Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents
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Ce Eshelman has more than five hundred blog followers, many of whom pled with her for what is now this book. Her self-help memoir, which includes hundreds of letters to adoptive parents, is seriously messy, way too personal, mostly informative, sometimes disorganized, occasionally ridiculous, irreverent, and often pure crazy town. As a child of trauma herself, she weaves a compelling story of raising her own two adopted children from difficult beginnings and becoming a therapist with a thriving practice helping other adoptive and foster parents with equally huge challenges. These children with attachment issues, who have been abandoned, traumatized, and abused, have hearts that must be healed in order to love and receive love. Ce doesn’t tell you how to do that; she shows you what it takes to be a child whisperer for these special children. The first part of the book is her own harrowing confessional, revealing countless sins, mistakes, and struggles and letting us see the raw vulnerability of someone determined to get it right. There is redemption in that she eventually goes on to become an expert, with a multifaceted agency in Sacramento called The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships, but never losing her humility, gratitude, or the ability to forgive herself or others.
Dave Ziegler, PhD, a notable in the attachment field with his own books that were important to Ce, says in the introduction to this book, “People who have been there with challenging adopted children can only reflect their experience in raw, unfiltered, and honest ways. There is no room for sugarcoating the issues. Adoption agencies may try to say ‘All this child needs is love,’ but for those of us who have been there, we know this statement barely scratches the surface of what these children need, and yes, love is one item on the long list.”
Ce’s beautiful heart really shines through in the hundreds of letters to parents for them to read each day when needing hope, inspiration, advice, direction, reminders, or practical help. She deeply understands them and the chaos of their lives and families because she was there, but is now able to give them the wisdom culled from reading every book on the subject, attending hundreds of seminars and workshops, years of her own therapy, and fearlessly facing her own mistakes. If you are raising an attachment-challenged child, Ce is the friend you want, and this is the book you need.