You Don’t Look Adopted – Adoption Book Review

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Amazon Description of You Don’t Look Adopted by Anne Heffron:

“When you take away the habits of your life, you get to the question of Who am I? And if you sit with that, you get to the question of How far am I willing to go to find the answers? If you are Anne Heffron, someone who had no idea where she was the first ten weeks of her life, you’ll give away almost everything you own, pack what’s left, and head for the city of your birth on a voyage you call Write or Die with the pledge you won’t go home until you find what’s real about yourself.

And that’s when miracles happen.”

Grade:

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Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 4 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]

What I Thought:

For the adoptive parent, Anne gives readers an inside look at the impacts of adoption on adoptee, from how others referring to her birth parents as her “real” parents or minimizing how adoption should impact her since she got a “good family” affects her and others as adoptees, to the harm done by adoptive parents who do not speak openly with their children about adoption and the complex feelings associated with it. She discusses feelings associated with her birth family search and relationship with her adoptive siblings (who were also adopted) and so many other aspects of being adopted.

As a parent longing for success for my adopted children and the ability for them to overcome their struggles, this book offers me opportunity to infer some ways I can help my children. It also serves as a great reminder that the path to healing is a lifelong marathon journey, and adoptees often take a more circuitous route than a child who hasn’t had to deal with the consequences of separation from their birth family.

A major theme in this book is the need for Anne to finally do what she’s felt pulled to do for years, and that is to write her story. Writing can be cathartic and healing for so many people, and Anne’s story not only has helped her, but I believe it will enlighten others who do not understand adoptees and provide other adoptees with camaraderie and healing.

Anne writing is real, honest, raw. Because of some of the content, I recommend this book to adults. While I wouldn’t give this book to my teens to read because of some of the risky behaviors in the book and my own children’s traumatic backgrounds, I think many excerpts could be helpful in beginning healthy conversations with older adoptive children.

I am grateful to Anne for sharing her story with us! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, as well as following more of what she’s doing now on social media, and I look forward to her future work.

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It’s Your Turn:

  1. What insights did you gain from this book?
  2. What feelings of Anne’s did you relate with?
  3. Will you make any changes as a result of this book?
  4. Did anything about this book discourage you?
  5. What did you find encouraging about this book?

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