Six year old Martha's world is ripped apart when her mother dies during childbirth. As she grows up, she never stops missing her mother, the mother she strains to remember.
Buoyed by marriage to her college sweetheart, she hopefully anticipates pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. Instead, infertility threatens to rip another hole in her world. She and her husband enter the unfamiliar landscape of interracial and intercultural adoption. They adopt an infant son, Lucas, from South Korea and a daughter, Clara, from Guatemala. Martha commits to providing her children with the childhood she didn't have and to mothering them in ways she can't remember being mothered.
But as the lives of Lucas and Clara unfurl, their individual attitudes toward maternal loss don't conform to Martha's experience or expectations.
During journeys to Jeju Island off the coast of South Korea to witness her son's marriage, and to Guatemala to vacation and volunteer with her daughter's Mayan ancestors, Martha uncovers new understandings of the ties which bind, and restrain, her complicated family