Asian woman sitting on a couch, looking sad or upset

Have you ever felt out of place in your mom’s and/or dad’s home, whether as a child growing up or as an adult?

This is a common feeling—I have certainly felt this way at times—and I would imagine that being adopted could add extra baggage to one’s discomfort.

Although the protagonist of Patty Yumi Cottrell’s novel Sorry to Disrupt the Peace is not fully in touch with reality, she has flashes of insight—and one of them involves that misfit feeling.

Upon returning home to her adoptive parents, she witnesses, and vividly recalls, the clashing of personalities that had always existed among her family members—who seem to suffer from a range of character deficiencies and mental illnesses. Her thoughts about her parents had seemed logical when she was living across the country from them; but suddenly, she has a perspective shift:

“Since I’ve been at the house and around my adoptive parents, I can see all the gaping flaws of that logic. It’s like a piece of Swiss cheese.”

In light of that metaphor, I would like to rephrase my initial question. Have you ever strolled confidently through the door of your mom’s and/or dad’s home, only to lose your footing, slide through the cheese-stinky holes of your expectations, and reemerge in the land of the misfits?