39 pages 1 hour read

Nicole Chung

All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 2018

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Part 2

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2 Summary

Part 2 of All You Can Ever Know opens with Nicole petitioning Washington State for information about her birth parents via an intermediary, or “search angel.” Her adoptive parents knew Nicole wanted an updated medical history because of her pregnancy, but they were unaware that she wanted to meet her birth family.

Nicole’s desire to find her birth mother grew at the end of her first trimester, when she wanted someone who had given birth to explain the birthing process. Her husband Dan signed them up for a home birthing course to satisfy Nicole’s need for information. After the first class, Nicole chose not to obsess about potential complications or a premature birth, instead focusing on the positive aspects of impending parenthood and the empowering aspects of childbirth.

Toward the end of her second trimester, Nicole received news that her search angel had gotten her hands on her sealed adoption file. Most of contents, however, could not be shared without permission from the birth parents. Nevertheless, Nicole learned that she had a sister and a half sister, that her birth parents divorced in 1987, and that they now lived in separate states. The file also confirmed that Nicole was born two months premature, that she spent weeks in neonatal intensive care, and that her prognosis had been grim.