Amy Wilder's Reviews > The Family Nobody Wanted

The Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Grigsby Doss
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Nov 19, 09

bookshelves: all-time-favorites, favorites
Read in January, 1988, read count: can't count

One of my all-time favorites, this book alternates between the stories of adopting and fostering children and the stories of raising them.

Helen Doss and her preacher husband can't conceive, but they are fortunate to adopt a healthy little boy. When they try to expand their family, they hit a wall and are told that there simply are no more children for them. After a brief dalliance with the black market, they resolve to keep applying in the hopes that they can someday adopt another child.

One day they are sitting in the waiting room at an adoption agency and in an offhand way a receptionist says "too bad you're not Filipino or Mexican" - when they prod her to explain, she reveals the dark secret of adoption in the U.S. - there are children in every state labeled unadoptable by agencies because of their race, their medical condition or their age, even as couples like the Dosses are desperately waiting for a child to adopt.

(Of course, there are still children that fall into these categories, and they are still difficult to place, but at least now parents are free to choose - what the Dosses helped break down were the official barriers put up by the very agencies that were supposed to help these children but instead stood in their way.)

One by one, the Dosses eventually adopt a dozen children - a little girl with a dangerous-looking birthmark, a pair of sisters who don't want to be separated, a few older children, and many children of mixed race who don't "fit" anywhere else.

What makes this book so great is that the Dosses are a real family and the book is full of stories about their everyday life. Every other chapter will give you a heart-rending look into the world of children who fall between the cracks and are considered "unadoptable" and the next chapter will have you laughing at the kind family anecdotes every family has, but not every mother can tell so well.

The thing about this book is, just read it.
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Miriam This was a favorite of mine when I was 9 or 10.


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