Julia Brewer Daily
Adoptees are told from an early age: we are chosen. During the first years of our lives, we feel safe, loved, important. We even lord it over our siblings who may be birth children after us, the old adoption syndrome of having children after adopting. “I am chosen,” we say importantly. “You,” pointing a finger at a sibling, “are an accident.” Just as brothers and sisters will use any method at their disposal to acquire an upper hand, we may have used what we considered our most important trait.
Our parents were told they would never be able to conceive, so they underwent rounds of physical exams and embarrassing procedures. Finally, they understand, their route to having a family is to adopt. Others arrive at that decision without the medical statements of infertility and choose to welcome an older child into their home. However, they arrive, it is a tremendous decision, often fraught with questions like, “Do we know what life will look like if we adopt?” or “Will we love an adopted child as much as we would have a biological child?”
I am one of the Chosen. I am an adopted child from a maternity home in New Orleans. My adoptive parents adopted me at 2 months of age and took me to my childhood home in Mississippi.
There were always questions in my mind about my birth family and my imagination ran wild. Was I a princess stolen from a tribe of Cherokees or the love child of my father and a mistress in the Bayou Country? Every adopted child has fantasies about their origin. We all have a deep-seated desire to know our maker. Not every adoptee wants to search, but I was a curious person and did. I wanted to know the health issues in my background. I found my birth mother and, through DNA results, my birth father’s family. It was satisfying to see someone who looked like me and to hear the health issues that run in the family genes. Meeting my birth mother was a good experience. It did not change the fact that the mother and father who reared me are my parents.
I always had a fictional story brewing in the back of my mind about the women of the maternity home where I was born. Finally, in my retirement, I was able to get it on paper and find a publisher.
The premise of the story is three unwed women who meet in a maternity home in New Orleans to relinquish their babies for adoption and return home as if nothing happened. Twenty-five years later, a blackmailer threatens to expose their secrets . . . all the way to the White House.
Being knowledgeable about the eras and how maternity homes worked was a great help in my research and in creating a setting that seemed believable. Incorporating states and stories from my own childhood helped the writing become richer in depth.
The book is becoming a fan favorite, especially among book clubs where the complex topic of adoption and the current issues of same-sex adoptive parents, closed versus open record states, international or in-country adoption, and transracial adoption are pertinent today. And, I hope the conversation is sparked about the hundreds of thousands of children in foster care in this country waiting for a family.
If you would like to learn more about me and my writing, visit me at www.juliadaily.com. You can also order No Names to Be Given, my historical debut novel, on Amazon, Bookshop.org, and wherever fine books are sold. My second novel launches in August 2022.
Julia Brewer Daily is a Texan with a southern accent. She taught at every level from kindergarten to university and even shadowed Martha Stewart. She is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas, the Women Fiction Writers’ Association, the San Antonio Writers’ Guild, and the Women’s National Book Association. Daily is an adopted child from a maternity home in New Orleans and searched and found her birth mother and, through DNA results, her father’s family, as well. She and her husband live on a ranch with their Labradors, Memphis Belle, and Texas Star.