When Do You Tell Your Secret?

“What would you do if you discovered that the people who loved you most in the world had kept a secret from you your whole life? And you’re asked to keep the secret for them?”

Thus begins my review of Lorna Little’s just published memoir, “Mum’s The Word!: A memoir of family secrets reveals the complexities of love, relationships, and coming to terms with change.” Lorna Little, LCSW is a Connecticut-based speaker, media personality, licensed clinical social worker, and youth advocate.  Mumstheword11523379905_a9b71f470f_z

Her memoir was released this past Friday, January 16 at an invitation-only event held at CPTV in Hartford, before a crowd of about one hundred of Lorna’s friends, coworkers and community members. Most of the members of the audience knew the book was a memoir, but assumed that it focused on her career as a local radio show host and media personality. After the welcome, introductions, and a few preliminary questions from the interviewer, the audience quieted.

Lorna took a deep breath and said, “I’m adopted.”

There were audible gasps, and stunned silence.

Without giving away the whole story (and it is a story well worth not giving away), Lorna outlined the circumstances that let to her discovering this truth about herself as an adult. Those of you who are involved in the adoption reform movement will recognize Lorna as an “LDA”, or a “Late Discovery Adoptee”. She learned this information as a result of her need to obtain an original birth certificate in support of her application for a passport. (She was born in the United Kingdom, where access to original birth certificates has been the law since 1975.)

My review of Lorna’s memoir continues as follows:

“In this gripping and inspiring memoir, Lorna Little shares how she lived her answer to these questions for the past seventeen years. Told in an engaging, intimate and compassionate voice, her story is a lightening-quick read that compels you to keep turning each page. This is a story of healing, faith and love, and a shining example of how the truth will, if you follow it, set you free.”

Lorna spoke passionately about her sense of service to others in writing this book. She hopes to free them not only from secrets and shame that may be connected to adoption, but also other kinds of family secrets (abuse, infidelity, etc.) that inevitably burden the soul.

Think about it for a moment…Think about keeping a secret about yourself from most of those who are close to you for seventeen years. What would that be like? Would you do it? Or would you tell? And if you told, who would you choose tell, and when?

Friday night I witnessed a courageous, powerful and yet (in that moment) vulnerable woman speak the truth about herself to the world, and set herself free. My wish for all of you is that you are receiving the love and support you need to speak your own truths, and to set yourself free, as well.

Photo credit:  Mateus Lunardi Dutra via Flickr

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