My rating: (4 / 5)
Adoption books are special to me, as we’re going through the process of adopting right now. Sometimes they’re hard for me to read, which this one was, because I’m impatient with the process and want to bring my kids home. Sometimes they’re beautiful love stories of families becoming what they are. Sometimes they make me angry, because I second-guess the choices that the parents make. This book was all of those and more, and it was a very well-written and lovely book.
Two Little Girls is the story of one couple who experience infertility after waiting until they are older to attempt to conceive. They are not particularly driven to be parents, but believe that it would enrich their lives, so they pursue international adoption to bring home their children. They wind up with a lovely family of two beautiful girls, but to get there, they take a long and very difficult road.
My husband and I considered international adoption. It is very expensive, something that wasn’t a hurdle to the very well-off couple in this book. It is very time consuming and requires taking long periods of time away from work, sometimes on very short notice. This is also not a problem for this pair, but would have been impossible for us. Those are only two of the issues that made us *not* choose international adoption. The last was that we aren’t super-concerned with many of the things that drives this couple. They want little children, toddler age or younger. They want a clean bill of health without special needs. They want children that look like them. They specifically want girls.
The times where I got angry with this couple usually involved their almost obsession with the way the children looked or whether or not they had special needs. To parents like us, who are looking for children with special needs and who could not care less if they looked like us physically, it’s a little mind-boggling. We know – my husband and I – that there are absolutely no guarantees in life. None. You could bring home a perfectly healthy baby that could turn out to have leukemia in a few years, or who is profoundly autistic, or a whole bunch of other stuff. Refusing children with special needs bothers me, because you just never know. And basing it on looks? I’m not even going to get started on that one.
So yes, I got angry. But you know, through reading this book I came to be less angry and more compassionate about the whole situation. You can only handle what you can handle. There are kids out there whose biological parents put them up for adoption or surrender them to social services because they have special needs. This isn’t an adoptive-parent-only issue. And there *are* some special needs that we have said we can’t handle right now, mainly because of where we live, but if we were truly altruistic, wouldn’t we address that in some way? So yes, I came to understand.
If you’re in the process of adopting, and are curious about other methods of adoption and the hurdles they include, this would be a good choice for you. If you are considering eastern European adoption, this would be a great book for you, as it has a pretty clear overview of what visiting these orphanages and staying in these countries involves. Overall, it’s a brutally honest memoir of one couple’s story, the good and the bad, and is compelling and very involving.