A three-year-long, tear-and-wine-soaked correspondence between two women in hot pursuit of motherhood—-evoking a daunting world of fertility treatments and adoption attempts while offering evidence of the power of determination. Appropriately, it was while sitting in her gynecologist's waiting room reading Resolve, a newsletter for infertile people, that Illinois executive Sipiora was first introduced to California teacher Shulgold. Shulgold's letter to the editor, a brief evocation of her despair when her fertility treatment failed, touched a responsive chord in the infertile Sipiora and launched a correspondence between the two that here leads from a brisk exchange on fertility-treatment methods, on through the arduous adoption process, and eventually to the triumph of motherhood and eager plans for adopting or giving birth to more children. Shulgold, already a veteran of fertility drugs, is first to blaze a trail through the bewildering array of adoption methods—deluging doctors' offices with letters and rÇsumÇs, hiring a lawyer, and joining support groups in a relentless search for an available infant. Soon, Sipiora gives up on natural childbirth as well and initiates her own forays into a world of long and expensive waiting lists, risky third-world agencies, and open adoptions in which adoptive and natural mothers operate as partners. Catastrophes abound: Shulgold's first soon-to-be-adopted infant is reclaimed by the birth mother; Sipiora's first dies shortly after birth. Almost as painful, perhaps, is the two-year lag between Shulgold's adoption of her daughter, Miriam, and the day that Sipiora finally lands a baby boy. As the women confide their despair, rage, hope, and triumph through these years, their occasional off-putting bouts of self-pity are more than outweighed by the obvious relief in sharing their experience and by the letters' therapeutic value for others. A valuable personal look at what can be a horrendously complex process.
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