All families have secrets. The big one in my family, at least for me anyway, was the fact that my older brother Greg was adopted.

When I was in high school, I was sitting in room with extended family and my auntie Joan, who really wasn’t my aunt but rather a very close friend of my mother, said to me, “You know, you are very special Michael because you are the first-born son of the family.” This was an odd comment as I knew that A. Auntie Joan was aware of my brother Gregory who is 9 years my senior and B. that she wasn’t off her rocker. When I asked, “What about Greg?” I saw her face go pale and she pretended to have forgotten about him.

Later that night, on the way to dinner, my mother and father told me that Greg was adopted as a way of explaining Auntie Joan’s comment. I turned to my twin brother Jimmy (I was older by a minute, therefore technically was the first-born son) and he said, “Mia told me years ago.” Apparently, I was the only one who didn’t know.

This walk down memory lane is relevant to today’s guest, author Laura Engel, who joined me to talk about her book You’ll Forget This Ever Happened: Secrets, Shame, and Adoption in the 1960s.


Laura L. Engel likes to say she is late to the game as a budding new author. Originally from Biloxi, Mississippi, Laura has lived in Southern California for over 50 years. She and her husband, Gene are the proud parents of six grown children along with their significant others. They are delighted to be Grammy and PaPa to ten grandchildren.

What was it like giving up a child for adoption when she was just a teenager? How did her birth son track her down? What emotions did she experience when setting her eyes on him for the first time? Find out the answers to these questions and the heartbreaking lie she was told which inspired the title of her book.

Laura’s emotional memoir can be purchased at Amazon,, or ask for it wherever you buy books. You can learn more about Laura by visiting her website or by following her on Instagram @StorytellerLaura.

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