I first ran into Mary over 10 years ago on WCBE. I’d never heard of her. I don’t remember the name of the song that was played and the word “adoption” wasn’t mentioned once. But Wowza! I shouted “that’s about being adopted.” It was. And I googled her. Since then I’ve been a big fan. Her May 2010 CD The Foundling, is a tour d’ force of her own adoption experience:
The songs (on The Foundling) tell the story of a kid abandoned at birth who spent a year in an orphanage and was adopted, who ran way from the adopted home and ended up in show business, who searched for birth parents late in life and found one and was rejected, and who came through the other side of all of this still believing in love
–but speaks to us all no matter what our experience.
It was named 3rd top CD of the year by the LA Times.
My personal favorites are the title cut and “Blood is Blood”. What bastard can’t appreciate the absurdity of: adoptaspeak:
An excellent interview with Mary was published in Pennyblack Music.com.
There are so many people involved in the Adoptees Rights Movement. There are birth mothers who have grown and changed and come to a place where they want to meet their children, or have lost the chance to meet their own but recognize how valuable the knowledge of origin could be to the children who do seek. There are adoptees who are working together to counteract the shame and deep loss they’ve experienced, and to co-create a world where children are no longer seen as commodities. There are adoptive parents who see in their children their true natures, and honor them by letting the children keep their original names, taking them to where they came from, keeping in contact with birth parents when possible, showing them, quite literally, that their love for them does not hinge on them pretending to be something they are not.
These brave souls are working towards one of the last to be recognized civil rights issues – the right for human beings to know their origins, for all adoptees to know where they came from, to have unrestrained access the their own birth certificates. As of now, we do not have that right. In all but 6 states, adoptees birth records are sealed shut by the state, and upon adoption birth certificates are re-issued…. with adoptive parents names on them.
Of course Mary is about and writes about much more than adoption. She’s a story teller with a genuine voice, no matter what he subject. Her work is admired by Bob Dylan and Tom Waits: An earlier (2007) CD, Between Daylight and Dark was universally praised:
“If she keeps this up, one day she may assume the mantle of Johnny Cash,” raved the New York Daily News; while the Boston Globe praised Mary’s “particular blend of toughness and vulnerability that puts her in a league with Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle.
Mary will perform at:
549 Franklin Avenue
olumbus, Ohio 43215
(For old timers, it’s the Shedd Theater at the Old Players Theatre)
Go here for ticket information and orders.