Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Caller From St. Sault Marie

One of the nicest perks from writing my book has been receiving emails and calls from readers.

They are thanking me for writing Not Exactly As Planned: A Memoir of Adoption, Secrets and Abiding Love.  They relate to my stories about the ins and outs of adoption. They relate to the challenges (and joys!) of raising our son with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.  They thank me for me honest about the  ups and downs many of us face.

People share their own stories with me. And mostly, they thank me for making them feel less alone in their struggles.

A great response to my book came in yesterday.  I received a call from a woman who lives in a small northern Ontario town. She had heard about my book on the CBC, and ordered it from an online bookstore (Chapters/Indigo).

Karen also thanked me for writing the book. Though her life is very different from mine, she has raised two children, a boy and a girl with FASD, now adults in their 20s. Karen has had her share of hardships. Her children are older, like mine, and her life is still very tied up with caring for them.  She realizes it may always be so.

Her marriage split up, as many do due to the stress of raising difficult children. But Karen has friends to support her and a strong will.  She's a survivor. 

At the end of our conversation, Karen said, "When I save up enough money, I'd like to buy 10 copies of your book to give away. I want to give one copy to the Children's Aid Society here. Another to the guidance counselors where my children went to school. Another for the local library and community centre. Another for the Native council office..."  I was greatly touched by her desire to spread the word about FASD and the struggles families like ours experience raising our children with the disorder.

Her comment about giving out copies of my book have been on my mind since she and I spoke. I kept wondering whether I should have offered to send her copies.

I received a call from her again this morning. "Just wanted to let you know that I ordered 10 copies of your book. Decided i really wanted to do it."

I let her know how generous I thought she was, and how thrilled I was that she would be passing my book on to people who would clearly learn a lot from it. What a kind gesture.

The next time I wonder whether or not I was crazy to bare my soul the way I did in the book,  I will think about Karen't phone call. I have no doubt it will banish all such thoughts.

At least momentarily.

Not Exactly As Planned  is available on Amazon

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