Adoption Birth Mother Sheds the Guilt and Tells Her Reunion Story

By: Irene Watson

It was the summer of 1965 and Sharon Elrod did the worst thing a young girl could — she got pregnant and wasn't married. Deserted by the father and abandoned by her family, Elrod went into hiding. Checking herself into a home for unwed mothers, she waited out the pregnancy alone and unsupported. Upon the birth of her baby, Elrod immediately relinquished parental rights, and her baby was adopted. She walked out of the home hoping to forget the shameful experience. She vowed never to reveal her secret, and returned to civilization pretending nothing had happened.

Sharon Shaw Elrod's astonishing one-night book "Shar's Story: A Mother and Daughter Reunited" reveals her deeply painful experience as a young unwed mother in an unforgiving generation. It tells of the devastating effect of keeping her experience hidden from the world, and offers an intimate look into the joy and fear she experienced reuniting with daughter Rachel Ann, almost thirty-five years later.

Remarkably, in 2002 on a trip back to Iowa to say goodbye to a dying uncle, Elrod decided to tell the family about her daughter. Completely stunned by the news, her family embraced her with love and understanding. Elrod's heart and soul were set free that day, and after 36 years, her healing process would begin. Five months later, the telephone rang at Elrod's home. It was an adoption reunion agency — her daughter wanted to contact her.

"Shar's Story" is more than a reunion story. This deeply moving account is an authentic testimony to the transformative power of love and forgiveness. And, it is the profound healing journey of two brave women. Elrod's sensitivity to the reunion process will be of great interest to others in the same situation. From deeply sad to incredibly joyous and funny, this reunion reads more like a redemption story of the human spirit. Inspiring, genuine, and honest, "Shar's Story" is guaranteed to touch hearts.

Dr. Sharon Shaw Elrod was born and raised in New Hartford, Iowa. She received degrees from three universities: B.S. in Education; M.S. in Social Work; and Ph.D. in Education. Her professional resume includes work at United Methodist Community Centers; Nebraska Psychiatric Institute; private practice in counseling and psychotherapy; and positions in Arizona's Children Association. Her teaching career included appointments at the University of Nebraska and Arizona State University. Elrod is an avid volunteer in community groups and organizations, usually focusing on children's and women's issues. Elrod lives with her husband in the Piney Woods of East Texas. For more information visit

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