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God and Jetfire: Confessions of a Birth Mother by Amy Seek – Amy Seek writes a gutwrenching account of placing her son for adoption. Seek has an open adoption with the adoptive family of her son, this means that she meets with them, talks to them and exchanges correspondence. At the beginning of any adoption these days the power really lies with the mother. She is carrying the child, she gets to choose a family, and ultimately it is up to her to decide if she can go through with placement.
Seek and her then boyfriend Jevn, take finding a family very seriously. They compose a list of about 100 questions to ask families to see if their values are the same, they interview couples and really take the whole process of finding the “right” family very seriously. After several hours of labor Seek decides to nurse her son, and then ultimately starts having second thoughts. She winds up taking him home and parenting him for about a month before she relinquishes her rights. Given that she had a strong support system and people willing to help I found this book really lacking in the reasons why she decided to place. Its a huge missing gap.
Throughout the book you can feel the grief, anger and frustration that Seek still seems to be dealing with regarding her placement of her son, who by the end of the book is a preteen. After placement the power shifted to the adoptive parents and away from Seek leaving her powerless and lost with her emotions. I’m not sure where all the support that she was offered to keep her child went after she placed her baby but this seems to also be a major hole in the story.
Despite these big issues and some others that crop up regarding Seek’s later pregnancies I don’t think I have ever read a more honest and soul bared account of placing a child for adoption. The mix of emotions, grief, anger, happiness, relief, frustration, loss, etc are laid bare for the reader. However that being said some of those emotions often felt detached and just out of reach. This book is a good conversation starter, because as this book proves there is so much more to adoption than just placing a baby, its a lifelong commitment and a lifelong journey for everyone involved in the process. amazon.com prices: Kindle $12.00, Paperback $15.00, Hardcover $19.67
The Belated Baby: A Guide to Parenting After Infertility by Kelly James Enger and Jill S. Browning – Approximately 7.3 million American women have struggled with infertility; the echoes of which may be felt long after they live out the dream of having thier own baby either through birth, adoption or surrogacy. Many women often find themselves mentally unprepared for motherhood. They feel they have no right to complain about the frustration and confusion that all new sleep deprived parents experience, after all, they worked so hard to have a baby. This book shares the stories of many women who have gone through this post infertility depression. It also discusses the many stages that couples may go through as they struggle with infertility and then ultimately find themselves new parents. This book is straight forward and validating as well as encouraging to those who find themselves in this position. amazon.com prices: Paperback $14.65
In On It: What Adoptive Parents Would Like You To Know About Adoption. A Guide for Relatives and Friends. (Mom’s Choice Award Winner) by Elisabeth O’Toole – This book is smart, thoughful and full of humor. O’Toole guides readers through adoption – and all the unique stuff that accompanies parenting in a family with adopted children. In On It opens a path for friends and relatives to become insiders to the process and is a great resource for people who want to support their loved ones, but aren’t always sure what to do or say. Amazon.com prices: Kindle $8.49, Paperback $11.83