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Second-Chance Mother: A Memoir by [Roessle, Denise]
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Second-Chance Mother: A Memoir Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 270 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

About the Author

When Denise Roessle became pregnant out of wedlock in 1969, she inadvertently joined the ranks of the million-plus young women who fell prey to the Baby Scoop Era — a time when relinquishing their newborns for adoption was the socially-accepted solution to erasing their sins and filling an increasing demand for adoptable infants. She was told to move on with her life, assured that she would forget and have other children she could keep. She finished college, married, and became a professional copywriter and graphic designer. But she never had more children. And she did not forget. After reuniting with her grown son in 1996, Denise began writing on this more personal topic. Her articles have appeared in national adoption magazines and newsletters, and she continues to be active in the post-adoption, adoption reform, and birthmother support arenas.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 673 KB
  • Print Length: 270 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1936539683
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Red Willow Publishing (16 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00695T7P4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #681,779 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a warts and all book. If you like watching Long Lost Family and enjoy a warm fuzzy feeling when the people are re-united then this may not be the book for you!

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am fascinated by the nature versus nurture debate and accounts of adoption can help us understand this argument further. This was a fabulously told story of a young women 'forced' to give up her baby at 19. An action she bitterly regretted. She registered her details with an adoption agency and was delighted to get back in contact with her son. Far from the myth that adoption is always a 'better' option for the child, her son was one of the unfortunate adopted kids, he did not thrive with his adopted family and this resulted in him having many 'issues'.
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.
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True story of a Mother whose child was adopted at birth and found later in life. Quite a decent read, but not as compelling as I expected.
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Heartfelt and personal - held me to the end
I was completely absorbed in this moving and challenging story throughout
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 94 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, honest, well written story 16 Dec. 2012
By Sophie Shopper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There aren't that many "birthmother" books out there. I've read a few this past year and just finished reading Denise's book last night. In fact I stayed up to 3 AM to finish it. This is not something I routinely do.

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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Second-Chance Mother 28 April 2013
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a feel good book, "Second-Chance Mother" is probably not that book. But, if you want a book that can touch you on the most visceral of levels, this book is it! I was not adopted nor have I ever been a mother but Denise Roessle's book touched my very soul. I read her book from cover-to-cover without taking a break and then I felt compelled to write to her. I will include an excerpt of that e-mail here:
"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.
2.0 out of 5 stars If you make it to the end of this book, I applaud you! 10 Oct. 2014
By Coni G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read 40% of this book and have deleted it from my Kindle. It reads like a therapy session. Like she's talking to someone who knows all the players, but doesn't stop to tell the reader who the people are in the narrative. And this is not an insignificant number of people. There are 55 characters listed in "Book Extras". The story is not organized for understanding. I have backtracked and backtracked, only to find the characters identified in later chapters. When you start to lose me in the proliferation of characters, you sacrifice my resolve to finish your story. Most of these characters are not integral to the plot. I question if this book was self-published. An experienced editor could have cleaned a lot of this chatter up. I read a lot, and love nothing better than a mystery or medical thriller, but can honestly say it has been a long time since a book dragged me down like this one. I actually have a rule that once begun, I always read a book to the end, but in this case, I'm making an exception. I think finishing it would send me to a therapist! I'm sure there is an audience out there that actually loves being dragged into a dark hole, but not this reader.
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Insight into adoption reunions 5 May 2013
By Word Wizard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am also a natural (birth mother). At seventeen years old I was forced to relinquish my newborn son to adoption and it was only a few short years later that I began my 30 year quest to find him. The difficulty of this search was exhausting and emotionally devastating. I always believed that when I finally found him the pieces of my heart would magically transform back into wholeness and the emotional devastation I experienced as a result of losing him would finally end.
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
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Touched My Heart 29 Jun. 2012
By AquaJock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Denise is forced by her parents to give her baby boy up for adoption. When she's reunited with him as an adult, Josh has become an imbalanced, angry, needy individual. The conflict in the relationship shows the difficulties many parents endure when dealing with difficult offspring. The author struggles to bring her newly found son into her life without completely overturning the life she's established, which isn't easy when Josh is constantly making demands and venting on her. And whenever she sets boundaries, he makes ultimatums, which makes her fearful he'll be gone from her life forever. The author strives to establish a manageable relationship with her son and grandchildren, expand her connections to newly found family members, find peace with her relationship with her own mother, and overcome the trauma and guilt associated with having to give up her baby as a youth. The book is so honestly written and touching, I don't see how any mother can read this without creating a tear puddle you could drown in.
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