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Adopting for Love

Ralph James Savarese's op-ed in yesterday's Los Angeles Times is so inspiring for its depiction of a parent's unyielding love for a child.

Savarese is the author of "Reasonable People: A Memoir of Autism and Adoption," coming out today from Other Press. The book tells the story of their son's rebirth after eight years in their care. The six-year-old they adopted had been diagnosed as autistic, abandoned by his mother and abused in foster care.

They had bonded with him when Savarese's wife, an autism expert, had attempted to help the mother. Their love for him was already too strong to let him slip away into a life of trauma.

He writes,

"Despite the stigma attached to "special-needs children," people do adopt these kids. And yet, many more Americans spend gobs of money on fertility treatments or travel to foreign countries to find their perfect little bundles. I'm haunted by something my son wrote after we taught him how to read and type on a computer: "I want you to be proud of me. I dream of that because in foster care I had no one." How many kids lie in bed at night and think something similar?"

His editorial is full of righteous anger at the callous way society looked at his son, and it's full of steady love. This should be a terrific feel-good book for all parents and a must-read for anyone who wants to have a child, biological or adopted, disabled or not.

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