Imagine the following scenario: you know that you were adopted, but you know nothing of your birth parents or your life before you were adopted. Then you find out not only do you have a twin, but that the adoption agency that helped to arrange the adoption was not exactly honest about the adoption.
In their thirties, twins Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein discovered each other’s existence. This discovery not only reunited the sisters, but also opened the door to questions that some had assumed were long since buried in the past.
Their journey in discovering each other and answering the questions is chronicled in the book, Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited.
Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein are twins, born in the late 1960’s. When their birth mother could not care for then, the Louise Wise Agency stepped in. They were adopted separately. Neither they or their adopted parents were told of the other child’s existence. When they met up as adults, reunion was a double-edged sword. While they were thrilled to discover that they were twins, the questions about their birth mother and their pre-adoption past came into question. But then the barriers went up.
The book is nothing short of amazing. It both heartwarming and frustrating at the same. It is heartwarming because of the reunion between the sisters. It is frustrating because of the doors that kept slamming in the sister’s faces when they started asking questions about their shared past.
I recommend it.