About the Author

Aurette Bowes

My 25 years’ experience as a professional business writer and editor provided the technical expertise I needed to formulate a factual account of my adoption journey, while being an adoptee provided the personal ‘I’ve been there’ ingredient for my book.

I live in Centurion, South Africa with my husband, Sean and our two children, Keenan and Caitlin.

Why I wrote Someone’s Daughter

Ever since I can remember, from a young age in fact, I have wanted to write a book. Growing up, I dabbled a little in poetry, tried my hand at short story writing, and even succeeded in publishing a small snippet in Readers’ Digest, but a book remained my number-one aspiration.

I started a novel several times, but for some reason always ran out of inspiration and was never able to finish. It was only when I learned of my adoption and embarked on a search for my birth-mother that I knew I had finally found the subject of my book.

Writing Someone’s Daughter has been one of the most difficult projects I have ever undertaken. It was so easy to say ‘I am going to write a book about my experience’; little did I know of the discipline, perseverance and emotional energy it called for.

Truthfully, I did not enjoy writing Someone’s Daughter. Recalling each emotional event and transferring it to paper was extremely painful and many times I put the manuscript aside, often for weeks, until I could summon the strength to continue. Yet, despite these temporary halts, the compulsion to write and complete my book never diminished. I was driven by the knowledge that there are so many other adoptees like me who are also struggling and I wanted – indeed, needed – to share my healing experience with them. But I was glad, and not a little relieved after I had typed the closing sentence and could finally say, ‘It’s done’.

Has the writing experience been cathartic? Most definitely.

Would I recommend that others who have experienced similar trauma to do the same? Absolutely.

Surprisingly – for me, that is – my most healing moment has been the announcement of Someone’s Daughter’s publication. I like to think of it as my “coming out” declaration – holding my head up high while announcing to friends, associates and complete strangers that I’m adopted, and here’s my story…

  1. Keеp on writing, great job!

    • Carina S. Burns
    • November 28th, 2011

    Dear Aurette,

    Firstly I’m so thankful to have found you. I’m an author of The Syrian Jewelry Box, The Healing Journey: Acceptance of Self 2 be published in 2012. As I am working on my book proposal and now the marketing platform, I’ve discovered you–am so delighted–we share a HUGE commonality. At age fifteen, I endured a life-altering event. I share my story with you as I so look forward to reading your personal journey-your story.

    Every family has a dark secret — whether it’s found in dusty old letters buried in an attic chest, or a precious gem tucked inside a jewelry box. My quest for truth begins thousands of miles away from home, where, beyond my wildest imagination, lies the secret to my destiny. Instantly, my life would be forever transformed.
    I hate secrets. I never have liked them and I never will. I always knew that I was different — that I don’t fit in. It feels as though I am on another plateau — I am blessed with lightning-speed energy. Mom often tells me that I ask too many questions and that am too sensitive. I am aware that I wear my heart on my sleeve and that I have a keen sixth sense. And, just when I believe that all pieces to my life’s puzzle fit, the irresistible urges that dogged my past return to haunt me. Might a piece be missing?
    At age fifteen, these urges manifest themselves as a full-blown obsession — a magnetic pull, luring me to search inside Mom’s forbidden jewelry box. There, I discover my family’s dark secret: I notice that the date inscribed on the inner band of Mom’s wedding ring says 1962, but I am born in 1960. Am I a child out of wedlock? I whisper. I don’t mention this to my younger brother Dennis, nor to Dad – not a soul, at least at first. “Why were you married in 1962, when I was born in 1960?” She responds, “Your father is not your biological father.”My resentment towards my mother increases for withholding the truth. In addition to her terse response that my biological father was never around and that there is nothing else to discuss, what about my zillion questions? In self-defense, I build a wall between us. My foundation, everything I believe in as the truth, disappeares as the rug is pulled from under me. Torn between shock, denial, and anger, I try to seek refuge elsewhere.
    I think about my two-year infatuation with my biology teacher, which seems more real than what I am experiencing at home, and it numbs the pain as I need to fill the empty hole in my heart. I eagerly anticipate the hallway encounters with Mr. Jacks as he winks and smiles at me, drowning me in happiness. His derriere swayed from side to side as he walks and adds yet another dimension to his personality. I wear one of Mom’s zirconium rings to school showing it to my girlfriends mentioning that Mr. Jacks and I will be getting married someday. I battle an addiction to chocolate along with depression as I attempt to cope with resulting feelings of shock, disbelief, anger, and loneliness.
    Twenty-eight years later, at age forty-three, I whisper Dad’s words of wisdom told only once to me: “If there is any advice I can give you, it would be to stand still and appreciate what you have around you.” I cry uncontrollably as my body begins shaking. I wholeheartedly accept Dad, —as I lock his gift of mindfulness in my heart, where it shall remain eternally.

    So you see, Aurette, we have so much in common and the world MUST hear our words for anyone out there who is adopted, parents who will adopt, psychiatrists and/or therapists working with people who’ve undergone adoption and not finding out until they are adults, etc.

    I so look forward to hearing back from you and would love to interlink our findings on each other websites. I will be also sending this to you via fb msg as I am there as well as on Twitter Carina Burns
    @carpetride.

    Your words have touched my heart and show me the kind and compassionate lady you are. I’m so happy that you’ve shared y/story-which I so look forward to reading when it comes on the Nook…or I’ll have to get it on the Amazon kindle version for PC. I haven’t shared anything like what I’ve written to you yet with the general public…having said this, I hope for it to remain here only. I feel I am safe here until all comes out in my story next year:-)

    I shall await your response eagerly…

    Warmest and heartfelt regards,

    Carina

    Love yourself first, and the rest of your life will fall into place.
    – Lucille Ball

    http://syrianjewelrybox.net/

    • signatures1
    • July 8th, 2011

    Aurette,
    I have a project that I would your input on and feel free to pass it on. The details are below.
    **********
    I am putting together a project and was hoping you would want to be a part of it. I am working with a partner of mine to create a book for adoptees. Each page of the book will include a member of the triad. It would include your bio, where you are from etc. Then the next portion of the page would be your message to adoptees speaking from your experience. Something you wish you knew growing up about adoption(adoptees), the frustrations about adoption, etc.(adoptees, parents) A love letter to your adoptee, the real story and feelings behind relinquishing a child, a love letter to your child(first mom and dads).
    We want this to be inspiring but at the same time real. We want it to be positive but also we want to share the reality of adoption.

    Please feel free to forward names of anyone you think might be interested especially first Moms and Dads.
    We are also looking for everyday and very well accomplished adoptees to show adoptees we are out here and we are successful.

    I tear up thinking about what life this book will speak in to the lives of adoptees.

    Lastly, we are looking for people from all over the world. So don’t limit it to just the US.

    We’re looking for it to be original, creative and 750 words or less. We will pick the ones that speak to the realities of adoption in a way that encourages and inspires adoptees.

    If you choose to be involved you can forward your bio and submission to me @ Kevin8967@sbcglobal.net by August 1, 2011.

    • Deon
    • December 28th, 2010

    Hi Aurette,

    Interesting sitting here at work and finding this out by happening to find your profile on XYZ, and then reading about your discovery.

    Readers of this will not know me, and I have used a different name, but Aurette and I were in the same high school, and we were good friends at the time – in fact I still remember her birthday and the one or two occasions where we made contact it was always around her birthday. It’s also very strange how you know a person, and also don’t know the person and Aurette’s story really touched me.

    Reading Aurette’s experience here and some of the other comments, I though I’d add something too, but from another angle. I too am adopted – my father died when I was too young to even know him, and I only found out at about 10 that my father was not my father. Sadly, he never really acted like being my father eitehr, and never showed me that he cared or was interested in what I did, unless if it was something that he didn’t agree with. It’s one thing to adopt because of infertility, its another to adopt when its an obligation because you married someone that had a fatherless child.

    I grew up in a Christian home, and was in church and Sunday school every week, simply because that was my mothers influence. Today still I love the Lord, but I will say my feelings toward Him are mixed because the “fatherly” love on earth was not a reflection of heavenly father love. As a father myself, this turned into a flop too, mainly because I did not really know how to be a father and today I am miles away from any relationship with my son. But anyway, our generation in South Africa (especially the males) were meant to shut up and not speak about emotions.

    So that’s one point – being adopted, but not being accepted. Having no way of finding or meeting relatives from the past leaves a very dark hole of being nobody. Anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, depression and fear are pills as big as cricket balls, if not bigger, but somehow you get to swallow them pretty easily.

    Then the other point – my sister (adopted fathers daughter) and the one person that should have had children, at age 40, is infertile. Every medical procedure has not worked, thousand of prayers unanswered. Even adoption has not worked for her. The black hole she looks into is not like mine, and not like a lot of yours reading this, but it is black and getting deeper each day!

    So, how’s that for two sides of a story in one family (and I’m sure we are not unique). One that would rather not have been adopted and thus have no moral or social responsibility toward the adopter, and the other that would be the happiest person on earth if she could adopt a child.

    I am so happy for Aurette and all you folks out there reading this that have found the answer to their deepest needs. To those of us still slipping and sliding in circumstances, I wish for you that it would all change in 2011.

    I needed to get this off my chest – THANKS! Have a blessed and prosperous 2011!

    D.

    • Hi Deon
      So good to hear from you; I know exactly who you are, thanks to the clues you provided. I don’t know how you came across my blog, but I’m so glad you did. I never knew that we had that much in common. The little you divulged of your story truly saddened me, especially when you spoke of the relationship with your son. I hope you intend to read my book, because I would be so honoured to include you among its readers. Perhaps there is something in my journey of healing that will be helpful to you. God bless you always, and stay in touch (which doesn’t have to be limited to birthdays only).
      A

        • Deon
        • December 29th, 2010

        Hi Aurette,

        Thanks for the reply, and yes I would certainly keep in contact, but this numbskull lost your email address. You’ll find me on Google so please send me an email if you can. I’d like to find out more about getting your book too.

        God bless!
        D.

    • M.
    • February 6th, 2010

    Hi, Aurette–I just found your site and am really interested in learning more about your book. I’m an adoptive mom and write (very occasionally these days) at “Letters to a Birthmother”. I’l lbe checking back in here!

  2. Hi Aurette,
    I was adopted and have always known. What I would like to know from you is did you experience any feelings of loss or sadness, rejection, abandonment while growing up that you felt were coming out of nowhere? Or was all of you experience from finding out you were adopted?

    • Hi Paula Growing up I certainly had rejection and abandonment issues, which affected my relationships. I was very insecure in all my friendships and was so afraid that the person concerned would leave me that I often became “clingy”, which caused them to leave anyway. I also preferred to befriend boys rather than girls, and couldn’t explain why. When people asked me why I had more male than female friends I would reply, “I don’t know. I don’t trust women, they have a hidden agenda.” I have since learned that this is also common among adoptees (primal wound stuff, of which I am sure you are aware). Indeed, when I read Nancy Verrier’s book it was as if she had written it about me.

    • Avril Giles, (Joyce Helen)
    • January 25th, 2010

    Hello Aurette,

    I have never read you book & only came across this page by chance, but was very interested, because at the tender age of 60! & with both Adoptive & Birth Parents now passed away, (not actually sure about Birth Father, as I never knew him, only his name) I also think it is time to tell my story,
    Although I am at a disadvantage compared with you, on the writing front, I would really like to try, as I think once it is all written down, there could be some kind of peace of mind for me.
    I do hope that some one will be able to reply to me.
    Thanking you in advance, Avril

    • Hi Avril
      I’m so glad you contacted me, regardless of whether you have read my book or not. Writing your story is not an easy task, but it does bring healing. For me, the healing came after I published my story (which only occurred about Sept/Oct last year), as since then I have come into contact with so many adoptees. Furthermore, non-members of the triad who have read my book say they now have a much greater understanding of all the dynamics involved in adoption, and most admit that they never realised there was so much pain involved. So, you go girl! Write that story down. Just write from the heart, and soon it will start coming more easily.
      God bless, and let me know how it goes.
      Aurette

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