Facing the Fears has been available in hard copy since 2007 and Collette has been encouraged to keep sharing her story by many readers. Before offering feedback or sharing their poignant stories, so many have leant forward in trust, as if to whisper in her ear ... “I was blown away by the honesty in your words ... I have never told anyone this before but I was ...............”.
A 45 year old father recently approached Collette to share how he was reading her book on the train to work and had wished he had further to go so he could keep reading as he just didn’t want to put it down. He continued to share that his story had nothing to do with adoption but when he read Collette’s description of “The Gap” that she feared she visited for comfort way too often as a child, he found himself completely relating to and recalling his own childhood. He believed Collette’s story was inspirational to him in so many different ways and it was if she had disarmed some unknown ticking time-bombs within him that he didn’t know he carried. He couldn’t thank her enough.
An 85 year old grandmother purchased Facing the Fears after reading a feature article about Collette in a weekend edition of a major Australian newspaper. She said she felt compelled to write to say thank you and wrote several pages in a letter to Collette - whose first reaction was quite mixed. Some of the words did not land kindly on Collette’s heart as this reader categorised unwed mothers in a way that resonated harshly on someone who held all women in high regard. Nevertheless, as this reader continued, she revealed what were obviously unsettled memories and truthful thoughts of her own. After pushing the letter aside before responding it wasn’t long before an email arrived from the same reader who shared that using computers was not an easy thing for her. She had read Facing the Fears three times already and jokingly declared that her grandchildren thought she was becoming a bit obsessed with the story.
This book is not solely for those who have been touched by adoption. Collette’s writing intentionally embodies an emotional honesty and rawness that engages the reader in the hope that they may find a little of themselves woven into her ‘untold’ story of search and reunion with her birth family history.
What would you do if you woke up one day, shortly after attending the birth of your first grandchild and having recently resigned from an extensive and successful career in the corporate world of finance, with news of nine siblings that you did not know you had? Could you stay on track with a decade of search to find the eight who were also adopted and the one who wasn’t ...but knew absolutely nothing of her mother’s early life? How would you go about finding every one of them?
This heart-stopping true story follows the twists and turns that held so many secrets, more than Collette could ever have imagined. “I just wanted to find my birthmother and see her with my own eyes and dare I even think it ... gently touch her hand.”
“On Reflection” at the end of each chapter touches on key ‘private logic’ elements of Collette’s journey of facing the fears while photos capture moments that existed for only a fraction of a second yet tell their own story. Quotes and poems expose what were starting points and inspiration for Collette as she answered the call to see her life from the inside out.
The chapter headings tell it all ... The awakening; Lifting the Lid; Moving...moving...moving; Siblings!!; Number 10 arrives; Where are you Mum?; Surprise, Surprise; Not according to my fantasy; Boys, boys, boys; OH NO! I didn’t want to find this; Wide Awake.
“No one ever told me it was possible to feel this good at 58!!!” became Collette’s favourite saying at the time of publishing Facing the Fears in hard copy in 2007. Be curious ... this is one of those hard to put down books that consistently elicits the word ‘inspirational' from readers.