Melissa Baggett's Reviews > The Pumpkin Patch: A Single Woman's International Adoption Journey

The Pumpkin Patch by Margaret L. Schwartz
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's review
Sep 18, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: miscellaneous
Read from July 07 to August 08, 2010

With my recent attraction to international adoption, I bought this book last fall to read up on the subject. Schwartz adopted two children from the Ukraine a few years ago, and The Pumpkin Patch is her journal detailing her trials and adventures in bringing Rupert and Nicki back from Eastern Europe.
The book starts roughly a year before Schwartz goes to the Ukraine, and the bureaucracy she must go through for the process sounds about par for the course. Schwartz's adventures in Ukraine resound familiar to someone who spent roughly three years in Eastern Europe, and I must give her credit for not complaining too much in her journal for the comforts she gave up while overseas. The lying she encounters and the bribes she has to pay also sound familiar, but the stakes were also much higher than what I'm used to. (That experience just sounds scary, actually, knowing that the biggest decision of your life depends on some petty Eastern European bureaucrat's idea of whether or not the price is right. Or any petty bureaucrat, for that matter.)
Schwartz also brings to light some concerns that go with adopting, like Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which I had never even thought about. In a poverty-stricken and booze-oriented culture, where the potato realizes its true potential, FAS is definitely something to think about. Schwartz even turns down a little girl, though she originally went to adopt two girls, because she has FAS, and instead adopts two boys.
The last third of the book centers around Schwartz settling in with her two new children. Her adventures as a new mother don't sound too different from the settling in with small children that most new parents go through, except for her perpetual worries that the boys' mental and physical health has been permanently damaged by their time at the orphanage.
All in all, a good read that has given me more things to think about when I get closer to that point in my life.
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07/07/2010 page 9

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message 1: by Azulita (new) - added it

Azulita Blue we have the right to change our mine, I wanted a boy between 2 and 4 years and now I have a 19 years old daughter and also a litle boy.

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