Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Adoption Nation

Hello again everyone.  A few short weeks ago I was asked if I'd like to read a book and write a little something about it.  Now, as those who've been reading on here for awhile have figured out by now, I definitely am not of writer quality.  But, I can talk a lot and say what I think.  So, we will see if I can actually give this review thing a try.  The reason I wanted to read this book is I had heard so many things about the first version of it.  Plus, it is of a topic that is near and dear to my heart.  What book is it? 

Adoption Nation.  It is written by Adam Pertman.  It is a book I would have never thought to have read.  But, it is one now that I think every prospective adoptive parent should read.  I have been in the adoption community for over 11 years now and still was learning new things from reading this book!  Now, if you are reading this post and are interested in international adoption, this is not a book about international adoption.  Only touches very lightly on the subject.  Wished I'd seen more about the international side of things but I think I'm biased with that as that is how all my kids came to be in our family.  That being said,it was still a very beneficial book to me even this late of the adoption stage of our lives.  I did learn a lot.

The history of adoption was interesting as was the why of it all.  Many things I honestly did not know.  And when you are doing something so life changing such as adoption, I do believe you should know the how and the why of it all.  This book will help you do that.  On page 34, there was a paragraph that struck me.  There were a few people gathered together and they realized they had all been touched by adoption in some way or another.  Here's the paragraph: " Suddenly--or at least it feels sudden-- adoption is being transformed from a quiet, lonely trip along America's back roads to a bustling journey on a coast to coast super highway.  The infrastructure has become so extensive that it has made all of us-- not just adoptees, birth parents, an adoptive parents-- into fellow travelers.  We should do all we can to make this a smooth ride."  I love this paragraph.  Those new to the adoption world will quickly learn all of us in this community refer to this journey as a roller coaster ride.  There are so many ups and downs and unexpected turns along the way.  But, like the author seems to imply, once we learn to navigate this & help each other along the way, the smoother the ride will be.  I whole heartedly agree.  

This book is a comprehensive look at adoption.  Not just one aspect of it.  Though like I said, it is mostly referring to domestic adoptions whether via private adoptions or from foster care system.  I was glued to the chapter regarding the quest for identity and exactly what that means.  It actually was reassuring for me to read this.  And this applies to every adoption , not just domestic.  For me, it is something I have been struggling w/ for years regarding my childrens' birthparents.  I felt burden by information and what I knew.  Not knowing how much to share with my kids.  This part of the book really put things in perspective for me. I think I too had that hidden fear of some adoptive parents though none of us will openly admit it, of having our kids search for their birthparents and somehow forgot all about the ones who raised and loved them.  It isn't like that and this book definitely gave prime examples of how it wasn't like that.  People who did birthparent searches.  It wasn't so much what happened after as it was the whole reason why they did the search to begin with.  It helped me realize that my kids had an identity before they came to America.  Yes, I knew this but I don't think I really understood it until I read Adoption Nation.  

All in all I really liked the book and the subjects it addressed in regards to adoption.  I believe all adoptive parents should read it.  I've been in the adoption world for a long time and even I found many new interesting facts and information.  It gave me a different perspective at looking at adoption and what it truly means.  Adoption does effect an entire nation and I did not realize the magnitude it had on our nation as a whole.  Simply amazing.  There is a revolution going on in adoption.  Our nation has been transformed & the adoption community especially has been transformed.  Years ago there were few records kept of adoptions and in addition, most adoptions were very secretive.  Nowadays, you may freely express you are adopting.  You can share your stories.  I never even stopped to realize how hard that must have been on folks years back not being able to share their stories with anyone, let alone their children.  There have been many, many changes over the years in adoption and this book, Adoption Nation, addresses these changes.  Makes a huge impact in my opinion on how adoption is viewed.  I do feel it is a must read.  

There were a few things I did not agree with but you'll never agree 100% w/ everything you read.  The issues of international adoptions and why people do them is something maybe I'll have to write about a little later.   I think the author touched on some very important points though on as to why people look overseas to adopt.  There are a lot of rules in foster care and it does indeed leave many prospective parents out of that option to adopt from our American system.  In our state of NC, you are not allowed to adopt from foster care if you have 5 or more kids.  Nor are you allowed if you have more than one special needs child.  Even if you are willing to give the child a home.  So, that is why we had to go overseas as did a neighbor I know.  Point is, Mr. Pertman did touch on the subject of rules preventing prospective parents from adopting the many available children from America.  But, it also gave hope to many.  The book tells of all the changes that have taken place thus far in adoption.  I never realized just how far the adoption community has come and the changes that were made for the better.  

Adoption Nation was well written.  A very comprehensive look at all aspects of adoption and even the many perspectives of adoptions.  I appreciated not only the facts but the varying views on multiple subjects.  All in all, I learned many things I did not know and now have a different perspective on birthparent searches that I intend to share with my children.  I do hope all of you at some point get a chance to read it.  It is a book on adoption and gives such a variety of information, that I do believe there is a little something for everyone.  Thanks for letting me share. 

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