June 19, 2012
Daddy Come and Get Me by Gil Michelini
Due to events that have happened in my life, I have decided that should I ever have children, they will more than likely be adopted. I just don't see how I could love a biological child any more than an adopted one, and it seems like a good fit for my life. So reading this book is a preparation of sorts for that.
Daddy Come and Get Me details author Gil Michelini and his wife's journey through international adoption. In this case, they decide to adopt from Guatemala, a choice that was made because of both of their religious beliefs. But it's not going to be easy, most adoptions never are. With governmental red tape, mothers who change their mind, and disapproving family, it was a hard road they took in order to be able to adopt their fourth daughter Gemma. Parallel to this story of their adoption is the fictionalized version of Gemma's biological mother. Michelini gives a plausible story on who she was and why she gave her daughter up for adoption. The conclusion of the story has Gemma uniting with her new family and spending a little time with them. Although I would have liked to have seen a bit more of her adjustment to life with the Michelini family, the main story is largely the process of her adoption.
Michelini tells the story pretty straight-forward. He doesn't skimp when it comes to describing the people involved and he doesn't soften any blows either. In fact, I've seen it said where others would like to hear his wife's side of the story, and in the back of the book he even states that it is her story to tell, not his, but I can see why people would think that. This book is almost harsh when it comes to describing her, at the very least I can call it unflattering. It sounds as if she was having a very rough time and maybe pushed a little further than what she was comfortable with and the author kind of steam rolled her. But at least it seems to have worked out in the end. I also wish that Michelini had spent more time describing some of his other daughters. It almost seems like they fell by the wayside during the story and they're even referred to as "bios" which for some reason to me just read as being more derogatory than description. But that is only my impression. He spends a great deal of time on Gemma (after all this is her story) and her mother and I think they are both wrote very realistically and with compassion.
This book had the potential to be very boring and dry because it involved a lot of procedure and adoption rules and technical stuff. But it wasn't. Since Michelini brought emotions to it it became a journey of sorts and it definitely describes the process of adoption quite well. Surprisingly this turned out to be a religious type of book as well. I actually hadn't expected that, and not being religious myself my initial feeling was "here we go" but it is done in a cohesive way with the family. There isn't preaching, rather it's him relating what he was experiencing and felt during the adoption process in relation to his religion. And even his wife showed quite a bit of faith despite not enjoying the process so it showed her strength as well.
A good book for anyone considering adoption. If the picture on the cover doesn't tear you up the story will probably do it. I definitely had a hard time putting it down and found it very informative.
Daddy, Come & Get Me