Forever Mom was written by a Mom with 6 international adoptions under her belt. I admire anyone willing to take on that kind of challenge. As a 4 time adoptive mom myself, I am always on the lookout for books I can recommend to those considering an adoption journey. Although I feel it’s missing some key components, this is one I could recommend with few reservations.
My biggest reservation is that Mrs. Ostyn only addresses her area of expertise, adoption in the international realm. Although the basics are much the same, there are some differences in the domestic arena of adoption and even more in the realm of foster/adoption within the state system. I wish the subtitle would have hinted at this important fact.
Mrs. Ostyn does address the very important issue of attachment. She talks about some of the struggles that her family has faced. This is a very sensitive subject because you want to give insight without violating the children. Adoption can be dirty, it can turn your home upside down, it can threaten to destroy your family and I don’t feel she says that to her readers very well. As one on the inside, I know that her family has faced struggles, but I’m not sure that someone who had not would get it. However, she does offer some excellent insight and suggestions and I especially appreciated chapters 7 and 10. Her one sentence “whether or not they realize it, attachment challenged kids are terrified of connection” sums up the issue! I also appreciated her telling us that, “a disregulated child can often drag down a well-meaning and reasonably healthy parent.” This is TRUTH that needs to be told. I also appreciated that Mrs. Ostyn expressed the joy that comes after the victories.. The day you realize that life has become “normal.” They are still ups and downs but there is joy in the successes. This is VERY important for someone going though it to hear.
While each child has its own set of challenges, parenting an adoptive child has an even different set of challenges. It is not for the faint of heart. One should not go into it unprepared for the challenge. While not comprehensive, I feel that Forever Mom could be a good first read for someone considering adoption. It’s a good overview, but only hints at the iceberg that could be below the surface of bringing home an adoptive child, even a young adopted child. I will recommend it to those in the beginning stages of adoption, but feel there are other resources that are better for those farther along in the journey.
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