Creole Son is the compelling memoir of a single white mother searching to understand why her adopted biracial son grew from a happy child into a troubled young adult who struggled with addiction for decades.
The answers, E. Kay Trimberger finds, lie in both nature and nurture. When five-A day-A old Marco is flown from Louisiana to California and placed in Trimberger's arms, she assumes her values and example will be the determining influences upon her new son's life.
Twenty-A six years later, when she helps him make contact with his Cajun and Creole biological relatives, she discovers that many of his cognitive and psychological strengths and difficulties mirror theirs.
Using her training as a sociologist, Trimberger explores behavioral genetics research on adoptive families.
To her relief as well as distress, she learns that both biological heritage and the environment- and their interaction- shape adult outcomes. Trimberger shares deeply personal reflections about raising Marco in Berkeley in the 1980s and 1990s, with its easy access to drugs and a culture that condoned their use.
She examines her own ignorance about substance abuse, and also a failed experiment in an alternative family lifestyle.
In an afterword, Marc Trimberger contributes his perspective, noting a better understanding of his life journey gained through his mother's research. By telling her story, Trimberger provides knowledge and support to all parents- biological and adoptive- with troubled offspring.
She ends by suggesting a new adoption model, one that creates an extended, integrated family of both biological and adoptive kin.