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The Gathering Place: An Adoptee’s Story

 Author: Emma Stevens  Category: Adoption  Publisher: Independently published  Published: September 29, 2021  Buy Now

When Emma learns her birth mother wrote and signed a letter about her to the adoption agency, she knew she had to have that letter if she were to ever discover her birth mother’s true identity. Her birth mother had used a fictitious name at the maternity home and used an assumed name on Emma’s original birth certificate. Emma takes bold measures to get ahold of that letter and start solving the puzzle that is her life.

Emma was adopted into a family that expected her to conform to their expectations of who she should be — but she did not arrive as a blank slate. Unable to see that her relinquishment and adoption were not her fault, her soul split into pieces. In order to put the pieces back together, Emma embarks on multiple journeys and adventures towards both solving the mystery of who she is, and healing from the pain of separation from her origins.

Emma powerfully describes a childhood and life profoundly affected by not knowing her true self. Has she ever known her true self?

It’s a story of inner strength and perseverance where Emma welcomes all her parts of self to feel valued and seen. She fights to reunite her fractured soul through love and acceptance of herself, and of others. In a meditative and surreal state, under and around a big old oak tree with a simple wood-seated and rope swing attached, she accepts the invitation of integrating herself. And this reunion all takes place at The Gathering Place.

Praise for Emma Stevens

The Gathering Place is poignant and thrilling. There were gasp out loud moments and times that made me nod in agreement. Stevens’ writing is beautiful. I was constantly taken with the imagery of her words. For instance, my heart felt like warm melted gold. I had a deeper understanding of what trauma looks and feels like to a baby and was encouraged in my own healing journey after reading this timeless memoir. You won’t be able to put it down!

— Rebecca Autumn Sansom, creator of the documentary Reckoning with the Primal Wound

Why should an adult who had been adopted as an infant be kept in the dark about their origins? Emma Stevens resorts to breaking and entering, tracking down leads like a bloodhound, and getting to the bottom of who she truly is in this powerfully written and compelling autobiography. Emma Stevens has worked hard to not only find out where she came from, but also to heal from the wounds and bewilderment caused by separation. Her beautifully written narrative is a testament to her tenacious and resilient spirit, and an inspiration to adoptees and others seeking answers to the all-important question of life: Who Am I?

— Diane Shifflett, adoptee

The Gathering Place brings you to the center of your heart after first bringing you into the center of the mayhem grief causes to the body and the mind. Emma Stevens has done the hard work—she even broke into a building in order to find pieces of her story—and in doing so and on taking us with her on her journey, we get to benefit from her dedication to the truth, and we learn the repercussions of being adopted and the years and years of work it can take to finally find yourself. And we are inspired: if Emma can find peace and joy, so can we.

— Anne Heffron, author and writing coach, You Don’t Look Adopted

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About the author

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Other Books By - Emma Stevens