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You Don't Look Adopted: A memoir

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Adoption can be tricky. It's a wonderful thing to be chosen, to be brought up by loving parents, but in order for this to happen, there has to be an initial abandonment, and this loss can settle like a seed of unease in the adopted person, quite possibly affecting the entirety of his or her life. Anne Heffron, who'd been adopted at ten weeks old, embarked on a three-month Adoption can be tricky. It's a wonderful thing to be chosen, to be brought up by loving parents, but in order for this to happen, there has to be an initial abandonment, and this loss can settle like a seed of unease in the adopted person, quite possibly affecting the entirety of his or her life. Anne Heffron, who'd been adopted at ten weeks old, embarked on a three-month journey she called "Write or Die", leaving California for her birth place, New York City, in order to do the one thing she'd been unable to do her entire adult life: tell her own story, and not the one she'd heard all her life that began, "The day we got you." You Don't Look Adopted is an intimate look at what it means for an adopted person to live in the world as someone who was both chosen and given away.


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Adoption can be tricky. It's a wonderful thing to be chosen, to be brought up by loving parents, but in order for this to happen, there has to be an initial abandonment, and this loss can settle like a seed of unease in the adopted person, quite possibly affecting the entirety of his or her life. Anne Heffron, who'd been adopted at ten weeks old, embarked on a three-month Adoption can be tricky. It's a wonderful thing to be chosen, to be brought up by loving parents, but in order for this to happen, there has to be an initial abandonment, and this loss can settle like a seed of unease in the adopted person, quite possibly affecting the entirety of his or her life. Anne Heffron, who'd been adopted at ten weeks old, embarked on a three-month journey she called "Write or Die", leaving California for her birth place, New York City, in order to do the one thing she'd been unable to do her entire adult life: tell her own story, and not the one she'd heard all her life that began, "The day we got you." You Don't Look Adopted is an intimate look at what it means for an adopted person to live in the world as someone who was both chosen and given away.

30 review for You Don't Look Adopted: A memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    ~

    I'm usually on the look out for books that are based on adoption, as I am interested to learn how different birth mothers, adoptive parents and the adoptees have coped with something so significant in their lives. I think I may have mentioned this in another review, but I was adopted, at a rather young age, but unlike Anne Heffron, I have never met my birth mother, who is now in fact, deceased, or, my biological father. While I have really never had any interest in my biological father, there wa I'm usually on the look out for books that are based on adoption, as I am interested to learn how different birth mothers, adoptive parents and the adoptees have coped with something so significant in their lives. I think I may have mentioned this in another review, but I was adopted, at a rather young age, but unlike Anne Heffron, I have never met my birth mother, who is now in fact, deceased, or, my biological father. While I have really never had any interest in my biological father, there was a time, a good few years ago, I was aching to know what my birth mother looked like. My curiosity was wild, and it kind of comsumed me for a while. But, despite that, I never did make contact with her, even though I knew I could do so. I think I felt like I was committing something terrible against my parents, the parents who had taken care of me my entire life. What made things a harder pill to swallow with me, is that I was my birth mother's third child, and mentally, that made me wonder, why me? Why keep two of your children, and then give up the third? The thing is, that lady could have taken the easy way out, but she didn't, and I am incredibly grateful for that. Within these pages, Heffron explains how her adoption has practically coloured her entire life. It has had a profound effect on relationships, schooling and she thinks about it everyday. As this is a personal memoir, I can pass no judgement on that, but I don't think it has affected my life in a negative way, and even though it crosses my mind rather frequently, it certainly isn't every day. I can agree with Anne, when she is told "On the day we got you" as opposed to "On the day you were born" as that is how my parents began every conversation about my birth. I have no photo's of myself as a newborn baby. I think the first one, was taken when my adoptive parents took over the role from the foster parents I had been placed with. Heffron had two adopted brothers by the time she was adopted herself, whereas I, was my parents first child. Apparently, my mother was told there were no babies available at that time for adoption, and that it was usually toddlers that needed a home. Obviously, my Mum and Dad, who were desperate for a child, agreed to take any child that became available for adoption that needed a loving home. A few days later, my Mum received a phone call that changed her life forever. She was going to be bringing ME home. I feel for Heffron, and the constant struggles she has had with her adoption, as I can certainly understand that it wouldn't be easy for any of the parties involved. I enjoyed reading from someone else's perspective, but I found particular parts of this book difficult, as the layout is all over the place. There are flashbacks everywhere, with no prior warning, and this left me rather flustered. Despite that fact, this was an honest memoir, and I think that anyone who can sit and write about their experiences like this, is one brave being. Thank you Anne Heffron.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sara Strand

    I'm giving this one a solid 4 stars, right out the gate. I'm not adopted but I was able to finally "get it". I never used to get it when people had a disconnect and never felt part of something because of their adoption, or maybe they just don't know one of their parents, because I have few memories of my dad. He didn't want us, he couldn't contribute, he was an alcoholic and that was more important. I eventually gained a step dad but I never felt like I was missing out, like a part of me is unf I'm giving this one a solid 4 stars, right out the gate. I'm not adopted but I was able to finally "get it". I never used to get it when people had a disconnect and never felt part of something because of their adoption, or maybe they just don't know one of their parents, because I have few memories of my dad. He didn't want us, he couldn't contribute, he was an alcoholic and that was more important. I eventually gained a step dad but I never felt like I was missing out, like a part of me is unfulfilled. But after reading Anne's book I get it. I've not been shy about my struggles this last year and being suicidal but I never had a good statement to wave and say, THIS! This is how I feel. In Anne's book early on there is a line, "What does valuable even mean? It means worth protecting, worth keeping alive. It means that sometimes I cross the street without looking both ways because I don't care if someone hits me." THAT IS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL. Another line that just called to me was on the next page, I think, and its in relation to her writing this book. She says, "If you think your voice is dangerous in its ability to hurt the ones you love, you learn to keep it quiet. And then the real trouble starts." I'm writing a book now and I struggle with writing my truth how I see it versus sparing feelings. I shouldn't spare feelings if it's my personal truth, right? The entire story, from her childhood to adulthood, the author is able to show us why hers was different, what mistakes she made, what points of her life were maybe impacted by being adopted. It's written honestly and beautifully, your heart strings will be tugged hard. As a mom, I can't imagine what it is like to hand my baby over. I think when we look at certain issues we only see one facet of it, we don't look at the full circle. People often say that love can fix anything but that's not really true. This book highlights how that can be the case. Even the best of parents can't fix all of the broken pieces, fill all of the holes. I have no connection to adoption myself but I really felt the impact as if this was written for me. I love this author's voice so much, it makes it an easy read. If you, or someone you know, is adopted this would be an excellent book for them. Maybe a great read for a newly adoptive parent, so you avoid the pitfalls of screwing your kid up more? HA! But truly, this book is so well written, it's going to be one I hold near and dear for a long while.

  3. 5 out of 5

    John

    This book is amazing, important, powerful, impactful, funny, painful, vulnerable, open, honest and absolutely perfect. I'm an adoptive father of two wonderful boys. Like most people we saw adoption as a miracle, a perfect solution to challenges life threw at people. Never did I consider there could be ill effects, downsides, challenges for my boys, issues of attachment. What could happen that I couldn't love away? A lot, apparently. This book, through its brilliantly written style, is a vital read This book is amazing, important, powerful, impactful, funny, painful, vulnerable, open, honest and absolutely perfect. I'm an adoptive father of two wonderful boys. Like most people we saw adoption as a miracle, a perfect solution to challenges life threw at people. Never did I consider there could be ill effects, downsides, challenges for my boys, issues of attachment. What could happen that I couldn't love away? A lot, apparently. This book, through its brilliantly written style, is a vital read for anyone within the adoption triad. It speaks so much to the potential issues and challenges that could be prevalent without our knowing. My adolescent boy is going though some changes, becoming withdrawn, angry, defiant, challenging. Before this book, I casually passed it off as hormones, the pains of puberty. But what if it's more? In reading Anne's story I am much more aware of the potential for other issues. Like Anne's mother, my boys mother is not open to talking about their adoption with them. Now I see the vital importance of opening that dialogue up and giving them a safe place to talk. This book is not only a crucial read, it is amazingly well written. Anne Heffron has a beautiful cadence about her writing, it flows wonderfully, reads quickly and is perfectly clean. It is funny and poignant, open and honest. It shows her willingness to be completely vulnerable. Simply put this book is fantastic and I will recommend it to every person I know who speaks to me about adoption.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    One of the most important things that reading can do is to put the reader into the shoes of another person. For the writer, it can be a cathartic experience, especially when she writes about her own life. Screenwriter Anne Heffron was adopted at ten weeks of age and writes about how that has colored her entire life in You Don't Look Adopted. She begins her memoir by stating that for most of her life she has felt "both real and not real" because an infant is born "with a sense of self not separate One of the most important things that reading can do is to put the reader into the shoes of another person. For the writer, it can be a cathartic experience, especially when she writes about her own life. Screenwriter Anne Heffron was adopted at ten weeks of age and writes about how that has colored her entire life in You Don't Look Adopted. She begins her memoir by stating that for most of her life she has felt "both real and not real" because an infant is born "with a sense of self not separate from the mother", and she believes that her "brain took a nosedive in the gap between mothers". We have always been told that adopted children should feel special because they were chosen by their family. But Heffron states that while that is true, in order to be chosen, you must first be unchosen. Heffron felt that no matter what reason her birth mother gave her up, she still chose to let her go. This thought caused Heffron to believe that there was something seriously wrong with her for her own mother to give her up. She also wondered what happened to her and her mother in the ten weeks between her birth and her family adopting her. All her life she felt that something was wrong with her, and as a teen she sought out therapists and doctors to help battle with her "depression, eating disorders and inability to stick with jobs, schools and people." Heffron was adopted by a couple who also adopted two boys. Her mother wanted to prove that she could have it all- take care of her family, run a household, and have a fabulous career. She was a writer, but her dream of writing a great book became the reality of being a stringer for a small town newspaper. Her mother was not a happy woman, and she took some of that unhappiness out on Anne. Anne did eventually find her birth mother, but she did not want anything to do with Anne, and asked her not to contact her anymore. This led to even more difficulties for Anne. Relationships were difficult for her. She was married multiple times, and when times were tough, she walked away or pushed others away. Her daughter going away to college completely unmoored her. Teaching writing in a girls' juvenile hall was an eye-opening experience for Anne, and she told the girls there some of her life story. From that experience, and that of talking to others who were adopted and finding that many of them had similar feelings and experiences as she did, Anne found that "it's the stories we don't tell that keep us in various states of paralysis." Anne Heffron lets the reader see inside her heart, soul and mind in this heartbreaking and honest memoir. It feels like we are reading her journal, similar to stream-of-consciousness, so it has a bit of an unpolished feel to it. Her story brings attention to a subject I didn't know much about and I'm glad I read it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carol Lindsay

    I had really mixed feelings about this book. Anne's story is her story and her experience is hers alone so how I feel about her story is really of no consequence. Maybe I just don't want her to feel like she felt which is kind of a funny thing to feel. Here's my take away. My son is adopted, he is 9. He has two sisters who are 10 and 11 who were adopted (together) by a different family. There are other siblings adopted by other families as well. One we know (he was born after) but don't keep in I had really mixed feelings about this book. Anne's story is her story and her experience is hers alone so how I feel about her story is really of no consequence. Maybe I just don't want her to feel like she felt which is kind of a funny thing to feel. Here's my take away. My son is adopted, he is 9. He has two sisters who are 10 and 11 who were adopted (together) by a different family. There are other siblings adopted by other families as well. One we know (he was born after) but don't keep in close contact, the other was born first and we have no idea where he is or what his name is. While I was reading the book my son looked at the title and said "Hey, I'm adopted. What's that book about." I told him what the book was about and how Anne felt about adoption and we talked for awhile. I told him the woman in the book thought about being adopted every day. I asked my son if he thought about it every day. He paused for a minute and then said "no." That weekend his sisters spent three days with us. (He facetimes them a couple times of week and they have sleepovers once a month or so) The girls saw the book and asked what it was about. I told them and then I asked the 11 year old if she thought about being adopted every day. She thought for a minute and then said "yes." I asked her what she thought and she said "about what my life would be like if I had stayed with my first family, or what my life would be like if I was adopted by you or a completely different family." Wow, I had no idea she thought these things. Maybe her therapist knows. Then I asked the 10 year old and she thought for a minute and said "yes, sort of." My son said "say NO!" I said, "it's not a right or wrong question, how she feels is how she feels. Why do you want her to say no." He said, "because I don't think about it." Hmm, so does he really not think about it or does he not want to tell me he thinks about it. Now I have to think about that! My takeaway it's a good read for adoptive parents because it gives you another person's perspective. It also gave me some topics to bring up that I would have never thought of. We are very open about adoption.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gwen Berndt Sojdelius

    My journey as an adoptee hasn’t been the same as Anne’s (mine contained more abuse from my adoptive family), and my actions and reactions have been different, too. And yet, there’s a solid core of issues which I recognize and honor in her story. Being adopted is hard. It has consequences for the adoptee, even though it was never something we asked for. Her memoir is definitely worth a read. I frequently see Anne’s memes regarding adoption and being an adoptee on Facebook, and they’re always very My journey as an adoptee hasn’t been the same as Anne’s (mine contained more abuse from my adoptive family), and my actions and reactions have been different, too. And yet, there’s a solid core of issues which I recognize and honor in her story. Being adopted is hard. It has consequences for the adoptee, even though it was never something we asked for. Her memoir is definitely worth a read. I frequently see Anne’s memes regarding adoption and being an adoptee on Facebook, and they’re always very insightful and often funny. I guess I expected her book to be a little funnier - although let’s be honest, there’s not really much funny about the struggles of being separated from your people. Thanks for writing your story, Anne.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I'm not adopted. But I know a lot of people who are. And now, because of Anne Heffron's book, I have a new understanding of the emotional complexities of that experience. Anne's book is also about this: If there's a story you've always wanted to tell, tell it. If there's a book you've always wanted to write, write it. Don't let shame or societal rules or strictures get in your way. Don't suppress your truth. Do not let yourself be dismissed. One day you will die. Testify. In the field of memoir, p I'm not adopted. But I know a lot of people who are. And now, because of Anne Heffron's book, I have a new understanding of the emotional complexities of that experience. Anne's book is also about this: If there's a story you've always wanted to tell, tell it. If there's a book you've always wanted to write, write it. Don't let shame or societal rules or strictures get in your way. Don't suppress your truth. Do not let yourself be dismissed. One day you will die. Testify. In the field of memoir, people often poo-poo the idea that writing your story is cathartic. I think they don't want to conflate psychotherapy and writing. I get that. At the same time, Anne's book is an excellent example of the catharsis of writing memoir. AND she's a really good writer with a sharp intelligence. Catharsis and a damn good book don't have to be mutually exclusive. It was beautiful to see how unleashing all she'd been holding back for so many years led her toward self-love. I guess that's what happens when you excavate the shame. Of course, it's all an ongoing journey. We often have to re-remember that at any given moment we have a choice to "say fuck it and throw off the burden and shine."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amber Jimerson

    If you follow Anne on social media or have listened to her excellent interviews on Adoptees On, you know the circumstances of this book and judging by some of the reviews, it’s important to know that going in. She’s openly admitted the errors and the whirlwind of writing and publishing this book and I believe she’s said she wouldn’t publish like this again and yet it was absolutely necessary she do it this way for herself. So the quality aside, what she has to say is insightful. Having dealt with If you follow Anne on social media or have listened to her excellent interviews on Adoptees On, you know the circumstances of this book and judging by some of the reviews, it’s important to know that going in. She’s openly admitted the errors and the whirlwind of writing and publishing this book and I believe she’s said she wouldn’t publish like this again and yet it was absolutely necessary she do it this way for herself. So the quality aside, what she has to say is insightful. Having dealt with separation and attachment issues, though I’m not adopted, I found myself relating to her actions and fears quite a bit. And what she shares from the conversations with other adoptees or adoptive parents should be beneficial to other adoptive parents or adoptees or birth parents, like myself. If this book challenged you or scares you, keep going. Don’t stop when this book is over-find more adoptee voices to listen to and see what happens. Anne is not alone in much of what she describes.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris M.H

    I think much of what is written in this book is both brave and honest. It's put together in a non linear way which makes it quite hard to follow, jumping from early to late years frequently but it does work. What I liked most was her honesty about how much adoption can influence relationships with others and especially yourself. Anne doesn't try to hide any of the tough subjects, addressing abandonment, attachment and love issues throughout. Her fear which she describes several times about being u I think much of what is written in this book is both brave and honest. It's put together in a non linear way which makes it quite hard to follow, jumping from early to late years frequently but it does work. What I liked most was her honesty about how much adoption can influence relationships with others and especially yourself. Anne doesn't try to hide any of the tough subjects, addressing abandonment, attachment and love issues throughout. Her fear which she describes several times about being unable to believe that she is valuable and that she's capable of being loved is very relate-able and her discovery that in the end it's less about trying to gain and hold onto love from others but more about being able to find the love in yourself and give it to those who deserve it in your life. The book doesn't end on a particularly sweet note. There's no ultimate fix or epiphany that renders the whole of her experience worth it, only the grittiness and determination that comes through to face the trauma and impact of grief head on - which will inevitably spur on countless others to do the same.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kyczy

    This book tugged at my heart strings - I immediately collared people I wanted to read sections to. I read some to people at a conference I was attending and whether adopted or not, whether they knew someone who had "given a child up for adoption" or had an adopted sibling; it opened their eyes. It opened mine. It opened my heart. Nothing is a simple as it seems- even the beneficent actions in our lives may have dark consequences. The important things in our lives have no simple solution. Read th This book tugged at my heart strings - I immediately collared people I wanted to read sections to. I read some to people at a conference I was attending and whether adopted or not, whether they knew someone who had "given a child up for adoption" or had an adopted sibling; it opened their eyes. It opened mine. It opened my heart. Nothing is a simple as it seems- even the beneficent actions in our lives may have dark consequences. The important things in our lives have no simple solution. Read this and find out why.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I have pretty much every page dog eared. Very validating to read, at times painful, but overall positive. Thank you for writing this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Raw, real, and riveting. As an adoptive mom and an adoption social worker, I found Anne's story gripping. I see evidence of the emotions she experienced in the adoptees I know and love. I felt like a friend (mother, social worker) walking each step with her, feeling helpless and wishing I could help her avoid some of the pitfalls or take away her pain. I read most of the story through tears. I cheered at the end as she experiences her personal victories and begins to feel real...and to love hers Raw, real, and riveting. As an adoptive mom and an adoption social worker, I found Anne's story gripping. I see evidence of the emotions she experienced in the adoptees I know and love. I felt like a friend (mother, social worker) walking each step with her, feeling helpless and wishing I could help her avoid some of the pitfalls or take away her pain. I read most of the story through tears. I cheered at the end as she experiences her personal victories and begins to feel real...and to love herself. I hope and pray that Anne continues on this positive journey and writes more in the future. Her memoir has given me a deeper understanding of the internal workings of an adoptee which hopefully will translate into an ability to love the adoptees in my life better and encourage them toward wholeness. Thank you, Anne, for your courage, perseverance, and hard work. Your memoir will help many adoptees feel understood and make their journey toward healing a bit easier. I should mention that parents may want to read the book before giving it to teens or young adults. Anne uses some language that many people will consider inappropriate and describes behaviors, driven by her brokenness, that is reckless and self destructive. She makes it pretty clear that she is not condoning these things, she is just being real and sharing her story with transparency.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book was difficult to read, particularly with the horrible (if any) editing. The author's thoughts are scattered and circular, and the timeline of events is not linear. I don't mind flashbacks but it needs to support the story and not create confusion (which I feel occurred in this book). Despite all this, I think this book is worth a read. I was able to identify with some of her feelings and effects from being adopted. Not every adopted person experiences the same things but I could defini This book was difficult to read, particularly with the horrible (if any) editing. The author's thoughts are scattered and circular, and the timeline of events is not linear. I don't mind flashbacks but it needs to support the story and not create confusion (which I feel occurred in this book). Despite all this, I think this book is worth a read. I was able to identify with some of her feelings and effects from being adopted. Not every adopted person experiences the same things but I could definitely relate to a few issues and the roller coaster of emotions that can occur. I think it's also good for someone who isn't adopted to read in order to get a glimpse into the confusion that some adopted people feel, despite having good parents. Many of us lack a clear self identity because we want to please everyone around us b/c we feel abandoned. It's not a memory or something tangible, but there is a real, mysterious connection between the biological mother and child placed for adoption, and the loss is felt by many on all sides.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ricki Treleaven

    Happy Monday, My Lovelies! Today I'm sharing with you a very important memoir written by Anne Heffron: You Don't Look Adopted. When this book became available to review via TLC Book Tours, I volunteered to read and review it because someone very special to me is adopted. I'm so happy I took the time to read this book even though it was a hard, emotional read. But I knew I was going to appreciate the book early on when Heffron quotes Joseph Campbell. When it comes to adoption and Anne's feelings a Happy Monday, My Lovelies! Today I'm sharing with you a very important memoir written by Anne Heffron: You Don't Look Adopted. When this book became available to review via TLC Book Tours, I volunteered to read and review it because someone very special to me is adopted. I'm so happy I took the time to read this book even though it was a hard, emotional read. But I knew I was going to appreciate the book early on when Heffron quotes Joseph Campbell. When it comes to adoption and Anne's feelings about it, I cannot relate because I have not walked in her shoes. She feels many of her failures in life (dropping out of college three times, failed marriages, inability to write her story) can be attributed to her initial abandonment trauma that has haunted her for her entire life. And what I find very disheartening is this: Therapists kept dismissing Heffron's suggestion that adoption was affecting her negatively. One aspect of her adoption that seems to cause her the most grief is she left her birth mother the first day of her life, yet her adoptive parents did't get custody of her until she was ten weeks old. WTH? That would traumatize me, too: I can't imagine having a black hole in my history that lasted for ten weeks when I was at my most vulnerable. Anne describes her behavior as reckless: "A recklessness comes with adoption. If I wasn't good enough to keep, then anything is possible. I can do anything, find once unthinkable new lows in the search for the true nature of my being." You Don't Look Adopted, page 68 She also thinks that her overreactions to others' behavior (specifically when someone in her life is late or doesn't show up) is due to a brain pattern that associates a person not showing up with abandonment. Heffron believes that a pattern was set as an infant to feel: "You are worthless. You are unwanted. You are going to be alone and you are going to die because no one is going to take care of you." You Don't Look Adopted, page 44 I want to make clear that Anne doesn't solely focus on the negative. She loves her parents. She seems to be a fantastic mother to her daughter Keats, and she does mention (briefly) her successes. Anne is a screenwriter who has enjoyed success, and I wish that she had focused a bit more on what she has gotten right in her life. As I read this book, I kept expecting research. I wanted to know more: where are the longitudinal studies about adoptees and their fear of abandonment? I had to remind myself that this is a memoir, and this is Anne's story, not a dissertation. She doesn't hold anything back: she is honest and brave to share so many aspects of her life that aren't pretty. I also love her voice. She is a very good writer, however I wish she'd stayed off Tinder a bit more while she was in New York City writing and used that time to edit because her book could use a good line editor or perhaps more beta readers. (Gosh darnit, Anne! Edit your freakin' book!) But then again it took her so long to write her story I bet she was loath to have anyone else read it, which is a shame. That also bothers me: She waited so long to write this important book. I was thrilled to read this on the last page of the book (page 163). It's a quote from a man Anne met in a coffee shop; it's his response to her being adopted : "We are born physically alive but spiritually dead. It's not until we accept God as Father that we find our spirit. We are all adopted children of God." YES! Anne's reaction: "His eyes were gentle and even if I didn't believe in God, I liked the idea that we are all adopted in love and that it is the acceptance of this love that brings us our spirit." Coffee shop man speaks the truth. We all are adopted in love! (Galations 4:4-5) If you have anyone in your life who's adopted, I highly recommend this book. It has changed the way I think about not just adoptees, but anyone else who's endured a trauma. If I learned anything from this book it's this: The way a person feels about an issue or hardship should be acknowledged, especially if they're brave enough to share. He or she has a right to those feelings, and one shouldn't judge nor dismiss them. I hope I'll be a better person now that I've read this book. I'm certainly going to try. Take the time to follow Anne on her blog. It is one of the prettiest blogs I've seen! Disclosure: I received a copy of You Don't Look Adopted via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    jo c leightner

    I loved this book. So real and honest. The author jumps around a bit, as other reviewers have noted, but she gave a reason for choosing that style for her writing...that's the way her brain was working...and that style was perfectly fine with me. I am part of the adoptee triad in several ways so I recognize and identify with the author's thoughts and feelings. As an adoptive mother of two daughters, now 35 and 38 years old, I am still searching for information as to how being adopted has affecte I loved this book. So real and honest. The author jumps around a bit, as other reviewers have noted, but she gave a reason for choosing that style for her writing...that's the way her brain was working...and that style was perfectly fine with me. I am part of the adoptee triad in several ways so I recognize and identify with the author's thoughts and feelings. As an adoptive mother of two daughters, now 35 and 38 years old, I am still searching for information as to how being adopted has affected my children's choices and also how adoption has influenced our mother-daughter relationships. This is one of 25 books that I've read seeking some answers. Anne's experiences helped me to better understand what might be going on with my daughters. Adoptive parents need answers to questions, too and I highly recommend this book to anyone in the triad. The second part of my own story is being the grandmother to 3 of my daughter's children that she bore out of wedlock and placed in open adoption homes because she's unable to parent. Knowing what she went through placing these 3 children also helps me to see more clearly the pain and experiences from the birthmother's perspective. I am very hopeful that the grandchildren who are now in open adoptive homes (2 are in the same home) will better understand their circumstances and their sense of abandonment, with eyes wide open to their birth mother and her difficulties, strengths and DNA as well as to her decisions...and having open access to their extended open adoption families will help ease the pain of "not belonging" anywhere. Hopefully they will know, from first hand experience, just how much they do belong...and that having 2 mothers means there is just more love to receive and to give. I am revising my memoir at this time and hoping to have another adoption story out there soon. I big thank you to the author Anne! We are discussing your book in my adoption support group tomorrow.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    I'm an adoptee who has recently found my birth family so I'm making my way through adoption books to see how my story compares and to figure out how this all works. Ms. Heffron's experience is not like mine but I respect her story. Throughout much of the book, she's angry so I was glad to see the resolution at the end. It's clear that her adoption left her traumatized and she asserts that perhaps we all are in varying degrees. I suppose this depends on many factors, particularly how quickly we a I'm an adoptee who has recently found my birth family so I'm making my way through adoption books to see how my story compares and to figure out how this all works. Ms. Heffron's experience is not like mine but I respect her story. Throughout much of the book, she's angry so I was glad to see the resolution at the end. It's clear that her adoption left her traumatized and she asserts that perhaps we all are in varying degrees. I suppose this depends on many factors, particularly how quickly we are adopted. But she makes many relevant points and I'm glad I got her perspective. For instance, she points out how adoptees have to keep their situations secret, usually not being able to talk about their feelings for fear they will upset their adoptive families, even though we did nothing wrong. That is an odd thing, isn't it? I felt sorry for the author. Identity and abandonment issues have caused her many struggles in life and this book seems to have been part of her therapy. Just remember this is one story but it doesn't represent all adoption stories.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    There are a lot of books available to readers regarding families and their journey of adopting a child, but this is the first memoir that I have come upon from the view of the individual who was adopted. I liked the way the book was constructed with titled passages. Consequently, more then not Anne Heffron’s story of being adopted was saddening though at times there is joy and happiness. As a reader, I learned a lot about what it means to be adopted. Although, it was only one individual's story There are a lot of books available to readers regarding families and their journey of adopting a child, but this is the first memoir that I have come upon from the view of the individual who was adopted. I liked the way the book was constructed with titled passages. Consequently, more then not Anne Heffron’s story of being adopted was saddening though at times there is joy and happiness. As a reader, I learned a lot about what it means to be adopted. Although, it was only one individual's story maybe it will encourage others to come forward and tell of their experience. "Thanks, TLC"

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hollie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. As an adoptive mother, I looked forward to reading this book and the author's perspective as an adoptive child. This book is choppy and all over the place. Her writing style is not fluid and leaves me wondering why is this thought written here? The author was adopted at 10 weeks old. Every hardship faced is a result of her being adopted. At first, I sympathized with her feeling lost. As the book progressed with the woe it's me sentiment and messy writing style, reading this book became unbearable As an adoptive mother, I looked forward to reading this book and the author's perspective as an adoptive child. This book is choppy and all over the place. Her writing style is not fluid and leaves me wondering why is this thought written here? The author was adopted at 10 weeks old. Every hardship faced is a result of her being adopted. At first, I sympathized with her feeling lost. As the book progressed with the woe it's me sentiment and messy writing style, reading this book became unbearable.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Monnig

    Finally, someone who understands! Serendipitously, I found this book and felt connected to it immediately. It has taken me a lifetime to recognize and acknowledge the myriad of feelings I have had toward my adoption. Anne has captured this. I feel like we had the same life. No one is perfect, and everyone struggles, and many adoptees, as they go through life, can’t make sense of it all. This isn’t just one woman’s story, it is a series of snapshots and adult reflections on what it feels like to g Finally, someone who understands! Serendipitously, I found this book and felt connected to it immediately. It has taken me a lifetime to recognize and acknowledge the myriad of feelings I have had toward my adoption. Anne has captured this. I feel like we had the same life. No one is perfect, and everyone struggles, and many adoptees, as they go through life, can’t make sense of it all. This isn’t just one woman’s story, it is a series of snapshots and adult reflections on what it feels like to go through life being adopted.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Dukett

    I read this book because I was about to attend a Write or Die class with the author. I am not adopted, nor do I have adopted children, but I do have adopted friends. This book goes deep and you feel you are climbing right inside the authors body, heart and brain as she takes you through her life’s journey of understanding abandonment and how it manifests throughout her life, and moving to healing. Many of us will recognize parts of ourselves on her pages even though for different reasons. A beau I read this book because I was about to attend a Write or Die class with the author. I am not adopted, nor do I have adopted children, but I do have adopted friends. This book goes deep and you feel you are climbing right inside the authors body, heart and brain as she takes you through her life’s journey of understanding abandonment and how it manifests throughout her life, and moving to healing. Many of us will recognize parts of ourselves on her pages even though for different reasons. A beautifully written and moving book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

    The format was a bit distracting for me. It's told as a collection of observations and anecdotes so it hops around a bit and seems a bit disjointed. Plus there were times I wanted to read more but no story was more than a couple of pages at most. On the flip side, that helped make it a really quick read. This book is so raw and emotional that it's tough to read at times because the author's pain comes through on every page. Anyone who cares about an adopted person should read it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Micah Visser

    Required reading for any adoptive parent. This book is written in a style that makes it easy to read though the subject matter will tear at your heart and make you cry. The author is honest, vulnerable, and shares her story as it happens. She’s not pretending to be put together, finished, fully healed, but her journey is one of healing and wholeness. This is a beautiful book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sara Baker

    Reading this book helped me have a better understanding of how my own adopted sons may feel, even if they themselves are not aware of it. The book was a little tough to read, the author jumped around and told odd details about some things, and was a bit fragmented. But the did author acknowledge that was part of her journey, trying to sort through her own thoughts and emotions. This is definitely a book for adults due to language and sexual relationships, etc.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Morganelli

    Thought this was an interesting title, as we have 2 adopted children. The first half of the book was very insightful as an adoptive mother. I love Anne Heffron's insights that when you read and think about them, you have a big ' Aha moment'. Helpful for those wanting to understand more about what an adoptee might think and feel

  25. 5 out of 5

    Diana Dewey

    Every adoptive parent, person, therapeutic caregiver, even teachers should read this book. Kids don’t come with a manual, but here is some insight into a mind and the thoughts racing inside an adopted person that can help make sense of the person you love.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    Having two people in my immediate family that are adopted, I was drawn to this book. I don't really want to review or rate a personal experience, but I felt like the first half of the book was a little hard to get through. Then it seemed a bit more cohesive, and then it was over. I did have a few aha moments where I felt like I understood a few things better about what it means to be adopted, especially in relation to those I know to be adopted. I think it was an important story for the author t Having two people in my immediate family that are adopted, I was drawn to this book. I don't really want to review or rate a personal experience, but I felt like the first half of the book was a little hard to get through. Then it seemed a bit more cohesive, and then it was over. I did have a few aha moments where I felt like I understood a few things better about what it means to be adopted, especially in relation to those I know to be adopted. I think it was an important story for the author to share and I'm glad I read it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gayle Swift

    In You Don’t Look Adopted Anne writes about many struggles within her family. One that will ring familiar to most adoptive moms is how she projected birth-mother anger and fear of abandonment onto her adoptive mother. Anne says she had a compelling yet unspoken need for her mother to reassure her that she “was going to hold on no matter how ugly or disagreeable I got. She wasn’t leaving.” These thoughts offer precious insight to those currently in the parenting trenches. We parents often lament t In You Don’t Look Adopted Anne writes about many struggles within her family. One that will ring familiar to most adoptive moms is how she projected birth-mother anger and fear of abandonment onto her adoptive mother. Anne says she had a compelling yet unspoken need for her mother to reassure her that she “was going to hold on no matter how ugly or disagreeable I got. She wasn’t leaving.” These thoughts offer precious insight to those currently in the parenting trenches. We parents often lament that children do not come with a handbook. That’s why You Don’t Look Adopted is the next best thing. --Gayle H. Swift, "ABC, Adoption & Me" Read more GayleHSwift com

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Finch

    A deep, and a bit dark at parts, read to start the summer with, but I related to every last page so much, I couldn’t put it down. I have to think on it more before I write a detailed review, as well as continue my journey with discovering my roots. Highly recommend reading this perspective as a way to gain perspective to the mind of an adoptee.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jolene

    An absolutely fantastic read for those who are adopted, and those wanting to understand what might be going on in their adopted friends' or loved ones' heads. Thank you, Anne, for sharing your story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dexter Van Zile

    Brilliant. Simply brilliant. Book starts out disjointed and crazy. Gathers force as it proceeds. Hilarity and sorrow woven together in a compelling fashion.

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