Let me tell you: It’s not like becoming a mother twice over. Of course you could ask what would I know about that, considering I became a mother to both my kids at the same time, them being twins. But still. It’s only a book, after all.
No, I don’t really mean it that way. A book is important. This particular book is particularly important. It’s an extremely personal narrative. You could say I have bared my heart in it. Perhaps, if you don’t mind an overly dramatic turn of phrase, you could even say I’ve bared my soul. I’ve talked about wanting to be a mother, about trying to be a mother, about failing to become a mother and about, eventually, adopting to become a mother. I’ve talked about wanting something so much it hurt and about not being able to have it and then about finding a way to it. It wasn’t an easy book to write. I hope it isn’t an easy book to read. It isn’t meant to be easy.
It is meant to reach out. It is meant to tell other people in a similar situation, you are not alone. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. And I’ve made it through. And so can you. If you are open to it, if you are honest with yourself and each other, you can make adoption work for you too. I don’t want to preach or persuade. I am not an activist for adoption. I only want to say, if you are considering adoption, here’s my story, to add to your consideration.
This book was written back in 2009, before I went back to work. It took me a couple of months to put it together. It took me a couple of years to find a publisher. In fact, I had all but given up, when things suddenly fell in place, thanks to my agent Kanishka Gupta, who actually got me a contract for this book in an incredibly short time.
After that, it’s taken a full two years for the book to hit the shelves. In the last couple of months, I was hearing “next week” or “end of the month” for quite a while. So by the time it was actually available online (I don’t know about bookstores; I don’t go to bookstores anymore unless it’s for a book launch or signings or something meaningful like that. 😛 ) there was more a sense of “oh, finally!” than “oh, wow!”
The “oh, wow!” factor comes from people who’ve read the book and got back to me. And here’s some of the things people have told me in writing.
Actually I was overwhelmed. On a number of levels:- Firstly, you went through all this! Then you wrote about it all! It takes guts to share your innermost feelings with the world. Its probably easier to talk to strangers than it is to “let in” the people you know. Specially the negative thoughts and feelings one has. and how one deals or learns to deal with them. Then, the writing bit – was beautiful. It was almost like I was with you on the entire journey. Don’t know how you do it. Even with the travelogue, the words were graphic. Beautiful writing (even if its just me saying so) – if the reader is able to visualize what you write. The last few sentences of the book – “the you are not my mother anyway” – was scary! Hits you in the gut! So, sharing your worst fears – hats off to you. The details of the adoption bit, the legal details, the processes – great starting point for anyone interested in adoption. Last but not the least, great going on the adoption. Everyone loves their own. But to take someone else’s and make them your own – only few special kind can do it and do it well.
I read the book today in 4 hrs (just got it today morning)! Hard to put it down, nice book for people who wish to adopt (or in general going through tough decisions). Very well written indeed and I know I am repeating myself, if is amazing how you express your feelings so well!
Read the kindle version of the book written by your wife. Please share my compliments with your wife. She has written it very nicely. I rarely read books and especially drop many of them after reading few pages if I donot find it interesting, engaging and more importantly meaningful. However with this one it was a different case. I read it in one go 😊. By the way never knew that your champions are adopted. The thought never came in my mind that they look different ( learnt that such things happen after seeing a movie called skin and after meeting many families where kids do look different). I really liked the approach you both have taken with them. Mitali & I never see adoption the way most of Indians see. Probably It’s because we are staying outside India. Proud of you and your wife. Inspiring to see that you both are so open and in fact doing such a big service to the society by sharing your experience. Touched indeed.
I read Anamika’s book in two sittings. It’s well written. I felt as if she was sitting in front and talking to me. Do congratulate her from our side. It’s quite silly some of the questions people ask of parents who adopt. Here, adoption is more prevalent. I know of a handful of couples who adopted here, including our close friends and our lawyer, although in India I only know of you. I think Anamika broke a glass wall by writing this book. I can see many people wanting to talk to her and you about your experience.
And of course, nishitak has reviewed my book on her blog.
I treasure these lovely words – each one of them and the others that were told to me verbally and now live only in my memory. As a writer, I have confidence in my ability. I don’t need to look for external validation. I don’t need my readers to tell me I write well. I know I write well. But as an author, I do need to know from my readers if my book has touched them in any way. That’s not an ability that I can take for granted.
So, if you’ve read my latest – or even my previous – book and there’s anything you want to share, please write to me or post a comment. So far, I’m happy to say I’ve received mostly glowing reviews. But if you have any adverse comments, feel free to let me know. Those are the points of view that show me how to improve.