By Liz Raptis Picco
L/M Press, $14.00, 257 pages, Format: Trade
Star Rating: 5 out of 5
After two years of marriage, propped by Marty’s enthusiasm for a family while her friends’ husbands wanted to wait or remain childless, Liz puts aside any personal reservation she may have felt to begin a family as they strive to have a baby. A year after three miscarriages and one an ectopic pregnancy that almost took her life, Liz resolves herself to not having children until one day Marty suggests, “Let’s adopt. Adoption is just a different set of issues.” Navigating the issues, however, bear a true test of their desire for children. First, there was the joy and sorrow of newborn Sofia. Again, Liz resolves herself to being childless, but then came the seemingly insurmountable challenges after meeting Agustin and Ricardo in Ciudad Juarez at DIF, the equivalent in Mexico of child protective services in the U.S. after another American couple returned the rejected brothers. “The next thing I remember crystal clear is Agustin, at three and a half years, introducing himself with a firm handshake before collecting his little brother. I scooped up a congested, feverish Ricardo, who had a serious respiratory infection.” Liz knew that she wanted to become their mother, as Marty additionally fell in love with these boys.
Picco provides a compelling, brutally honest account of their fight to become parents. Written without any phony platitudes, she shares with readers her innermost fears, frustrations, and ambiguous feelings about the path they chose to pursue. Yet the love Augustin and Ricardo elicit, despite the difficulties, keeps both Liz and Marty fighting for them. The writing style and true-to-life dialogue keeps readers absorbed in this story as they laugh, cry, get angry, and persevere with Liz and Marty throughout this loving memoir that covers the seven years of their hopeful, while many times terrifying, journey to parenthood.
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