A lot of my writing stems from my daughter's struggles. A second novel (yes, I know I need to finish the first one) deals with a young girl as she grows from 12 to about 18 years old. She has been abandoned by her mother, doesn't even know who her father is, and is raised by her maternal grandmother. Is she what her mother said by abandoning her, or what her precious grandmother tells her she is, through the gifts of love and grace? It's about identity, in a different way then my current book is.
I'm finding that nearly everything I've written since my daughter's birth has been about identity. It's plagued me before, but took on a different perspective when I became a mother. As a military kid without roots or many real ties to extended family, I always felt somewhat adrift. I think now that this was a gift from God to give me more empathy with my daughter.
The identity of an adopted child affected with attachment disturbance is in constant flux, which causes upheaval. During the rough times, my life is all about her. During the calmer times, as I evaluate the situation, I also tap this rich source of angst and stress in our lives for my writing. I won't go into any detail about what our lives are like. Suffice it to say it's tough and it's precious--and every minute of grace counts. I will say I believe I can use those emotions to help me create real and relatable characters without exposing my husband's or daughter's personal secrets (I am pretty transparent about my own issues); and perhaps I can help bring healing to someone who reads and identifies with my characters. While I am sometimes a bit uneasy about how much of myself will be revealed in my work whether I intend it nor not, I think that is part of the healing process. And I do hope that as we heal in our household, some of my readers will come along with us. I don't write my books specifically to bring healing, but I do hope what I write will be more than just a fun ride.