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Founder of the Women Writers Editors Agents and Publishers FB group, Gloria Oren also finds time to write, edit, and do book reviews.
Gloria Oren has a powerful perspective of finding the positive in experiences on life’s roller coaster lurches that leave many in panic. Founder of WWEAP, and member of her local Redmond Association of Spokenword (RASP). Visit her website https://gorenauthor.wordpress.com, her blog https://familylinksmatter.blogspot.com, and on Facebook and Twitter. Contact her at gloria (dot) oren (at) gmail.com
Gloria Oren has a powerful perspective to find the positive in experiences on the roller coaster lurches that leave many in panic. She is an editor with Muse It Up Publishing, and writes nonfiction and book reviews which she posts on her blog when time allows. A graduate of Long Ridge Writers Group “Breaking Into Print” program, a past member of the Willamette Writers Group, and longtime member pf the Redmond Association of Spokenword (RASP), is also the founder of the Women Writers Editors Agents and Publishers group on Facebook. She lives with her husband and eldest son in Washington State.
Gloria Oren, Author
Gloria Oren has been honing her craft since she graduated from the Long Ridge Writer’s Group’s “Breaking Into Print” course. She has a powerful perspective of finding positivity in experiences on life’s roller coaster lurches that leave many in panic. She is founder of the Facebook group WWEAP with over 6,000 members, and a member of Redmond Association of Spokenword (RASP) where she participated in open mike gatherings.
The author of two nonfiction eBooks, Gloria is a past editor for Muse It Up Publishing where she helps authors create the best book they can.
People say she’s a woman of many hats and that’s probably true. An award-winning editor. An avid reader. A book reviewer. A writer. A daughter. A wife. A mother of three. A baby boomer. A cancer survivor. A reunited adoptee. The oldest of ten birth half-siblings combined but raised as an only child.
As a reunited adoptee, Gloria’s goal is to share her experience with others through her adoption memoir, which she published in 2016.
She grew up in the Crown Heights and Flatbush area of Brooklyn, New York and attended both public and private schools. At the age of fifteen, Gloria moved to Tel Aviv, Israel with her adoptive mother who passed away in 1979. Two months later Gloria married. Her two sons are Sabras, both born in Israel; her daughter is American born and bred, like her mother.
In July 1990, Gloria battled Hodgkin’s Disease. Since radiation, therapy ended in Oct. 1990 she has been cancer free. Now, life can’t be that dull, so in Dec. 2005 she was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. She has since been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, spondyloarthropathy, and arthritis, heart issues, and chronic kidney disease.
Gloria currently lives in Washington State with her husband and their eldest son. Another married son lives and works in North Carolina. Their daughter, the youngest, is married and lives in Washington. She and her husband have two grandchildren.
Hello, everyone. My name is ______________, and I am happy to introduce tonight’s guest speaker, Gloria Oren. Mrs. Oren is the author of Bonded at Birth: An Adoptee’s Search for Her Roots. Bonded at Birth is a memoir of her experience growing up as an adoptee, her search, reunion, and beyond. She was adopted twice, but it’s not what you’re thinking. She knew she was adopted since she was four years old but had to keep it secret. No one was allowed to know.
We are all very pleased to have Mrs. Oren here tonight to discuss her new book Bonded at Birth followed by a Q&A session. Let’s give a warm welcome to Gloria Oren.
FIVE FUN FACTS YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME
- On a trip to Sitka, Alaska I visited a bear sanctuary and fed a bear apple slices.
- My married name is 50% shorter than my maiden name.
- When my oldest was born I learned two important lessons: don’t eat fried food during the last month of pregnancy and there is an American style to giving birth. No one ever told me this before.
- When I was pregnant with my boys I had two brown circles show up on the sides of my hips during the eighth month, when it didn’t happen the third time around I predicted we’d have a girl, and we did.
- I never got my teacher’s license because one of my instructors lost three papers I turned in and refused to submit a grade for the transcript. The school is defunct now.
Press Release – Book Launch
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Author and Award winning editor
Bonded at Birth: An Adoptee’s Search for Her Roots
Phone: (360) 984-3763
Adoptees have the right to know their origins and their heritage
I Searched and I Was Found
Redmond, Washington, June 15th , 2016 — What if you were an adoptee raised in a family that keeps your adoption secret and you found out about your adoption in an absurd manner? What would happen if you faced medical conditions throughout your life but lacked knowledge of your medical history? Would you do everything possible to seek out the information?
“I had no starting point for my search except the basic identity questions I wondered about,” said Gloria. “Who was I? Where did I come from? Did I have roots? How did I fit into this world? And later on, had I bloomed and could I help others bloom, too?”
With my NEW BOOK “Bonded at Birth,” I will take you through my experience as an adoptee and the multiple medical events that affected my family and me. Beyond the odds, without the most basic information necessary, I searched and was found.
“Bonded at Birth” is a story of loss, survival, determination, and persistence. It is an adoption memoir about an adoptee growing up under the umbrella of secrecy, determined and motivated by multiple lifetime events, to search for my birth mother against all odds of success, and upon a successful reunion, I make an unexpected discovery.
The story covers one state (New York), three countries (Canada, the United States, and Israel), and two continents (North America and Asia). Overall, it covers sixteen years of searching and a little over four decades since my first adoption.
“Bonded at Birth” will inspire and motivate even those who think it is not possible to find with the amount of information they have, to get out there, search, and be persistent.
Please Contact Gloria Oren
Phone: (360) 984 3763
About the book: Bonded at Birth: An Adoptee’s Search for Her Roots, available at Amazon, $14.95 paperback, $4.99 eBook, ISBN: 978-0-692-72228-2
Review copies & media interviews: Contact Gloria Oren at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (360) 984-3763.
For more information about Bonded at Birth, please visit http://goren.wordpress.com/bonded-at-birth or contact Gloria Oren at (360) 984-3763.
2-line (140 characters or less):
Bonded at Birth is a story of loss, survival, determination, and persistence covering sixteen years of searching and forty-one years apart.
Short (50 words):
Bonded at Birth is a story of loss, survival, determination, and persistence covering sixteen years of searching and nearly forty-one years of separation. Years of surviving cancer and overcoming other health issues, an inexplicable dream, and finally being found bringing closure and reunion with her birth families.
Medium (100 words):
Adopted at birth Gloria discovers she is adopted at age four thanks to a teenage neighbor. She loses her father on her eleventh birthday and her mother at age twenty-three. Two months later, she marries and shortly after begins raising her own family.
Bonded at Birth is a story of loss, survival, determination, and persistence covering sixteen years of searching and nearly forty-one years of separation. Many coincidences appear along the way. Years of surviving cancer and overcoming other health issues, an inexplicable dream, and finally being found bringing closure and reunion with her birth families.
Long (400 to 600 words):
GLORIA’S (POV) maternal grandmother contacts her adoptive parents-to-be through mutual contacts and Gloria’s birth mother moves in with them for three months to await the birth in June 1955.
Learning she is adopted from a note she finds in the family’s mailbox when she was only four years old leaves its mark on her tender soul. Her mother confirms that she is adopted, and that her birth mother was a teenager. But tells her to keep it a secret.
Gloria’s adoptive father dies of a heart attack at age sixty-six on her eleventh birthday. In 1970, Gloria and her adoptive mother move to Israel. On March 4, 1979 Gloria’s adoptive mother dies in their apartment from a sudden heart attack while Gloria is on duty at her army base. Gloria is left with unanswered questions about her biological heritage.
She asks her boyfriend to move in with her, and they decide to marry in May. Within the year Gloria becomes a mother and names her son, Chanan, after her deceased adoptive mother. Sixteen years later, she learns it is also the name of her biological maternal great grandfather.
Gloria’s second son is born during a 1983 doctor’s strike. He cannot hold his weight. The fear of losing him motivates Gloria to search for her roots, or at least her medical history despite warnings that the effort is in vain and meeting obstacles wherever she turns.
Moving to Seattle, Washington in 1985, Gloria discovers she is pregnant again resulting in the birth of her daughter in February 1986. In July 1990 diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, Gloria undergoes two months of radiation treatment followed by remission. She realizes that she is given a second chance and is again motivated to search. With each additional medical setback, her motivation to search grows.
From a rabbi, Gloria learns that her birth mother was from Nova Scotia, Canada. However, an aunt tells Gloria it was Montreal and her first name is MARCIA. Meanwhile, Gloria’s birth mother goes to New York to get a copy of Gloria’s birth certificate but goes home empty handed after making the mistake of telling who she really is.
Gloria’s birth mother seeks help from a cousin’s husband and eight days before her forty-first birthday YEHUDAH locates Gloria through her father-in-law. He tells her that her birth mother is his wife’s cousin and that she’s waiting for a call from her. Gloria makes the call. She speaks with her biological mother for the first time in her life. That same day Gloria speaks with her biological maternal grandmother.
There was only one difference between most of the other babies born that bright, sunny spring morning of June 12, 1955 in Brooklyn, New York, and me. My birth mother would hold me only once. Whether the hospital registered her under her own name or under my adoptive mother’s name would remain unknown, although hospital staff addressed her as Hannah, but the parent names on my birth certificate were my adoptive parents’ names, Zindel and Anya Oxenhorn who took me home. My grandmother came to take my young birth mother, who had just gone through a very traumatic experience, home to Nova Scotia.
My adoptive parents named me. Since my mother became suspicious after their adopted son, Emanuel, died of the same disease that her brother Emanuel died of she didn’t want to name me after any relative. So she gave me a non- Jewish name, Gloria. I’ve sort of always wondered about this, and finally just learned this from Elisa.
Home was an apartment in a typical brownstone building at 1730 Carroll Street, built circa 1930, in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, a middle class neighborhood with a mix of private homes and apartment buildings.
I can still picture that building clearly. The entrance sported a huge, glass French door, which lead into a small hallway. Another French door led into a large lobby. My friend Lily and her family lived in one of the two apartments on the left, and sometimes we’d ride our tricycles in circles around the lobby floor. Lily’s kitchen window faced a courtyard, surrounded by six floors of apartment windows. We could access a similar courtyard by climbing through a window. It became a place where my friends and I played (hopscotch, roller-skated, or jumped rope) safely while being observed by our parents. From the lobby, three marble stairs rose to a landing where, on the wall to the right, were the mailboxes. A long, narrow hallway lined with apartments stretched beyond the mailboxes leading to another marble staircase, the one we used. Our apartment was on the second floor, to the left of the staircase. My first bed was an empty dresser drawer lined with a pillow. This is where I spent my first twelve years. This is also, where my birth mother spent the most difficult three months of her life, awaiting my birth.
My adoptive parents owned an outlet store, a fifteen to twenty minute drive from where we lived, half a block from the main drag on Pitkin Ave. in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. As a child, I spent a lot of time in this store since no one was home to care for me. As I grew I helped with the various tasks, too. I started with dusting the displays, moved on to making sure the shelves looked nice, helped set up cribs, tricycles, and strollers, and finally putting together doll carriages and strollers by myself. When I was old enough I was allowed to handle the cash register when needed. When Christmas season came around and people placed large orders on lay-away I helped pack the merchandise into boxes, a skill that has served me well later in life.
I especially remember our family summers. Usually, Mommy and I escaped the blazing, hot city and spent the summers in Carmel, New York where my parents owned a summer home. We cherished the cool mountain air from the nearby Bear Mountain and our first breath inhaled on exiting the car made us feel refreshed. Daddy appreciated being able to escape the city and came up for weekends, at least, which meant that during the week he had to put up with a muggy heat that made his clothes stick to his body.
Summer days in the country were usually warm and pleasant. Evenings, once the warm radiant sun set, were cool, and perfect for a short stroll down the road to the reservoir. I loved the house in Carmel, the town of Carmel, and the country environment. I spent my first ten summers there. In my eleventh year, we only got to Carmel on weekends and in the following years, on rare occasions.
Every Thursday in Carmel, Mommy rose early to cook and bake in preparation for Shabbat and the weekend. The aroma of homemade sweet-and-sour borscht, roast chicken, and the various puff pastries, stuffed with anything from slightly salted farmer cheese and scallions, to sweet pumpkin or salt-and-peppered mashed potatoes with fried onions, each meticulously formed in a different shape made my mouth water. As Mommy worked, I hung around the kitchen watching her, hoping for tastes and treats. Sometimes I helped roll out the dough; cut circles in the dough with an upside down glass, or spoon the fillings onto the pastry dough. The Carmel kitchen was square-shaped, airy and lit up by two windows and a screen door. We turned on the lighting fixture when needed, which was a rare occurrence. On the other hand, the kitchen in the apartment was a narrow, rectangular room. The one window didn’t allow in much light so frequent use of the lighting fixture became a necessity. Since the table sat horizontally against the window wall and the end of the room, Mommy didn’t do much baking there.
“I want a pumpkin one,” I begged Mommy.
“Not yet. You can have one later when it’s done.”
Every few minutes I asked, “Is it done yet?” and Mommy said “no, not yet.”
Each Friday evening, with the preparations finished, we awaited Daddy’s arrival. As his car swung into the parking spot, I raced to the door and Mommy followed.
“Daddy, Daddy,” I squealed.
Daddy came to the door and handed Mommy the fresh Challah (braided egg enriched bread) with a soft browned crust and squishy inside, a delicacy he brought from the bakery in the city. He lifted me up, gently squeezing me in the biggest hug in the world. Then he put me down and hugged Mommy. We were glad to see Daddy and over a late dinner, my parents shared the events of the past week. Many times Daddy surprised us by bringing guests, for either the weekend or a week, or two. Then Sunday came, along with sadness, when Daddy left to go back to the city.
When I was two, my cousin Elisa was fourteen. She came to visit us in Carmel. Mommy filled a white aluminum bathtub outside for me to cool off in when it was hot. After playing awhile, I got my bath for the day and Elisa combed my hair. The love Elisa and I shared was mutual.
* * * *
Mention Coney Island to anyone growing up in the late 1950s-early 1960s in Brooklyn and you’ll most likely hear a response like, “Ah, Coney Island.” My first trip there was probably at the age of three. It was quite a place both young and old loved visiting. Walking along the boardwalk on a warm, late spring evening with my parents I smelled the ocean’s salty waters, blanketed by darkness, carried in the breeze. The sound of the rushing waves at night was comforting.
At some point along the boardwalk stood the grand merry-go-round and some coin-operated rides, where I waited patiently for my turn with many other children. The merry-go-round wasn’t the kind with gorgeous, colorful, glittering horses. Plain brown horses with various color collars and dark brown plastic molded saddles glided up and down a pole as the circular platform spun around. A black strap around the horse’s neck extended far enough to secure a child in place for a safe ride. I never missed my merry-go-round ride there; that is, until I outgrew it.
Another memorable feature of Coney Island was the amateur musicians lining the boardwalk. One of them was especially worth remembering. An elderly Jewish man from Russia played his violin, viola, balalaika, and mandolin. Music filled the air and the crowd grew bigger and bigger. Some tunes were lively and robust, others melancholy reminders of the past left behind in the old country. Tunes like Two Guitars, Dark Eyes, and Beltz My Dear Town of Beltz filled the air from every corner. It was free ethnic entertainment at its best, enjoyable for all ages and a great way to spend an evening. It also instilled in me a love for that type of music, which brings back memories of those nights on the boardwalk. Happy memories. Good quality family time together. The connection to a heritage I somehow belonged to yet didn’t. The music, with lovely melodies and beats, lives on bringing comfort and peacefulness to me when needed.
Coney Island’s boardwalk had other thrills too, such as the culinary experience. The biggest attraction in this nourishing jungle was no doubt Nathan’s famous hot dog stand. Today’s fast food is no comparison to the steam rising from those hot, succulent treats rotating on the rotisserie, juicy liquid dripping down and making a crackling sound. The lines of people waiting to get their hands on one of them sometimes stretched several blocks. Besides Nathan’s, interspersed along the boardwalk were vendors selling fresh buttery popcorn; sweet, luscious steaming corn-on-the-cob and fresh spun cotton candy. No matter what you chose to consume, whether salty, sweet, buttery or bland, the Coney Island culinary experience would haunt you for the rest of your life. No wonder I loved going there. It was a magical world.
Another favorite place we visited every year was Lakewood, New Jersey. For some odd reason I always thought we visited the Catskills, but then, when visiting the area while writing this book, it dawned on me that it couldn’t possibly be the Catskills since we crossed a bridge into New Jersey. But, what does a two year old know of geography? At that age, when you decide that it’s the Catskills — it’s the Catskills.
My parents belonged to the Beltzer Organization, a meeting place for anyone who was originally from Beltci, Bessarabia. In fact, Daddy was once President of the organization. Once a year the organization arranged an outing to a hotel in Lakewood for members to spend the weekend together, and many times, it happened to fall on my birthday. The little kids, only a handful of us, were the center of attention. We always looked forward to this weekend. From later surfing through public domain images online of Lakewood hotels I came across two possibilities that were most likely one of the hotels we stayed at. It was either the Hotel Claridge or the Lexington.
There was a boardwalk and a lake near the hotel. Mommy and I took many walks there. Unlike most toddlers, my security blanket was a book called Goody: A Mother Cat Story, published by Golden Books in 1952, about an adventurous cat that hid her kittens from the family’s children until she was ready to show them off. Everywhere I went, “Goody” the cat came, too. (Years later, my daughter found the book and bought it for me. When I feel down reading my Goody book helps me feel better. I look forward to sharing it with my grandchildren when the time comes.)
Life as I knew it was about to change forever when the first turning point occurred at the age of four. It’s amazing to think that such ordinary objects could lead to something so big—a lifetime revelation I’d carry with me wherever I’d go.
Sample Interview Questions
Q: Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about your book, and what inspired you to write it?
A: Bonded at Birth: An Adoptee’s Search for Her Roots is a story of loss, survival, determination, and persistence. It covers one state, three countries, and two continents. It covers sixteen years of searching and a little over four decades since my first adoption. It wasn’t until seven years post-reunion that my second adoption occurred when my birth mother adopted me to close the circle.
What inspired me to write my story was the realization that adoptees do have the right to their own information regarding their origins and medical histories. I had almost no information to go on, yet things have a way of happening, and because of them and the help of others I was found. I had to share my story with adult adoptees who wish to search but hesitate, adoptive parents confronted by their adopted child’s wish to search, and by birth parents who fear searching not wanting to intrude on their biological offspring’s life. It will also attract memoir readers who enjoy a unique story. And couples contemplating adoption will learn the damage secrecy can lead to, and with hope, this book will ensure that they will be the ones to talk to their adopted children about their adoptions.
Q: Did you choose the writing profession or did it choose you?
A: It sort of chose me. One day I received a piece of mail from Long Ridge Writers Group offering a writing test to qualify for one of their courses. I thought, why not, at the worst I won’t pass. I received the test, filled it out, and sent it back. I didn’t think I would pass or qualify. A few weeks later I got that piece of mail I didn’t think would come saying I qualified for the “Breaking into Print” course. It included the application. I applied and the rest is history. I owe a lot for the improvement of my writing to my instructor, Lori Soard.
Q: What business challenges have you faced as a writer?
A: Oh gosh, mostly technology, but also sounding good on audio clips and creating professional looking videos.
Q: When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?
A: Let’s see, I like crocheting and needlepoint, paint by number, and lots of reading. I love doing genealogy research and trying to solve the puzzles brought upon by DNA matches. I’m also an avid Scrabble player but don’t get to play often. And when I have the opportunity I love jigsaw puzzles.
Q: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
A: I am in the research state. There were seven elected presidents before George Washington. I want to learn more about them, about the duties of those elected presidents, and how they were elected. What else they did in their personal lives. Did they have families and who were they. What were those years like and how did events of daily life affect those men. I became interested in this when I heard it mentioned on the radio and when I asked around no one seemed to know anything about this. I don’t recall having learned about this in school.
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: Oh my gosh, ideas are everywhere. You have to open your eyes and ears. Look around you, listen to the sounds you hear or words being spoken. I’ve gotten ideas from something said on the radio, TV, in the supermarket etc. I’ve gotten ideas from things I read online and offline. Ideas are everywhere; you just have to grab them.
Q: How do you react to a bad review?
A: Not everyone will like your writing. If most reviews are positive and good, one or a few are the needles in a haystack. Most of the time they won’t be seen and if seen I pretend I don’t see them. I don’t respond to bad reviews.
Q: Dogs or cats?
A: Definitely dogs. I’ve had a dog since I was six. My last dog was a Doberman-Australian Shepherd mix. She died several years ago. I’ve been searching for a non-shedding dog since but all the good ones I come across seem to slip right through the cracks and I haven’t had luck yet.
Q: Who’s your favorite hero?
A: Definitely Col. William Prescott of the Battle of Bunker Hill fame. I’ve always liked learning about him in school and thought he did some amazing things. After my reunion when I started genealogy research of my birth father’s family ancestral tree, I discovered that Col. William Prescott was my 1stcousin 7X removed.
Q: Describe yourself in five words.
A: Dependable, dedicated, helpful, creative, and caring.
Q: Describe your book in seven words.
A: Interesting, unique, roller-coaster, engaging, motivating, descriptive, and page-turner.
Book Review Excerpts
“Left me wanting to read the next chapter.”
“A captivating memoir.”
“It’s Like Taking a Journey with the Author”
“Beautiful adoption memoir.”
“A wonderful memoir by an authentic adoptee. ”
Home phone: (360) 984-3763
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