by Judy M. Walters
JKS Communications, March 2013
eBook - ISBN 9781475601664
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Synopsis: Midwife Katie Cohen-Langer delivers babies for a living, but despite years of intensive infertility treatments and growing desperation, she can't have her own child.
As families grow under Katie's careful watch, her husband wants to move on to adoption. But Katie, who was adopted as a newborn, can't bear the thought of never having a biological connection to anyone.
So she sets off on a journey to the other side of the country, along with her emotionally unstable sister, to find her biological relatives.
What she discovers about her roots --and about the parents who adopted her -- rocks her world in a way she never could have expected. And even as she deals with what she finds, she still needs to figure out a way to become a mother.
My thoughts: Child of Mine is the debut fiction of Judy Mollen Walters. She worked for many years as an editor in non-fiction publishing, but then left to become a stay-at-home Mom to her to girls conceived via infertility treatment. She says on her website that she wrote Child of Mine as an homage to the struggle nearly 1 in 6 couples go through in order to have families of their own.
In Child of Mine, Ms. Walters articulates with great detail the pain and helplessness couples dealing with infertility face. And the difficult decision of when to "cry uncle" when conceiving on their own just isn't going to happen. The months of injections a hopeful mother must administer, and the complete devastation felt with each failed and/or lost pregnancy.
Katie, the protagonist, was adopted and her parents were vague about her birth parents. She is haunted by the unanswered questions she has and must find closure before she can move on with adopting her own child.
The book also illuminates the difficult decision a birth mother must make to form a "parenting plan", a term I like much better than "giving up her child," and again, the devastation felt by the adoptive parents when a birth mother changes her mind.
Child of Mine especially stabbed me in the heart at times, as I had to form a parenting plan for my unborn child 20 years ago. But then again, maybe it was cathartic in that it allowed me to step into the adoptive parents' shoes. I'm not sure yet.
Ms. Walters also deals with other emotionally charged subjects such as grief and mental illness, and does so with respect and dignity rather than the often stigmatized and alienating way that it is often written.
I have to be honest, the book started out rather slow. But I'm so glad I stuck with it because the second half was much more engaging. I think that as Ms. Walters hones her craft of writing of complex and thought-provoking issues, she will be on the same caliber of Jodi Picoult.
Child of Mine is set for publication on March 12.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Child of Mine in exchange only for my honest thoughts.