When we were featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network, then the Katie Couric show, and after that, the Jeff Probst show, we had to recount the story of our book (which is the story of our lives) over and over again. While we were honored by the opportunities and propelled by the desire to share our story in order to give hope to those in need of it, it was a daunting emotional roller coaster. Secret Storms is, in the words of one of its readers, “a riveting, profound book,” but one in which there are many extremes of feeling.
It takes the reader from the staunch, eccentric Main Line of Philadelphia to the Isle of Capri, to Kenya, to Broadway, to Hollywood; from movie, stage and literary stars to regular people leading extraordinary lives; from a little girl with a python and cheetah as pets, to a little girl living with a real-life wicked step-mother, to a young, pregnant and sane woman in a mental hospital. It’s about being adopted, about adopting, and about giving a child up for adoption. But more than all of that, at its core, Secret Storms is about motherhood. About the soul-altering, miracle that is the relationship between parent and child. About the strongest bond humans are capable of forming between each other.
Since publishing the book, we’ve had the honor and privilege of receiving countless letters from readers who feel compelled to share their own stories with us. Extraordinary, often heartbreaking stories. Nowhere more than in the adoption community is it more evident what real maternal love actually is. We’ve learned over and over again through our readers’ stories that motherhood comes in many guises, that selfless love is not just the domain of biological parents, that mothers who don’t get to raise their children are still mothers, that the joys and tragedies of motherhood belong to all women who love their children.
There truly is no higher calling or a more difficult one than the care and nurturing of a child. So today, and every day, we celebrate all mothers. Happy Mother’s Day! -Julie Mannix von Zerneck and Kathy Hatfield
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Secret Storms: A Mother and Daughter, Lost then Found
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