Dekker’s heartwarming memoir chronicles the bumpy ride of a modern family coming together amid complicated circumstances.
Dekker expected the adoption process to be long and grueling. He knew he would endure months of paperwork, expense and agonizing waiting, but he also knew that eventually he could fulfill his dream of becoming a parent. He also imagined his and his partner’s worlds being turned upside down by baby diapers and sleep deprivation—not by becoming the single parent of a nonstop, troubled 10-year-old boy. Dekker’s journey into parenthood was unique and serendipitous. Though not previously disinterested in adopting an older child, he found himself taken in by Danny, a plucky little boy who, after being abandoned by his mother and abused by his grandmother, had nowhere to go except into the foster care system. Dekker, having wrestled with his own demons as a young adult, was immediately charmed by Danny; Dekker knows he can build a stable family life for the child. As the two get to know each other, their relationship slowly grows into that of a father and son. The only snag they face in becoming a true, legal family is navigating the bureaucratic child welfare system. From overmedicating doctors to bungling social workers, Dekker dispassionately describes the incompetence and obstructiveness he endured as he tried to adopt Danny. Dekker’s ability to relay his frustration with authorities and the emotional roller coaster of adoption is striking. It would be easy for a memoir dealing with this subject to veer into an angry, ranting outburst, but Dekker’s restrained writing conveys the chaos with refined dignity. While the dialogue can often seem a little too polished, Dekker is refreshingly honest about his emotions and fears. He comes across as reasonable and in control, even in his darkest moments of doubt, which makes the story all the more poignant and inspiring.
A candid, charismatic glimpse into the ups and downs of a blossoming adoptive father–son duo.