This is part of the book blog tour for And Then I Found You by Patti Callahan Henry , organized by Shane at Itching for Books.
Today, I’m so happy to share with you a guest post written by Patti.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.
Does healing the past mean living in joy?
By Patti Callahan Henry
We revisit the past in many ways: telling stories, hearing stories, writing, reading and even in our dreams we can fully dwell in the past. Can we avoid the past or do we need to heal the broken parts to move ahead with joy?
I don’t know the exact right answer to this complicated question, but I did try to address it in my novel AND THEN I FOUND YOU. Although this novel was inspired by a true story, I didn’t use the facts: Age and names were altered. Marriages and relationships were fabricated and towns changed. But still the core question remained: Can we move on without healing or facing the past?
Twenty-three years ago, in the true-life story, my sister placed a baby girl for adoption with a hand-chosen but anonymous family. And then three years ago, I received a Facebook friend request from a young girl, and in an ordinary day the extraordinary happened and my sister’s daughter found us. She found me first while looking for my sister, Barbi her birth mother. Her name is Catherine and she’d grown up in a beautiful family. She was merely curious what her birth mother looked like. And then everything changed.
And that is the best part of a story — when everything changes.
There were so many beautiful, synchronistic and mysterious aspects to this real-life story and yet I wanted to dig deep into the emotional aspects of this reunion and healing more than I wanted to list the facts in a non-fiction narrative. And for me, one of the many themes in both the real-life and fictional aspect of the story is this: understanding the past and how it affects us in the present. So I asked myself, “How would the birth mother live while always wondering about her daughter and not knowing?”
Messily, I think. She’d make mistakes, and numb. She’d weep and fix and break. She’d hide and lie and shut herself off. She’d do her best to find love and forget the loss. She’d have faith and then doubt and then find faith again.
I wrote about a young woman who’d done the best she could, and yet still found herself in a terrible situation with few options. I wrote about a woman who felt compelled to heal the past before moving into her future.
I then asked myself, “How would the daughter live while always wondering about her birth mother and not knowing?”
I imagined a young thirteen-year-old girl who loved her parents but of course wondered “Why did my birth mother place me for adoption?”
Combining these elements, I wrote AND THEN I FOUND YOU.
And in this novel, the answer to the complicated question, “Does healing the past allows us to live in a future joy?” is a resounding “yes”. I understand that this “yes” isn’t always the answer and that past hurts and wounds are complicated, which is why there are always more stories to tell. And read. And write.
About the Author