One ordinary day, one phone call irrevocably altered two lives. Fifty-something Riordan connected with a North Carolinian known to all as Miss Betsy, but revealed to Riordan as her birth mother.
The Names of My Mothers is the touching story of the tender and all-too-brief relationship forged late in life between Dianne Riordan (nee Susanne Sanders) and her birth mother. It gives compelling witness of the need to find and connect with one’s very roots no matter one’s age.
The Names of My Mothers
In 1942, Elizabeth Bynum Sanders was a young woman who left home under false pretenses and traveled to Our Lady of Victory, a home for unwed mothers in upstate New York. Shortly after surrendering her daughter for adoption, she returned to her life in Johnston County, North Carolina. She never married and never had another child of her own.
Through writing that is both evocative and straight-forward, nuanced and poetic the author carries us into a world of reunion that is both celebration and challenge. Through story, it brings us into the complexity of the adoption world.
The Names of My Mothers is a moving and powerful memoir that tells of the profound need for connection. It is a story about identity, the hunger one feels for a sense of belonging, and the ineffable significance of blood.
Dianne Sanders Riordan
Dianne Sanders Riordan and her husband Frank reside in Buffalo, NY where they resettled after twenty years serving as a Navy family. They have seven children and thirteen grandchildren. Dianne received a B.A. in English from Rosary Hill College (now Daemen College). She recently retired from the Mental Health Association of Erie County where she worked as a Family Advocate. As a member of TRIA (Truth and Reconciliation in Adoption), Dianne’s energies now focus on advocating for open records for all adult adoptees, especially for access to their original birth certificates! For fun, you can find her strolling the beach (any beach will do!), reading or relaxing with her family. She meets weekly with fellow poets, sharing words and wisdom over coffee or tea. A yearly writing retreat at Martha’s Vineyard helps her keep balanced.Dianne’s poems can be found in “Women of the Vineyard”, Volumes 1 & 2.