Thank you, adoption writers and bloggers

During the years I was writing Mamalita, I heard a lot of helpful advice about what to do and what not to do when writing a book. One of the most helpful lessons I learned was the importance of ignoring the critic on your shoulder as you sit in front of your computer, toiling, the one who whispers in your ear “You can’t do this,” or “No will want to read it,” or “You shouldn’t write that!

What I learned was that I had a story to tell. My job was to tell it.

But I must admit, there was a tiny part of me, a slim sliver of my subconscious, that worried how Mamalita would be received by the adoption community. Did any other adoptive mother feel the way I did, the first time I held my daughter in my arms? Was I the only person who became a screaming, hysterical lunatic when told her baby’s DNA test was lost? Did other parents feel a knife to the heart when their child didn’t recognize them as mommy or daddy? Would anyone out there relate to our story?

That’s why I was so happy when Adoptive Families magazine recommended Mamalita as a “richly written book, part thriller, part love story, part exposé… a cautionary tale.” Or when Lisa S. at Ouradopt.com said she “read it one breath.”

This week, two other adoption blogs for which I have enormous respect, American Mamacita and Creating a Family  weighed in. Kim of American Mamacita said:

“As I read along with Jessica’s adoption story of Olivia – including her epilogue in which she recounts locating Olivia’s first mom and their reunion and on-going contact – I could not help but compare our own kids’ adoption story and reinforce our plan to locate their other mom as well.

If a book makes you want to act, to advocate for transparency, or even ‘just’ to be more open and sensitive to your own kids’ adoption experience, that’s a book worth reading. And this is that kind of book.”

Finally, Dawn Davenport of Creating a Family chose Mamalita as the adoption book to give for the holidays. Dawn wrote:

“I loved this book because of the way O’Dwyer handled the ethics of international adoption. It is tempting as an adoptive parent to become defensive, to gloss over the ethical dilemmas inherent when wealthy people from developed countries adopt babies from poor people in undeveloped countries. It is equally tempting for ‘reformers’ to over simplify the ethics and the solutions. The reality is that often international adoptions are a blur where the white and black hats are not at all clear. O’Dwyer captures the gray with a refreshing lack of defensiveness or editorializing, allowing us to ponder what we would do if faced with the same situation.”

Oh, to be understood! Especially by people whose opinions I value. Thank you, thank you.

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2 Responses to “Thank you, adoption writers and bloggers”

  1. Marianne Lonsdale says:

    Very high praise and very deserved

  2. Jessica says:

    It means a lot to me when others in the adoption community can relate to our story. Thanks, Marianne.

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