Sunday, March 29, 2009

Book review

Before leaving for Maine, I grabbed a few books for the plane rides. I always have a stack of books that I want to read and wasn't sure what I'd be in the mood for given the reason for our trip. I brought a comedy and a more serious book. I ended up finishing up the book this morning. As many of you are adoptive parents, I wanted to share the book title with you.

Silent Tears, A Journey of Hope in A Chinese Orphanage was the book I read. I was hoping Amazon would have the prologue available to be read online, but no such luck. The prologue is written from the perspective of a Chinese mother who abandons her baby girl. Very powerful. Towards the end of the book is a section written from the perspective of someone who had found many abandoned children and is also very moving.

The book is written by an American whose husband is transferred to China for several years. In looking for a way to fill her time, she volunteers at an orphanage in China and the book is basically her diary from that time period.

Be warned, the author doesn't paint a pretty picture of life for the babies and it tough realizing your baby might have endured such a difficult life during those first months of her life. It does help explain some of the initial behavior of our children when they are first handed to us and how difficult the transition from orphanage to loving home might have been for them. The reactions from the babies in our travel group ranged from being completely withdrawn (to the point the parents wondered if there was neurological damage) to keeping a death grip on one of her new parents. For the record, Elise just cried and cried and cried the first few days we had her.

I have a collection of books on China and/or adoption that I'll let Elise read when she's older, if she's interested. I'll keep this book but will have to determine the appropriate time to let her read it. It contains a lot of information that may be difficult for her to process.

I would recommend this book to anyone in the process of adopting or having completed an adoption from China.


Vivian M said...

Thanks, I will try to get a copy of that book here.
We knew the orphanage was not perfect, and that Kerri suffered neglect and malnutrition. Unfortunately, her trauma from her orphanage days affect her still today, and we had a very hard road to attachment and happiness. So no shocker there for us, although it was so very hard to watch and live through, feeling helpless to help our daughter when she would have night terrors constantly. And start acting out with mild RAD behaviours.
But the end result was so worthwhile, and I am glad we had some information going in so we knew what to expect and what to do. And Kerri is just precious to us, and we would do it all again in a heartbeat.

The Morris Family said...

Sounds like a very good and essential read for adoptive parents. Thanks for sharing!

Tammie said...

A few of us were discussing this very book the other night. The woman who recommended it, warned us that there would be tears. I'm putting it on my wish list.