Book Review: Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother

Classic timing! I managed to dodge a cold all winter long, but now, as we wait for the travel call, I come down with a whopper. Dr. thinks it's bronchitis and started me on antibiotics. And some heavy duty cough syrup. Hopefully I can kick this soon.

In the meanwhile, I'm getting some reading done. Just finished "Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother" by Jana Wolff. It's a really good read and I'd recommend it.

Wolff addresses a lot of the things adoptive parents think, but don't ever say out loud. She covers topics like having your personal and financial life analyzed and white parents raising children of color. And delves into things every adoptive mother must have quietly considered like what happens if I don't fall in love with him? This isn't the romantic, happy version of adoption. But it is real.

It was a really quick read and written with humor. She writes as an infertile woman who adopted domestically. She confronts her infertility right upfront (first chapter) and adoption was her only option to become a parent.

My only issue with the book is that Wolff seems to have a bias towards domestic adoption, and some of her barbed honesty is directed at international adoptions. This comment really bothered me: "There are many more Asian babies than African-American babies adopted by Caucasian parents: as if the yellow-white combination is less interracial than the black-white one." Whoa lady.

What's really ironic about that comment is that she did not set out to choose an African-American child (the birth mother chose them) and throughout the book talks about her naivete about adopting a child of color. I am shocked that she would effectively body slam other adoptive parents choices. As she defends in the book, those choices are personal and not anyone's business.

The debate between international/domestic aside, she does give voice to some of the universal fears of adoptive parents about the process and parenting after they come home. And I might be warped, but knowing others have had those fears makes me feel a little more comforted.

1 comment:

  1. I'm debating the book. Sounds good on many levels but the domestic/international thing bothers me. Why can't we all be supportive of each other? I have had more comments than I care to share asking why we didn't adopt domestically (in a very pointed way, not kindly inquiring).
    Thanks for the review! Something to think about. :)


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