A NORTH Tyneside woman who was adopted as a child has published a book of poetry inspired by her feelings and experiences during her search for her birth family.
Jo Whitehead, of Whitley Bay, was happily adopted as a youngster but during her twenties she embarked on a search for her family.
After meeting with a social worker and searching through adoption registry records at the old Newcastle City Library, she soon located her maternal family in Redcar in 1994.
Jo met her half sister, her uncle and auntie and their daughter and her grandparents.
Jo’s birth mum had sadly died in the 1980s, however.
Now the 39-year-old is hoping that her new book, Loose Threads, will help comfort and inspire those who are going through a similar experience.
She said: “It was when I was 21 I started looking into my past.
“I had a lecturer at university who said, how do you know where you are going if you don’t know where you come from?
“That really hit home and I decided to search for my birth family.
“It was how I wrote the book. It’s about being in my twenties and what it is like going through life not knowing who you are.
“I had known I was adopted from being a child.
“I find it difficult to verbalise emotion but I found writing it down easy.
“I hope my book will help people who are either going through the process of adopting a child or those who have been adopted and want to look for their birth family. It might be cathartic.”
Jo, a former Monkseaton High School pupil, now lives in Durham with her husband Kevin, 46, and teaches at Hill Top Specialist Arts College in Gateshead.
Loose Threads, published by Arthur H Stockwell Ltd, is priced at £3.99 and is available to buy from Waterstones, WH Smith and Amazon.