May Book Reviews 2015

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All books purchased by clicking the link in our review will give AFTH a small donation from Amazon.com.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the books in our review please consider buying it through our link to amazon.com.

ReunitedReunited: An Investigative Genealogist Unlocks Some of Life’s Greatest Family Mysteries by Pamela Slaton with Samantha Marshall  – Imagine if you had no history to your life other than what began when you entered your adoptive home? You have no access to past family medical history and no idea of your ancestry or heritage.  You have no one in your immediate family who looks like you or acts like and your family history is a blank slate.

We all hope our parents or caretakers provide for our basic needs with food, clothing, and shelter, make us feel safe and secure in our environment, and provide love and a sense of belonging so we can strive to fulfill our purpose in life. But what about the part of our past that travels with us and is unknown? As humans we have been provided the brain power to reason and think beyond the daily tasks at hand and we have a need to understand the history of our lives and those who have come before us.

This book takes you on a journey that will expose raw feelings and emotions of the life-changing events of a closed adoption as the author attempts to help her clients uncover their past before adoption.  As I once learned from an adoptive mother, Dee Paddock, “Adoption is JOY and SORROW….always being woven together in this tapestry we call FAMILY.  Children of adoption may have issues around separation, loss, abandonment, rejection, and identity….that birth children in intact families DO NOT HAVE”.

What boggles the mind in this book is how the author, Pamela, an adult adoptee, has put her heart and soul into helping others on the journey when she was not able to fulfill her one wish of making a connection with her own biological mother.  She puts all her heart and soul into helping total strangers who are now her friends for life when she travels with them as their guide to help them make a connection to their past.

There is a very popular show on PBS called, “Finding Your Roots” with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Professor Gates understands this strong desire for each of us to find and understand our history.  Pamela Slaton has faith in the power of the connection between human beings and she does everything in her power (and sometimes she may get some divine assistance) to help individuals make that connection to their past.  She genuinely cares and is respectful and feels a strong sense of responsibility for the well-being of her clients.

When her searching clients feel a sense of defeat, betrayal and loss, she LIFTS THEM UP because she knows first-hand what loss is all about and she provides dignity and respect even when the outcome is not successful. She is in search of the TRUTH for all her clients.

Clear your calendar when you pick up this book because it is a page-turner and you will not want to be interrupted.   If you have anything to do with the world of adoption, genealogy, or searching, this is a MUST-READ.  amazon.com price $6.99 (PB) Kindle Price $9.99

The Pea that was MeThe Pea That Was Me: An Embryo Donation Story (Volume 3) by Kimberly Kluger-Bell – This was a cute little story about embryo donation – there are other books in this series that just change how the family came together, IVF, sperm donation, egg donation etc…. This book does a great job of describing where babies come from and how a family can grow from embryo donation.  Using a pea family the author tells the story of how babies are made, and how another pea family donated their embryo to another family.  My only issue with the book is that the author states that an egg and a sperm make a tiny baby pea – which could cause a little bit of confusion.  Maybe if she had just left it as a tiny baby that would have been better. Either way book could be helpful in explaining embryo donation and is recommended by several embryo donation programs. amazon  price $11.57

double dip feelingsDouble-Dip Feelings: Stories to Help Children Understand Emotions by Barbara Cain – This book helps children understand that it is possible to feel two ways at the same time.  Feelings are complex things and when children have conflicting feeling such as when they are dealing with moving to a foster home or to a new adoptive home from their biological home there can be excitement and sadness.  This book can help facilitate the conversation on having these conflicting feelings and that being perfectly normal.  Nice illustrations and easy to understand text.  Amazon price $9.72 (pb) $5.02 (library binding)

TerribleThingA Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret Holmes – Sherman Smith saw a terrible thing and he tries really hard to forget about it but it just makes him angry, gives him nightmares and makes his stomach hurt. When he finally starts talking about what he saw his life becomes better, his nightmares go away and he realizes he isn’t as angry.

Research has shown that children who have witnessed violence or trauma are actually affected as strongly or worse than the primary victims. Children who have experienced trauma or witnessed violent deaths can be helped by talking to a parent, teacher, or other adult about their experience. This story can help children to talk about things that are bothering them.  Maybe their terrible thing isn’t is different or not as bad as Sherman’s but if its keeping them up all night or making them unhappy if they share it and talk about their feelings they will be more likely to move through it.   Amazon price $9.16 (pb) $13.26 (HC)

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