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Whose Child?: An Adoptee's Healing Journey from Relinquishment Through Reunion...and Beyond [Paperback]

Kasey Hamner
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 2000
This novel is an account of one adoptee's life story written for members of the adoption community, helping professionals, or anyone touched by adoption. It spans from relinquishment through reunion to help the reader develop a better understanding of the lifelong emotional aspects of adoption and reunion.

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A brave story--told with honesty, a remarkable memory and lots of feeling. A provocative work for all members of the adoption triad. -- Dorothea S. McArthur, Ph.D., adoptive mother, clinical psychologist and author of Birth of a Self in Adulthood

A must read for anyone whose life is touched by adoption. Whose Child? is a gut-wrenching story of Kasey's struggle... -- Joe Soll, CSW, DAPA, Psychotherapist and Author of Adoption Healing ...A Path to Recovery

A winner in the arena of adoption literature! Kasey Hamner, adoptee and author of Whose Child? describes herself as a "run-of-the-mill, garden variety adoptee," but her book is anything but run-of-the-mill. It is a frank, open account of her difficulties with relationships, self-esteem, and substances, and how her reunion with her birth family helped heal her wounds. It is well written and poignant in its honest story, which will help other adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents understand the complexities of the issues associated with adoption and the importance of reunion in the lives of adoptees. Finally, adoptees are writing their own stories! -- Nancy Verrier, M.F.T., adoptive mother and author of The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child

This is truly a 'must read' book for anyone that is part of the adoption triad. -- Julie Goldsmith, birthmother

Throughout Kasey Hamner's story of growing up adopted and her reunion, I felt a sense of connection to her and to my own personal adoption story. Kasey provides and extends a true sense of healing for other adoptees. Instead of dwelling on the past, Kasey made the choice to make something of her life. Her story is very brave and has such a wonderful healing spirit. -- Trish Lay, adoptee and director of the documentary, "No I'm Not, I'm Adopted."

Whose Child? is a must-read for all significant others of adoptees. -- Donald L. Cormier, significant other of an adoptee

Whose Child? is an important story, both delicate and powerful. This autobiography has a richness of detail and emotional poignancy that intrigues the reader. This book will inspire people who have undergone their own traumas to overcome their pain and partake of life as it is, rather than as it was. -- Sanford R. Weimer, M.D., M.P.H., psychiatrist

From the Author

I grew up in the Los Angeles area and now reside in La Crescenta, CA. I have a master of science degree in counseling and I am a practicing school psychologist and a licensed educational psychologist. I work with special needs children, many of whom have been abandoned in some way. I was adopted in the closed adoption system over 32 years ago and have been in reunion since 1994. I decided to write this book in order to promote my own healing and to help bring healing to all those touched by adoption.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Whose Child? June 3 2004
By A Customer
Once I started reading Whose Child?, I could not put the book down. I am an adoptee who has searched, found and reunited, like Kasey, only to find more obstacles to overcome. It helped me to know that I wasn't alone. From her childhood abuse and through her search for her birthparents, and a rocky reunion, she is a shining example of a true survivor. I commend Kasey for sharing her personal story as it gives much insight into the world of the closed adoption system and the damage that secrets and lies can do. To all members of the triad, and anyone who has been touched by adoption, this is a must read. Thanks Kasey!! P.S. I also recommend "Adoption Forum" by Kasey. Very insightful information on all positions of the triad members.
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This book is not just about adoption. It is about overcoming incredible abuses, making a success of your life, and learning to love and let go. I am not adopted and I could not put the book down. I heard they are thinking of making a movie of this story. I can't wait. I am also an incest survivor and I hope I can meet Kasey some day and tell her how her book changed my life.
I also recommend Kasey's second book: "Adoption Forum" and Lori Paris's book: "Follow Your Heart"
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Could not put this one down! Jan. 10 2004
I read this book in one afternoon. It is so easy to read and it defies you to put in down, so I didn't. Her story is both heartbreaking and wonderful. Her spirit shines through as she takes responsibility for her actions and places the blame for other's actions where it belongs. She is now a school psychologist and I wish she worked at my adoptive kid's school because I know she would have immense wisdom and hope to share. Thank you Kasey for sharing your incredible story with us. You are truly a miracle.
Frieda Meyer, adoptive mother of 3
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Could not put it down! Read it cover to cover in two sittings. Kasey Hamner has "gone where no one has gone before" with this refreshingly honest autobiographical account of her life as an adoptee from relinquishment to reunion and beyond. Her candor and highly readable writing style are impressive, and she manages to touch all the issues that we adoptees seem to share in common.
Although it is hard to disaggregate issues that stem from being adopted vs. issues that result from growing up in a dysfunctional family, Hamner continually reminds us of the core emotional experiences of the genealogically bewildered adoptee: depression; anxiety; fear; anger; guilt; and ubiquitous problems with relationships, intimacy, and trust.
I highly recommend this book to anyone touched by adoption, as well as to teachers, therapists, and pediatricians.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A lesson for life.... May 28 2003
Whose Child? is simultaneously moving and disturbing, for in her retelling, Kasey Hamner presents the complex fabric of human relationships with an unusual commonality of candour and compassion. Within the framework of a straightforward, direct style, the sense of alienation and loneliness which is a common experience amongst many adoptees is made even more accessible to those who know nothing of the experience and deepens the poignancy of the story.
Not every adoptee's story involves abuse. Even though I admit to not being able to imagine what the emotional consequences of such an experience can be, the emotional landscape is depicted with such clarity, that it was not difficult to either empathise or identify with many instances recounted in the book.
Reflections on one's own adoptive experience while reading the book is inevitable and Kasey Hamner's strength and courage in acknowledging the essential nature of her circumstances as they changed and evolved, are exemplary for anyone affected by adoption. "Whose Child?" is more than one person's story; it is a lesson in living life on life's terms, and speaks of an infinite grace in a willingness to accept and thereby, heal.
Once I had finished reading Whose Child, I mailed Kasey to thank her for having contributed a singularly important facet missing from the closure of my own adoptive experience: I wrote:
I received your books and have finished Whose Child? I found myself reflected in many of the pages and reading such an account of a life of pain has brought forward several questions, regarding my own journey... In as much as reading an account of someone else's pain can be pleasurable, I did enjoy the way you wrote it...
...Whose Child? has been a sincere lesson for me in fearlessness and I would like to thank you for that. It has given me unexpected insight and I am deeply appreciative of it...
Reading this book leaves much to admire.
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By Mandy
My name is Mandy, and i am a 15 year old in reunion with my real mom. This book that Kasey Hamner wrote was awesome. The words that i read on the page, it was like i could hear her saying them. I can relate to some of the things that she said about. the book, made me understand things that went on in other people's lives, and it made me feel a lot better about myself that i am not the only adoptee in this world that has those sort of feelings. Well i hope that many more adoptees feel the same about this book, i am reading it a second time. Thanks--Mandy
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5.0 out of 5 stars As a male adoptee, I could not put this book down!! April 18 2003
I kept hearing that people were unable to put this book down--most of these people were women. As a male adoptee I was fascinated by Kasey's story. Her writing carries you along and you don't want the book to end. It is hard for me to get into a book. A book has to grab a hold of me and carry me through to the finish otherwise I will not read it. I was hooked from the start. Her joy in life is well earned and I am so happy to hear her spirit shine through in this sometimes tragic, always thoughtful story. I for one am hooked on Kasey Hamner!!!
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