Summary: I have a family that seems infinite, a collage that has no borders, that is always growing to capacitate more. When I went to Alaska, my collage quadrupled in size. Every time my mother or father brought someone or something home the walls stretched; our universe expanded. So I register with the central adoption computer; I place my being in a microchip and wait for a match. Not so my life will somehow become magically complete, but simply to allow for the possibility of reconnection, of closing circles, of spanning the bridge between wandering broods. "This haunting and profound memoir seeks to define so many dimensions of the human drama-adoption, motherhood, alcoholism, childhood, death, separation-and it does so with a poetic quality that will make you remember this story long after you finish the book. Author Colin Chisholm's provocative exploration into the life of his mother, Doris, begins with her youth in a small Eskimo village, where she lived until her Yup'ik mother died and she was adopted by a Swedish family near Seattle. While growing up, she struggled with her mixed ethnicity, denying her origins until late in life, when poor health prevented her return to Alaska. In his efforts to understand his mother's life, Chisholm also explores the complex issues of adoption. After giving birth to two children, Doris adopted three more, including the author himself. Writing with a maturity and self-awareness that is rare, author Colin Chisholm has a breathtaking sense of fairness, compassion, and deep interest in his subject."--The author.Content Notes:
Prologue: By the river, 1932 -- Adoption: Birthing, 1932 -- Going back: Trading post, 1932 -- Family tree: Old world, 1930 -- Photographs: leaving Kotlik, 1933 -- Eskimo dancing: Winter potlatch, 1879 -- Drinking glass: Moving upriver, 1933 -- Meaning of wine: Making fans, 1915 -- Home to Vashon: Vashon, 1933-2934 -- Growing up on Vashon: Half-Breed, 1945 -- Child's anger: Liberty Landing, 1934 -- Things across the creek: Dogs, 1898 -- Holding on: Dreams, 1935 -- Uncle Carl: Sending the seals to sea, 1930 -- Flight of the Ouzel: Aivrun, 1914 -- Looking for home: River and sea, 1909-1931 -- Olga: On Raven's back, 1941 -- Driving East: Bears -- Epilogue: Bogomils.