All Born Under The One Blue Sky is a compilation of stories and poems written by Irish people who have been touched in some way by adoption. The writers of this book, which includes birth parents, adopted persons and adoptive parents all have a connection with Cunamh, an adoption agency. Turning the pages of this book will give you, the reader, an opportunity to experience what adoption has meant to these writers and how it has in some way shaped their lives. You will be touched by the expression of the heartfelt emotions of the writers, each sharing with honesty, courage and generosity their own deeply personal and unique experience of adoption. You will come away having a greater awareness of the complexities and challenges that adoption brings but, most of all, you will be reminded of the strength of love, the need to belong, and the great lengths people will go to find inner peace. All Born Under The One Blue Sky has been published to acknowledge Cunamh's 100 years in existence. Foreword The story of Cunamh tells us a lot about Ireland since 1913.
The early unseemly squabbling between Christian denominations over the right to the loyalty and souls of the poor, the orphaned and the abandoned has overtones that resonate today as progress towards Christian Unity proceeds at a snail's pace. It is a backdrop not without irony for many of the children and families concerned, their lives shaped by a forceful culture of shame around illegitimacy and powerlessness around poverty. The love at the heart of the Christian gospel had to work on stony soil. But work it did and in its special vocation of care for fostered and adopted children and their birth and adoptive families, Cunamh, like them, like our country, grew up, grew older and wiser, so that today the services it offers have a deep level of sensitivity and profound insight that draws from wells of often bitter and yet somehow also joyful experience. Who filled those wells with their tears both of joy and sorrow, with their hopes and dreams? The children whose lives are chronicled here and their birth parents, their adoptive and foster families whose lives were all radically altered by events that brought them into Cunamh's orbit.
Through them, and through a new secular consciousness of the rights of the individual, our country thankfully abandoned the appalling notion of illegitimacy and began to look more acutely at the rights of children and in particular the rights of adopted children. Who can tell what is in their hearts? Only they can, and with the help of welcome this centenary chronicles, they offer to us a view of the world we need to hear and need to listen to with care. Their birth and adoptive parents open their hearts too. Here are stories from our own families and communities that reveal heartening and heartbreaking depths of resilience, strength and coping skills. All Born Under The One Blue Sky is a testimony to how people can rise to the challenges they meet. It is a book of Irish adoption stories written by people who in someway have 'lived' adoption. All of the writers have their own perspective, their own story to tell, extraordinary and unique yet the enduring echoes of joy, pain, fear and wonder are recognizable throughout. This book could not have been completed without the willingness of so many to share openly and honestly their stories.
All Born Under The One Blue Sky will bring you into the world of the birth mother and the lifelong consequence of the decision she made for her baby. You will experience the joy of new adoptive parents having firstly come to terms with their infertility. You will journey with the adopted person who is searching for answers to breathtakingly big personal questions that just will not go away. There is, I hope, support and encouragement here for anyone whose life has brought them into similar situations, similar awful dilemmas. It is a privilege to have been asked by Cunamh to write this foreword, for Cunamh has given our community great care and service these past one hundred years. At this end of Cunamh's first century and the start of its second, I say a heartfelt thank you to its staff and funders, those who sought its help, those who opened their lives as foster parents and adoptive parents and especially to the children whose little lives were so dramatically shaped by events and circumstances far beyond their ken or control.
Through all of them we can hope to come to know more intimately and humbly the inside story of fostering and adoption, to understand the human condition more keenly and to offer a love that is warm and real, healing and helping. Professor Mary McAleese