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Our choices shape us and move us along life’s journey

sometimes taking us to places we never dreamed we’d go. Such is the story of Marcie J. Keithley.

Marcie J. Keithley surrendered her daughter for adoption in 1978 in a decision that was fueled by panic and desperation.  Many years passed, and Marcie never heard from her daughter and just assumed her baby girl had never tried to find her. But that wasn’t true. In reality, Marcie’s daughter had been searching for her mother for more than a decade. In 2008 Marcie began the search for her daughter and what she discovered would forever transform her life. Led into a world of bureaucracy and antiquated adoption laws that prevent blood families from finding one another, Marcie learns first-hand how these outdated laws can sever the connection many search for and place adoptees at risk to serious health issues. After months of research and miles of bureaucratic red tape, Marcie reunited with her daughter and added her voice to the growing movement for access to records in her home state of Indiana by testifying at her states capital in support of Senate Bill 91.  This bill will allow Hoosier born adoptees (1941-1993) access to their original birth certificates on July 1st, 2018. Marcie is a writer, speaker and Vice President of Hoosiers for Equal Access to Records (HEAR) and Co-Founder and Vice President of the Indiana Adoptee Network, a post educational resource that offers a Blog Talk Radio Show, annual spring conference and a monthly newsletter. A member of the National Association for Memoir Writers, Marcie has written articles for Adoption Today magazine, Indiana Adoptee Network News and various publications. Her story has been featured in the Indianapolis Star, the Louisville Courier Journal and was the cover story for Southern Indiana Living Magazine. She speaks on a variety of topics such as Reunion and Reality, Adopting an Attitude of Gratitude and “Good Grief! “which promotes healing and forgiveness after loss.


Marcie speaks on a variety of topics, particularly issues facing adult adoptees and their birth parents.


Marcie writes and manages the newsletter for the Indiana Adoptee Network, and also posts on her blog.

What is the Shoebox Effect?

  “The Shoebox Effect” is a term from the insurance industry. It’s where someone pays the normal price for services and saves the receipts for reimbursement. These receipts are often stored in a shoebox, but are usually forgotten and never submitted. The person saving the receipts spends a lot of time and effort but never reaps the benefit. The Shoebox Effect applies to humans in another, very real way. We may store keepsakes and mementos in a physical shoebox in our closet, sorting through them from time to time relieving carefree days. We also store bad memories in our emotional shoeboxes, shoving those hurtful experiences to the backs of our minds so we don’t have to deal with the feelings of guilt or shame.  

There is a price to pay for what we don’t face in our past.

  I had to face my past in order to find freedom, and so do you. Whether you have an actual shoebox or an invisible one that you reference from time to time, the Shoebox Effect is a reality. And, you know what? You’ll experience a freedom you’ve never imagined once you find the courage to face your past. God doesn’t promise us all a Hallmark happy ending, but He does promise that He won’t abandon us as we face our demons and fight for the freedom that is already ours. I pray that my story will cause you to find your own version of a happy ending. I deserved it, and so do you.  

The Shoebox Effect

It’s more than a memoir; it’s a movement!

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