In moving and refreshingly candid prose, this book tells Traster's foreign-adoption story, from dealing with the bleak landscape and inscrutable adoption handlers in Siberia, to her feelings of inexperience and ambivalence at being a new mother in her early forties, to her growing realisation over months then years that something was "not quite right" with her daughter, Julia, who remained cold and emotionally detached. Why wouldn't she look her parents in the eye or accept their embraces? Why didn't she cry when she got hurt? Why didn't she make friends at school? Traster describes how uncertainty turned to despair as she blamed herself and her mothering skills for her daughter's troublesome behavioural issues, until she came to understand that Julia suffered from reactive attachment disorder, a serious condition associated with infants and young children who have been neglected, abused, or orphaned in infancy.
Hoping to help lift the veil of secrecy and shame that too often surrounds parents struggling with attachment issues, Traster describes how with work, commitment, and acceptance, she and her husband have been able to close the gulf between them and their daughter to form a loving bond, and concludes by providing practical advice, strategies, and resources for parents and caregivers.
"[N]othing short of stunning. This book will stay with you long after you close the cover." --Lori Holden, author, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption "Many adoption memoirs detail the journey that brings parent and child together ... and end with a loving, triumphant homecoming. Fewer follow the story years down the road, as parents and child knit themselves into a family. Traster holds nothing back in recounting that second journey, to truly become her child's mother." --Eve Gilman, editor, Adoptive Families Magazine "If you are an adoptive parent, don't miss this book." --Jane Ballback, publisher and executive editor, Adoption Voices Magazine "Tina Traster takes us on her roller-coaster ride of becoming an adoptive mother ... Many will read this mother's journey of breaking through her daughter's protective shell with strong, deliberate parenting, and they'll know that they are not alone." --Julie Beem, executive director, Attachment & Trauma Network, Inc. "Like Jessie Hogsett's helpful Detached , this title is indispensable for adoptive parents, relatives, and teachers." -- Library Journal "Having raised three kids with varying degrees of RAD, I know how much this book is needed! " --Julie Valentine, editor, adopting.com "Traster's memoir is simultaneously unnerving and inspirational . The adoption world--and everyone surrounding it (meaning everyone)--needs to better understand the realities that affect so many children being adopted from orphanages today. The timing of this starkly honest book could not be better." --Adam Pertman, president, The Donaldson Adoption Institute, and author of Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution Is Transforming Our Families--and America " A riveting story that takes you on an extraordinary journey with the author, her husband, and Julia, the emotionally constricted daughter they adopted from a Russian orphanage. Their struggle with love and loss, frustration and disappointment, fear and hope will chill and ultimately thrill anyone who is a parent --through birth or adoption--or who is thinking about becoming one." --Gloria Hochman, director of communications, National Adoption Center "Traster's experiences and the way she writes about the realities of adoption are very helpful to everyone raising a child with RAD or thinking of adopting a child who may have RAD." --Irene Clements, president, National Foster Parent Association "This is a book that deserves to be read by all who care about the many Russian children who are now Americans, not just by the families that have adopted them... It is a fast and entertaining read." -- Russian Life "This is not the average I'm-so-lucky, big-group-hug book on the subject. Author and adoptive mother Tina Traster gets real. Since we all know someone who has adopted, it's a must-read... [a] stunning book!" --Parents.com "[A] moving memoir." -- Publishers Weekly
Tina Traster is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in scores of newspapers, magazines, and literary journals including the "New York Times," "New York Post," "Time Out New York," the "Daily Beast," "Huffington Post," "Family Circle," "Parade," "Audubon," and many more. Melissa Fay Greene is the award-winning author of five books of nonfiction, including "There Is No Me Without You," about the HIV/AIDS African orphan crisis, and "No Biking in the House Without a Helmet," about raising her family. She and her husband are the parents of nine children: four by birth and five by adoption.