Doorway to Heartbreak Path to Hope by Randy Harper
...Our Adoption Journey

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DOORWAY TO HEARTBREAK PATH TO HOPE is the true story about tumultuous adoption. Mental illness, retardation, misfortune, incest and pedophilia - unbelievable, deviously stigmatized and frequently unbearable, the family, while hurt deeply, remains steadfast. Relying on instinct, trial and error, faith and a steady sense of humor, much of their technique was blessed by kindly social workers, sincere adoption advocates and the most grandiloquent of bureaucrats. Much was not. Jake and Sarah were abused by their biological parents, and other alcoholics, drug addicts, criminals, sociopaths and sexual deviants. Jake was subject to severe neglect; Sarah to behavior, bizarre and unnatural. Both had homicidal tendencies, however subtle or flagrant. The adoptive parents were aware of some of the debauchery, but not of its horrible depth. The good servants of Child Protective Services (“CPS”) were themselves overwhelmed, the unpleasant consequence of a societal culture which shows little appreciation for their calling and sad disinterest to the most innocent amongst us. The family’s life becomes one of finding help for the adoptees - and themselves. Narrated by the father, reflecting on his often questionable style, the calming influence of his endearing wife is a strongly emotional standard. Without the feminine touch, recovery was impossible; tragedy, imminent. The author and his wife try to do right by adoption. With the blessed intercession of CPS, two children are saved from early demise. There were many good times that softened the bad but there were terrible scars. Under extreme pressure for many years and pushed to the edge, the family suffers grievous injury. They had to pull together, or fall apart. Buoyed by his wife’s strong faith, the father would never surrender them. Fate could have dealt them an even harder blow, so somber in its consecration but for the blessed, unknown mischief with a pedophile. Every member of the family recovers except one, the cumulative effect of the abuse too much to carry. Adoption provides love and protection to children unable to fend for themselves - the easily forgotten, the forsaken. The couple opened their souls to strangers, devoted long hours and exorbitant amounts of money for two youngsters not of their own making. At what cost? Was there any lasting value? The author expresses the feeling that whatever the fault, it was his. He couldn’t handle the job. He couldn’t properly anticipate events. He dealt with them the wrong way. He had no style. He couldn’t properly communicate to his three older children why and what he did about their two youngest adopted siblings. He used the big stick and his wife, all the while fighting an illness he couldn’t cure, softened the blow. It isn’t all so but the thoughts endure, subsiding with the passage of time but never dormant. It hurts, the endgame of lingering doubt. What do you do when it all turns disappointing and dangerous? How do you reconcile to the blessing that adoption is meant to be? How are adoptive families to be encouraged? The family enjoys the best our social, legal and health care systems offer. Others fail them, many times. No one was ever held accountable. Not even an appeals court who, in an act of stupefying ignorance, enables a false memory advocate to clear the way for a multiple child molester. Despite the pain inflicted, the inherent goodness of one adoptee becomes evident. Undeniable mystery envelopes the other. There was no instruction manual. This adventure serves as one, haunting but resolute in description, even laughter, hopeful to the last. By gauging their own circumstance to what this family went through, parents, children and others closely involved with problematic adoptions won’t be alone, should tribulation come.

About Randy Harper

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Published August 3, 2012 by Publish Green. 501 pages
Genres: Parenting & Relationships, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Harper's intimate memoir of one family's special needs adoption journey.

Jan 16 2013 | Read Full Review of Doorway to Heartbreak Path to...

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