This book was very hard to read, yet riveting at the same time. I read it in practically one sitting. It was heartbreaking to hear about the circumstaThis book was very hard to read, yet riveting at the same time. I read it in practically one sitting. It was heartbreaking to hear about the circumstances in which she was raised, her victimization at the hands of a male relative, and then the horrific details of her 11 year imprisonment. It is truly almost too hard to believe that there are people out there who are capable of treating other humans with such evilness.
After reading this, I wish the author, Michelle Knight much peace in her life. I also sincerely hope that she will one day be able to meet her birth son. She is a true survivor and should be very proud of her strength. ...more
Description: The Child Catchers is a shocking exposé of what the adoption industry has become and how it got there, told through deep investigative reDescription: The Child Catchers is a shocking exposé of what the adoption industry has become and how it got there, told through deep investigative reporting and the heartbreaking stories of individuals who became collateral damage in a market driven by profit and personal beliefs.
Review: This book had me thinking long after I finished it, and it has taken me nearly two weeks before I finally drew the courage to sit down and write a review. At first, I had to decide quite simply how I felt about the book, how much of it I believed, how much of it I still questioned, and whether it had me thinking about adoption in a new way.
As an adoption social worker, I will always be undoubtedly pro-adoption; I have seen too many legitimate children in need of forever homes, and have met and worked with so many amazing families who have opened their hearts and lives to them. That being said, like any formalized institution, adoption undoubtedly has its flaws, and I think that it is important to examine critically the problems in adoption and explore ways to make adoption better.
While I appreciated The Child Catchers in many ways, I was disappointed to find it extremely biased in nature. To begin with, The Child Catchers seeks attention from its reader. The very name of the book is titillating and titled as such to shock--are people "catching" children in the sense of saving them from a worse fate, or are they "catching" them, as in "snatching" them from their families and countries of origin? While it would seem these questions would be fairly explored throughout the book, I would argue that that the stronger sentiment would be in favor of the "child snatching" perception of adoption.
The books is very critical of domestic adoptions past and present. It summarizes the Baby Scoop Era of the early days, and provides stories of young girls being forced into maternity homes and given virtually no choice in placing their babies for adoption. While I deeply sympathize with women who have gone through this experience, I would argue that as a community, we have come a long way with honoring and supporting birthmothers, open adoption, and acceptance. Ms. Joyce argues that modern domestic adoption has many flaws, including adoption social workers failing to give proper counseling towards grieving birthmothers. And while I appreciated the criticism, I wondered if she ever thought domestic adoption was appropriate, because she never gave a positive example of one.
Ms. Joyce discussing in depth the modern phenomenon of the rising numbers of Christians adopting, and the corruption that can ensue as a result in developing nations. It was heartbreaking to learn of the different corruptions and atrocities present in various Third World countries: outright child kidnapping, not adequately advising birth families of their rights prior to relinquishment, and falsifying adoption documentation to make a child-available's profile more "appealing." Such situations are worthy of criticism, however I found myself asking: does Ms. Joyce ever think it is appropriate to adopt from a foreign country? And what about the truly orphaned child? I feel that these questions were never truly answered.
Target Audience: Regardless of my criticisms of the book, I feel that this is an important work, in that it should and will encourage much thoughtful discussion within the adoption community. I feel that every adoption professional should read this book, and take an opportunity to look at their own practices, especially as how they relate to domestic adoption. This book will be very relevant to every adoption professional, adopting family, and people interested in adoption.
Strengths: Meticulous journalism, she interviewed many people and travelled overseas to several countries over a long length of time.
Weaknesses: Comes across as particularly biased against adoption in all forms, in all circumstances.
Description: Writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Nia Vardalos firmly believed she was supposed to be a mom, but Mother Nature and modern mediDescription: Writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Nia Vardalos firmly believed she was supposed to be a mom, but Mother Nature and modern medicine had put her into a headlock. So she made a choice that shocked friends, family, and even herself: with only fourteen hours' notice, she adopted a preschooler.
Review: Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos is the perfect summery, beachy read for any adoptive parent or person interested in possibly adopting. Funny, chatty, and personable, Nia's adoption memoir had me laughing out loud in places. I loved her voice; I honestly found myself wishing I could somehow be her friend. (Also a plus: she calls social workers really pretty angels! Now she's a friend for life!)
On a more poignant note, she bravely chronicles her heartbreaking journey through infertility and the sometimes agonizing adoption process and the hard road of waiting for that certain phone call. Prospective adoptive parents and first-time adoptive parents alike will be able to relate a lot to her struggles and triumphs throughout the whole book: from the bewilderment of what to buy for a preschooler, to the success of getting Ilaria to sleep through the night for the first time.
Nia Vardalos is a spokesperson for National Adoption Day, and the fost-adopt adoption community is blessed to have such a positive and enthusiastic celebrity in our corner.
Target Audience: Any person interested in adoption or adoptive parent, also a great read for anyone just interested in the subject.
Strengths: Funny and easy read; a very good "How to Adopt" appendix in the back, plus links to great resources.
Weaknesses: Nia speaks often about how she dreamed about her future daughter, and felt as if she was given signs that she would someday adopt a girl with "blond highlights." While I do not doubt her personal experience whatsoever, I would caution potential prospective adoptive parents by saying that not anyone has such clear-cut premonitions as to what type of child will come into their family. And of course, sometimes children struggle with attachment issues far more significant than what this family encountered.
It can be hard to describe to prospective adoptive parents what it is like, really, to be a former foster child or what it is like to parent one. TheIt can be hard to describe to prospective adoptive parents what it is like, really, to be a former foster child or what it is like to parent one. The intricacies of the foster care system can be very difficult to describe, and each child comes with his or her own unique story and set of challenges. It doesn't help that there are so many erroneous portrayals out there in the media, with the pendulum swinging wildly from portrayals of Pollyana-esque children grateful to be adopted to budding sociopaths who will try to hurt the family cat. Both of these versions are damaging and inaccurate, of course. As an adoption social worker I try my best to educate my prospective adoptive families as best as I can on some of the unique challenges and issues that come with children who have had to try and survive the foster care system.
Kathy Harrison's beautifully written memoir, Another Place at the Table, does just that. Warm, encouraging, and full of wisdom, Kathy shares her experiences of what it is like to be both a foster parent and an adoptive mother. Her stories ring with truth and you come away inspired and full of respect for someone who has "walked the walk" of trying to help children heal. She doesn't sugar-coat her experiences, but at the same time her words are full of love and hope for the children she has cared for. I found myself taking notes and have consistently recommended this book to many of my families seeking to adopt a child through fost/adopt. ...more
Heartbreaking. Well-written. One of the best memoirs on adoption and foster parenting I have ever read. I haven't read Kathy's other book yet, but aftHeartbreaking. Well-written. One of the best memoirs on adoption and foster parenting I have ever read. I haven't read Kathy's other book yet, but after this, I certainly plan on doing so. My heart broke for little Daisy and the other little charges under Kathy's care. Kathy doesn't sugar-coat anything about their special needs, or behaviors, but her narrative has a sweetness to it, and more importantly, a hopefullness. As a social worker I wish every foster parent was another Kathy Harrison....more
Amazing book. Warm and comforting in tone, yet at the same time extremely clinically thorough and readable, this book is a must read for anyone dealinAmazing book. Warm and comforting in tone, yet at the same time extremely clinically thorough and readable, this book is a must read for anyone dealing with a narcissistic parent, co-worker, spouse, sibling, child, or friend....more