Thursday, June 21, 2007

My Temporary Son: An Orphan's Journey by Timeri N. Murari

Published by: Penguin Books India

Published when: September 2005 ,248pp

Genre: Non Fiction/Memoir

Author's Website

*My Temporary Son by Timeri N. Murari

Little did Indian (Madras-based) writer Timeri N. Murari know just how much his life was about to change when his social worker wife, Maureen, brought to their home for a few days, a little lad from the orphanage she volunteered at while he (the little orphan) recuperated from surgery.

Bheema, as the baby orphan was named, was born with a condition called "vesicle extrophy" which is where the bladder is positioned outside the body, also, the baby had no discernible sex organs. The village couple he was born to were uneducated,superstitious and poor and when they couldn't detect if their baby was male or female they feared his malformation might bring bad luck upon their house, so without ever holding her son, the mother gave it up to the local orphanage where Bhima spent most of his days in an iron-barred cot, seldom touched or spoken to and occasionally banging his head against the bars of his crib (cage) when the pain of his affliction got too much to bear.

Luckily for Bheema, when Maureen went to visit the orphanage with a group of American expat ladies, she was drawn to his big,bright eyes which were filled with pain and made it her mission to get him surgical help and then to put him up for adoption abroad.

After the first big surgery she (Maureen) realized the orphanage couldn't possibly give him all the attention and medical supervision he was in need of, so she brought him to her home, where quite unintentionally and unexpectedly he became this childless elderly couple's "temporary son".

Murari has written a beautiful and poignant memoir of the time Bhima spent with them. He (Murari) was going on 60 when Bhima arrived at their home and had never been comfortable with children, but Bhima drilled a hole into this author's heart and let his sunshiny self in, much to the surprise of everybody, especially Murari who definitely didn't expect to be wrapped around a little child's finger .

Murari infuses each of the 248 pages with his love for Bhima and his pride in everything Bhima did. Each milestone is spoken of lovingly and from the heart. And, at the end, when the time comes for Bhima to go to his official adoptive parents, the heartbreak Murari experiences is so real and heartfelt it will jump off the page touching you too.

As he tells us Bhima's story the writer meanders wonderfully into a little family history, philosophy, scientific musings, self-introspection, the social history and culture of Madras, the adoption process in India, all of which makes for very interesting reading.
Infact, the book closes with atleast 20 pages of official information on the adoption process in India.

Bhima, as with many Indian kids, was adopted by a European family which made me think a little about international adoption and why it is favored in the west - North America and Europe. Why do people like Madonna and Angelina Jolie prefer to adopt kids from Africa and Asia instead of opting to adopt domestically? And what is the effect on these kids as they grow up with white they wonder about and miss their birth culture? It had me wondering too, what happens when an adoption goes wrong, as in, when the adoption agency doesn't reveal to you certain significant details (concerning health maybe) about the child. What recourse does the adoptive parent have? As you can see, this book made me think about adoption and the wonderful people that do it to give an orphan a better home.

I would recommend this book.


Asha said...

I wonder where do you get all info about these wonderful books?!:))
Looks very readable,thanks.
I wonder that too.They pay millions of dollars on Africa etc and adopt those kids as well while there are so many US kids are who need homes and poor and schools are in terrible state!!!Puzzles me.
Some schools close bcos they can't afford to buy text books for kids and they go spend millions on other countries.Charity should begin at home!!!

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Asha!

Whenever I travel back to India I make a beeline for locally published books and often I get very lucky (as in this case).

Yes, I, too would think that charity begins at home...take Oprah for instance, she has built that wonderful school in South Africa and her students get an allowance which is often more than what their parents earn, causing problems in the social and heirarchical structure of the much better it might have been had she decided to build a couple of good schools in her home state instead. Guess she feels like she does enough charity at home?

Sanjay said...

Lotus, Loved this post and your review as well.
It was heart breaking to read about Bheema and I am sure this book will make for a very touching read. I did wonder how the birth parents dealt with giving up their own? Did the book explore what Murari and Maureen felt about them?

Adoption surely makes one ask a lot of questions and self introspect as Murari does.
It is different in someways to not have children and then think about what it takes to adopt a child. We are considering adopting a girl child and it is a long process but will be more than worth it.

I am not sure why domestic adoptions are not looked at more closely by celebrities.
Perhaps one reason may have nothing to do with race, maybe the celebrities are trying to highlight the plight of a nation/continent by adopting from there?
Adoptions from one's race and culture are probably easier to handle.
I have wondered too about white folks adopting from Asian nations but not domestically.
I think some of it may have to do with the touchy issue of race relations in our country. There may be other reasons that I am not aware of too.
There exist a lot of support groups and networks of adoptive parents and organizations that work with them to ensure that the adoptees are familiar with
their roots and culture. It is ofcourse up to parents to do their part as well.

Regarding things being hidden by from the adoptive parents. A lot of this depends on the laws of the state/country that one lives in and nation where one is adopting from as well as the adoption agencies. There are laws that require full disclosure, and agencies will often have a different category for special needs children.

I think people who adopt/look after children with special needs are truly special.
Having been on a jury for a trial that dealt with one, opened myeyes to how much it takes to accept someone like that not just in to your home but also your heart.

Adoption is something few couples consider, and I understand there are numerous reasons for this. I just wish more of us adopted so that there are fewer children in orphanages.

Thank you for bringing up this subject via your book review that needs to be talked about and has also hopefully made us all think some more.
My apologies about the long comment.

Anonymous said...

This books sounds intriguing. Such a story. I have tears in my eyes just reading about it. Thx.

Milan - zzz said...

Great post as usual :)

Yes I was wondering the same about the reasons why celebrities are adopting children from different culture and ... honestly I don’t wanna sound malicious but it's like an self-advertising. Why?

Yesterday was World Refugee Day (I wrote post about it as well and was doing small research) and when people think about Refugee and poverty and hunger ... etc (lovely Pandora) how often they are thinking about ex-USSR countries or (of course) post/still in-war-ex-Yugoslavian region or even South America? Rarely.

The main association is Africa and South Asia, regions in all news headlines. Of course I surely don't think that there is no need to talk (and help) about these regions but indeed it is very strange huge lack of information about other regions with similar problem.
For instance Serbia is the country with the highest refugee population (and probably the same case is with orphans). Country with enormous economic problems after years of sanctions and war but yet, you'll find this information ONLY if you search it (if you're lucky).

OK I'm little off the topic (sorry) but I think it wouldn't have the same effect if some celebrity would adopt 'common' orphan.


Milan - zzz said...

I forgot to say that
Serbia is the country with the highest refugee population (and probably the same case is with orphans) in Europe

Sorr but I thought I should post this correction :)

Milan - zzz said...

huh sorry me again but I'm somehow allowed to visit your blog and I'm reading what I've missed and when I saw that quote of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie I had to post it here:

"...What I find problematic is the suggestion that when, say, Madonna adopts an African child, she is saving Africa. It's not that simple...

I think that might be the case with celebrities in general.

Hollydolly said...

Dear sweet Anjali,Wow, what a story, as usual an outstanding post,again this will be a must read for me. I have his book "Taj" on my TBR list.

I too have trouble with the whole "Oprah" school. Her home state could have used a new school. I am not nor ever will be an "Oprah" fan. So maybe I am just biased.

starry nights said...

Another good book to add to my list of reads.thanks for that wonderful review.I think anyone who adopts a child is special and more so if the child has special needs. I have to agree with sanjay that I think celebrities adopt children from africa to bring public awareness.

Anali said...

Sounds like a good book and you raise an important issue. International adoption seems to be getting bigger and bigger in the US. From what I've read, I guess one of the reasons people don't tend to adopt in the US as much is that the laws make it very hard. I haven't researched the law, but I guess the parents can and sometimes do change their minds and take the baby or child back. Also, I think parents have to be younger here to adopt than in some other places.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Sanjay!

Thank you for your insightful and informative comment!

The author did visit the village where Bhima was born, Kanupuram near Pondicherry, to familiarize himself with Bhima's background, but never meets the parents. What can be ascertained is that his parents were poor, uneducated villagers and the midwife's medical knowledge being rudimentary, she probably convinced them that nothing could be done for their child, besides superstitions rule the villages and a malformed child is considered a sign of bad luck, so one can imagine why the parents would have wanted to give him away immediately.

It is wonderful that you are considering adoption, Sanjay. You and *A* will certainly change the fortunes of one very lucky child.

You make a good point when you say that celebrities might adopt from countries on which they wish to make a political statement. But I am not sure how that works for most other folks? One theory I have is that the US being a country of immigrants, people still have bonds to the country of their ancestors and sometimes that is the motivating factor in wanting to adopt from abroad vs. domestic. Also, like Anali says, maybe there is this fear that if you adopt close to home, there might come a time when the birth parent might want to have the child returned to her/him?

Yes, Bhima was a special needs child and I truly commend the couple that gave him a home, it is not at all easy. Behavioral problems are common in adopted children and studies have found it is more so when they are uprooted from one country/culture and taken elsewhere. Much credit must be given to parents that do this despite all the countless sleepless nights that lie ahead for them.

I thank you for sharing your knowledge of the adoption process with us...wishing you the very best in your own will keep us posted, won't you?

Sanjay said...

Lotus thank you for your response and your best wishes. Thank you also for telling me about Bhima’s background and what his caregivers did to familiarize themselves with where he came from. I am sure that helps a lot.
I agree with your reasoning that ppl have close bonds with their country of origin and adopt from there, and Anali’s points are also well taken.
I also have to say that children are also very resilient and adaptable as well, and as tough as it is, I think for them being adopted and given up by their birth parents is probably the single biggest issue that they will confront as they grow up, not to say that roots/culture are not important, they surely are.
Adoption is a lengthy process and we have barely begun. I will certainly keep you posted.
Is Murari in touch with Bhima today? Is that something he talks about? It surely must have been heart rending to have to let go of someone that he got so attached to. Does he talk about how Maureen feels about it?

Lotus Reads said...

@Allybean ~ Thank you so much for stopping by and yes, it is a very moving story but I like to think it has a happy ending.

@Milan ~ so nice to see you back!

I just became aware that it was "World Refugee Day" yesterday, so I will hurry to your blog to read your post.

I have no idea why adopting orphans from certain countries is preferable to others, I can only think it's because some countries (I'm thinking China here) make it an incredibly pain-free process for the adoptive parents (with the paperwork, etc) whereas other countries have incredibly restrictive laws that take years, not months, to move the adoption process through, and ofcourse, there are other countries that have not signed on to the Hague Convention for Intercountry adoption so they cannot be considered. Also, cost could be a factor, it is cheaper to adopt from China and some African countries then it is from others.

Thank you so much for your comments, I really want to read more about the Serbian refugees. I always feel such regard for refugees and other displaced people.

Lotus Reads said...

@Sylvia ~ Thank you! I have heard his novel "Taj" is a really good one, I want to read it too, hopefully we will read and discuss it together?! So glad you found the Book Depository (UK) easy to order with, I agree, having no shipping charges added to the bill is sweet indeed!

@Starry ~ I couldn't agree with you more, anyone that has the heart to adopt a child with special needs gets all my respect and admiration. I hope you get to read this book

@Anali ~ Thank you so much for shedding light on this issue. It is slowly starting to make sense to me why international adoption is so appealing to many Americans. From what I read in the book, in India, you have to be 45years or younger to adopt a child, exceptions are made when one parent is over 45 but the other parent is a lot younger...the sum of their ages should not exceed 90years.

Sanjay said...

re:Costs. I am not aware of costs for a whole lot of countries, but I am afraid the region
the country is in, is not the only factor. I know India and China are the cheapest but Guatemala is not.
Russia/Ukraine and Kazakhstan are expensive too.

Many factors go in to cost including the agencies one works with within the US and the country of adoption, the court and other agency fees there, currency exchange rates and so on.

Sanjay said...

Oh another bit of trivia. China will not let you adopt if the any of the adoptive parents have a body mass index (BMI) of more than 40. I believe anything above 25 is considered overweight. Sorry about these frequent comments. :-/

lucca said...

I read this one! Try Taj and The Arrangements of Love too. It's not often that Chennai makes a setting of a novel...
There's an alligator in The Arrangements of Love - you'll love it.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Sanjay!

No apologies necessary for the frequent comments. You know, when I set out to write this post I didn't think I would meet anyone who was familiar with the adoption process, so I am really glad you are able to share all that you have learned while researching adoption.

According to the memoir, Murari does get to see Bhima once after he was adopted. He and his wife travelled to Europe for Bhima's Christening, but I am not sure if he is still in touch with the family...

That's an interesting requirement that China has, but it's terrific to know they are so picky about the health of the adoptive parent, yeay for them!

Lotus Reads said...

hi, Lucca!

Yes, Sylvia (HollyDolly) and I both want to read "Taj", I am going to ask my mom to buy me a copy. I'd be happy to read "Arrangements of Love" too, but it's not anything like "Life of Pi" I hope?

Parth said...

Interesting book. International adoption certainly is a popular phenomenon, and when celebrities like Angelina Jolie go for it, the hoi polloi are bound to follow. It is difficult to guess what prompts these celebrities to go look in the third world for adopting kids. I could be cynical and say its for the publicity, but at the end of the day, if they have a positive impact on some lives, why not!

ML said...

Great review, Lotus! I am intrigued with this book and its subject of adoption. You brought up some really good questions to think about.

lucca said..., nothing like Life of Pi. For a start, the alligator is in a bathtub :)
But I had fun with Life of Pi...

mookuthi said...

Dear lotus
Lovely review. I have always loved the way you write. My only question is how do you get to know of these books. Can you please tell me too:)

Bookfool said...


You find the most interesting books! I've wondered about the foreign adoptions, myself.

As to Oprah, she says that the reason she's chosen to build schools and provide for children in Africa has to do with the fact that in the U.S., when asked what they want, children ask for the cool brand name shoes or an iPod, etc., but in Africa they ask for uniforms so that they can attend school. That may be true, but I think it's a poor excuse for not publicizing the need for improvement in her home state, where I live. Mississippi is a heavily impoverished state with terrible schools that have pitiful libraries, substandard reading and writing programs and mostly home-grown teachers (who don't give the children a good world view and seem to be very fond of yelling and punishment - although there are some good ones, don't get me wrong, I was appalled when I walked through the halls of my son's elementary school, one time, and there was hollering coming from half of the rooms). Our drop-out rate is unbelievable. Just think how far a little encouragement from someone like Oprah would go! As far as I know, she has never made an appearance in our town since she became wealthy and famous.

Oh, and while I'm here . . . I haven't yet shipped your book off, but I got the husband packed off to Australia and should have a bit more time for chores - I'll try to get that out tomorrow or Monday. Hubby was a little frantic about gathering things and cooking lots of food for us (because he's afraid two weeks is a bit too long to leave a perturbed wife who can't cook, LOL).

Lulu said...

hi lotus,
i also keep wondering how you find these amazing books and write reviews that make me want to go out immediately and buy the books you recommend!
thank you for this write-up. i would definitely like to read this book.

Lotus Reads said...

@Parth ~ True, but I can't help but think of all the needy orphans here in North America and how much they can benefit from a good home...if Americans won't take care of their own, who will?

@ml ~ Thanks! I love it when a book makes you examine larger issues. I am also grateful so many of you join the discussion...I always learn so much from everyone that comes here.

@Lucca ~ An alligator in a bathtub, a tiger on a raft, sounds eerily similar! lol

@Mookuthi ~ Sure! I look at a lot of the local Indian newspapers to find out what they are reading. Penguin India is a good source too, they publish a lot of local Indian writers. For books published here I get my recommendations from other book blogs, NPR and also, the newsletters that publishing houses send out. Thank you so much for visiting...and wishing you a lot of good summer reads!

lucca said...

Yeah, well - if you could do with the tiger on the raft, might as well give the alligator a chance, no?

Lotus Reads said...

@Nancy ~ Thank you so much for the first hand information on Mississippi and Oprah. I have to admit I have often wondered if she has done anything for her alma mater or the town she grew up in and apparently she hasn't done much. Sad.

Gosh, your hubby really does get to see some exciting places! Did you ask him to pick you out some Australian bestsellers? My hub has a cousin who is the manager of a bookstore in Sydney and when they visited us last year I got her to bring me books by local writers...some of them were quite fascinating!

Don't worry about rushing the book to me Nancy...seriously, do it at your convenience. Thanks so much!

Lotus Reads said...

@Lulu ~ I am touched you would take the time to drop me a line, especially with a new baby (she is such a cutie patootie, I love her!), the guests, the sleepless nights etc. Really appreciate seeing you here, thanks!

@Lucca ~ lol, true! I read the reviews and I love the sound of it, I will definitely be picking it up, thanks so much!

jenclair said...

Thanks for two good books to add to my list. Both My Temporary Son and A Golden Age sound fascinating.

gautami tripathy said...

I like what you write about the book. I will give it a look.

Angela in Europe said...

What a great story. I wonder if I could get it here....

FYI-Have you heard about all the Rushdie stuff??

Tara said...

What an amazing story and touching story. You've written a beautiful review here, one sure to send others out to find this book, me included.

Bookfool said...


I did ask the husband to bring me the latest Miles Franklin award-winner, and I think I'll beg for a few more of those. I've been surprised at how difficult it is to find a lot of Australian titles. He's in Melbourne, now, but will return via Sydney. Suggestions for great titles (and/or who to ask and where, in Sydney!) would be welcome!!

I got your book shipped off, today. :)

Bhaswati said...

Thank you so much for adding yet another book to my list, Lotus. You have such a wonderful knack for doing that. :-)

This is a memoir I'd definitely like to read; the subject matter sounds as unique as the voice rendering it.

Literary Feline said...

You always read the most interesting books, Lotus. :-) Although I have never had any experience with international adoption (other than working with a woman who adopted two Russian children--she said it was an easier process in the long run than going through the U.S.), I have had experience with domestic adoption on a limited level.

More often, I am on the end of hearing the stories and having to deal with the aftermath of adoptive parents deciding they no longer want their adopted child--almost always when the child reaches the teen years or close to it and starts rebelling. The adopted kids I've come in contact with were foster children, having been abused or neglected by their biological families. They come with baggage which is not taken seriously when they are in that "cute" phase. That's an over simplification, of course, but it seems to be the general pattern I see most often.

There are many wonderful adoptive parents out there who work miracles with the kids they take in. While placement of foster children in a culturally or ethnically similar background is preferred, it is not always possible. In these instances, I think it would benefit the children to ensure that the adoptive parents are willing to involve the children in activities that give them a chance to interact with those from their birth cultures. I know this is a priority if ever a Native American child is adopted by a white relative or guardian--at least from my experience.

This is a topic I could probably go on forever about, but I will stop here. :-)

Id it is said...

Sounds like a very interesting read!
Adoption is one social issue on which many of us are ambivalent; maybe because we don't give it enough thought. It could also be because it involves some soul searching questions like are parental feelings exclusively biolgical or can they develop in the social context of nrture. Personally, I'm uncertain about how fair and honest I'd be toward a child I adopted.
Thought provoking post!

Lotus Reads said...

@Jenclair ~ Welcome back! So happy to see you blogging regularly once again!

@Gautami ~ You're so welcome!

@Angela ~ You should be able to buy the book off or atleast

Yes, the Rushdie issue is just crazy. It's something that happened over 20 years ago,how long are they going to make him pay?

@Tara ~ Thank you for your lovely comment and for stopping by, so appreciate it!

@Bookfool ~ 'Ola again Nancy!

It's easy to get Peter Carey, Kate Grenville, Tim Winton and some of the better known Australian writers here but, you're right, it's next to impossible to get some of the others...Sue Woolfe is a favorite of mine, her latest, "The Secret Cure", has autism as a theme . Stephen Kinnane's book "Shadowlines", about a Mirriwoong (aboriginal Australian) woman and an Englishman that fell in love is also an incredibly moving story.

I haven't heard of Miles Franklin, going to check him out now!

Lotus Reads said...

@Bhaswati ~ Hello, hello, so good to see you here! How is it going? Must stop by your blog to find out! Thank you for the lovely comment and glad to add to your already high TBR mountain :)

@Wendy ~ Thank you so much for contributing to this discussion on adoption...yes, from what I have gathered, international adoption does seem easier than adopting domestically which is unfortunate really.

I must admit I have wondered about adoptive parents and what recourse they have when they find they cannot handle their new children. I guess they give those kids up for adoption all over again? Poor kids, but, I guess the parents try their best, it's not always easy handling kids that come with a ton of emotional baggage and behavioral problems.

I am glad to hear that priority is given to finding kids families that share their ethnicity. I guess it wouldn't matter so much if the adopted child is a baby, but yes, it could be a huge factor if we're talking about an older child.

Wendy, thanks again so much for your informative comment.

@Id ~ I so appreciate your candid comment. For many of us it's not easy being a parent to a child that is not one's biological offspring. It takes a special set of qualities and, truth be told, I don't know if I possess those traits either. Like you said, it's not something we think about often, so I was glad when this book gave me the chance to ponder this issue for a while.

Radha said...

I loved your review Lotus! The book raises a lot of questions about the way orphans & adoptions are handled. Just last week, many Gulf newspapers carried the story of orphanages in was so disturbing! I wonder if anyone has taken the initiative for the rehab & trauma therapy for these kids.

Bookfool said...

Thanks, Lotus! Yep, I have some Tim Winton books and have read Peter Carey - both easy to acquire. And, there's a Kate Grenville buried here, somewhere. :)

Miles Franklin was a woman (first name "Sarah", if I remember right). She wrote My Brilliant Career, which was made into a movie with Sam Neill (ahhhh) and established the Miles Franklin Award, an annual award for the best in Australian writing. I just read about the latest award-winner, a few days ago. Must send hubby in search of that one. I've written down your recommendations, thanks!

Gentle Reader said...

This sounds like a poignant book--sad and sweet.

I can speak a little about why some of the people I know have chosen international adoption over domestic. And I'm only speaking about what the parents go through, not the kids. Here in the U.S. at least, public adoptions involve more legal and bureaucratic hoops for prospective parents to jump through, which means families can't usually get kids when they are infants--which is preferable to parents, because of attachment issues. Private domestic adoptions (arranged by lawyers who help match up birth parents and adoptive parents without going through the state) are very expensive, and they bring with them their own difficulties, because of lack of regulation, including birth parents that pull out at the last minute, or take advantage of the relationship they develop with the potential adoptive parents, asking for more money, etc. You can probably extrapolate out to why celebrities go abroad--I would guess it's to avoid entanglements with birth families here. Obviously international adoptions have their own set of issues, which I'm sure one could write a whole book about, but these are some of the arguments I've heard against adopting domestically.

Anyway, the issues are really, really complicated and thought-provoking...

Susan in Italy said...

Hi Lotus and everyone. What a fantastic discussion. I had a few assumptions (unresearched and inexperienced) to make about international adoptions but I've been beaten to it my many of you who seem to have much more info about the topic. Anyway, thanks!

Beenzzz said...

Wonderful review, Lotus. On one hand, I am pro international adoption simply because in rural areas, birth defects are viewed in such a negative light. Then again, not all adoptions involve a child with a defect. On the other hand, I'm not so sure that the child ever really feels connected being raised outside of its culture with parents that look NOTHING like them. AND....why don't you see rich desi's and other minorities with money adopting white children? Why is it always the white celebrities that adopt???
I guess I just don't understand the logic either. Is it a giant power trip?

diyadear said...

beautifully written review.. felt as if i cud feel murari's heart thru ur review alone..
ya wnder how hard it must be for a child to adjust.. but tothink he/she gets a home makes it feel worthy :)

Lotus Reads said...

@Radha ~ Thank you! I need to go in search of that article you mention, was it in the Gulf News or Khaleej Times?

@Nancy ~ Thank you! It always excites me to discover a new author and I am glad you told me about Miles Franklin...I shall definitely keep an eye out for her books. Thank you also for mailing out that book for me, I will let you know as soon as it arrives.

@Gentle Reader ~ Thank you so much for the input and for the information on how adoption works in the US. I now have a truly good understanding why so many people opt to adopt internationally. Thank you also for letting me know about private domestic adoptions...for some reason I thought all adoptions had to be done through a government recognized adoption agency. I do see how domestic adoptions may make adoptive parents a little nervous..being so close (geographically) could tempt the biological parent to renew contact with the child he/she gave up for adoption at any time.

Lotus Reads said...

@Susan ~ You're welcome! This has been an interesting discussion and I have learned heaps!

@Beenzzz ~ True! When I read "My Temporary Son", my thoughts often drifted off to Bhima , I kept wondering how he felt to call that European country his home and what he felt when he realized he was ethnically different from his parents. I kept wondering what his reaction was the first time some other kid in school pointed out to him that his white mother couldn't possibly be his real mother (you know kids can be brutally honest at times). I would have loved to have read Bhima's point of view.

@Diya ~ I'm glad I was able to convey something of what Murari felt through my review, but you have to read the will be so touched!

Sharif said...


Blindness is awesome, little intense, might not be a bad one to start with. It will just take you few pages to get used to his style. Here are all my Saramago review so far.

If you want something short, try
The Tale of the Unknown Island, fable like story.

paris parfait said...

This sounds like such a wonderful book. I recently saw a documentary on Al Jazeera's English News about a similar story. Very heartwarming.

Anonymous said...

I adopted internationaly and it was because of many reasons listed.

The main one was that I did not want a birth parent appearing sometime in the future saying they had gotten their life together and now wanted the child back. Once I got off the plane and put my daughters feet on US soil she was a citizen and my daughter; end of story.

I am a white person and many US foster care systems do not feel good about giving you a child from another race. There are few if any white children, in reasonable health, under the age of 7 available.

The children available have been in the system and have been damaged by the foster care systems for years. It can often take years before children become available for adoption.

They recommend for a child under 5 you foster to adopt. You have to be a foster parent for years maybe losing the child at any time before the adoption is complete.

I am older and single. I did not want an open adoption. I did not want to compete with other couples for a birth mother to pick me. I wanted a child that really needed a parent. Many children in those foreign orphanages lack the basic care to survive, any child in US care would get the basics.

So I went international. I checked out what countries you could adopt from, cost and requirements etc. I got the US requirements done, the foreign country requirements done and after a lot of trauma and drama, I ended up with a wonderful little girl from Kathmandu.

She is perfect as far as I am concerned. She did have some undisclosed health problems and I handled them the same as if she was a biological daughter that had a health problem. I can't believe I have such an amazing, perfectly beautiful, happy, social, little child to come home to every day.

Lotus Reads said...

Thank you, Anon, for your wonderful and candid comment...I am so happy you found a child that needed a loving home and yes, I am sure she brings you lots of joy!

Thank you for listing the several reasons why local adoption doesn't work for everyone. I had always pondered the issue.

International adoption needs a lot of researching doesn't it? I know that Guatemala was the most favored country for Americans to adopt babies from, but Canada has recently put a ban on adoption from Guatemala. Apparently the black market for babies has grown so much in that country that baby abductions are getting increasingly common, also, some agencies are actually paying women to have babies for their American customers. What if one day the mother of an abducted baby shows up on the doorstep of the adoptive parent? I shudder at the thought.

I am so happy everything worked out well for you, thank you very much for sharing your story.