Friday, April 27, 2007

A Love Like No Other: Transformations

Here's the last review post about the book of essays, A LOVE LIKE NO OTHER. These focus on how adoption has transformed the life and world-view of their adopted families.

RELUCTANT NO MORE (NOT THAT I EVER WAS) by Joe Treen is a personal favorite. Ladies, if anyone ever needs to peer into the mind of the "RELUCTANT SPOUSE" (or need help in PRODDING a "reluctant spouse", these few pages are the keys to the Kingdom. Joe hits on all the concerns that quickly jumped into men's minds: anxiety about providing for a family, loss of autonomy, threat to career path -- it's all there. What Joe also explores is the huge, unexpected reservoir of emotion that children pull to the surface. Ultimately, as is usually the case, love easily trumps all nagging doubts.

AND THEN EVERYTHING CHANGED by Adam Pertman describes how an adoptive father/journalist slowly transforms into an adoption advocate, working at the Evan B. Donaldson's Adoption Institute. I admire Adam's desire to look for the "big picture" and his passion to ensure, to the best of his ability, that his personal choice for his family's expansion is something that his family can view with pride -- by ensuring that EVERY adoptive family feels pride.

ACROSS TWO CULTURES by Emily Prager portrays Emily as a forerunner in ensuring that her adopted child feels connected to her country of origin. Emily puts her daughter, "LuLu" into a private school for Chinese immigrant kids, so she could learn Chinese and about Chinese culture, history, customs, etc. As the only non-Chinese parent, she stuck out like a sore thumb, but in time, her hard work to connect LuLu to her country of origin pays dividends. I really admire Emily's approach. Her dedication is remarkable, and it's amazing to see how poised LuLu is, how accepting she is of her adoption, because of all of Emily's hard work. This one is inspiring.

THE ORPHAN MYTH by Doug Hood reads like Sebastian Junger -- a doctor traveling the world with Healing the Children ends up becoming an adopted father, taking his new daughter along with him as he travels from orphanage to orphanage. The writing is evocative and intense, a great read.

SPECIAL NEEDS by Jenifer Levin tells the touching story of a woman who, as a girl, felt like an outcast. Along with her girlfriend, she adopted two "special needs" boys from Vietnam. She tries to shelter and protect the boys, struggling to make sure they thrive. In the end, however, when a "routine" operation nearly kills her, it is the boys who come to HER emotional rescue.

A LOVE LIKE NO OTHER spans a tremendous number of stories and situations. The writing, largely, draws the reader in, encouraging the reader to live and breath in the essayist's situation. With so many different stories and different personalities of writers in the offing, the book succeeds in provoking thought in potential
adoptive parents.