Giving Away Simone is Jan Waldron’s account of her compelling, turbulent, and maddeningly original relationship with the daughter she gave away. Jan’s baby, Simone, was the fifth generation of women in her family to be abandoned by their mothers. Determined to fight this “undertow of conditioned exiting, an affliction of easy farewell,” Jan reunited with her daughter, now renamed Rebecca, when Rebecca was eleven. They spent the next thirteen years trying to come to terms with each other and figure out what kind of roles they were to play in each others’ lives.
For birthmothers, there are no simple equations of loss and gain. Each adoption is its own unique universe of complexities and ambiguities. But often the most personal is also the most universal, and there are truths to be found in every story. This beautifully rendered, intensely personal memoir gives essential shading to choices usually reduced to black and white. Waldron does not dispense advice; she probes the emotional fallout, on both sides of adoption, an area in which sedated platitudes have presided for far too long. ”