Labor of the Heart: A Parent's Guide to the Decisions and Emotions in Adoption

Overview

Adoptive parents often experience the double trial of emotional responses to infertility and to the process of adoption itself, called "excruciating labor with no end in sight," by one adoptive mother. Would-be adoptive parents cycle through grief, anger, fear, anxiety, frustration, and guilt-and back again. All of these emotions cloud decision-making, at exactly the time that adoptive parents are making life-altering, irrevocable decisions: whether to adopt at all, to adopt an older child or an infant, or to ...

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Labor of the Heart: A Parent's Guide to the Decisions and Emotions in Adoption

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Overview

Adoptive parents often experience the double trial of emotional responses to infertility and to the process of adoption itself, called "excruciating labor with no end in sight," by one adoptive mother. Would-be adoptive parents cycle through grief, anger, fear, anxiety, frustration, and guilt-and back again. All of these emotions cloud decision-making, at exactly the time that adoptive parents are making life-altering, irrevocable decisions: whether to adopt at all, to adopt an older child or an infant, or to parent a child with developmental delays, as well as other pressing questions. New empirical research by Kathleen Whitten, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist and adoptive mother, and other experts in the field contradicts many of the outdated myths presented to parents and written about in widely-used adoption guides. Whitten separates fact from fiction and leads parents by the hand through the many emotional impacts the process involves. Written in a reassuring, conversational tone, the author tells parents when they should listen to their heart-and when practical considerations are too important to ignore. Each chapter features workbook section with constructive exercises and stimulating questions. Adoptive parents do not need yet another book promising a "fast track" to a child or explaining how to collect documents. Instead, they need Labor of the Heart to help them through the difficult emotions and decisions about adoption.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590771334
  • Publisher: M.Evans & Company
  • Publication date: 4/25/2008
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,425,062
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen Whitten, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist and widely published journalist. She works in psychiatric medicine at the University of Virginia where her clients are primarily foster and adoptive families. She and her husband were one of the first two American couples to adopt a child from Vinh Long, Vietnam, in 1997. She lives in Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     xi
Preface     xiii
The Agony and the Art of Becoming an Adoptive Parent     1
The Life-changing Decisions in Adoption     30
Where Is Your Child and Who Will Help You Find Her?: Look Before You Leap... or Sign Anything     74
Fire-setters, Egg-suckers, and Oreos: Scary Myths and Reassuring Realities about Adopted Children     114
The Commitment: Will You Love This Child Forever and Ever and Always?     138
Daddy Warbucks, Madonna, and Real People: Myths about Adoptive Parenthood     158
Laboring through the Wait and the Harry Potter Effect: Knitting the Tendrils of Love Around Your Child     172
Family By Adoption: Spiritual Opportunities     196
Index     217
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2008

    A must for adoptive parents.

    What a great book! This is exactly what adoptive parents need. There are no other books that talk about the emotions we deal with¿frustrations from the paper chase, anger at the process, despair from waiting. This book showed me how to turn the negatives into a solid foundation for my child to come home to. It¿s based on solid science, too, not just somebody¿s idea. Don¿t adopt without this book!

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