This blog is based on the book "This is My Lemonade--An Adoption Story". The book follows an adoption journey of more than thirty years and the experiences that continue to color the author's life, including a move to Italy and travel throughout Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Robert (Bob) Mulkey was born in Silverton, Oregon and grew up in the mid-Willamette Valley. He attended Oregon State University in Corvallis, graduating with a BS in Sociology and a minor in Geography. His writing career started in high school and continued into college.
Mulkey’s professional background stretches over thirty years and includes management experience in retail trade, transportation, logistics, real estate, cable television.
Upon graduation in 1982, writing took a back seat to economic issues however he contributed writing, editing and research for such organizations as BestPlaces.net, International Facilities Management Association, Western Economic Research and the Oregon Secretary of State. He wrote two technical journals—Population Trends in Oregon and Population Trends in California and has been published in The Oregonian.
Mulkey’s first book, "This is My Lemonade—An Adoption Story" is the result of a lifelong search for answers, identity and acceptance. The book is unique in that it traces the journey of an adult adoptee over a literal lifetime as he juggles two families and two identities.
The search took Mulkey from a comfortable, middle class life in suburban Salem, Oregon to an international identity in Italy where he met his biological father’s family. "Lemonade" was inspired by family, friends and strangers who were fascinated by the unusual circumstances of Mulkey’s adoption and encouraged him to write a book about his experience.
Mulkey has recently returned from Alba Adriatica, Italy where he lived as an expatriate, embracing his heritage, learning Italian and strengthening ties with the extended family on his father’s side. He used this opportunity to travel to Lviv, Ukraine and Krakow, Poland to research his mother’s side of the family.
Mulkey’s next project includes a partner book for "Lemonade" chronicling the genealogical search for his mother’s family.
The nightlife of Lviv, Ukraine rivals any place in Europe, as far as I’m concerned. I have to admit that I have not been terribly involved in it this trip. I’ve been so occupied during the day, that I’m dead by the time I get home. Too, it doesn’t get dark here until about 10:00 p.m. which makes it hard if I want to take photos.
And take photos I did. Lviv residents impress me with their love of color, flowers, lighting and architecture. They know how to accent a building with colorful flowers spilling out of window boxes. Balconies adorn practically every building and I swear that no two balconies are alike. Makes me wonder if past Lviv residents were all fans of Romeo and Juliet. Continue reading →
Okay, so the title of this blog posting is a bit misleading. I’m not talking about Ukraine girls. But I am in Ukraine and I needed some sort of segue!
I arrived in Lviv Monday afternoon. The journey was arduous. I had taken the train from Ascoli Piceno, Italy to Bologna. The train was an hour and a half late arriving in Bologna–and I was standing the entire time. I had never been on an oversold train in Italy. I didn’t even know they existed. In Facebook postings to friends, I joked that I was developing Nixon disease–phlebitis. Continue reading →
I am sitting in the airport in Vienna, Austria. The Italy leg of my trip is over already and it feels weird. Historically, I have always spent a larger proportion of my time in Italy than anywhere else. Not this time.
While in Italy, I made it a point to visit Alba Adriatica, my home of one year in 2014-15. I had romantic memories of the place stored on my mental iCloud. Even though there were times I suffered severe loneliness and raged over the inefficiency of the Italian system, the images of that year are fond ones. Continue reading →
I’ve been in Italy for several days and have not written much. Perhaps because I have not done much except relax and visit with my beloved cousin, Sergio with whom I only had two days.
Upon arriving in Turin, I made a quick dash for my hotel, Le Serre. Sergio recommended it as his parents had stayed there the previous week. I was enchanted. Only three hundred yards from his own apartment, the location was a country residence with fields surrounding it–smack dab in the middle of suburbia. Continue reading →
It has been almost six months since I last wrote. As I indicated months ago, I have not felt the need to write. I get requests to keep this blog going, but living an ordinary life in Portland, Oregon is not, to me, particularly interesting. Perhaps if I were featured in an episode of “Portlandia”, I might have something to say. That won’t happen as the show is ending.
I should mention that I lost a family member that I recently met in Europe. My beloved cousin, Zenovyi died on our Christmas day in Lviv, Ukraine. For anyone who followed this blog during my year in Europe, you might remember him.
For the most part, my blog has dissipated into the wind. After returning from Europe, I felt I had nothing more to say about adoption, genealogy or living as an expat. I thought I had nothing to say at all. But the election has changed that. Continue reading →
It’s been six months since my last posting. I’m not sure what possessed me to write tonight.
I have to say that I have kind of missed this blog. It had been a friend for more than three years during perhaps the most exhilarating time of my life. It was my go-to place. Through this blog, I was able to chronicle the writing and and self-publishing my first book. I used it to discuss my decision to quit my job and pursue my book. And when I made the momentous decision to move to Europe to find my biological mother’s family for my next book, my blog was there. Continue reading →
I spent the evening re-reading blog posts from March and April of 2015. It’s amazing how much one forgets.
In March of 2015 I was in Krakow and Warsaw, Poland researching genealogy for my next book. In April I traveled to Lviv, Ukraine to visit the home of my maternal ancestors. I actually found family there. Re-reading my posts was riveting. Continue reading →
I have another potential option to consider in whether or not I return to Europe.
Lviv is a city on the rise. I noticed, especially during my second visit, that the city had a dynamism about it. Civil works projects were underway. Apartments were being renovated, new businesses were opening. The cafes and restaurants were full. Everything we read about Ukraine does not apply to Lviv. Continue reading →
Continuing on the theme of returning to Europe for good, there are many things to consider.
In discussing a possible return with friends, several people have reminded me of the problems and frustrations I had when I lived in Italy in 2015. First and foremost was the internet/cell phone debacle. Then there was the frustration of having no personal mode of transportation. There was the loneliness, the unemployment, the language barrier. Continue reading →