Adopting from the foster care system takes an extraordinary blend of hope, strength, resilience and love.
British author Sally Donovan gives a rare glimpse into that journey in her book, "No Matter What: An Adoptive Family's Story of Hope, Love, and Healing."
The book tells her own story of facing infertility with her husband and adopting two young children who suffered abuse in their early life.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers describes No Matter What:
Writing with incisive wit and honesty, Sally Donovan movingly describes the difficulties of living with infertility when friends and family have no idea, and the emotional process of arriving at a decision to adopt. She recounts the bewildering logistics of adoption and, after finally Sally and Rob are joyfully matched with siblings Jaymee and Harlee, how their joy is followed by shock as they discover disturbing details of their children's past. Determined to heal their children, Sally and Rob realise they will need to go 'beyond parenting' to give them with the help they need.
By turns heart-rending, inspiring and hilarious, Sally and Rob's story offers a rare insight into the world of adoptive parents and just what it takes to bring love to the lives of traumatised children.
I found the book to be inspirational and riveting in its unflinching honesty.
My fifteen year-old daughter picked up the book after I finished it and became immersed herself in the story. I found myself recommending it to many others, from the massage therapist who mentioned she wanted to adopt from the foster care system someday to the friend interested in child behavior.
I also found myself wishing that everybody else, from teachers to neighbors, could somehow read this book and better understand the unique circumstances of these children and their families.
As an adoptive parent myself I found this book honest and brave in its account of family life. Adoption begins with a loss and its important for people to know that parenting traumatised children takes courage and humour which Sally and Rob have in bucketfuls.
For me this book has given real insight into the world of modern adopting that many of us know little about, whilst having plenty of familiar ups and downs of life that I could identify with too. I don't have adopted children, but I have loved reading this.
I wish I had read this book while my friends were going through the adoption process, as I feel it would have helped me to understand more and be a better friend. I can't recommend it highly enough for anyone who is thinking about adopting or going through the process, and their family and friends.
I read the book in about two days, literally devouring it (and ignoring my family) in order to read it to the end. I also folded down at least 20 pages to refer back to at a later date. SO much of the experience was familiar it was hugely cathartic to read.
As an adoptive mum of 2, I can relate to this book absolutely. I felt that Sally had written 'our' story so many times during reading it, and couldn't put it down.
It is well written, clear and candid and touches on the merits and dark places of the adoption journey, and particularly attachment issues.
I think it offers a good insight to someone who is thinking of embarking on this journey, and for those already journeying. It could be especially helpful for family members to get a 'fly on the wall' view of life in such a family.
It is extremely helpful to have some idea of what we are about to start in our own adoption journey.
I can't recommend this book enough for anyone. In fact EVERYONE should read this, it gives an accurate window into the reality of the world and it's impact on children and their families whether they are foster carers, adopters or birth parents.
You can also read an excerpt here (PDF).
No Matter What is a rare blend in books -- an interesting and enjoyable read, yet also informative and full of wisdom. I highly recommend it for adoptive parents, those who are considering adoption, foster care providers and social workers, as well as for family and friends of families who adopt.
Note: I received a copy of this book for review purposes, which had no bearing on my review. I have no affiliation with the author or publisher, and links contained in this article are not affiliate links.
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