19 STEPS UP THE MOUNTAIN: The Story of the DeBolt Family by Joseph P. Blank

19 STEPS UP THE MOUNTAIN: The Story of the DeBolt Family

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Dorothy and Bob DeBolt, founders of the non-profit organization Aid to the Adoption of Special Kids, have parented, in addition to their own six children by previous marriages, thirteen others, most of whom were ""unadoptable""; and this is the story of their household. Among the retrieved youngsters are two Vietnamese war-wounded paraplegics, a blind paraplegic, a black quadruple amputee, a polio victim from Korea, a formerly blind Korean girl, plus physically normal youngsters uprooted by the Southeast Asian hostilities. To an extent, these are success stories: the blind boy will never see but he has come out of his shell and learned to walk with crutches and braces; the girl without arms and legs has gained confidence and is impudent and gay; and members of the family help one another, The DeBolts demand that each child sharpen and strengthen his abilities for ""early emancipation"" and share chores. But the message steadily conveyed to each one is: you are wanted, you are loved, you are ours. Predictably the author encourages sentimental tears--as in those bedside moments when the child finally accepts love or achieves a new plateau of independence. But all through the doggedly upbeat prose, one hard fact persists--outside our glass houses, the DeBolts are doing something special for the cause of human dignity.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1976
Publisher: Lippincott