am 7. September 1999
This book is the best personal account of fostering/adopting an older child that I have ever read. It is a natural for a "made for TV" movie, with its dramatic story, picturesque setting, and cast of "characters." I laughed, I cried, I sobbed. In Miniter and his wife, we see the mixture of naivete/ignorance, denial, and audacity that goes into the decision to bring a "disturbed" youngster into one's family. The book also reflects the reality that formal treatment plans are limited (and sometimes unrealistic) and that "real life"-- honest emotions and reactions, normal expectations, natural consequences-- can be a strong motivator in turning around dysfunctional behavior. To the reader who is NOT an experienced foster/adoptive parent, I would offer a few minor cautions: 1) Miniter makes no mention of receiving any kind of training before taking the boy into his family. If that was indeed the case, that's a major flaw in the "Harbor" program. Prospective foster and adoptive parents of kids in the child welfare system should receive fairly extensive training in areas such as what to expect when the children come into your home, how the system (and particular agency) works, and how to manage difficult behavior. 2) Miniter would probably be one of the first to point out that this book is not a blueprint for others but is instead ONE case study, of ONE youngster, in ONE family. The Ministers' experience notwithstanding, psychotropic medication and/or psychotherapy are important-- if not essential-- components in some youngsters' healing, and respite care and parent support groups can be lifesavers for some "therapeutic" parents. 3) Miniter says he ignored some of the safety precautions recommended by his agency, and suggested that (hunting) guns were readily accessible in his home. Having weapons easily available in ANY home with kids (even "normal" children!) is foolhardy, and most agencies REQUIRE pretty sensible safety precautions.
am 2. Februar 1999
This book teaches many lessons. First and foremost that the husband-wife relationship plays such a major role in raising children, and it showed in this book. The relationship between Rich and Sue is an admirable one, one that not is not so common after so many years of marriage. With that bond of love, they raised a house full of kids and later in life, were able to take on one more kid, very different from their own. They gave it 1000% and stuck with it through thick and thin. What they did for "Mike" is untouchable, precious and blessed. God Bless the Miniters and the best of luck to "Mike" in his future endeavors to become a chef.........This book more than once will put a lump in your throat and a tear or two in your eye...To learn more about children, about sacrifices, about life, you must read this beautiful story !!
am 29. August 1998
This book is a must read for all those involved with adoptive special needs children. Whether you are a pre-adoptive parent, a post-adoptive parent or a professional. It is straight forward and very realistic. I couldn't put it down. My child has gone through the exact same cycles. When this book was condensed in the Reader's Digest in November, 1997, it caused me to keep on working with my child who was going in and out of crisis. As a parent of an adoptive boy, I can say that if anything is "normal" about these kids, it is the ups and downs and lack of trust written in this book. Professionals please read and take note to listen to the parents. Richard Minitor, thanks for writing this informative book.
am 3. September 1998
As an adoptive parent of a thirteen year old adopted son, I have to say that this is a very realistic accounting of the different cycles that these children go through. This book is a must read especially for the professionals that place these special children, work with emotionally disturbed children or for anyone thinking of taking one of these children into their home. It is captivating and it might just change your mind about what these children need. This book almost could have been about my son it was so realistic.
am 1. Februar 1999
This book is not only for those who are adopting or work with disturbed children, but it can serve as a valuable lesson for those who have never been in these situations. It is necessary to know that trouble derives from the early years of a child's life and how important it is to show affection, trust and caring to children at all ages.