behaviors due to being adopted,but I was suffering from two of the worst traumas a child can receive and finding strangers to bond with who were like my lost and unknown bio self and my lost bios without realizing it; until my physical reunion in 2009-10. It is now 2014 and I know so much more about myself and my relatives. Thank goodness for the internet, search angels, Facebook and DNA testing and reunion. 

              Dear Readers / Authors

The latest edition of the Australian Journal of Adoption (AJA) is now
available online (see link):

This volume focuses on the experiences of the adopted person. In their own
words, in their own style, and with their own approach, providing a broad
range of insights and experiences about what it is like being adopted.

Children no more … voiceless no more … invisible no more.
The majority of contributors are now in their 40s, 50s or 60s – some are
parents or grandparents, holding a variety of careers and with deep life
experience. Irrespective of whether these experiences were good or bad
growing up, their adoption continues to shadow and impact on their lives.

Courageous and resilient they share their stories of unraveling family
secrets and of trying to find themselves and their place in the world. 

In their telling, the life long impacts of adoption become apparent.
Adoption is not a one-off event – it's there forever. 

Each individual story is offered to raise awareness about being adopted,
from those who live with the memory and the reality on a daily basis.

Many thanks to all the contributors, particularly each adopted person for
finding their voice and having the courage to share their experiences with

Listen to their stories and share with your networks.

Please note this is the first batch of papers. Others will be added in
coming days and over the next few weeks. 

Thomas Graham

Vol 8, No 2 (2014): The Adopted Person ... Remembers ... Speaks
Table of Contents

National Archives Exhibition on Forced Adoption--------
Hidden history and impact of forced adoptions
Amy, Curator, National Archives of Australia

Upcoming Conferences--------
Fifth International Conference on Adoption Research, 13-16 January 2016
Rhoda Scherman

Personal Stories and Reflections--------
A hole in the heart: on secrets, silence and sorrow
Sue Bond
The changing sky
Kylie Carman-Brown
‘A good adoption’: Telling an inside story
Anne Else
Birth Stories
Sofie Gregory
Fragments from an Adopted Daughter
Maria Haenga-Collins
Extracts From “The Adoption Notebook: Notes From Above Ground”
Daniel Harrison
The changing performance of Adoptee
Chris Lambert
The Rise of the Adoptee Rights Movement in the 21st Century
Catherine Lynch
Melinda Rackham
Reunions and Moving On
Denise Sheehan

Book and Movie Reviews--------
A legitimate life - A Forbidden Journey of Self-Discovery by Melinda A.
Thomas Graham

Masters Theses--------
An investigation into the lived experience of New Zealand birth and adoptive
mothers in open adoption
Nelly Kalizinje

Honours Theses--------
Adoption Websites: A Content Analysis
Michelle Coyne
Growing up with an adopted sibling: A retrospective study of the resident
children’s experiences
Luzaan Nel
When Celebrity Policy Entrepreneurship is Not Good Enough: Intercountry
Adoption Policy in Australia
Helen Hye Ryung Oh

Australian Journal of Adoption   


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