The line along our lives are often blurred by the real and not so real incidents, but that was not the case for Big Valley resident Carole Lauweryssen, who decided to figure out her roots for herself, in spite of having a happy childhood.
“Eighteen years ago, I had an incredibly joyful birth reunion story that was always a pleasure to share with folks who heard of it or when it came up in casual conversation; and I enjoyed sharing parts of the journey,” said Carole Lauweryssen, who made her entry into the world of writing and publishing through her memoir Unspeakable Gift: My Homecoming, which tells the story of her search for birth parents and the happy reunion that followed. “I had kept the event pretty well documented for my own purposes, but over time I really felt nudged to share it and spoke of writing a book someday.”
As the years went by, Lauweryssen was unable to ignore the urge to put it down on paper.
“I couldn’t shake the voice that kept nudging me to get moving on the project, so just over a year ago I got serious about finishing the writing and began a publishing process this past spring,” explained Lauweryssen. “I really felt called to share it, beyond what I have called my comfort zone.”
With great support from her family, friends and the publisher she worked with – Inkwater Press – Lauweryssen got the whole process started.
“It happened smoothly and quickly for the most part, much like the reunion itself, it moved at a fast pace and with ease,” added Lauweryssen.
Reminiscing about how and why she felt the need to get in touch with her birth family, Lauweryssen said, “It was almost like I woke up one day and the feeling wouldn’t go away, so I guess you can say it was all just meant to be.”
According to Lauweryssen, the story she started to write was mostly intended as a memoir of the reunion journey itself, but ended being equally as much about her spiritual journey in life.
“The two stories can’t really be told separately, as they are deeply intertwined,” said Lauweryssen. “When I first decided to search for my birth parents, I contacted the Children’s Aid Society in Ontario, which is the province in which I was placed for adoption and the agency who handled adoption searches and potential reunions.”
Up until around the time Lauweryssen was 18, the records of these adoption placements were sealed.
Once they were opened, the birth children were given the right to search for their birth families.
If there were family members at the other end, like parents or siblings registered in the system, the reunion would go very quickly, otherwise the birth child would be placed on the list for a search, which they also had a right to even if the parent had not registered, but in this case the approximate wait time could be up to eight years.
“I grew up happy and (was) well loved as a child in my adopted home and I wasn’t wanting to search as a child,” added Lauweryssen. “It was later on, as I turned 30 that I decided to search.”
As a child, Lauweryssen was more curious than anything else about where she came from and who she was.
“The older I got, the more I realized I was very different than the rest of my family, of course physically I was different, but inside, I knew I was very different too,” said Lauweryssen. “My basic make up and how I thought I didn’t match with my adopted family, not that it was a bad thing that we were different, it just didn’t feel complete for me.”
Lauweryssen had no idea what she would find at the other end of her search, but it became very important to her when she became a young mother, to find some of these unknown answers.
“Most importantly for me it felt like if the match and reunion didn’t go well, I was in a good place in my life where I could have handled any rejection,” said Lauweryssen.
Lauweryssen’s book is a happy memoir about roots, birth and reunion.
“Recently I have had the book fall in the hands of two readers, one of them being an adult birth child and one who is a birth mother, and both of them expressed that they could relate so much to my experience,” said Lauweryssen. “I am just really excited to get the book out so it can reach those who will find a gift in it.”
Carole Lauweryssen’s book Unspeakable Gift: My Homecoming is available through Amazon and also through her website www.carolespen.com.