Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Review: The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption

About two years ago, I was granted the privilege of doing an interview with Lori Holden of about Open Adoption. Lori was in the process of writing a book about the subject and wanted to include a chapter about openness in foster care adoption. Fast forward to a few months ago when this arrived in my mailbox...


I was so excited and squealed for approximately 15 minutes...then I opened it and started reading. I pretty much couldn't put it down for the next 36 hours.

I truly can not say enough good things about this book - part guide, part tool box and all heart.

Lori is an adoptive mother whose children came to her through domestic infant adoption. Joining with her voice in the book is the voice of her daughter's birth mother, Crystal. This gives the book a dual perspective that I think most books about adoption lack. Lori also interviews other adoptive parents, biological parents, adoptees and adoption professionals (like myself) in order to try to present a well rounded look at how openness can play out in each role.

But the thing I appreciate most about this book is how Lori presents the concept of "Openness". It is not just about contact or visits. It is about the mind set of openness. And while the book is still mostly geared towards adoptions where the first parents have voluntarily relinquished their rights, it doesn't take much to generalize her words about how to be open-hearted to all kinds of adoption.

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that I am very pro-openness. Unfortunately, many people believe that openness is not possible because of the biological parents' issues. The long drawn out process of involuntary terminating parents' rights often leads to many hard feelings on both sides of the adoption. But I think that this book could go a long way in helping foster and pre-adoptive foster parents take a more open-hearted perspective towards how to interact with birth parents during the foster care process.

If you are in the process of adoption - domestic, international, or foster adoption - please pick up this book. It will open your mind but more importantly, it will open your heart.

(I was not paid or in any way compensated for my participation in the book or in this review. I just love Lori's outlook on adoption and believe in her message. Go buy the book!)

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