This is an eye-opening collection of brave essays by parents who shine light on the challenges and joys of raising children. When the adoptee becomes the parent, the winding journey takes a new focus, and this book of options and insights captures the importance of parenting as a vital part of our equation. In one sense, the book is universal. In another sense, the book is unique in its hard-earned humility and wisdom – from a father who provides a wise “non-checklist checklist,” to a father of three who connects differently with each child, to a mother who teaches us about giving our children a “soft place to land,” to a parent who reminds us that “two things can be true at the same time,” to a parent of six, who writes how “a tiny, white butterfly flutters across the yard” when she remembers that she is “just a very happy, proud mother.” This book tackles real questions. It is illuminating and full of love. Read it soon. – Lee Herrick, author of This Many Miles from Desire and the forthcoming Gardening Secrets of the Dead
Not until this anthology has the voice of adoptees as parents been heard. This collection gives the reader an intimate view of how our experiences as adoptees impacts our parenting experience and how the legacy of adoption continues to impact out children. Parenting As Adoptees Anthology does an excellent job of covering a range of parenting as adoptee experiences and perspectives– positive, negative, scientific, and intuitive. This book is an excellent resource for adoptees who are becoming parents and those who are traveling along that journey of parenting. – Carolyn Scholl, President of AKASoCal, the adoptee association in Southern California; advisory council member of the Korean Adoptee Adoptive Parent Network (KAAN)
Parenting As Adoptees offers a unique and dynamic exploration into the world of parenting through the perspectives of adopted persons. Historically, the centric focus of adoption literature has been aimed at adoptive parents to the exclusion of adopted persons and the generational impact that adoption carries long after placement. Rarely has the experience of parenting as an adopted person been laid to bear so candidly and vividly. The authors provide a provocative, touching and, at times visceral and unyielding, invitation into their lives as they unearth and piece together the magnitude of parenting when it is interwoven with their adoption narrative. It is a prolific piece that encapsulates the rawness that adoption can bring from unknown histories, abandonment, grief, and identity reconciliation which ultimately reveals the power of resiliency and self-determination as a universal hallmark in parenting. While simultaneously providing an avenue to both normalize and sensitively explore the complex feelings that adopted persons may experience as they parent. This is a powerful, must-read for anyone touched by adoption to look beyond placement and recognize the lifelong, intergenerational impact that adoption brings. – Melanie Chung-Sherman, LCSW, LCPAA, PLLC
This is an important book that (finally!) cracks open the important conversation on how adoptees parent. How we approach becoming parents, how we may recognize ourselves in our children whether they are adopted or not, how we bond with our children, and how we help them negotiate the complicated spaces of family and society. It explores how adoptees can be profoundly transformed by entering this stage of human life, how we find ourselves in uncharted territories as the radical—and often traumatic—differences that shaped our own childhoods morph into unknown challenges with our own children.
Buy this book! It’s a beautiful example of adoptees—and parents—healing each other through story and shared space. Our experience as adoptees is not monolithic and so of course neither is our experience as parents, but the common themes here testify that the adoptee experience is not just a lifelong journey but also a transgenerational one. -Sun Yung Shin is the author of two poetry collections Rough and Savage and Skirt Full of Black, a bilingual book for children Cooper’s Lesson, and is a co-editor of Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption. She edits the literary journal This Spectral Evidence.
“Adoption as a lifetime event” has been given much lip service. Thankfully, this book opens concrete, meaningful discussion on the lifelong impact of adoption, an important aspect of which is its effect on parenting as an adoptee. This must-read book shows why quality post-adoption services are needed not only for adult adoptees — but also their children, partners, and adoptive parents who become grandparents. An enlightening read for adoptees and the people who love them. -Jane Jeong Trenka, author of The Language of Blood and Fugitive Visions; co-editor of Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption
Long overdue, this book is a gift. It is filled with hard earned pearls of wisdom. The pages are heaps of courage full of raw honesty. Adopted people are sure to see themselves reflected in the words. Adoptive parents are sure to learn from the experiences shared so eloquently. – Julie Young, Member of the Board and Author of the “Heart and Seoul” Column and Editor for KoreanAmericanStory.org
Parenting As Adoptees contributes and sits strongly alongside books by non-adoptees that look at issues to do with ‘the family’, race, ethnicity and migration. As such, this book should appeal to a broad audience interested in these various fields of inquiry. It also fits well within contemporary literature on adoption, and should be held proudly alongside other genres represented by adoptee authors. A compelling and politically progressive book, Parenting As Adoptees joins a larger transcultural and transracial adoptee canon, founded upon seminal writings by adoptee social researchers such as Dr Tobias Hubinette, Dr Gina Samuels, Dr Kim Park Nelson, Susan Harness and Raven Sinclair. As a community of adoptees, there is also the ground-breaking literary research and creative writing of people such as Jane Jeong Trenka and Lisa Marie Rollins and Lee Herrick, as well as important social contributions by bloggers, social workers and journalists such as So Young Kim, Sunny Jo, Kev Minh Allen, Sumeia Williams, and Joie Norby to name just a handful of the pioneers out there making an impact in the world of new media. There have also been empowering collaborations between both creative and academic adoptee writers and artists in the edited collection Outsiders Within by transracial and transnational adoptees Jane Jeong Trenka, Chinyere Oparah and Sun Yung Shin. And, also important is the growing ‘mentor’ and ‘testimonial’ genres of publications featuring personal advice and personal narratives by adoptees such as in The Colour of Difference in Australia, In Search of Belonging in the UK, and most recently, Pieces of Me for teen adoptees in the USA edited by Vietnamese adoptee Bert Ballard. – Dr. Indigo Willing
Being an adoptee on search a perpetual search for good literature myself, I identify with the daunting task of finding and selecting books. An incredible strength of this anthology is the diversity, not only of the authors, their experiences, and their perspectives, but of the writing styles and intertexuality within many of the individual essays. Someone reading Parenting As Adoptees is likely to find at least one author whom they can identify with and can learn something from. Readers are also likely to put down the book with other literature, research topics, and concepts in mind to continue learning and growing within the adoption experience. (Read full review here.) – Amanda Woolston of The Declassified Adoptee, Founder and Director of Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights, Board Member of the Adoptee Rights Coalition, founder and editor of the blog Lost Daughters, and editor of Land of Gazillion Adoptees.
“There are too few adult adoptee voices reaching the kind of audience they must in order to challenge widespread misconceptions and stereotypes about adoption, and adopted individuals in particular. Parenting As Adoptees is a book of brutally honest and well-crafted essays that help to fill a gap in the traditional adoption narrative by specifically focusing on the parenting experiences of those whose experiences of parenthood and family were changed and shaped by adoption. This is a challenging book, offering frank discussions about transracial and transcultural adoption, adoptee grief and loss, the need for empathetic parenting, and what it means to lose and find one’s roots. It is an especially valuable book for those hoping to be strong allies to their adopted children and adopted friends.” – Nicole Soojung Callahan, transracial adoptee, contributor to Somebody’s Child: Stories About Adoption
“Parenting As Adoptees is a book like no other. To read it was like reading the conjoining of great minds, souls and reflections of life as someone who has lived in-between. Each essayist bravely revealed the inner depths that adoption has affected them at the most vulnerable moment in a person’s life, when they become the sole proprietor of another life. I loved the diversity of the pieces, the weaving of research within the individual experiences and the immense risk all of the writers took in explaining how parenting has affected who they are in the context of being an adopted person. Gone are the children, now we finally get to know how the lifelong experience of adoption truly impacts a person.” – Joy Lieberthal Rho, LCSW, Korean adoptee