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Adoption odyssey travels to OC

A former area resident has published his first book and is returning to Clackamas County for a free reading and signing from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, at Nebbiolo Wine Bar, 800 Main St., Oregon City.

Bob Mulkey grew up in the Woodburn-Canby area and graduated from Canby Union High School in 1977.

by: SUBMITTED - Mulkey“This is My Lemonade — An Adoption Story,” is Mulkey’s book and follows his 34-year journey to discover his biological family and attempt to receive their validation.

This international adoption odyssey took him from his “quiet, white-bread life” in suburban Salem to tracking down his Italian father and Polish/Ukrainian mother through trips to British Columbia, Italy, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

“The sojourn resulted in abuse and rejection from my birth father and brother and a three-decade attempt to curry their acceptance,” Mulkey said. “Ultimately, I met my extended family in Italy and developed a bond with them — the bond I couldn’t get with my nuclear biological family.”

Mulkey hopes other adoptees considering whether to search for their birth parents can learn something from his experiences, mistakes and successes.

His first regret was that he never met his biological mother, who died six years before he met his family, leaving him with a well of unanswered questions. Mulkey is convinced that she would have provided a buffer from his father’s abuse.

“I fully believe she would have accepted me fully, because I was her child and she went through so much to make sure I was placed in a good home,” he said. “My second regret is that I placed so much pressure on my father and my brother for acceptance and identity. I should have been more aware and understanding of their approach to the adoption reunion.”

Friends, relatives, acquaintances and even strangers who heard Mulkey’s story prompted him to write the book. As his birth father’s health deteriorated, he decided that it was time to start getting his experiences on paper.



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