After reading the excellent The Declassified Adoptee- Esssays of an Adoptee Activist, I wondered, do we really need another anthology about adoption? The answer is a resounding “YES!” and that anthology is Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age, An Anthology, written by Laura Dennis. (The book includes an essay by “Declassified” author and editor Amanda H.L. Transue Woolston).
As an adoptee with a love/hate relationship with social media, I was drawn to the book by it’s the intriguing title. Already familiar with many of the contributors and their work, I found this book to have a contemporary feel, containing something fresh for everyone.
The language used is at times neutral and inclusive, phrases like “original mom, birth mom, biological mom” liberally sprinkled throughout. While each author uses their own voice, there is cohesiveness to the entire text. One could take this highly readable book to the beach.
Why we need another anthology about adoption:
- It doesn’t read like an anthology-this carefully edited volume flows from one story to the next, making it hard to put down.
- It doesn’t tell you what to do-this book is not preachy.
- It doesn’t judge-or label opinions as right or wrong.
- It won’t make you feel bad (or worse): Without soft-peddling the difficulties that are created by even the most loving, caring individuals in the adoption cube, book leaves plenty of room for the reader to decide what to take away from each chapter.
An additional value is the section of thought-provoking questions that conclude each chapter. These questions are well thought out and beg to be added to discussion groups.
Here is a sample “clarity question” from a section by Deanna Shrodes , in a chapter entitled “Coming out of the adoption closet and secondary rejection.”
Facebook, social media and Google searches have made it a lot easier to reach out and connect. What are the potential pitfalls and downfalls to easier, faster and cheaper access?
The questions add a nice dimension to the book, and could easily become a homework assignment.
Adoption stories tend to share certain basic elements. The stories selected here are enlightening without being didactic. “The casket chat” (again, by Shrodes) illustrates beautifully the type of thing you’ll find here (along with poetry, prose, memoir ). It is a transcript of a conversation with her birth mother that I promise will not be forgotten.
Read this book, and then gift it to someone touched by adoption: it is sure to spark some interesting dialogue, and become a genre favorite.
(Portions of this review previously published at Amazon.com.)