Interview with Karen J. Foli and John R. Thompson
adoptive parents, the idea of the book is somewhat personal, but the scope
of THE POST-ADOPTION BLUES is much more expansive than what happened to
KAREN: I think
having published my first book, LIKE SOUND THROUGH WATER, helped me understand
the process of book publishing, from drafting the book proposal to making
a case for the book in the marketplace. Our agent, Jodie Rhodes, was again
our champion in getting the proposal to the right editor's desk. Lou Cinquino,
our editor at Rodale Books, did an outstanding job of helping us sculpt
our thoughts into a coherent whole. And of course, John's expertise with
parents and these issues was invaluable.
JOHN: The information
in this book offers adoptive parents the opportunity to express their
post-adoption emotions in a legitimate, credible way, and to have this
expression met with nonjudgmental ears. And when we speak of post-adoption
stress and depression, we now understand it doesn't mean the parent who
feels these emotions is being disloyal to the institution of adoption
or her child.
KAREN: I think
the presence of this book will make it much easier for adoptive parents
to open up. And more than that, they can now feel they aren't alone. Feeling
the crushing weight of isolation and feeling different from others can
be devastating, especially when we speak to how a woman perceives herself
as a parent. Many of the parents were stricken with self-blame and loathing.
KAREN: We believe
that adoptive parents come to the parenting table with lots of expectations,
some of these expectations may be conscious and some of them may not be.
For example, because of the intense scrutiny an adoptive parent undergoes
during the adoption process, often the adoptive parent greets her child
with the expectation of being some kind of super-parent. She has told
the social worker how good of a parent she plans on being. She has made
promises to the birthmother and birthfather and to herself. Often times,
these expectations are simply no match for the reality that presents itself.
JOHN: No, definitely.
We made sure this book would address fathers. Aside from the general chapters
that integrate fathers into the discussion, there is an entire chapter
about how adoptive fathers think and feel, and about how men and depression
present differently than women and depression.
honestly, we think not. However, if an individual is unsure about the
next step for her and she decides not to pursue adoption, then we feel
this is probably the right decision. Many people choose not to parent,
and we respect that decision.
I think the adoption professional can use this book as a way of preparing
the adoptive parent for possibilities and the "what ifs" that
are in their minds. This book faces those "what ifs" and that
wall of fear and trepidation. We include chapters on how to assess for
post-adoption depression and recommend a tool for this evaluation. We
compare post-adoption depression with postpartum depression. Remarkably,
there are many similarities. Also, we wanted to include the description
of the expectations, AND what an adoptive parent could DO when faced with
stress and depression.
|© 2004 Karen J. Foli||Contact Karen|