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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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Review

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 A lesson for life.... May 28 2003
Format:Paperback
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful! Sept. 22 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Imagine, if you will, not knowing who gave birth to you. Then imagine growing up in a household where you felt like an alien and had a brother that sexually abused you and a mother that emotionally abused you. Then imagine finding your birth mother and father, establishing a relationship with them, and then having them reject you all over again.
It's hard to imagine, huh? But this is what happened to Kasey Hamner who wrote this beautiful, sad, and bold memoir about her life.
As a 35-year-old adoptee, currently 6 months into a reunion with my birthmother, I related on so many levels to Hamner's heartbreaking, and sometimes joyous, emotional experiences. While my childhood was different and my reunion experience has been different, I still share many of the fears, joys, highs and lows that she went through. I especially related to her constant fear of abandonment when it comes to men, family members as well as friends. I am also several years in recovery from drugs and alcohol and used them pretty much for the same reasons that she did...as a way to numb these fears and take me completely out of myself. I recommend this book to all members of the adoption triad (adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents). It's an emotionally powerful and insightful book which took a lot of courage to write. And her positive outlook and acceptance of "life on life's terms" is truly inspiring. I look forward to Hamner's next book (if it's not already out yet...I have to check). If I could give this book 6 stars, I would!
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Format:Paperback
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 For the first time in my life, I had answers Aug. 20 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is simply AWESOME!! For the first time in my life, I knew that in my experiences as an adoptee I wasn't alone. Her book brought to light that it is okay for us to question where we came from and there's nothing wrong with us having to have answers to a past that to no fault of our own, we can't remember, but must if we are to have a complete self. Her remarkable skill of writing her life story in such a way that it brings the pages to life makes you feel like you are there with her as she experiences the ups-and-downs of relinquishment, adoption, and reunion. Thank you Ms. Hamner for inspiring me, as an adoptee, to challenge the myth that I don't deserve to know where I came from. Thank you for having the guts to be real. You are the voice of adoptees all over the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Whose Child? June 3 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The best story about overcoming adversity I have ever read!
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. Read more
Published on May 30 2004 by Lindsay Gergon
5.0 out of 5 stars I Could not put this one down!
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. Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2004 by Freida Meyer
4.0 out of 5 stars This book helped me very much, and i love the book.
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. Read more
Published on May 19 2003 by Mandy
5.0 out of 5 stars As a male adoptee, I could not put this book down!!
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. Read more
Published on April 18 2003 by Samuel Christonn
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A FABULOUS BOOK FOR ALL AGES!
I cannot believe how much I enjoyed this book. I am 19 years old and I am about to relinquish the child I am carrying. Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2003 by Cecilia Ford
5.0 out of 5 stars Kasey Hamner's story is touching and poignant!
I read "Adoption Forum" (see my review for that book)before this one, but I wish that I read "Whose Child?" first. Read more
Published on Nov. 6 2002 by Betty Folcon, M.S.
5.0 out of 5 stars great story
I started reading this book while I was reading another and I couldn't put this one down. I put the other book down instead! Read more
Published on April 13 2002 by Allison Bowman
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read
Both the book and the courage it took for Kasey Hamner to write this book is incredible. No matter your position in the adoption triad you will benefit from her life story. Read more
Published on Dec 19 2001 by Amy L. Chenault
5.0 out of 5 stars An Honest Insight to a Young Girls Life Experience
This book has opened my eyes to the emotional intensity of being an adopted child. I have no friends or family that have been adopted, or adopted a child. Read more
Published on Dec 16 2001 by darcy peters
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