Box 62: A Mother-Daughter Search

  • Katherine Mary Kranz Providence College
Keywords: adoption, alcoholism, mother-daughter relationship, adoption records, recovery, addiction


My experiences growing up in an alcohol troubled home and the search for my family history provided a rich opportunity to appreciate and more deeply understand my mother, my father, and my choice to be a social work practitioner and teacher. This story is the outcome of a journey to search for my mother’s adoptive birth history records. This led me to Box 62, where her adoptions records were stored in the Minnesota Historical Society for nearly ninety years. What I did not anticipate was what Box 62 would reveal to me regarding lessons about the influence of secrets and the value and power of recovery. The themes of secrecy shame, and the suppression of emotions surround this story of adoption and addiction. These lessons emerge from my dialogue with writings my mother left after her death which embody her struggles and how she moved beyond them.

Author Biography

Katherine Mary Kranz, Providence College

Social Work Department

Assistant Professor