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The Kid: An Adoption Story by Dan Savage

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The Kid by Dan Savage is a memoir of adoption narrated by a white, gay, urban man in his mid-thirties. He is a journalist whom uses cynical honesty as his personal armor. All adoptive parents-not just those in gay partnerships-will recognize their own hopes and fears in the touchingly candid descriptions of dealing with "planning and check-writing and seminar going," waiting to be picked, fighting off urges to shop at Baby Gap for fear that having too much baby stuff at home will be a jinx, and wanting to control the expectant mom's behavior before the birth.

Dan Savage's book is a hope-filled story of an adoptive couple's journey into parenthood and provides a wonderful sense of how an agency committed to open adoption actually works. The Kid is a stay-up-all-night kind of read. Although substantive, it goes down like candy thanks to its string of one-liners.  Savage had always wanted to have kids.

Nothing is sacred for this writer. He grabs hold of the reader in unexpected ways, creating articulate, moving images of the challenges gay men face becoming dads in pioneer families. Savage's book is a love letter to his son D.J., the story of Dan and Terry's step-by-step transformation toward becoming the kind of dads who are able to think of their son's needs first. From their first impressions of a birth mother who is "a street punk" to their intense emotions when they pick D.J. up at the hospital and leave her (Melissa) sobbing in her bed, we see them expanding, understanding their child to be a witness to how they feel about his birth parents. The best evidence of their evolution is their decision to give D.J. Melissa's last name: "We figure he'll have a name I gave him-Darryl, for my dad, a name Dan gave him - Jude, for Dan's mom, and a name his mom gave him."

*You ought to know that The Kid is filled with explicit sexual descriptions, which may offend some readers. If you can get past them, it's a great read.
Reviewed by Gail Steinberg, Beth Hall, Co-Dirctors of Pact, An Adoption Alliance, and Natasha Moullen, book coordinator for Pact.

Copyright 2000 Adoptive Families magazine. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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