It's rare I grab a book up and read it straight through....but I did just that this week with "A Forest of Doors: An Orphan's Quest." It intrigued me after seeing it reviewed by a national magazine so I ordered it (thank you Amazon Prime.) The author writes her own journey through her childhood when both mother and father abandon her and her siblings after years of abuse and neglect. She then is placed in a state-run orphanage (1960's America) and was then placed in foster care. It's a haunting story of craving to be loved by the mother and father that didn't want you to begin with. Tragic. It ends with the author's understanding of a sinless Savior who mercifully ransomed all of us and coming to terms with unconditional love.....no matter your beginnings. She is also reunited with her 4 other siblings whom she was separated from for decades.
This book is relatively short...only 97 pages. I read it in 2 hours (which explains my ability to sit and read it straight through...smile.) I don't feel like the author developed her story enough. I would've liked to have seen and heard more, and instead there are giant gaps and holes for many years. I am also aware that this is her story from the memory she knew. With neglect and trauma there is often 'blockout' memory in which the brain completely erases or 'turns off' periods of time...or even years. It's as if that time period never happened in that person's life. In this case I wonder how much of her story is completely accurate and how much is her perception of what happened. It's hard to say. Nonetheless it's a haunting story that hits close to home for me. One of our daughters came from some pretty serious abuse and neglect. We have a daughter from foster care who lived in 6 different home over an 8 month time period. Two of those homes were shut down for abuse and neglect. She's thriving now but it has been a battle. We have a daughter who lived her first year in an an orphanage. I can identify with alot of L.A. Muse's descriptions yet her story is hers and hers alone.
I do recommend this story because it's so like many we heard and continue to hear about through our own adoptions. I recommend it to raise awareness that the USA has some clear problems within their own systems to protect and advocate for children in domestic abuse situations. This is just one example where children fell through the cracks and lives were affected as a result. I am fully aware that as we fill our bellies and sleep in comfortable beds there are those even in our own neighborhoods that don't have just that. I'm extremely grateful the author has found her hope in Jesus and lives today as an advocate for children in the court system where with one decision by a judge lives can be forever changed....for good. Hope and justice is the goal.