The Heartbreak Option
An Inspiring True Story
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|Format: ||Paperback, 302 pages|
|Other Information: ||black & white illustrations|
|Published In: ||Australia, 30 June 2009|
A young, single woman finds herself broke and pregnant in a foreign country, thousands of miles away from relatives and friends. There are only three options. One of them is The Heartbreak Option. Giving away her baby for adoption is the most agonising decision any woman ever has to make. But there really was no other choice for this 19-year-old Australian girl, who gave up her son for adoption in the US in 1970. They were finally reunited after decades of searching for each other all over the world. After many experiences, adventures and tragedies, this wonderful event finally took place in 2005.
From the Author
This is the amazing, but true story of Lori Cartagena, a glamorous Australian dancer who was performing on stage before thousands of American soldiers in the Vietnam War in the late 1960s when she was still in her teens. At age 20 she found herself in Florida, pregnant and almost penniless, and had to make the agonizing decision to give up her baby for adoption at birth.
It was a decision Lori immediately regretted and she spent the next 34 years trying to find the son she had given away. It is also the story of Stephen Doniger, a handsome and successful Californian lawyer, and his years of searching all over Canada and the United States for his biological mother. It took him 10 years and thousands of dollars in private eye fees, but in May 2005, the dramatic mother and son reunion finally took place at Sydney Airport. Lori, now a beauty consultant in her mid 50s, rushed to her long lost son when he emerged from the customs area, threw her arms around him and, in her own words: “I showered his face with a thousand kisses!”
Lori was born in Brisbane, Australia, and from her early childhood days was a gifted and versatile dancer, trained in ballet, jazz and ballroom dancing. But she rebelled against her strict parental upbringing and ran away to the much bigger city of Sydney where thousands of young American soldiers were taking Rest & Recreation leave ( R & R) from the Vietnam War. The only dancing work she could get when she first arrived in Sydney as a naïve 17-year-old was as a Go Go dancer in the notorious Whisky Au Go Go nightclub and in a skimpy costume she had to jive away in a cage suspended 50 feet above the heads of the drooling soldiers. To escape from Go Go dancing she joined up with a troupe of Australian entertainers heading for Vietnam where she was to perform for the next 12 months often under extremely dangerous conditions close to the front line.
On several occasions the army bases where her troupe performed came under mortar attack and her troupe’s van was often shot at by machine gun fire. Several of her show business colleagues were killed or wounded in Vietnam and eventually she decided it was all getting far too dangerous so she moved to America. Lori didn’t know it but her troubles were only just beginning.
Lori D Cartagena|
21.59 x 13.97 x 1.6 centimetres (0.45 kg)|
15+ years |