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Be My Baby: Parents and Children Talk about Adoptionby Gail Kinn
Synopses & Reviews
"A family is a family, no matter how it comes to us," reassures one adoptive father in this luminous and groundbreaking portrait of today's adoptive families.
Be My Baby is infused with the conviction of adoptive parents that they and their children were meant to be. In their own words, parents consider and speak about how their families came together, and how they're coming along.
In a section devoted to the thoughts of adopted children from nine to nineteen, kids tell what's on their minds, and how it feels to be adopted. Whether it's the many children who say, "I feel really special being adopted," their wisdom, good sense, and honesty are deeply affecting and empowering to all adoptive children.
In another part of the book, adult children look back on their lives, speaking of different life passages and speculating on how much or how little adoption has affected them. "In the end," says one woman, "being adopted is part of the recipe of who you are, but it's not the main ingredient."
Finally, birth mothers come out of the shadows to speak of their love and concern for the children they chose not to raise themselves, and their gratification, nonetheless, at finding them the right homes. Children, too, speak of the importance of knowing about birth parents in order to better know themselves.
Along with these truthful, comforting, and ebullient life stories, vibrant photographs illuminate the faces of adoptive families — be they domestic, interracial, international, open or closed adoptions — making Be My Baby an immediate and beautiful testimony to the dream — and reality — of creating a family of one's own.
"[A]n absorbing look at the joys and challenges of adoption and family formation." Vanessa Bush, Booklist
"Despite the wide range of experiences and emotions presented, the overall message is positive and affirming. The cases included make for interesting and thought-provoking reading and could be used as discussion starters." School Library Journal
"The treatment of this complex topic is honest and straightforward....Photos and text combine to deliver powerful impressions. Readers will be moved by the poignant feelings and observations expressed by the subjects in the text. This book, which covers domestic and international adoptions, is an excellent resource for adoptive families and anyone interested in this issue." Children's Literature
"The text is largely an interview based format, splendidly enhanced with the photography of Ken Shung and provides a warm, insightful, occasionally inspiring, and highly recommended reading, candidly revealing what the adoptive family experience is like in our contemporary culture." Internet Book Watch
"This is such a loving, honest, and deeply helpful book." Jamie Lee Curtis, author of the best-selling Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born
Told through the voices of adoptive parents, their children — young and grown up — and birth mothers, and accompanied by fifty stunning photographs, Be My Baby is a luminous window into the adoptive family. As people who have postponed childbearing, or who have been unable to have children, look for role models and real-life stories, the book shows them how well adoptive families work. Indeed, Be My Baby captures, with grace, insight, and emotion, the deeply felt bonds and life-affirming experiences that are at the heart of raising an adoptive family — or any family for that matter.
THE REAL VOICE OF THE ADOPTION EXPERIENCE
With insight and emotion, "Be My Baby" dramatizes the deeply felt bonds and life-affirming experiences that are at the heart of an adoptive family. Told through the voices of adoptive parents and their children, it offers a luminous portrait of family life. 50 illustrations.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
"I think that kids feel like they'd hurt my feelings if they said something wrong. I once said to a friend, 'You know, it's okay being adopted. You don't have to treat me differently. You can ask me about it.' And she sighed and said, 'Oh, thank God.'" (CAITLIN WACHS, age nine, adopted at birth)
"The birth father's absence in the adoption scenario creates a sense that fathers matter less. That's why I think it's so very important for the adoptive father to be a really involved parent --to close that gap." (AUBREY REESE, adoptive father)
"Adoption is not something to get over. It's something I am. I'm also Korean, and I'm also Italian American; I'm a son, but I'm also an uncle, and so on." (PETER SAVASTA, age twenty-four, adopted at five months)
"I feel I have more room to give my kids a bit of a break as individuals. I can't project as much of myself on them." (JAMIE LEE CURTIS, adoptive mother)
About the Author
Gail Kinn is a writer and an editor who has ghostwritten many well-known books on family and personal growth. Be My Baby was inspired by her close relationship with her ten-year-old adopted niece, Sarah.
Ken Shung's photography has appeared in many national magazines, including Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, Mirabella, More, Rolling Stone, and New York.
Table of Contents
MOTHERS AND FATHERS
Loving the Children They Feel Were Meant for Them
KIDS, 9 TO 19
Knowing That They Belong
KIDS GROWN UP
Reflecting on Their Contentment and on Their Special Challenges
Revealing the Unexpected Faces of Love
A NOTE ON RESOURCES
What Our Readers Are Saying