Amazon description of You’re the Daddy We Wanted: A Father’s Adoption Story by Gavin Andres:
“An adoptive father’s perspective on the challenging and uplifting process of adopting two gorgeous, but traumatised children. Covering the rigours of the adoption assessment process, being linked with a prospective son and daughter, and the fateful first meeting of the new family unit, “You’re The Daddy We Wanted” focuses primarily on the first two years of the adoption experience.”
Transfiguring Adoption gave this book 5 out of 5 Hoots based on it’s usefulness to foster and adoptive families. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here.]
What I Thought:
Adoption and foster care books written by women line bookstore shelves, but Gavin Andres has given us a rare glimpse into the mind of an adoptive father while experiencing the process of preparing and training for, meeting, getting to know, and adopting two siblings out of the UK foster care system. Gavin’s use of the present tense engages readers, bringing them into his story and making them want to keep reading. I started one evening, stayed up a little too late, and finished the next morning. I found myself laughing out loud, nodding along with his thought processes, and sobbing anguished tears as I walked through some traumatic moments with him.
Gavin is very real about the events leading up to he and his second wife adopting two little people ages 3 and 5 who had been through so much trauma. He lets readers into his head to walk through his thought processes as he questions whether every behavior is adoption related or just normal child development (boy have most adoptive parents been there!).
While Gavin writes their family’s adoption story, a reader can pick up on aspects of the training he and his wife received. I was thoroughly impressed with how well their agency had trained them on issues related to trauma and boundaries to encourage attachment that they were made to put into place that all adoptive families should be made to understand but so few are. Readers, while not being instructed by his writing, can glean ample knowledge from his experience and seek a jumping off point to research issues or methods he speaks about.
You may want to keep a box of tissues around toward the end of the book. I will not spoil it, but by that point you will surely feel a connection to the Andres family as they travel through a major family crisis just when life was supposed to be settling down. While our crisis was different, just after we’d celebrated adoption and thought our life was going to be stable and consistent, Darren lost his job. Throughout the book, though our stories take place on different continents in different foster care systems, I found myself connecting to Gavin’s story. I highly recommend this book to other adoptive parents or adoptive parents to be.
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It’s Your Turn:
- What was your first meeting with your child(ren) like?
- Did you have an “introductions” process where the child slowly transitioned to your home?
- What steps did the Andres family take to encourage attachment? Were you taught to take these steps?
- Did your family experience any major curveballs in the months following adoption?