WELCOME to my PARTY!!!
The month of November is a special time for me:
my second novel and sequel to
the second in the unsavory heritage series,
will be available 30 November on Amazon
Clara Bess wasn’t raised by her birth mother. Nor was she adopted.
“Clara Bess read, with shock and no small degree of confusion, the line on her birth certificate where her mother’s name should be. It did not read Lily Isabella Mayes.
Clara Bess was adopted.
Where, then, were the adoption papers?” (excerpted from the back-cover blurb)
Posts this month address children who, for whatever reason, are not raised or cared for by their birth parents. Clara Bess faces the journey of not only finding out who her birth mother was, but why she was raised with the family she knew. Was she abandoned? Or was she taken?
Abandonment may be physical (the parent is not present in the child’s life) or emotional (the parent withholds affection, nurturing, or stimulation). Parents who leave their children, with or without good reason, can cause psychological damage to the child. (Wikipedia)
Child abandonment is the practice of relinquishing interests and claims over one’s offspring in an extralegal way with the intent of never again resuming or reasserting them. Causes include many social and cultural factors as well as mental illness. An abandoned child is called a foundling (as opposed to a runaway or an orphan). Baby dumping refers to parents abandoning or discarding a child younger than 12 months in a public or private place with the intent of disposing of them. (Wikipedia)
While reasons for abandoning a child may be as individual as the individual parent, there are some primary issues. Poverty is a heavy burden, and can be a reason for giving up one’s child. Teenage girls who become pregnant may be ill-equipped to face parents or peers—or the father—let alone motherhood, and hide their pregnancy and subsequently their newborn child. In cultures where ultrasound is not readily available or commonplace, the birth of a child of the “wrong” gender may prompt the parent to abandon the baby.
Historically, it seems, abandonment was more prevalent than it is today. Fewer or no welfare options, remote villages, and higher levels of shaming left parents with seeming no other choice. In Medieval Europe, the Visigothic Code gave a person who found an abandoned child the right to the child’s service as a slave. Abandoned children became wards of the state (think orphan houses, and Oliver Twist.) or were conscripted into labor pools or military service.
In the US, laws impose heavy penalties for those who abandon a child. In Georgia, for instance, it is a felony to abandon a child and then leave the state. If, however, a child is left in a designated safe place, such as a hospital or police station, this is an exception to utter abandonment.
In South Korea, Jong-rak Lee, a pastor from Seoul, has set up a safe manner and place for mothers to leave their babies. “A depository—literally, an oversized metal mail box—sits outside Lee’s Presbyterian church in South Korea’s capital. It is lined with a blanket and equipped with heating to keep abandoned babies safe from the cold.” (http://dailysignal.com/2015/02/09/one-mans-fight-save-hundreds-unwanted-perfect-lives/)
Especially pertinent to my writing this article, is the occurrence of abandoned children in literature. Used as a plot device, it garners intrigue to a storyline—mysterious antecedents, high birth and lowly upbringing, illegitimate pregnancy, even an “oracle” that the child is evil or will bring evil—it sure worked for my story. (And though there is no abandonment in the third book, Cissy, there is a declaration that she is evil.)
Foundlings have long been featured in literature—our friend, Will Shakespeare, for instance, in The Winter’s Tale or Le Fresne written by Marie de France. Angelo F. Coniglio’s The Lady of the Wheel, classic fairy tales, Snow White and Hansel and Gretel, even classic Greek literature with Oedipus—all contain abandoned babies or children. And bodes well for this author’s plot mechanism.
Being abandoned, or discovering that you were abandoned—as is the case with Clara Bess—leaves deep scars and heavy questions.
Abandoned child syndrome is a behavioral or psychological condition that results primarily from the loss of one or both parents, or sexual abuse. Abandonment may be physical (the parent is not present in the child’s life) or emotional (the parent withholds affection, nurturing, or stimulation).
Parents who leave their children, with or without good reason, can cause psychological damage to the child. This damage is reversible, but only with appropriate assistance. Abandoned children may also often suffer physical damage from neglect, malnutrition, starvation, and abuse.
Abandonment experiences and boundary violations are in no way indictments of a child’s innate goodness and value. Instead, they reveal the flawed thinking, false beliefs, and impaired behaviors of those who hurt them. Still, the wounds are struck deep in their young hearts and minds, and the very real pain can still be felt today. The causes of emotional injury need to be understood and accepted so they can heal. Until that occurs, the pain will stay with them, becoming a driving force in their adult lives. (Wikipedia)
To a child abandoned, the reason is irrelevant, the wounds and scars form. They linger and haunt.
This is the journey Clara Bess must face. Was she abandoned? Or did something else take place, something more sinister? Was she unwanted? She was loved, this much she knew—but was she wanted?
If you haven’t already, be sure to stop by and like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, on my blog! Please leave me a comment, let me know you’re here!
“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!
Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013. Meanwhile, she cranked out a few dozen poems, and made countless notes for story ideas. Ms. Mason lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; she didn’t want to be who she was and struggled with her own identity for many years. Her characters face many of these same demons.
Ms. Mason has lived in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1988. She lived in Colorado for sixteen years, during which time she: went to high school, got married, had babies, got divorced and went to college. Her “babies” are now grown, two have babies of their own. She currently lives alone, with her five cats.
Ms. Mason writes Christian-worldview–in other words, there’s no salvation message, but there are plenty of characters who know the Lord and share His perspective with those who are struggling.
#CLARABESSRELEASEDAY, #robinemason, #unsavoryheritageseries, #tessa, #cissy, #abandonedbabies, #babydropbox, #thewinterstale, #snowwhite, #hanselandgretel, #oedipus