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I Must Have Wandered: An Adopted Air Force Daughter Recalls 2nd Edition

SKU: 9781941066591


An adopted woman’s longing for her true heritage sends her on a poignant quest.


I Must Have Wandered: An Adopted Air Force Daughter Recalls, 2nd Edition, is a hybrid memoir of vignettes, letters, fragments, and photos about an infant girl’s post-WWII South Carolina relinquishment, and her closed adoption by a couple stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, SC. We travel with her as she relates the effects of her family’s transient lifestyle in lyrical prose. Her adolescent identity confusion is heightened by her father’s frequent absences, his duty of confidentiality during the turbulent 1960s, strict discipline, and her loss of her original family with sealed birth record law. At forty, she searches for her natural mother, and years later through DNA testing, she is further rewarded with a wealth of family.

About Mary Ellen Gambutti

Mary Ellen Gambutti was born post-WWII SC and adopted by an Air Force couple one year later. She writes about the primal, pre-verbal wound of abandonment and sealed birth records, and secrecy intersecting with her military family’s transience. Mary Ellen studied and worked first in Allied Health, then in Horticulture. She owned and operated a gardening business for fifteen years. After rehabilitation from a hemorrhagic stroke at fifty-seven, she has been absorbed in the practice of creative writing. Many literary journals have published Mary Ellen’s personal essays and articles, and she has self-published five memoirs. She and her husband are retired in Lewes DE near water and woodland, with an aging chihuahua and a toy poodle puppy.

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Mary Ellen Gambutti


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