Should I Read The Excerpt in the Anthology or the Whole Book?

A few carefully chosen sections from Catana Tully’s memoir, Split at the Root: A Memoir of Love and Lost Identity, were selected for inclusion in Perpetual Child: Dismantling the Stereotype (Adult Adoptee Anthology). I’ve reviewed Tully’s book before at “Split Between Privilege and Denial, The Truth Brings Wholeness.” Check out the review for a better idea about this important book for anyone interested in adoption identity issues.

When you read this section in Perpetual Child you can get a sample of Tully’s powers of description and the fascinating and original details of her life story.  The selections have been very carefully chosen and arranged to tell their own story within this anthology.

It might even be better, though, just to skip this section and order your copy of Tully’s book now. Read the whole thing. You won’t be satisfied with this excerpt once you see how caught up you get in her story.

Back to the portion in the anthology. There is a haunting (and gut-wrenching) scene in here. It so clearly shows what it’s like for an adoptee to have her boundaries trampled by others and to be forced to discuss in public things she doesn’t understand in her own mind and heart. In this scene, the mature adult Tully is interrogated mercilessly by a six-year-old demanding to know about Tully’s birth mother and her origins. She relentlessly hammers the woman with questions that serve to emphasize how little Tully has dealt with these issues. This child is both her own real person, but also a representation of all the children and adults and institutions that perform similar aggression on adoptees.

Read Tully here or read her in her own book. But READ HER.


  1. So grateful that you shed light on a salient issue my book addresses and that plagues adoptees. The adoptee’s feeling of indebtedness is at times crippling. After learning how to deal with the trauma, we manage to blossom in our own particular ways and become accomplished contributors to society. At least, I like to think of it that way… 🙂

    • Beautifully put, Catana. Is the “feeling of indebtedness” part of what I see as society’s mandate that adoptees are supposed to feel gratitude, I wonder?

      • I’d say so, Luanne. After all, the adoptive parents “rescued” the child from what is considered a fate worse than…? Whatever…? In the adoptee situation, gratitude and indebtedness are exchangeable terms. One can say that all children should be grateful to their parents, but it’s different for adoptees because their first set of parents gave them up to be raised by someone else. And the someone else (and their friends and family) more often than not feels like the rescuer.

  2. Reblogged this on

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