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Second-Chance Mother: A Memoir Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
This is the story of a mother forced to give up her child and then eventually re-united with her son after many years. It examines thoughts and feelings long buried and some of the hopes and aspirations that can be placed on each other after such a separation. It details how the writer came to review long buried feelings and ways of thinking that were continuing and affecting her new found relationship with her son.
Worth reading but be prepared for the long haul .... Some of it isn't easy reading at all but you will not be unmoved by this book.
After an initial honeymoon period the mother and son started to see each other as they really were. The mother wanted the 'all American boy' not someone who she perceived as a rough red neck, the son wanted his mother to accept him for the flawed man he was, and harboured secret resentments towards her. It really is a raw and honest book, and bravely moves away from the sanitized adoptions stories of happy reunions we hear. As for the nature/ nurture debate, I think one of the clashes between the mother and the son was they were so similar without realizing it, and that could have led to some of their problems, or maybe guilt and hurt are too strong and cannot be overcome by familial love alone.
I was completely absorbed in this moving and challenging story throughout
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
If you are in any way connected to adoption...either as a birth parent, adoptee, or adopted parent or grandparent or sibling. If you have a friend that was adopted or one who gave up a child...then you MUST read this book.
For me as an adoptee that found my birth family 36 yrs. ago at the age of 22 - this topic is still part of my every day life. I'm still working on my issues. I'll probably be working on them until my last day on this earth. That's just how it is.
I wish my birthmother could have told me things about herself and that we could have had a better relationship after our initial reunion. Things were good at first but time and distance made having a relationship very difficult. I didn't try hard enough I guess and neither did she. It takes 2. Whether it's between a parent & child or between siblings or spouses. You have to value the relationship enough to make it a success.
I have no idea what kind of pain my BM had during or after her pregnancy and my birth. Denise's son is lucky that he has the opportunity to ask questions and get honest answers. He's lucky that Denise made every effort to be a mother from the very start (which is what he said he wanted and needed). She had to jump in with both feet and deal with somebody who was already an adult. A person that somebody else had already tried to raise. That is beyond hard, if not impossible.
I was in awe of her generous and courageous attitude towards everybody and everything through-out the story. Really. She seems like a Saint to me.
In reading this book I could tell that she had worked on it for a long time - had gone back and made revisions and corrections. I was impressed not to find typo's and poor editing. Why? Because so many of the adoption related books I've read lately are in great need of an editor. Especially the self published ones. This book had a polished and professional feel to it. To a reader...this means everything. There is a flow and a cohesiveness in how she writes. Plus she doesn't try to water it down or sugar coat it. Her dialogue techniques make you feel like you are right there listening to the conversations with your own ears. Not every writer can accomplish this.
My personal feelings about the characters in the book are strong because they were well written. All during the book I felt as if something was medically wrong with Josh. Not that he was a bad person - but that he was Bi-polar or had some disorder that was affecting his behavior. I'm praying that he has been diagnosed & is able to take meds or have some treatment to assist him. It's important...so he can have a better life.
Josh's radical ups & downs didn't seem typical of just an ordinary adoptee with adoptee issues. We all don't act like that. His behavior seems indicative of a much more serious problem that requires an M.D.'s attention. And this is NOT his fault, it's just like having Diabetes or Lupus. You find out you have it and you go get help for it.
Yet, I wanted to like him and I rooted for him that he would figure things out and have a happy ending. The good thing is that this is still an ongoing saga of a family working like other families to be healthy and whole. It's not over yet.
One thing Denise did not address was hereditary health problems. Adoptees have to worry about this if they do not find out who their parents were. There are over 800 diseases or disorders that are handed down through genetics. Possibly if Josh were to locate his father - he might be surprised to find out that his father either has a similar disorder or somebody in that family has it and that's how he ended up with it. He should know his "entire" medical history on both sides at the very least.
I have never been a birthmother but I was aligned with Denise from the start of her story. I'm not sure why...perhaps because I was bullied by a mother in my teens into doing things that were not necessarily good for me. It was what she wanted. She didn't care what I wanted. So I know what that feels like...to believe you are powerless and to not trust yourself enough to be strong and follow your own heart.
Thank you Denise for being so honest and open about yourself, your family....everything. The truth may hurt at times; but it can lead to great things. Lies and cover ups may seem to be pain free initially; however they lead to nothing beneficial or good for anybody in the end. Thank you for talking about anger and other behavioral weaknesses. They are human issues we all face. But only a person who is brave and strong will attempt to tackle this head on. That's because it can be embarassing and humiliating to admit it to yourself much less strangers out in the world.
I haven't read any of the other reviews for this book. I don't need to. Nothing will change how I feel about it. All I know is that I'm grateful Denise wrote it and persevered in getting it published.
"I am not sure why I am writing. Well, I guess that is not totally true. I
do know why I am writing. It is because of how much your therapy with Barbara
about your mother resonated with me. I had intense pressure in my chest - so
intense that it neared being painful. I acknowledged it but ramped it down to
keep reading so as not to totally feel it. But, I wanted to thank you for that
moment of awakening."
I love books that make me think or make me analyze while also keeping me interested enough to keep reading. I loathe self-help books but, when the lesson is hidden, or not so hidden, in the pages of another's story, I can assimilate the lesson and grow. I have grown from reading Denise Roessle's book. I doubt there is much higher praise than that.
Sadly, that has not been the case. Fortunately my son had a good life and is married with a family of his own. It has been five years now since I located him and I have experienced much pain and heartache during this time. Knowing all I missed in his life and the fact that I lost all of those years with him is extremely difficult to face and comprehend. There is little if any emotional connection between us and sadly I have remained on the periphery of his life.
This was not what I expected our reunion to be like - it has only reinforced how devastating and damaging adoption can be on a mother and her child. For those of you who think your reunion with your child could never be so difficult and that you will instantly be healed, this book is for you.
When I read Denise's story I realized how deep and unbreakable the bond between a mother and child really is. What she went through in reunion is difficult to read, as she also had much hope that reconnecting with her son would be an extremely positive experience. The reality was an emotional roller coaster that turned her life upside down.
I give her much credit for being strong enough to work through the pain and to stay in contact with her son. I also appreciate that she was able to share her experience through writing this book , for as hard as it was to read and accept, I truly felt I wasn't alone and most importantly found out that my experience is the norm rather than the exception.
Many natural mothers don't realize that a reunion won't necessarily bring them peace and closure, instead it can bring up all of the grief and pain that has been suppressed for so long. As young women