"Cast Off" twines two stories.
One story shows how being banned from my firstborn's life affected my roles as a woman, a wife, and a mother of two others.
The second story reveals how, in the mid-1970s, I searched for mothers like me and invited them to help me form a new organization, the first of its kind anywhere.
Our unique band of mothers broke one taboo after another. We risked our rehabbed respect to spread our message across the United States. We swallowed hard when we revealed our state-sponsored secrets. We exercised the mother of all restraints when we followed our children's lives from a distance. Along the way, we gathered support from some professionals. With them, we squared off against others in the adoption industry who exercised their money and might to block the changes we proposed. In the end, we expanded what it means to be whole.
As I look back after many decades, I don't know how I had the courage to do any of it. After all, I was only a 1970s housewife, who a decade earlier had been kicked out of high school. But I did do it. And, I will prove how trusting your own instincts and imagination can infuse your spirit, too.