Gayle Bradeis essay

I’m sharing a beautiful essay by Gayle Brandeis, a teacher in my Antioch MFA program who read the piece during our December residency. The title, “My Shadow Son,” refers to a young man who, for 14 years, believed Gayle was his birth mother. The essay speaks to the strong drive felt by many people who are adopted to connect with blood family.

On Gayle’s public FB page, she identified the young man and shared his comments, including this paragraph: “[T]he real moral of this story is that in finding the history of my own birth family and in meeting my biological sister I have come to feel even more kinship with my true family (the one that adopted me). I could never have anticipated that revelation since I have already loved them with my whole heart since the day I was born, but it has been the most powerful revelation of my 32 years on this planet.”

Gayle’s YA novel, My Life with the Lincolns, is my son Mateo’s favorite book. Her latest is a memoir on my list to read, The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother’s Suicide.



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2 Responses to “Gayle Bradeis essay”

  1. Kathy says:

    This brought me to tears. I’ve a somewhat similar situation with a “shadow”relative, and finding my history/birth family brought me even closer to my adoptive family. Although, this is not often true for many adoptees. Each adoptee has their own unique journey and path to follow…

    Many of the comments to her essay saddened me:(

  2. Jessica says:

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Kathy. Absolutely true, this: “Each adoptee has their own unique journey and path to follow…”

    Also agree about the comments to Gayle’s essay.
    Thanks again.

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