Season 3 Episode 17: Kim Mooney on Hidden Daughter-Secret Sister, A Story of Adoption

Welcome to Tea Toast & Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

I am your host Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you. 

I am delighted and thrilled that my long-time friend, Kim Mooney has joined me on Tea Toast & Trivia to discuss her book, “Hidden Daughter-Secret Sister, A Story of Adoption.”

Kim has a degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in leadership. Her career has been an eclectic one, moving between teaching and hospital administration and back to teaching.  She retired in 2018 after fifteen years of teaching at Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC.  In addition to her academic responsibilities at Royal Roads, Kim ran a consulting practice for fifteen years.

With her first published story in 1970 came a prize—a typewriter. A few short stories and a series of poems were written on that machine and then it was set aside in a drawer. This is her first published book.

Thank you for joining Kim and me on Tea Toast & Trivia. “Hidden Daughter, Secret Sister” is available on Amazon.

And a special thank you, Kim, for sharing your profound and valuable insight into the psychological repercussions of adoption and how they can be addressed.  As always, your candour and compassion come together to encourage a deeper appreciation and recognition of what it means to be family. 

I invite you to meet up with Kim on her website Kim Mooney and on Goodreads.  You will be inspired by Kim’s journey from her life as an emotionally insecure child in 1950s Canada to a determined adult searching for her roots. 

Until next time we meet, dear friends, stay safe, be well.

D. Wallace Peach Reading Liars & Thieves, Unraveling the Veil Book One Tea. Toast. & Trivia.

  1. D. Wallace Peach Reading Liars & Thieves, Unraveling the Veil Book One
  2. Traveling to Orkney with Lorna Brown
  3. Kim Mooney on Hidden Daughter – Secret Sister, A Story of Adoption
  4. Joan Dunnett on Reading Sir Walter Scott
  5. Dr. Leith Davis on The Lyon in Mourning

30 Replies to “Season 3 Episode 17: Kim Mooney on Hidden Daughter-Secret Sister, A Story of Adoption”

  1. That was fantastic. I had several friends who were adopted when I was growing up, and they didn’t know, couldn’t know about their parents or find out about the heritage. Now I think people can find out a lot through DNA testing.

    One very close friend’s mother was murdered in their house here in Corrales in 1975, just a few days after she had tried to talk me into going back to normal high school. You can imagine how that tore the family apart as all 4 kids were adopted. I learned later that my friend had issues with women because his birth mother had given him up for adoption, is adopted mother had been murdered, and his first wife divorced him. Unfortunately, I lost track of my friend, so I have no idea where he is or what he is up to.

    I did some research on the woman who murdered his mom a few years ago. I found her obituary. It had stated her name, the children and grandchildren she had, and that she had been a secretary. Quite an unremarkable life she had lead it would seem. She had been acquitted of the murder for reasons of insanity, one of the first acquittals for reasons of insanity in this state, and possibly the country. She spent 30 days in a mental hospital, and was freed. She changed her name soon after her release from the mental hospital. After reading her very sparse obituary, it occurred to me that her grandchildren and possibly her children had no knowledge that their mother and grandmother was a cold blooded killer. There often seems to be little justice in this world, and for adoptees, such as my friend, no justice whatsoever.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Oh Tim – such tragedy and sadness. I cannot even imagine the sadness that those children endured. Thank you listening in and for adding to this conversation. Very much appreciated.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I thought this was a very interesting conversation, Rebecca. I have an adoptive father although it is not something I advertise. Not because I am ashamed or embarrassed but because I don’t think of my dad, Dean, as being anything other than my father. My biological father died when I was three months old so I never knew him. I didn’t know I was half adopted until I was in my early teens. It wasn’t hidden from me, I just don’t think it ever came up. My mother has some pictures of Bill and I know a very little about him. He was a CA and a gifted boy who finished A levels at 16 years old and had to wait to go to university because he was to young. I have a half-sister and half-brother, much older than me, in the UK. They are his children and I have never met them or sought them out. I know all my dad’s family, his brothers and their children, my Granny Joan and Granddad Jack were just as much my grandparents as to my three sisters [halves but not thought of in that way]. In fact, I was the favourite as I was quite and artistic and Granny Joan taught me so much stuff because I was the only one who used to go and stay with them for weeks. Paper doll making, building houses out of wooden tomato boxes, making doll’s cradles out of margarine tubs and bits of cloth, these were all in Granny Joan’s bag of tricks for me. We had lovely times together. Perhaps the difference between me and Kim is that there were no secrets and thus no anxiety or shame about my real father. Perhaps I’ve never looked into him because dad is my dad and I am completely at peace with that. I love him very much.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for adding depth and breadth to this conversation, Robbie. Your insights confirm that there are many ways in which to create a family, a place of welcome and an environment where a child feels secure in the knowledge that they are wanted and loved. I agree wholeheartedly – when there are no secrets then there is trust and commitment. How wonderful that you had a very strong and enduring relationship with your mother after your father died. Your adoptive father and Granny Joan are treasures who gave unconditional love. It is a gift that fosters hope and resilience.

      When a child is given to another family, the question of why will always be in the back of mind, especially when no one will talk about the circumstances surrounding the adoption. I am glad that we have a more open and accepting society – that we are learning all children have immense value.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Hi Rebecca, you are right. I reflected on this podcast last night before I went to sleep. Secrecy and stigmatism are to very destructive conditions. It makes me thing of the book, The Scarlet Letter, and the catastrophe of that situation. I am glad that Kim has found her roots and peace and can give advice to others.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. I enjoy our conversations, Robbie. What I love most about books and literature is that it provides a way in which to understand complex relationships, and difficult circumstances. Your ability to bring history alive is a gift to readers. Sending many hugs your way.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Thank you, Rebecca. I also enjoyed our chat and I’m glad you liked the readings. I am looking to the future now and bringing a world ruled by adverse climate changes alive. That is also very interesting.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Such a beautiful heartfelt interview, my dear Rebecca and thank you to Kim for opening her heart. I enjoyed listening in and her book sounds a wonderful read.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am delighted that you listened in, Marina. Kim is a remarkable communicator. I first met her when she was leading a very difficult conversation on how to create a unified team. She was brilliant. Her compassion and understanding came through her words and in her way of engaging with diverse opinions. I am looking forward to her return to read from her book and also speak about her next book. Sending many hugs back your way.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Very moving story here! Conversation is key to understanding, concerning all things in life. Family is about people coming together and owning their own truth. How can you feel part of a family if the truth is unknown to you? Belonging is about being accepted for who you are…all the details matter. The final thoughts here about, “Tell me about yourself”, is really powerful. It is only in this way that we come to know or understand anyone at all. We must listen to their story…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Linda, for added depth and breadth to this conversation. I agree – belonging is about being accepted for who you are – all the details matter.” I am grateful that there is more openness about the adoption process. And yes, we must honour and speak the truth for that is when healing and acceptance come into our lives. Many thanks and hugs coming your way.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for this inspirational interview and the loving remarks made by Kim as she gives us such a loving account of her experience of being adopted. It gives us who were not adopted a vision into the experiences that can fill the lives of those who are adopted. I found this conversation very valuable. I have had dear friends who have been adopted and I appreciate each one and love them even more dearly. I read this conversation on your Reading Room as well, thank you for posting it there as well. Please give my special thanks to the author; her words are very valuable.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I knew you would enjoy this conversation, Frances. Everyone has a connection to adoption. Thankfully, our conversations in relation to adoption are more authentic and compassionate. Kim’s book is a confirmation that progress is being made slowly but surely. Many thanks coming you way along with hugs!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Kim’s candor, manner and ability to articulate these issues resonated deeply with me; I can’t fully express. I was fostered, understood why on an intellectual level, also spent time with my relatives, found solace in faith, but suffered wounds which only became apparent in adulthood. Her openness to listen to others’ stories is so important. I supplemented the gaps in my history with the family I did know, did genealogical and DNA studies which have yielded surprises and blessings. I look forward to reading both Kim’s books. There are no guarantees through my methods, and I know people who’ve experienced more sorrow as a result. Thank you, Rebecca and Kim. Hugs + hugs!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Mary Jo! The quotes by Alex Haley on family resonates with me. “In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.” Since meeting up with Kim, I have reflected on the power of family. Every story, from Chaucer to Dickens, to Alcott, is about family. The idea of how love and forgiveness with family dynamics came out in the book you recommended, The Forest of Enchantments, by Chita Banerjee Divakaruni. My takeaway from this story was the before we understand family, we must seek to understand ourselves. I am so glad that you introduced me to this book. Sending many hugs and love!

      Liked by 3 people

  7. A poignant and quietly powerful conversation, Rebecca and Kim. A very important conversation, too. Kim, the remarks about your personal experience and about adoption issues in general were so interesting, heartfelt, compassionate, and astute, and your book sounds very compelling.

    Adoption is such a complex issue — most adopted children want to know their “roots,” even as some of the biological parents who give up their biological children (in many cases for reasons stemming from traumatic situations) might find too much openness too painful.

    My younger daughter is adopted, and my wife and I have always been amicably in touch with the foster parents she had for the first 16 months of her life. But the biological mother seems to want to stay out of the picture (the biological father is basically unknown), and we respect that. Of course, when our daughter (now 13) nears or reaches adulthood, she would make her own decision about whether or not to try to get in touch with her biological mother, or at least learn more about her.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. And Rebecca, your questions and other comments in the podcast were absolutely terrific, as always — helping to make the conversation flow in an absorbing and moving way.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Thank you, Dave – your insights reminded me of the fluidity and flexibility of family. Our experience of family cannot be crystallized to be the same throughout our lifetime. Families grow, transition and move in different directions. We welcome new members even as we say goodbyes to those who go before us. Interwoven into this ebb and flow is the impact of societal demands and constraints, values and expectations. New family structures have emerged with the decline of the traditional family. To me, this is progress – we are open to new possibilities because we are willing to listen and have authentic conversations. I believe your openness with your daughter has fostered a within her a sense of well-being and belonging that will sustain her throughout her life. You and your wife have given your daughter a priceless gift. Many, many thanks for our wonderful conversations!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you very much, Rebecca! You, and Kim in the podcast, are so right about how family can be defined in many ways (traditional or untraditional). That fluid definition is indeed a wonderful thing and a sign of progress in a world that doesn’t always seem to be progressing.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. While I know people who were adopted, I don’t know anything about what the experience is actually like, particularly in view of the fact that some of my earliest memories are of being told I’m the mirror image of my mother. I gained insight from your conversation with Kim, as well as all the thoughtful comments that followed. Thank you, Rebecca. I think Kim’s written an important book.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so glad you listened in, Liz. Society has come a long way from the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s and we are now looking at more progress being made, thanks to Kim and people who have come out with their stories. It goes back to stories, doesn’t Liz? If we know and understand the story, we learn. This article in over 4 years old, but it provides context to what happened in the past. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/03/catholic-church-apologises-for-role-in-forced-adoptions-over-30-year-period

      As Maya Angelou says to eloquently, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.’

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re absolutely right, Rebecca. Knowing the story is what gives us the understanding. I think our dads would use the parables of Jesus as the prime example.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The parable of the sower came to mind when I read your comments: “Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” I find that storytelling speaks directly about outcomes. Not that they are cautionary tales, although many are calls to action, But there are the others that prompt empathy when there was none before. What a fascinating subject.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. When my brothers would annoy me, as younger brothers do, I used to wish I was adopted. Of course, I was young and didn´t realize the effects of adoption. Years later a cousin who had been adopted out found us. His birth mother was my mom´s sister. The minute I met him, I knew he was one of our family. It´s amazing how family traits are so evident. He was welcomed with open arms as was his adopted father. His adopted mother and birth mother had both passed away by then. He was pleased t have some wonderful aunts. I´m glad that children can now find their birth parents if they wish. The secrecy used to be very harmful to children. This sounds like a great book and the interview was very informative.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Darlene, what a wonderful story of coming home. Family is a powerful word that promises belonging and acceptance. I felt the tears come when I read, “I knew he was one of our family…he was welcomed with open arms as was his adopted father.” I am so glad that you listened in! Sending many hugs along with my gratitude for your heartwarming comments.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It is a happy chapter in our family’s story. Not many knew about his existence, but my mom did. She said she always knew he would eventually find us.

        Liked by 1 person

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