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Raising Abel

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  443 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
A woman of remarkable resourcefulness single-handedly raises a troubled child all the way to manhood in this intimate and inspiring blog-to-book memoir. At 38, Carolyn Nash had a good job, no apparent struggles and few conscious regrets—save, perhaps, her weight and her childlessness. She remedies the latter by fostering and then adopting 3-year-old Abel, a victim of unspe ...more
ebook, 521 pages
Published November 5th 2011 by CreateSpace (first published November 4th 2011)
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Read, Run, Ramble
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, memoir, indie
This is by far one of the most moving, heart-breaking, and painful novels I've ever read. At the same time it is also very hopeful.

Carolyn Nash has provided a very raw look at her experience as a foster turned adoptive parent. Raising Abel is a well-written book. Chapters are short and concise. She doesn't add unnecessary detail or overload with more than needed background/descriptive information. That bares mentioning here because I think it would be easy for an author with this type of content
Kristi, A Book Fanatic
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, nonfiction
This is THE most moving book that I have ever read. As a schoolteacher I have taught students who had been abused. This book took me on a journey with two of the most remarkable people I have ever read about.

At the beginning of the story we are introduced to Carolyn Nash, a 38 year old single woman. Soon she brings Abel, a severely abused three year old, into her home and her heart. Carolyn allows the reader to be a part of her family with us witnessing happy and extremely sad moments in their l
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: challenge-books
You know, as a parent I often say I wish I could get a bubble for my kids to live in to keep them safe ... this book solidified my want of that bubble. The gammit of emotions that coursed through me reading this, left me with an empty tissue box and an insurmountable respect for mom and son alike. I truly enjoyed this book. Well written, to the point storytelling ... a must read.
Teri Pre
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jan-2018
Great book! Depressing and inspiring at the same time.
I found this book very compelling. Carolyn Nash describes how her life changed when she decided to adopt a son. Even though the child was only three, he had experienced severe neglect and abuse in his short life. As a result, he had emotional problems and became violent at times. I identified to a great extent with this story because I also adopted a son who had a very rough childhood. Our circumstances were different. Carolyn was a single mother, and I was married so our son grew up in a two-pa ...more
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly gripping and touching autobiography about a woman adopting and raising a badly traumatized child.

Mit "Raising Abel" gelingt Carolyn Nash eine ergreifende und berührende Autobiografie.
Im Alter von 38 Jahren beschließt die Autorin, ein Pflegekind aufzunehmen und später zu adoptieren. Eine unglaubliche Herausforderung, weil der 3-jährige Abel ein von schwerem Missbrauch gekennzeichnetes Kind ist, dessen Entwicklung zu keinem Zeitpunkt normal verläuft.
C. N. schildert lebendig und einfühl
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who love children
Recommended to Moodyblue by: Amazon Kindle offer
A story of courage, anger, tremendous love, while raising an adopted special needs child - and learning to love oneself.
Had me enthralled from the get-go.
Absolutely captivating and moving.

Brava, Carolyn!
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was painfully beautiful & heart wrenching. I found myself wanting to hug Abel. Wonderful book & a must read!
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was truly a heart rending story. Definitely not for the faint of heart. (Or the squeamish.) It is a testament to the redemptive power of unconditional love.
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-my-book-club
I got a free download of this book from Pixel of Ink for my Kindle. Now, some of the free books Amazon offers are a little sketchy but this one sounded interesting and so I went ahead and downloaded it. To say it was worth it would sound tacky, so I will just say it was a very good book and I was really glad I read it. I think it will stay with me for a long time.

I hadn't originally planned to read it right away, but I opened it to read a few paragraphs to get an idea of what the book was about.
Kristen Dunder
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As a prospective adoptive parent and a CASA volunteer, I am trying to read all I can get my hands on about adopting older and/or special needs children. Carolyn Nash is completely honest about everything she experienced while raising her son Abel, who she adopted when he was three. Abel came with very serious issues as a result of extreme abuse, of every possible kind, by his birth parents, and some of it is pretty difficult to read about. There is no "happy" ending to their story, but definitel ...more
Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws
The first word that comes to my mind about this book is “Amazing”. There is truly no other word for it.

Being human, we all have dreams & hopes for ourselves and visions of how our lives should be. Sometimes those dreams come true and sometimes they don’t. Carolyn Nash was an ordinary woman like you and me, with her own set of dreams & regrets. One of Carolyn’s regrets was that she did not have a child of her own. This was something she could remedy. She adopted a child who came from a fa
Carol Lozier
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever considered adopting or fostering a child? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to parent a child who has a history of trauma and loss? If you have ever entertained either of these thoughts, Raising Abel, is the book for you. Author, Ms. Carolyn Nash, presents an honest and accurate description of parenting a traumatized child.

In the memoir, Raising Abel, Ms. Nash begins her story as a single woman leading a calm, uncomplicated life. Ms. Nash escorts a friend to a foster ca
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Raising Abel is the story of Carolyn Nash, who at 38 becomes a mother for the first time when she fosters (and later adopts) Abel, a boy severely by his parents. The book tells their story from the moment they met through all the trials and troubles of childhood and adolescence. It is a story of hope and tragedy.

The first third of the book was heartbreaking and yet engaging. As Carolyn gets to know Abel, she slowly begans to discover the mystery of all the things that happened to him - and it is
Mar 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books
Woman decides she wants to adopt. Learns that you don't get to choose the child. You get what they have. She gets a severely and horribly damaged boy - damaged by abuse. Loves him.

If everything this woman said happened really happened, then she's a saint. At several times during this book I wanted to reach out and smack that kid for her since she wouldn't do it. She didn't believe in spanking. Deep breaths.

But she has the patience of a saint. Again, if it really happened like she says it did, th
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have read Nash's other books and really enjoyed them - her style of writing, her humor, her character development.

I don't know what I was expecting from "Raising Abel." I've read many other books about child abuse and its consequences (I am a survivor myself). I wasn't expecting the book I read.

I'll start with the first thing I saw - the cover. What a gorgeous piece of work! It fits with the book perfectly.

Then I got into the gut-wrenching meat of the book. Nash's soul baring story of her fost
Heidi Gonzalez
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book drew me in from the prologue. Haunting, yet uplifting this book shows the real trauma that happens when children are abused at an early age and the strength, determination and love it takes to help them through it. Carolyn Nash might not feel like a hero but she is one to me. Many people might have given up on Abel but she never did. She showed him what unconditional love really is.

This book is written in short episodes, which highlight dramatic events throughout Abel's childhood and C
Literary Mama
It's hard to imagine what could have prepared Nash for the experience of parenting a child who had suffered the worst traumas imaginable. Indeed, Abel's history is horrific. Understandably, this leads over the years to behaviors (including violence, property destruction, hospitalizations and suicide attempts) that make parenting him difficult, to say the least, and Nash pulls no punches in reporting how bad it got or in admitting her utter helplessness in the face of his struggles. This transpar ...more
Alejandro Canton-Dutari
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have always heard that when adoption is being considered, the parents-to-be should approach their new child with the same love and devotion expected of a biological offspring.
This non-fiction story made me face my own "what if…." The plot describes a continuous battle between what seems to be offsprings of abuse.
The narrative is direct, poignant and in first person, which allows the reader to "feel" the mother's pain and, on occasion, anger.
In the end, the book made me feel that for some sing
Joy Marie
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book for educators in urban areas

While the events in this book could have happened anywhere, I think that this book has some real value for teachers in urban areas. While not every urban child has been witness to the level of abuse Abel has in this book (and so many come from loving and caring homes), every day children are struggling with traumatized reactions in the classroom, especially those who live e in violent neighborhoods. I think this book could be a valuable addition for many te
Megan Cutler
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
It's hard to review a book like this. In the most technical sense, the writing is not the best. It reads like a clinical retelling of a series of events and doesn't really use a narrative style. I can't help feeling if it had been written in a narrative style, I would have spent the entire book bawling my eyes out. But it is still well worth the read.

Obviously, this is a true story, and what a story it is! I have nothing but respect for this woman and her courage to share her journey. I cannot f
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book about a single woman who believes she is not worthy of love because of a deep seated secret from her past. She adopts a child who has been severely abused and taken from his parents at age three. The story revolves around her finding herself and remembering her past as she handles the multitude of problems that Abel brings to the table. With each new revelation of abuse, each violent outburst she learns more about herself.
I would recommend this book for anyone considerin
Jess Webster
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good book but brutal - not for the faint of heart. It's a vicariously traumatic read. About a single woman who chooses to adopt a little boy called Abel - who has been abused in just about every way possible by his birth-parents. Bit by bit, year by year, the aftershocks of this abuse continue to surface in Abel's thoughts and behaviours. Based on a true story. At one moment makes you despair in humanity, and wonder how people could do such awful things to an innocent little boy; and at another ...more
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is considering or has already adopted a child from foster care. Carolyn Nash writes about her experience raising a child that was placed with her at age three. The child, Abel, has severe PTSD and through therapeutically parenting him, the author learns about her own troubled past. I read the entire book in less than a day. I just couldn't put it down. There are so many parallels between Abel and my kids that I adopted from foster care that kept me eng ...more
R.L. Austin
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Raising Abel is not always an easy read, emotionally speaking that is. The true story follows one woman’s chosen life, adopting and raising an abused child with nothing less than unconditional love. Her son, Abel, is tortured by unspeakable memories that trigger unpredictable outbursts of childish violence.

The result is a roller coaster of emotions as the reader experiences all the pain and anguish of a brave mother who simply refuses to give up on a tortured child. This isn't a story for the f
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. I don’t usually read non-fiction, but the moment I saw the cover and the short description of this book I was intrigued. It’s a tough book to read – not in the sense that it’s hard to get through, but at times it’s such a harsh look in the world of both the traumatized Abel and his struggling and at times desperate mom. It is written beautifully, you experience every emotion alongside Carolyn as you see the little boy grow up. It’s haunting and I’m pretty sure it will stay ...more
Jan 01, 2015 rated it liked it
It was an ok read. Kept and lost my interest at times. The ending got better. It's a story based on the real life of a single 30yr old woman who adopted a troubled 4yr old. During the story she's in touch with a psychotherapist that helps her unravel her own issues as well as her adopted child's and slowly progress towards becoming more whole. As Abel grows the problems she faces grows as well as he gets in trouble more and more
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is an all around great book, it does a wonderful job of showing trauma and it's impact on a family without dramatizing it. I think both the author and her children showed such courage to face the world and all it did to them. I hope that everyone involved in all parts of adoption read this book (and not just foster parents who are parenting kids with trauma), it gave me tremendous insight into another part of the world of adoption.
Carrie Snider
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a very compelling read. It is a true story, which raised its appeal. The author and her experiences with this child were so challenging and intriguing. It made me thankful for what I was given as a child, and now what I am able to give my own children. And then it made me thankful for all of those foster and adoptive parents who love their children who have gone through so much.
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Stirring book. A couple of times I found myself surprised how quickly I was motoring through the pages. Abel is the centerpiece of the story but there is the author's gradual realization of her own troubled childhood that makes it even more interesting. This reminds me of a couple of books written by Cathy Glass, but even better. Highly recommended.
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