By Lori Jakiela

Once, on a street in New York City, author Lori Jakiela stopped on a whim to visit a palm reader. She told Lori, “We all have two lives and we carry the maps of those lives with us. Our left hands mark the lives we’re born with. Our right hands mark the lives we make for ourselves.”

Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe is a book about mapping those lives – the lives we are born with and the lives we are allowed – and lucky enough – to make for ourselves.

Belief is part adoption narrative and part meditation on family, motherhood, nature vs. nurture, and what it means to make our own authentic human connections. It extends the possibilities of creative nonfiction at a time when many people are talking about what exactly truth-in-memoir means. The book’s patchwork form mirrors the fragmented experience of being an adoptee confronting — and trying to heal — her roots.

Belief is the story of one woman’s search for her birth mother coupled with the parallel story of her own motherhood and her own re-making. It’s about what it means to be a mother, what it’s like to have two very different blood connections, and what it means to form a family.

Belief is about searching for roots and what that means, exactly. It’s about finding a balance between the families we’re born into and the ones we make ourselves.


“Adoptees look out at the world from the eyes of what was lost. We can’t help it, but we can transform it. Lori Jakiela’s new memoir — Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe — is a beautifully written journey into one woman’s process of letting go of what was lost, and the messy dignity of human transformation. Her story is one of life, of reaching for life. With a deep gift for storytelling and unsparing, beautifully gritty self-examination, she brings the reader on the harrowing journey with her. It’s an important ride, and an important book.” — Mary Gauthier


Lori Jakiela is the author of the memoirs, The Bridge to Take When Things Get Serious and Miss New York Has Everything, as well as the poetry collection, Spot the Terrorist!, and several limited-edition poetry chapbooks. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and elsewhere. She’s worked as a bingo-hall waitress and a journalist, and spent nearly seven years as a New York City-based flight attendant for Delta Air Lines. She now teaches in the writing programs at The University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg and Chatham University, and lives in Pittsburgh with her husband/author Dave Newman and their two children.