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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book holds a mirror up to our hearts
I am not an adoptee but I feel that much of what Joe Soll describes in his book has got to be true. I cannot imagine an adoptee not feeling the pain, sadness and anger of having been relinquished by the mother. Yet, our own daughter, adopted at four days of age, insists that she has never had an identity crisis and has not suffered. Several of her classmates were adopted...
Published on Sept. 15 2003 by Gisela Gasper Fitzgerald

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2.0 out of 5 stars Not What I'd Expected
After reading many of the previous reviews, I ordered this book, hoping it would aid me in the process of figuring out my feelings regarding my recent reunion with my birthfamily. I eagerly waited the three days for the book to arrive in the mail. When it arrived, I immediately began to dive into it. I felt immensely let-down. I expected the book to be forthright,...
Published on June 2 2001 by christy747


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book holds a mirror up to our hearts, Sept. 15 2003
This review is from: Adoption Healing...a Path to Recovery (Paperback)
I am not an adoptee but I feel that much of what Joe Soll describes in his book has got to be true. I cannot imagine an adoptee not feeling the pain, sadness and anger of having been relinquished by the mother. Yet, our own daughter, adopted at four days of age, insists that she has never had an identity crisis and has not suffered. Several of her classmates were adopted and are also not preoccupied by their past, nor have they initiated a search for their birthmother. We are now happily reunited with our birthmother (who found us) and our daughter still says she is not any happier now than she was before meeting her mother.I still want to agree with Joe Soll that repression may be at work here. I want her to read this book.
Gisela Gasper Fitzgerald, author of ADOPTION: An Open, Semi-Open or Closed Practice?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Healing Tool for the Suffering Adoptee, Oct. 21 2003
This review is from: Adoption Healing...a Path to Recovery (Paperback)
I agree with others that not all adoptees are in pain. But for the ones who are, this book offers step-by-step guidelines on how to move past the pain in the realm of forgiveness and contentment. As an author and psychologist myself, I believe 100% that the only way out of the pain is through the pain. Add this book to your adoption bookshelf, you won't be sorry.
Kasey Hamner, M.S., author of "Whose Child?" and "Adoption Forum"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, June 24 2002
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This review is from: Adoption Healing...a Path to Recovery (Paperback)
Of all the adoption books I have read, Adoption Healing goes to the heart of the matter....The truth hurts and Soll pulls no punches. He has taken John Bradhaw's Inner Child work and modified it to help adopted people heal their wounds. He explains the mother/child bond that begins before birth in a very clear fashion and goes on to show how the effects of separation from one's mother at birth radiate through the psychological development of the adoptee and what can be done to help the adoptee deal with the pain of this loss.
I've gone to many adoption support groups over the years and heard many adoptees argue that they had no loss, become angry at those who do acknowledge the loss. Adoption Healing thoroughly explains why so many adoptees deny their pain, just as victims of sexual abuse have to deny the existence of their experience to survive.
If you have been affected by adoption and want to really understand the psychology of the adoptee, this book is for you.
It validated my adoption experience and has helped validate the experience of many of my adopted friends as well.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic, June 19 2002
By 
crwpup (Northeastern U.S.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Adoption Healing...a Path to Recovery (Paperback)
NOTE: This book got one star ONLY because 0 stars is not an option!!
If you are not a basket case looking for someone to say, "There there" while incessantly addressing the needs of your inner child, then this book is NOT FOR YOU!! I am an adoptee in reunion and my birthmother suggested this title, but warned me I might find it a bit "Twelve-steppish." That is the understatement of the century. Let's put it this way - I briefly considered selling the book, but didn't want to inflict such poor quality of writing and psychobabble on others, so I threw it away (this from a person who treats books like the American flag - I don't even throw them on the floor!!). If you are looking for a book that addresses possible "issues" that may arise for the adopted, read _The PRimal WOund_ by Nancy Verrier. SHe is an actual psychotherapist as opposed to a social worker, which I believe is Soll's claim to legitimacy. Seriously, this is to be skipped unless you're looking for "mommying" of the inner child to which you are still an adult slave.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth Will Set You Free, June 4 2002
This review is from: Adoption Healing...a Path to Recovery (Paperback)
Adoption Healing will set those who read it free: Free from having their experience invalidated. Free from the shackles of societies view that in adoption, everyone wins. Free from the denial of the need to grieve one's losses. What Joe Soll has done is given all those involved in adoption the reality of the losses inherent in the separation of mother and child and how this plays out in every adoption situtation. As Anna Freud stated, "The horrors of war pale beside the loss of a mother" and clearly the horros of war pale beside the loss of a child.
Adoption Healing presents the experience of the child from the womb through adulthood, eplaining the pain, anger and sadness inherent in adopted people, why it is repressed from consciousness, and how to finally deal with these emotions and roadblocks to happiness and finally be free to live rather than just exist.
This book is valuable for any adopted person, birthparent, adoptive parent, mental health professional or anyone interested in the truth about the adoptee experience.
Mental Health Professionals, Adoptees, Birthparents and Adoptive Parents have raved about this wonderful book for good reason.
It will set you free and I highly recommend it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Blame Adoption, Feb. 18 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Adoption Healing...a Path to Recovery (Paperback)
There was a song called Blame Canada. This book could be called Blame Adoption. Soll is clearly anti-adoption based on his own unresolved conflicts. He therefore has determined, seeks comfort from, and found enough evidence (anyone can find support for anything) that everyone feels as he does. It's easy to blame adoption for everything that goes wrong in life, but that is masking a lot of other realities. Soll fails to address the fact that many adult adoptees never feel a need to search, he fails to address the many well-adjusted children who were adopted into their families and grew up without ongoing "trauma" in their daily existance. He talks about being affected by adoption like one is affected by some illness.
As we've painfully learned in recent times, people with the attiitude that everyone must feel or believe as they do, are harmful. I do not deny Soll his own pain, or agree that he will find supporters, but it's more than presumptuous to link all adoptees to his own feelings and go out there as a preacher. I am very involved in adoption from all angles and standpoints. I've done research, writing, articles and even a book on the subject. I know numerous adoptees of all ages. Sorry, many do not feel as Soll feels.
In addition to all of that which is clearly anti-adoption, Soll uses a host of cliche methods in his books and on his website, such as inner child, 12-steps, hugs, higher power, etc.
And finally, based on Soll's theory and ideas, International adoption does not exist, or certainly does not work. Talk to some adult adoptees from other countries and learn how wrong he really is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Adoption Healing, Nov. 19 2001
By 
Sheila Ganz (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Adoption Healing...a Path to Recovery (Paperback)
(...) Little did I know when I started to read Joe Soll's book "Adoption Healing" that the gunk of pain and anger lying on my heart from my daughter's rejection of me was about to lift off and evaporate. It was probably a combination of where I am in my healing as a birthmother, the accumulation of all of the adoption related books I've read, and Joe's clear and concise writing style with insight into the inner life of the young adoptee.
As an adoptee, therapist and activist Joe has lots of material to draw on for his guidance on healing for adoptees. "Adoption Healing" focuses on a critical turning point in an adoptee’s development, ages six to eight, when the child becomes cognitive and is able to start thinking logically and comes to understand what adoption means. At this point, the child may "blame herself for being given up for adoption and if there is no intervention, a fracturing of the personally will ensue. Before the fracture the child will be able to talk openly about her rage, pain, sadness and fear as these feelings are accessible at this age. After the fracture point, these feelings will be experienced as occurring at the same time. This will cause the feelings to become interwoven with each other, as if intertwined in an entangled ball." What happens next for the adoptee depends on the attitude of the adults in the youngster's life.
Ideally the adoptive parents will allow the adoptee to express her feelings. When the adoptive family atmosphere supports the adoptee's need to sort out these feelings, she will be able to integrate her emotions into her day-to-day reality. If the adoptee senses that it is not OK, her turmoil becomes suppressed into a knot of painful conflicting feelings where anger and unfulfilled curiosity is wrapped in the knowledge of not being loved by her original mother.
For some adoptees reading about these issues will make them feel uncomfortable. They may not have dealt with or consciously thought about these issues before. Each chapter includes a summary, an exercise to help work through these long-held feelings and a guide to "experience the moment." "Adoption Healing" also offers "myths" and "realities" for different situations in the adoptee's experience. Such as:
Myths:
- Adopted adolescents are no different than their non-adopted peers.
- If the adoptee has problems, it is either non-adoption related or genetic.
- An adopted person, if they must have a reunion, should wait until they are an adult.
Facts:
- Adopted adolescents have their own special set of needs that must be respected.
- Adolescence is the time of identity solidification and for the adoptee is often very painful and confusing.
- A reunion should preferably take place before puberty.
"Adoption Healing" also speaks to adoptive parents about healthy adoptions and to birthparents in both closed and open adoptions. The young adoptee will experience this formative stage in both situations.
The Appendix includes sections for What Adoptees, Birthparents and Adoptive Parents Do Not Wish To Hear, Loss in the Adoption Hand-off by Darlene Gerow, From the News and Resources. The Epilogue gives a brief summary of Joe's journey from denial and resistance to even saying the word adopted, to feeling his feelings and healing, and his as yet unsuccessful search for his birth family.
As a birthmother this book gave me insight into the adoptee experience I could only guess at. About halfway through the book I started to get an image of what my daughter must have gone through at that age. My hurt at her refusal to have contact with me gradually transformed into an understanding that it never really had anything to do with me personally. These are issues she needs to deal with and as her original mother it is compassion and love that she needs from me, when she is ready. Thank you, Joe, for freeing me from this pain. And I hope it helps the healing process of people who are adopted.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not What I'd Expected, June 2 2001
By 
This review is from: Adoption Healing...a Path to Recovery (Paperback)
After reading many of the previous reviews, I ordered this book, hoping it would aid me in the process of figuring out my feelings regarding my recent reunion with my birthfamily. I eagerly waited the three days for the book to arrive in the mail. When it arrived, I immediately began to dive into it. I felt immensely let-down. I expected the book to be forthright, honest, and all-encompassing in its treatment of the adoption experience, especially that of the adult adoptee.
This book had more to do with the "primal wound" of adoptees (i.e. the loss of one's birthmother), and working on one's "inner child" than anything else. This is NOT what I was looking for. There was entirely too much "I'm Okay, You're Okay" sort of therapy-babble in this book for me to take it seriously. There's a lot of "give your inner child a hug" sort of stuff, which i just found sappy and nauseating.
In addition, this book assumes that ALL adoptees, regardless of their situations or histories, must be feeling the SAME things. I agree with a previous reviewer in saying that this book does too much generalizing and stereotyping, which isn't right or fair to ANYONE. This book seems to be based largely on the author's own experiences, as well as a limited number of persons encountered in a therapeutic setting.
Again, the main reason I did not find this book helpful was that it deals with issues that I'm not facing at this point in my healing process. It discusses in great depth (perhaps TOO great of depth?) losses felt by the infant adoptee, but doesn't pay nearly enough attention to the search and reunion process and the emotions it surfaces. This book MAY be helpful to a reader who is dealing primarily with issues of abandonment, or loss of a birthmother, as it focuses more on the past than on the present. Helpful aspects of this book include lists of "myths and facts" about adoption and adoptees, and some of the visualization exercises, among others.
In short, I did not find this book to be helpful, but someone in a different situation might.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Adoptees are lovable and they can begin to feel that way!, Sept. 21 2000
By 
Mary Payne (oklahoma city, oklahoma USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Adoption Healing...a Path to Recovery (Paperback)
"Adoption Healing...a Path to Recovery" describes the trauma and psychological milestones encountered by every adoptee who was relinquished by birthparents and then adopted into a second family unit. The descriptions validate the feelings of adoptees, helping them to understand that they are not overly reacting to the circumstances surrounding their adoption. Adoptees' feelings and attitudes are not out-of-proportion to the trauma occurring in their lives.
"Fracturing" is the term used to describe the point in time where the adoptee realizes he or she has been cast into a universal black hole, between families, and never having a relationship in which one's authentic (the birth or core self) self is validated. Symptoms of fracturing are rage, anxiety, frustration, confusion, regret, feat, and so forth.
Soll guides his readers through their feelings, helping them to be aware of their emotions. He talks about channeling the anger into appropriate avenues and learning how to relax with visualization techniques. All adults are a consoliation of every day we have ever existed. There is a one-year-old, a seven-year-old and a 17-year-old inside each of us. This book helps us to get in touch with the parts of ourselves that were hurting at whatever the age. Called "inner child work," these techniques allow us to validate ourselves, affirming for every age that we were lovable and authentic human beings.
The title of this book, "Adoption Healing...a Path to Recovery" has not been mis-named. It is a breakthrough for adoptees and anyone in the triad or helping professions who want to understand the core issues that drive all adoptees.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Adoption Healing...a path to recovery, April 25 2000
By 
This review is from: Adoption Healing...a Path to Recovery (Paperback)
Adoption Healing...a path to recovery, more than anything else gives HOPE to those of us who have traveled the adoption path, particularly adoptees and birthparents. Having been told in 1966 that by giving up my infant son to be adopted by people who could give him what I could not...a two parent home, a name, even legitimacy; I tried hard to believe when they told me I was doing the most loving thing a mother could do for her child in my circumstance. I was an 18 year old student with no husband in sight. I don't know if they really believed when they said I would get on with my life and I would forget this whole unfortunate experience and that I would go on to have plenty of other children.
Joe Soll's book speaks to the fact that THEY were really, really WRONG! You never forget and you really can't even totally get on with your life on some levels. Giving a child up for adoption is a very deep trauma and tragedy for a woman, and many can't even survive it. It's a form of soul-rape. While Joe gives exercises, tools and rituals to adoptees to understand their experience and even begin to heal; he also validates and acknowledges the pain and deep sense of grieving and loss the birthmothers live with. And although I have read several women authors who have written very eloquently about birthmother pain; this is the first male author that I've read who has deep understanding, wisdom and empathy for US. My heart was in my throat during much of this book, but I also felt that Adoption Healing should be required reading for Adoptees and Birthmothers, AND those who love us. This is an excellent and very well written book.
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Adoption Healing...a Path to Recovery
Adoption Healing...a Path to Recovery by Joseph M. Soll (Paperback - March 2000)
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