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I Knew You by Name: The Search for My Lost Mother

by Peggy Barnes

Peggy Barnes’ recently unsealed birth certificate arrived just after she buried the woman who raised her. She discovered her entire life had been a lie. She was born at The Salvation Army Home for Unwed Mothers to a young woman from the back hills of Alabama–Miss Pauline Miller.

Peggy says: “I’d always been told my birth parents were dead. At age sixty-five, the last thing I needed was another mother. But I wanted to find Pauline. If I could find out what happened to her, maybe I could answer some of the questions I had never understood about my own cracked-up life.”

During her long search, Peggy obtains diaries, letters and photographs that reveal Pauline’s heartbreaking story. Peggy discovers much of her mother’s life echoes her own. Here are their stories of: abandonment, addiction, estranged fathers, a truly evil stepmother, the churches that kicked them out and the churches that offered salvation. Chronicling their similar lives gives Peggy the courage to reveal her own hidden truths. Pauline’s letters, written so long ago, teach Peggy to finally forgive herself. Deeply moving, yet laced with wit and humor, this is a daughter’s love story to her mother.

Adoptee Author: Peggy Barnes

Publication Year: 2015

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