Beyond FAREWELL: In Memory of Hannah Amgott
IN THE YEAR OF THE OX: A tale of love, hope, survival, and the evolution of an adoptive mother
Hannah Amgott, author, poet, counselor, and adoptive mother to Elyse Lian Xia Amgott and Justin Mario Chavez Amgott, passed away last week. She will be missed by many, including those of us who worked and chatted and joked with her from many miles away and who now regret never meeting her “in person.” I helped edit Hannah’s first published book of nonfiction, her unique memoir In the Year of the Ox from Pearl Street Publishing of Denver. The Pearl Street site offers a detailed tribute to Hannah; I’d like to draw attention to the insights Hannah provided into international adoption and the challenging but incredibly rewarding path she and her husband, Steven, followed in their quest to adopt their daughter from China. Shortly after the writing of this book, Hannah and Steven set off again—this time to Guatemala, where they adopted their son.
“The road to adoption in China begins with abandonment,” Hannah wrote. “Those Chinese infants who survive and are adopted internationally have an abiding need for a sense of history, belonging, and grounding. Throughout the writing of my book, I had one aim in mind: to craft something lasting and meaningful as a legacy for my daughter.”
Through journal entries, letters, and poetry, this book conveys the scope and impact of milestones and emotions experienced over a twelve-year Chinese zodiac cycle, a cycle that celebrates obstacles overcome, triumphs achieved, and the influences of varied people and experiences along the way.
Hannah will be missed, but her writings live on, as does the love she showered on her family. Differences in color or culture or nationality only enhance the total picture when viewed in the bright light of a mother’s love.