by Jill Krementz ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 11, 1982
In the format Krementz followed in last year's How It Feels When a Parent Dies, 19 adoptees between eight and 16 share their views, feelings, and personal experiences in three-page monologues that Krementz accompanies with posed, smiling photos of the kids in solo portraits and in loving adoptive-family groups. (Last names aren't given but you will recognize 16-year-old Quintana's parents as Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne.) Some of the kids have been contacted by their birthmothers and are glad to know them, but consider their adoptive mothers their ""real"" ones--as does the 13-year-old girl who sought and found her birthmother. ""Everyone goes through an identity crisis at one time or another and everyone needs to know where he or she comes from,"" she explains. Some feel that ""going into the past is not very wise""; most would agree with Jack, twelve, who says ""It would be nice to know more, but I'm not all that frustrated."" As for their birthfathers, few give them a thought; one kid refers to his as ""the guy."" Timmy, twelve, understands why a teenager would give up her child (""If I paid someone to babysit I'd have to sell my foreign-coin collection""), but 16-year-old Lulie acknowledges that ""Even though I understand that she did what was best for me, there's still a part of me that feels rejected."" Adoptees in interracial families admit to sometimes ""feeling funny"" about their darker skin, and both black and white adoptees would like to know their nationalities. But unlike the kids who talked about parental death--or the kids in juvenile fiction about adoption--most adoptees claim to be not much bothered by their situation. (Comments range from the automatic defense--Krementz isn't one for probing--""It's not different, it's special"" to ""It makes me stick out from other people. I'm not ordinary."") The statements are pretty much skimmed from the surface, but they have a calculable draw, and not only for other adoptees.
Pub Date: Nov. 11, 1982
Page Count: -
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1982
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