Laura Dennis

writer: mommy: recovering perfectionist

Laura Dennis Blog

About Laura Dennis

About Laura

Laura was born in New Jersey and raised in Maryland, but she learned how to be a (sane) person in California, where she lost her mind and found it again in 2001. A professionally trained dancer, Laura gave up aches and pains and bloody feet in 2004 to become a stylish sales director for a biotech startup for five years. Then with two children under the age of three, she and her husband sought to simplify their lifestyle and escaped to his hometown, Belgrade. While the children learned Serbian in their cozy preschool, Laura recovered from sleep-deprivation and wrote Adopted Reality.

Why I wrote Adopted Reality ...

As I washed my hands in the public restroom sink and readjusted the elastic of my dance tights to their proper place-two-and-a-half inches below my belly button, a fellow dance colleague approached me. A locally famous choreographer about fifteen years older than me wanted to know how it was that I came to have two moms. Apparently the story had been circulating around the dancers here at the Ocean City regional dance competition and had made it back to this working dance mom, cool even in her forties with long hair, jazz pants and the type of mean girl attitude to which I was still painfully and frustratingly susceptible.

Summoning my most laidback tone, I told her how just a couple of weeks ago I’d reunited with my birth mother, spending a week with her in NYC taking dance classes, eating at fancy restaurants and relating our life stories. At the end of the week, my mom came into the city, I explained.

"That's your real mom, right, the one who raised you," she interrupted.

Yes, I told her, my mom came into the city and the three of us had a ‘My Two Mom Night.’ When the two first met, they hugged and thanked each other for the gift they’d received — Kathy thanked Marilyn for raising me, Marilyn thanked Kathy for allowing her to become a mom.

This bossy, stage mom and dance teacher said with tears in her eyes, "That is an amazing story. You’ve hardly told me anything and I want to do is go back in the bathroom stall and have a good cry."

As I awkwardly explained I had to get back to my dancers to prep them for the next piece, and left the restroom, I realized that this story of my adoption and reunion was interesting, and not just to me. I thought wistfully, wouldn’t it be cool to write a book about the experience? What I didn’t know — couldn’t know, was the April 2001 trip to New York City with my birth mom had set in motion a series of events that would in just six months lead to a manic break with reality.