PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Painful Decision To Give Up Two Adopted Children

Joyce Maynard is pictured in the photo that accompanied her blog post on her decision to give up her adopted children. (joycemaynard.com)

Joyce Maynard is pictured in the photo that accompanied her blog post on her decision to give up her adopted children. (joycemaynard.com)

Writer Joyce Maynard has been very open with her readers about her life. When she adopted two girls from Ethiopia in 2010, she wrote about it in More magazine.

But two years later, she decided to give up the girls to another family. She speaks to Here & Now about that decision.

Interview Highlights: Joyce Maynard

On deciding to adopt two children

“At the age of 55, with you can say either huge idealism or ignorance, I believed that I care for and make life okay for any child. And I missed doing that. My children were long gone and so I sought out an easily found two sisters who were of an age that was not going to make adoption easy for them. And I went to Ethiopia and I brought them home. And certainly did so with an utter, absolute resolution that I would be their mother forever.”

On the decision to give them up

“And very early on in the process I recognized that they were not in the place that they should be. But I certainly felt for a long time that I must make it okay, and for 14 months I abandoned pretty much everything else in my life to try and do that. But it wasn’t okay—it wasn’t okay for them. They needed something that I wasn’t giving them. Among other things, a father, other children, a more regulated home life and I came to realize, and it’s not a choice that a lot of people can understand, and I have been much judged for making it, but I am making it very clear that I made the right decision for them. That the most loving thing I could do for them was to find them the right home and say good-bye to them, which I did.

On how the girls responded

“And of all the people who didn’t understand, I think two who did were the girls, who I called my daughters for a long time. I sat them down—we were all in the tub together actually—and I said to them, ‘You know, when I went to Ethiopia to bring you home, I made a promise to all the people who left you there that I would make sure you have a good life in America, and I will make sure you have a good life in America … I think you need a dad.’ And they did not argue with that one.”

Previous Interviews With Joyce Maynard

Guest


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

April 28 15 Comments

Men Read Mean Tweets At Women And The Video Goes Viral

Two Chicago-area sports journalists gathered the tweets directed at them and asked men to read them to their faces. The result went viral.

April 28 7 Comments

HBO's CEO On Virtual Reality And ‘Sesame Street’

In the second part of our interview with Richard Plepler, he discusses why the premium cable network picked up "Sesame Street."

April 28 Comment

Gloria Estefan Reflects On Her Life Story In ‘On Your Feet!’

Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson catches up with the Cuban-born American singer backstage after a performance.

April 27 26 Comments

Economist: NAFTA Benefits Economy Despite Job Losses

Gordon Hanson explains his research on the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement and why he still supports it.