New book shines a light on the beauty of adoption – Herald & Tribune


By RICHARD ROURK

Erwin’s record

A local writer has published a book that explores the important and personal journey of being an adopted child.

Serina Marshall, a reporter for the Jonesborough Herald & Tribune, has written before but never on a subject touching on something so personal.

His latest book, titled “Handpicked”, is a book about adoption.

“I’ve always been a big advocate for adoption, especially since I was adopted myself,” Marshall said in a recent interview. “Focusing on adoption and on those who adopt and are adopted has always been important and I made sure everyone knew how wonderful my mom and dad were.

The idea for the project came about after I returned to Kingsport from Orlando in 2017 to help care for my dad as his dementia progressed.

Marshall said she knew what it meant to feel the pain of loss.

“My mother passed away in 2005 and I felt that I had not done enough to thank my parents or honor them for what they did for me,” she said. “That’s when the idea of ​​writing a book based on the adoption of my life came to me.

Marshall’s adoption journey began at age three.

“I was adopted at the age of three by my grandparents, James and Allie Marshall,” she said. “They took me out of a dangerous family life and brought me to a loving life.”

Like many, Marshall’s path to a happy and healthy life has been a struggle.

“Growing up, I was bullied for being adopted,” she said. “The kids noticed that my mom and dad were older. I was told that I was not wanted, that I was a monster, that I was an orphan and that my parents got stuck with me. I didn’t really have any support through adoption books or reading about people like me. But mom and dad always told me it wasn’t that I wasn’t wanted, it was that I was more wanted than anything.

As he grew older, Marshall began to flourish.

“The older I got, the more special and unique I felt,” she said. “Very quickly, I was proud to have been adopted because I had been specially chosen to be their daughter. I was not the easiest child to raise, especially since they were a bit older. But they never once hesitated to love me, believe in me and support me in so many ways. They were my best friends. I miss them every day. But they will always continue to do so. ‘Inspire.

Writing has been a form of therapeutic healing for Marshall.

“Writing has always been an escape route for me,” she says. “It’s a great way to get my emotions out. I have been writing creative stories since I was in elementary school.

She added that she had always had a great imagination.

“Not only did I love telling stories, I loved hearing them,” she said. “That’s what attracted me to journalism. Everyone has a story to tell, they just need someone to listen to them.

“My biggest inspiration for the writing itself came, oddly enough, from Reader’s Digest,” Marshall continued. “My mom loved this booklet and read the stories to me when I was little. It fascinated me to write stories for others to read.

His “Handpicked” work inspired Marshall to develop the universe of Allie Rose.

“I plan to make ‘Handpicked’ a series,” she said. “The second book is currently being edited. I want him to follow Allie Rose (the main character who was named after my mom and her favorite flower) as she grows up. This way, it is accessible to a variety of audiences. In addition, it will include diversity and inclusion to cover these audiences as well. “

Marshall’s love for writing makes his work a dream come true.

“I love to tell stories and I love to meet people,” she said. “By working with the Herald & Tribune, I am fortunate to be able to do both every day,” Marshall said. “I have met some of the nicest and most fascinating people in Jonesborough. For a small town, it holds big hearts. I like the personal aspect of it. I’ll be walking down Main Street and people will just say hello to me by name. It’s like neighbors and friends who live in the same city. It reminds me of ‘Cheers’, where everyone knows your name. It is so special. And I think it’s important to form this bond of trust and respect between a journalist and the community. I am so grateful that they allow me to tell their stories and news every week.

Marshall shares “Handpicked” with those who have inspired her over the years.

“First of all, my mother and my father. Everything I do is for them and their memory, ”Marshall said. “I wish they were there to see it come to fruition, but I know they are applauding me from above.

My family for supporting me all my life and allowing me to read everything I write aloud at least 12 times to make sure it sounds right.

She said her best friend helped come up with the name “Handpicked” and the idea of ​​making a series out of it.

She also thanked her teachers Robin Byrne, Miriam Bryant, Ashley Rattner, Michael Bodary, Kurtis Miller, Wayne Thomas, Desirae Matherley and Kelsey Trom for pushing her to pursue her dreams and for being a huge support system in everything. that she does.

Marshall thanked its editors and editors, Dustin Street and Anayia Cook, for all of their hard work in bringing its story to life.

“And certainly, my illustrator, Sierra Palmer, who brought the story to life in a way I never imagined,” Marshall said. “She has been respectful throughout and wants to do justice to the memory of my parents and our history… and is brilliantly talented. She’s one of the reasons we’re bestsellers. It wouldn’t have been possible without her, and I can’t wait to see what will happen.

“Handpicked” is available for pre-order now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Book Depository, Indiebound, Walmart and Bookshop.


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