This is the first adoption related book I chose to read for several reasons. First, it seemed like an easy read, and it was. It was also a book focusing on information that people who were just starting the adoption process needed to know. Also, Amazon.com had 12 reviews on the book, all of them at five stars, so I figured it would be a good place to start (if you click on the image of the book, it will take you directly to the amazon product page).
The problem I encountered with this book is how it made me feel. The entire book was a bit of a downer, and always felt like some part of what was being discussed was negative. Even the title feels a bit negative. As I read it I can just imagine some woman - who has just finished a long hard battle with her local government, or with an agency or what have you - saying "If only I'd known, I never would have ... " and it's sad. Every birth mother presented within the "case in points" is a mother who is in an abusive relationship, or is selling her body for drugs or money or what-have-you, or she's planning on duping the potential adoptive parents. And the few adopted children we get insight into years after their adoption is dealing with "severe anger issues" or running away, or being killed after a high speed police chase! Of the adoptive families we meet, they are either lying to the adoptive mother, or bursting into hysterics at the mention of any small problem with the adoption process, I'm not saying that every adoption story is a beautiful happily ever after story, but for goodness sake! Not all of them are tragic.
Don't get me wrong. I understand that a lot of the women who place their children for adoption are in a desperate situation. I understand that a lot of children are placed in "the system" because their birth parents aren't fit to be parents at all. I really do understand that. But sometimes, the birth mother isn't ready to be a mother and places the need of her child as paramount. Sometimes, it's as simple as that. Not every situation is tragic and awful, is it? Or perhaps, I'm being naive. God, I hope that not every adoption is like that.
Now to be fair, there is a lot of useful information in this book, like I said before. One just has to get used to the somewhat negative feeling of the book. I don't think that the Kaskys intended it to be negative. Most of the reviews on Amazon.com are from people who know the Kaskys or have worked with them personally. The reviews mentioned the Kasky's positive reputation in their community or how wonderful they were to work with, and they certainly are knowledgeable.
In the end, I am glad that this is the first book that I read regarding adoption. It was short and simple, provided me with valuable information and allowed me to get my first taste of the hardships that may or may not face me in the months to come.
On a personal note, I would like to thank everybody for your words of enthusiasm and love during the launch of this blog. I've said it before, and I will say it again and again: we would be nothing if not for your love and support.
Nikisha - AKA Mommy