Marri Jo Rillera

by adminuser on August 1, 2010

In Memory of Annette Baran, a Dear Friend and Compatriote

From the time I first met Annette in the early 1970’s she was a friend. Over decades we shared meals, discussions, plane rides, conferences, speaking engagements, panels, media interviews and so many private, fun and stimulating times. She could always be counted on for the best story, the most intriguing insight, a new book suggestion and often we’d talk through something until a clear option appeared that could uplift those it involved – rather than demean or diminish anyone.

I was honored to be able to re-publish both The Adoption Triangle and Lethal Secrets for her & Reuben barely two years ago. It seems so important that these classic works remain available. We spoke only a few weeks ago reflecting on how to best clarify the original use of the term birthparent, so that those who were posting various versions on the internet could have specifics from the time and those involved. I then emailed her a number of links at to articles she co-authored with Reuben and Arthur in the 70’s. That conversation, like so many, detoured into other areas like the pain perpetrated on adoptees and birth families. She so clearly was able to articulate how this needed to end. We laughed at how long ago we thought if we worked hard, shared what we observed and knew to be true, that change would be prompt and encompassing. Still nearly 40 years later, that vision remains unfulfilled. But certainly not for her lack of commitment or trying.

Each of us who knew her have our own experiences, memories and smiles. Mine are dear to my heart. I want her spirit to soar and her many dreams to become concrete for those who follow. May everyone in her family know she was loved also by those of us in her extended adoption movement family. She made a profound difference and that lives on.

Marri Jo Rillera

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