When Jessica O'Dwyer and her husband fell in love with the online photo of a Guatemalan baby girl, they had no idea of the twisted journey that awaited them. Their eagerness to become parents lured them into signing with an inept LA adoption agency whose slapdash methods left the couple fearful that their baby would never come home. At that point, Jessica made the brave decision to move to Guatemala, learning how to care for baby Olivia, while at the same time struggling to break through the bureaucratic indifference that stood in the way of making Olivia hers forever.
Kirkus Reviews calls this memoir, "a scathing critique on a foreign adoption system and one woman's attempt to fight it."
Author Joyce Maynard describes MAMALITA as a book about the nature of parenthood, "the fierce love and loyalty that makes it possible for us to do more than we ever knew we were capable of."
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica O'Dwyer when she gave a reading at the nearby Redwood City, California Public Library. During the Q & A session that followed, Jessica mentioned that one her goals in writing MAMALITA was to present Guatemala accurately, with an affection and respect for her child's homeland that she'd felt was missing in some memoirs previously published by adoptive parents. I think that you'll agree that she succeeded.
You can learn more about Jessica's story on her blog, or check out her book trailer:
I'm happy to announce that the author has provided two autographed copies of MAMALITA to be awarded to two lucky readers of Whatever Things Are True: the Good, the Bad and the Beautiful in the World of International Adoption.
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment answering this question:
How has being a mom or dad drawn out your inner strength? Or if you're not a parent, what important relationship or situation has demanded that you act with courage?
To earn additional entries in this giveaway:
1. Follow my blog (publicly) and leave another comment (or let me know if you're already following).
2. Blog about the giveaway, and link back here. Post your blog entry before you comment.
3. Follow me on Twitter and Tweet about the contest: "Giveaway- Win a copy of Mamalita: An Adoption Memoir from @sharonvanepps. Enter at www.whateverthingsaretrue.typepad.com"
4. Become a fan of Whatever Things Are True on Facebook by clicking the button on the top right of the page (or leave a comment to let me know you're already a fan.)
Entries close next Sunday, March 6, at 5 PM PST.
The winners will be announced Monday, March 7.