When Rain Hurts by Mary Evelyn Greene

January 25, 2010

Introductory Note

Baby Home, Birobidzhan, Russia (Oct. 2004)

When Rain Hurts is the story of how our Russian adopted son Peter came into our lives, the series of events that led us there, and my successful journey toward loving him, while accepting and adjusting to the fact that I will never completely heal him. Peter suffers from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Mild Autism, Seizures, BiPolar Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Attachment Disorder and suspected Mitochondrial Disease. He is also, on most days, our beautiful and loving boy.

Through journal entries, I attempt to demonstrate how love can flourish in the most hostile environments, if nourished with compassion, humor and humility.  These journal entries, and the narrative that accompanies them, aren’t a memoir so much as an exploration of the transcendence toward peace that one can experience in life-altering situations once hope is chosen above despair, and acceptance over resignation.  This project is about the growth that occurs through the examination of grief, the adjustment of dreams, and the acknowledgement of one’s own capacity.

I hope this blog has interest and relevance to readers who have adopted or are considering adoption, as well as those who have suffered loss through illness, trauma, death or disappointment.

I begin by posting journal entries starting in the summer of 2007, when our son was turning 6.  Each journal entry is followed by a chapter, which tells the narrative story of our adoption journey.  I am also including more recent journal entries, which can be found under “pages”, on the right-hand column of this blog.  I haven’t yet determined how they’ll fit into the overall book concept; they may end up replacing the earlier entries. I hope to be finished with the entire manuscript, which is 3/4s complete, by well, who knows?  Sooner rather than later, I hope.

I undertook this project because I felt demoralized after reading the plethora of adoption- and autism-related books on the market. Most if not all portray a family who struggles with their child’s difficulty at first, but who ultimately learns to embrace the problem and become enriched because of it.  Reading these accounts made me feel inadequate, as a mother and as a human being.  I love my child, fiercely in fact, but hate the disabilities that plague his future and pepper our daily lives with genuine chaos.  I want my child to be whole but I will love him every day of my life no matter how damaged or battered he remains or becomes.  This project seeks to explore these feelings. Adoption isn’t always easy and adopting an alcohol exposed child carries with it inherent booby traps that simply cannot be overcome by love, faith, medication or any other kind of intervention.  I know because I’ve tried.  What works is blood, sweat, and tears, a healthy dose of humor, a barrel full of patience, and the wisdom to know when the zenith’s been reached; when its time to let go and let be.

Thank you in advance for taking this journey with my family and me.  I came to this occupation  of “part-time writer” out of what I felt was necessity.  By training and passion, I’m also an attorney who has spent 13 years with the USEPA enforcing environmental laws that help ensure clean water, air, and land, and more recently, I’ve begun teaching environmental law and policy at the undergraduate, graduate, and law school levels.  I’m 40-something, married to the most wonderful man on the planet, have more pets than I care to divulge, and together we do our best to raise our two children, whom we love and adore but who definitely give us a run for our money.

Mary Greene

Mills Mansion, Staatsburg, NY (Jan 2010)

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  1. Fantastic stuff, Mary.

    Comment by Chris Hill — January 25, 2010 @ 6:40 pm | Reply

  2. This is exceptional! There is a reason you were brought to adoption. You are Peter’s Mother through and through. I can’t wait to read the finished book. Parents thinking about adoption or who are learning how to accept and help their child with these type of disabilities are lucky to have this blog/book to read. Good luck!

    Comment by Jill Ford — January 25, 2010 @ 7:02 pm | Reply

  3. Mary:

    This is very moving. I want to read more. Definitely work it into a book!

    Comment by deborah benjamin — January 25, 2010 @ 7:25 pm | Reply

  4. Heartbreakingly joyful.

    Comment by Sheila — January 25, 2010 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

  5. It is brilliant. I will read it all.

    Comment by Jessica — January 25, 2010 @ 9:44 pm | Reply

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your story and experiences. I am looking forward to reading more.

    Comment by Mary Haight — January 25, 2010 @ 11:12 pm | Reply

  7. Thank you for these encouraging comments. Please feel encouraged to critique – I definitely welcome and need the feedback. Thanks again!

    Comment by whenrainhurts — January 26, 2010 @ 8:25 am | Reply

  8. Hi! Saw your note on RH moms this am and could not resist procrastinating on my own work. I am a picky reader and come from a family of journalists so let me tell you it is a compliment when I tell you I REALLY enjoyed your writing. The insight and distiinct vocabulary are excellent. Because of this your story can reach both those in similar situations and anyone else who is human and has the same urges, needs, fears and feelings. It’s universal. (I’m nowhere near as smooth with the writing as you are, esp. this am!)
    I like your format, a paragraph in the beginning of the chapter about present day stuff, then back into the chronological telling of how things came to be this way. The present day stuff is kind of like a teaser, so people don’t have to wait so long for the dramatic details (let’s face it, we are all voyeurs of sorts). Then the story gives us the background we need to understand it all. I will caution however, make sure you don’t sum things up repeatedly. You have to keep leading the reader, even tho you obviously know where they are going. Just give them a little bit at a time, so the depth of their understanding seems to grow along with yours.
    Regarding the selling, I think it’s awesome you have already gotten as far as you have, with senior editors at three houses! That’s amazing.
    I can understand your frustration with the business “suits” and their dismissal, they want a Hollywood ending, don’t they? A Lifetime movie I guess?
    It seems you have a choice, give in to their formulaic requests and give them one. “We struggled but the love we feel for him is worth it and we have hope, blah, blah.” I feel a little hollow even typing it but the bottom line is the bottom line and having your work available to people AT ALL might make it worth it.
    However, here is what you wrote yourself about your purpose in doing this project:
    I undertook this project because I felt demoralized after reading the plethora of adoption- and autism-related books on the market. Most if not all portray a family who struggles with their child’s difficulty at first, but who ultimately learn to embrace the problem and become enriched because of it. Reading these accounts made me feel inadequate, as a mother and as a human being. I love my child, fiercely in fact, but hate the disabilities that plague his future and pepper our daily lives with genuine chaos. I want my child to be whole. This project seeks to explore these feelings.
    You wrote that the books currently available left you wanting for something else. If you feel strongly about this, you could make that case to the suits. You are a consumer yourself, and surely you are not alone in your perception. You see a market niche that is not being filled. You can fill it. This makes your work original and “necessary” in the annals of this genre (whatever they call it in the publishing industry).
    And now for my completely amateur psychological perspective (not that you asked for it), I would say you are still struggling with this. I promise you will, believe it or not, reach acceptance at some point. We all do, even about the most painful things. You could wait to reach this in order to finish your project. And I should think writing it will help you speed up that process. Or you could ground it in your present state and not finish it on the happy note, seemingly called for by the suits.
    And on a personal note, please stop being so hard on yourself. We all want our kids to be perfect (reflections of our loving mothering, etc.) But they are largely who they are. We can only love them the best way we know how. And that itself is a huge gift, for them and moreso for us. I hope you are availing yourself of services to help you with the enormous task of caring for your son so that you are caring for yourself as well. The world does not need more martyrs. You are fortunate to having a loving and supportive husband and a wonderful daughter (suggestion: put more of her in here). I hope I don’t sound preachy. I have so many thoughts on this but most of all I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Comment by Carol — January 26, 2010 @ 11:04 am | Reply

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful response! And you’re right, I do have a decision to make, on a number of fronts. And thank you for making a very valid observation about letting my feelings grow and develop as the book progresses. Quite astute! And lastly, acceptance is coming – I’m 4/5s there and my journey toward it is another fundamental reason why I undertook this vast and at times difficult project.

      Thanks again for taking the time to convey your thoughts. Mary

      Comment by whenrainhurts — January 26, 2010 @ 11:47 am | Reply

  9. Wow, that was fabulous. I read through what you have here and would definitely read more.

    Comment by kmwithmissbeth — January 26, 2010 @ 2:46 pm | Reply

  10. I would first like to applaud your fearlessness in opening this up to discussion and critique here on Redhookmoms. It’s one thing to open your deepest feelings and insecurities to a faceless audience, and quite another to bare your soul to members of your community, people you see on a daily basis, people you pass at the grocery store or parent pickup, those who know you, and those who know you but don’t know you. Reading this makes me want to know you, and your story, even more. Through my contact with Sophie in Zach’s class at school, I already knew that you are a natural, understanding and involved mother. I knew that you are paying great attention to helping your children to connect with their Russian heritage. And your blog and book now have reminded me that our perceptions of those people we just brush up against in daily life, are just the barest glimpse of a much bigger, more profound story. We all have a different story. I’m grateful that you are willing to take on the arduous task of sharing it. I know nothing about “the business” of writing and publishing. Not a clue. What I do know is that I want to read more. I want to read more about Sophie, and your other family members. I want to read your observations of their role in your story. I believe that your beautiful daughter may be the “positive spin” that the “suits” are looking for. Is she the ray of sunshine in your rainy days with Peter? I love your title, and it suggests that the book focuses on your journey with your son. But their are others along and part of your journey who could play a larger role in the telling without taking anything away from your central theme. Sophie and your husband, do they balance the teeter totter that is your life? Are they they weight on the positive side balancing the sometimes exhausting struggle of daily life with Peter? Whether the answer is yes or no, I want to hear more about them. And I look forward to reading more about the process of Peter’s adoption. It is difficult to critique your work without having seen all of it. Perhaps later chapters already answer the questions you’ve raised in these early chapters. I enjoy your style of writing and found myself reading quickly through your blog. As an individual who at one time considered a Russian adoption, I am more than slightly interested in the upcoming chapters. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I look forward to reading more.

    Comment by Jen — January 26, 2010 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

    • Jen,

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful observations and encouragement. I agree wholeheartedly: I do need to inject more of Sophie and the other more “normal” aspects of our lives into the manuscript. And its true, there are certainly countering balances though raising Peter has a way of blanketing everything else we do (something we are desperately trying to work on and change, for all our sakes).

      Also, it was either brave or incredibly dumb to put this out to RHMoms but I need feedback such as yours and also, if I am to be serious about getting this project published, I can’t behave like its a secret.

      Thank you again Jen for taking the time to read the story and to respond in such a thoughtful, caring and beneficial way. I hope we see each other soon – Mary

      Comment by whenrainhurts — January 28, 2010 @ 5:21 pm | Reply

  11. Mary:

    I know you have explored all avenues of help, and the ongoing struggles of a special needs child wear you down. This blog will help others identify and NOT feel alone…

    there needs to be better public awareness for our special children vs the ignorance of our educational and medical system. keep writing..


    Dr Ron Federici

    Comment by Dr Ron Federici — January 26, 2010 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Dr. Federici – as we’ve told you countless times before, we owe you everything. The progress we have made – and it is substantial – is almost entirely attributable to the information, training and advice we’ve received from you. I don’t think Peter would be in our home without your help. And I do mean that.

      Best – Mary

      Comment by whenrainhurts — January 28, 2010 @ 5:21 pm | Reply

  12. Thanks Dr. Federici – as we’ve told you countless times before, we owe you everything. The progress we have made – and it is substantial – is almost entirely attributable to the information, training and advice we’ve received from you. I don’t think Peter would be in our home without your help. And I do mean that.

    Best – Mary

    Comment by whenrainhurts — January 26, 2010 @ 6:34 pm | Reply

  13. Mary,

    Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. I can tell from your writing that the journey you are on has caused you to learn and grow in many different ways. You are a strong and remarkable person. I look forward to reading more.

    Bill Johnson

    Comment by Bill Johnson — January 26, 2010 @ 7:44 pm | Reply

  14. Hi Mary,
    As a parent and someone who has worked in the special needs setting for more than half my life…I feel so much promise in your writing. I think the fact the suits are looking for a happy summation, indicates that their margeting issue is will it sell if the isn’t a “gift under the tree on Christmas morning”…Peter is the gift, you are the tree…somehow I believe they will see that…Peter is going to teach through your words.
    I recently attended a conference by John Ortiz, PhD. He travels all over teaching about aspergers, autism and other diagnosages. He works out of Pennsylvania. He also does conferences at the Omega Institute. He has published many books and uses music to soothe the soul. He would be such an assist to you, in person or through reading his books.
    I work as an Occupational Therapy Assistant with children. I have worked with preschoolers to adolescents. Reading your writing, opened my eyes to what I never really see in a child’s intake report. The child is first a child, secondly the child is taking part in behaviours for a reason, and it’s up to us to find out why.
    I wish you so much luck with your book. It is a healing experience.
    Please keep us posted on Red Hook moms.
    I also encourage you to join http://www.hudsonvalleymommies.com
    We are a local group of giving mom’s who would welcome your friendship and hardships. I am the special needs moderator on that site.
    take care and thank you for sharing your words.

    Comment by Roberta Hayes — January 27, 2010 @ 12:37 am | Reply

    • Thank you, Roberta. I in fact started this blog to try to prove them wrong – that readers don’t just want fairy tale endings, that they want to explore and experience real feelings, real difficulties and real resolutions, regardless of whether those resolutions bring endless joy or an arduously earned sense of peace, forgiveness and healing.

      I joined hudsonvalleymommies and look forward to participating in the exchange of information and support.

      Thanks again for your thoughts and encouragement – Mary

      Comment by whenrainhurts — January 28, 2010 @ 5:26 pm | Reply

  15. I love your blog and your total honesty throughout it. I am glad to have it as one of our family blogs on my website.

    Debbie Mumm

    Comment by adoptioncoach — January 27, 2010 @ 10:42 pm | Reply

  16. I am always amazed at the kind hearts of adoptive parents and their willingness to share so much – the good and the painful. This is a beautifully written site and everyone could benefit from reading it. I’m glad I had the privilege.

    Comment by Amy FitzGerald — January 31, 2010 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  17. Hi Mary–
    Though I have never met you I feel as though I know you through Pat who has mentioned you and Peter many times. As the mother of my own special needs child Jack, who has aspergers syndrome, I too know what you have been though with all the heartache and frustration and ultimately the triumphs. Looking forward to reading the rest, it’s wonderful. From one warrior mom to another. Warmly–Mellie Justad

    Comment by Mellie Justad — February 1, 2010 @ 12:33 pm | Reply

    • Thank you so much, Mellie. I wish you and your son the best on your journey. And I LOVE your phrase: we are warrior moms, aren’t we? 🙂

      Comment by whenrainhurts — February 2, 2010 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

  18. brave and beautiful. as, it appears, are all of you.

    Comment by george fot — February 1, 2010 @ 3:26 pm | Reply

    • Thank you, George, for such kind words. Pat told me this was you . . . despite the uhm, spelling problem 🙂

      Comment by whenrainhurts — February 2, 2010 @ 2:21 pm | Reply

  19. A sampling of additional comments received via email:

    Feb. 4, 2010

    I read a lot of your blog last night. This is going to make a wonderful book. It is so touching. There are so many autistic children with parents who are struggling who will identify and benefit from your book. You have a great talent not only for writing but your pictures are wonderful too. Judy

    Feb. 3, 2010

    Amazing story and so beautifully written. Heidi

    An incredible tale of love and adventure. Congratulations to you both for having hearts big enough to share with these two wonderful kids. Bob

    Really a heartfelt and fascinating read and I find myself thinking about you and your family long after I’ve read your blog. Betsy

    I found myself fascinated by your saga. It was strange reading “backwards” and I didn’t get all the way to the beginning … but I’m going back for more. You are an incredible writer. Judy

    Feb. 2, 2010

    I started reading and i can’t stop. I must pull myself away because I have work to do. I have started with the prologue and I am in chapter one and pulled myself away to tell you how beautifully written it is. I hope there is a book in this. I will pass the blog along to folks who I think will benefit from it — which really is everyone isn’t it? Sharon

    Incredible Mary… Sending so much love to you all. Love Love. Allison

    All too often I am like Einstein, Twain, and Vonnegut, giving up on mankind toward the end run of my life, but when I read stories such as yours I know that Einstein, Twain, Vonnegut, and I were wrong. Thank you for sharing this . . . Joel

    Mary, many thanks for sharing your experiences (and your writing). You’re doing a tremenous service sharing your journey!! It reminded me of a section of the PBS series “This Emotional Life” in which a father admits he really had to give up the dream of being the parent he wanted to be, and be the parent his son needed. A very tough concept, but so beautifully expressed and shared. Thank you, Mary! Alice

    Feb. 1, 2010

    It’s a wonderful website. Milt

    I read the recent entry. I looked at some of the pictures of Peter. What a beautiful boy. I hold so much love for you all. I have no idea the strength that it has required of you to even be standing today. But I absolutely believe you are healing that child. Miracles happen. They do. I believe it. You know the best stories have (illusion of?) a challenge so great it can not be overcome. You guys are doing it. I am so touched by your commitment and love. Believe it. You are superheros and miracles happen. Beth

    Jan. 30, 2010

    I started reading today. I didn’t realize at first that I was reading it backwards – but I have it figured it now and I must say that it is intriguing enough to drag me away from the Washington Post political blogs where I regularly rag on Obama! Janet

    Your blog is excellent, thoughtful, and much-needed. Screw the publishers for wanting some happy ending. Maggie

    Jan. 28, 2010

    Awesome writing and an extremely compelling read. Write a lot and write fast, I want to read more! Makes me appreciate my kids and may not be so tough on them when they write all over each other in permanent marker… Thanks for sharing. Jeff

    January 25, 2010

    After reading your blog it is so clear to me that we’ve never really been in charge of our life no matter how hard we try or how careful we are. I worry everyday about my daughter’s future, I worry I won’t get another day and she is a perfectly healthy child. I can only imagine your family’s journey! Mothering is the best job I’ve ever had and the most difficult. Hang in there and keep blogging. I for sure will buy your book! Maureen

    Just finished reading your blog. I’m really struck by your emotional honesty, and I admire your commiting to it via your blog. I seem to hide from lots of truths about myself in comparison! I”m looking forward to reading more. Betsy

    It is so well written. A metaphor for our times almost. Jessica

    I took some time away from [work] and did something more meaningful, read your blog. You are truly a gifted writer. It is a compelling story that you are writing and to the extent you need any encouragement, don’t give up. It is a story that needs to be told. Carri

    Comment by whenrainhurts — February 3, 2010 @ 1:52 pm | Reply

  20. In thirty-six years as a literary agent, I’ve read thousands of books and proposals. I have never read any book that has moved me like ‘WHEN RAIN HURTS”. I look forward to following the story to the final chapter. The real light in this story is how positive Mary and Pat are during times of utter darkness. If there is another war during my life time, I want Mary and Pat in my fox hole. Thanks,


    Comment by Robbie Robison — February 3, 2010 @ 2:10 pm | Reply

  21. I definetly feel this book needs to be read. I too have five adopted children with three of them having special needs. Our son who is now 8 struggles greatly everyday with much the same issues you are writing about. It is heartbreaking to watch and is so avoidable. I wish you the best of luck with your book. I will be waiting to read it.

    Comment by kathy — February 9, 2010 @ 8:15 am | Reply

  22. What an inspiring tale. A remarkable journey by a truly remarkable couple! Thank you for so honestly sharing your feelings and experiences. Looking forward to reading the entire book.

    Comment by Susanne Sullivan Kirkland — February 9, 2010 @ 11:32 am | Reply

  23. We need a book like this …thumbs up to you 🙂

    Comment by linda — February 9, 2010 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

  24. It is funny, I came across this blog earlier this evening and read it, but didn’t leave a comment. Then, I came across your e-mail on the list-serv, so I decided to let you know I think your blog is incredible!!

    Lindsey Petersen

    Comment by 5kidswdisabilities — February 16, 2010 @ 10:46 pm | Reply

  25. Your story is a perfect chance to show how the ‘adoption system’ is in need of reform. There is no mention of
    how the U.S.A. system lacks pre and post adoption awareness programs for adoptive parents.
    Agencies need to provide adoptive parents with adoption awareness classes to know what to expect in adoption(s)?
    . . . . .DNA should be a requirement for all adoptions
    . . . . OPEN ADOPTIONS are a must. All medical /cultural information would be available. Closed, old fashioned
    adoptions just make a story such as yours, show how all the facts could have been known before the adoption process was finalized. ‘Access at all times’ ,between biological parents & adoptive parents is the correct, ethical,legal reform needed for all adoptions.

    Comment by B. Brush — February 17, 2010 @ 2:55 am | Reply

  26. I know I should be able to find this on my own, but I am so curious. The title of your blog, I’m sure it is explained somewhere, but could you let me know where it came from?
    I am really enjoying your blog, I think we post on some similar issues. Jane

    Comment by hapaloopa — February 23, 2010 @ 11:08 am | Reply

    • I can’t tell yet – but stay tuned – the reason reveals itself later in the book 🙂

      Comment by whenrainhurts — February 23, 2010 @ 11:16 am | Reply

  27. Dear Mary,
    I am so grateful you sent me the link to your blog. We adopted our son from Russia too and what you write rings so true and so close although we are facing different issues.
    I too am tired of the utterly predictable adoption story in which the heroes overcome unfathomable hurdles to arrive at bathing in glory. There is such urgent need for books like yours. Your spirit inspires me. Thank you, thank you.

    Comment by ckalsop — March 1, 2010 @ 10:04 pm | Reply

  28. Mary: I always thought you were so very incredible. Now I know you are still so wonderfully amazing!

    Comment by Cheryl 2 FishYoung — March 7, 2010 @ 10:48 pm | Reply

  29. Outstanding.

    Comment by Brian Robinson — March 15, 2010 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

  30. incredible. please keep writing. i grew up with a profoundly autistic brother and a sister with asperger’s. when my third was speech and language delayed, i rued my decision to go for another child, another boy. but he’s fine.

    strength, courage, faith and prayers.


    Comment by susiedec4 — March 18, 2010 @ 6:40 pm | Reply

  31. I found you thanks to a blog post relating to all the current uproar regarding Artyom Savelyev. How I wish I’d had someone like you ten years ago… Thank you for doing this. Thank you for helping others understand, and thank you for sharing such heartfelt emotions. Keep up the good work, and good luck to you and your family!

    Comment by Snowcatcher — April 13, 2010 @ 5:26 pm | Reply

  32. Oh wow! I am inspired to to read more and to understand more thoroughly how I will parent to my future child’s needs, regardless of what they are. You and Pat are a unique couple … can we tempt you both to Australia to talk to our adoption community here? 🙂 …

    My husband and I are shortly to receive an allocation from Thailand for our first child. So many things you have written (sooo many!) have been stored in my memory for future reference. So many bits of info that had never even entered my soon-to-be-adoptive-parent consciousness before. You have a beautiful writing ‘voice’ that feels just like we’re communicating over a cup of tea at your kitchen table.

    I agree that a lot of adoptive parents want the ‘raw details’ rather than a happy ending. We just want to make sure that someone out there understands us and, should we find ourself in dire need, has a few useful tips to get us over any humps that may come up!

    Can’t wait to read the finished book 🙂

    Waiting 34 months so far for our referral from Thailand

    Comment by Kim from Australia — May 8, 2010 @ 1:09 pm | Reply

    • Kim,

      Best of luck on your upcoming adoption – it is both an exciting and excruciating time (the waiting part!). Thank you also for taking the time to read
      my book (in progress) and offer such encouragement. My husband’s oldest friend, who I understand is a fairly well known writer in Australia (Jack Dann) lives in Melbourne. We would love to get there one of these days, for so many reasons, but alas, our special needs son has drained us of just about every penny we’ve ever saved. But thanks for the invite anyway!

      Take care and thanks again – Mary

      PS: 34 months is a long time – is that Australia’s doing or Thailands?

      Comment by whenrainhurts — May 10, 2010 @ 9:19 am | Reply

      • Mary, Yes – 34 months is a long time to wait for an adoption.

        It is a result of a few circumstances – Thailand is now a more desirable country for adoptions (tightening of china’s requirements etc) and has over 1000 files sitting waiting for matching and referral (they have closed their intake for new files, for now, from every country in the world), there are less adoptable children living in orphanages in Thailand and more domestic adoptions.

        Australia don’t have much info on what happens via our government departments that handle adoption here (adoptions are not done by private enterprises) and simply tell us to wait as they don’t know more! 😉 We get more info from our Yahoo Adoption groups and parents that come home with their children! Take care.

        Comment by Kim — May 10, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

  33. Mary, I am so happy to have come across your blog. I am planning on starting at the beginning of your journey and slowly ready through everything. I also have two children adopted from Russia. One has a similar profile to yours. It has been an extremely difficult journey–as you know. I guess we all have different ways of dealing with our situation. I have spent the last 12 years researching every condition thrown our way. Research and data analysis is my thing…so here I am, 12 years later, compiling all my info for parents who are just starting the journey of special needs, adoptive or biological. It is refreshing after all these years to finally come up to breathe and to start meeting all the wonderful people who have similar experiences. All our stories are unique, but they all have common threads. Thanks so much!

    Comment by Danette — May 9, 2010 @ 4:47 pm | Reply

  34. Mary:

    Can you contact me for an interview? I’d like to write about your blog/story for the Poughkeepsie Journal.


    Kathleen Norton, freelance writer

    Comment by kathleennorton1 — June 9, 2010 @ 11:42 am | Reply

  35. Hi Mary

    I’m a single, 45- year old, adoptive mom of a young man also lives with Autism, Attachment Disorder, ADHD, Developmental Coordination Disorder, etc., as well as in utero cocaine exposure. I’m just starting to read through your blog and already have to say how heartwarming it is to find so many similarities. Our adoption took place over 12 years ago and my son is now 15 years old. He still lives with many challenges everyday, of course, but he has come such a long way in so many areas. One of my favourite quotes so far from your blog is, “What works is blood, sweat, and tears, a healthy dose of humor, a barrel full of patience, and the wisdom to know when the zenith’s been reached; when its time to let go and let be.” This is a great read, and will hopefully bring more awareness and understanding in our society.

    Comment by Christine — September 5, 2010 @ 11:41 pm | Reply

  36. Mary: Wow.
    Amazing writing, I am riveted. I am cheering for you with a pain in my heart.
    Can I say it again?
    Where can I get your book?

    Comment by Cindy — April 26, 2011 @ 4:17 pm | Reply

  37. Just found your blog and I am very excited about reading all of your posts and the final book. We adopted our son from Russia in 1996 (he was 8 mos) and have been on a similar journey as you. In a couple of weeks he will be going to get treatment out of the home. It has been a heartbreaking decision but one that probably should have been made earlier.

    Comment by Bridget — July 11, 2011 @ 8:01 am | Reply

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