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This is US: The New All-American Family Paperback – September 6, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I fell in love with David Marin, the human being, when I heard about his book. A single guy adopting three little Mexican-American kids! Then, I started reading This Is US and I fell in love with David Marin, the writer. This guy can make the craziness of a bureaucracy funny; he can turn a trip to McDonald's into an absorbing read; and mostly he can stir your heart by describing the life of his new All-American family . . . The love is palpable; the prose throbs with life; the insights sparkle."-JULIA ALVAREZ, author of How the Garc���a Girls Lost Their Accents

"Inspiration is a word used too freely and too frequently. Yet, David Marin's honesty and humanity in telling the story of how he became a father against the odds is just that, an inspiration in the truest sense. His story fills the world with the breath of hope."-JACQUELYN MITCHARD, author of The Deep End of the Ocean

"What's a single white guy doing with three Mexican kids? Making a loving family-and showing how foster adoption can work."-Reader's Digest

Funny, insightful, passionate and . . . a great addition to anyone's reading list."-Adoptions from the Heart, Love Builds Families

"The journey chronicled in [This Is US] sweetly mirrors the extreme joys and gray hair-inducing patterns of parenthood . . . At the heart of it all, Marin is a father who loves his children; his experiences illuminating a maelstrom of emotions, trying circumstances and unwavering patience that will resonate with parents and non-parents alike."-Gilroy Dispatch

"Good books often give us some laughs and/or add to our knowledge about a relatively unknown subject. In addition to satisfying on both of those counts, this story had to be told. . . . This is US is a celebration of difference. It will educate all prospective adoptive parents about what to expect from the adjustments required in building their new families, but will be especially valued by those willing to welcome the neediest children."-ForeWord Reviews

"Mr. Marin has not only withstood the tribulations of parenthood, racism, and ignorance, but is also a fantastic writer who knows how to tell a tale that is equal parts heartbreaking, confusing, honest, and inspiring. . . . The author is not alone in his story. He has given voice to thousands of similar stories in his state and across the nation."- New York Journal of Books

"David Marin opens our eyes to the profound significance men make in the lives of children. If every man could understand the heart-warming and life-changing truths David so personally reveals in This is US, America would be a stronger country."-MEG MEEKER, M.D., author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: Ten Secrets Every Father Should Know

"This book should be required reading for all adoption social workers and all prospective adoptive parents."-JEFF KATZ, Founder, Listening to Parents

"In telling the story of how he adopted three young, bicultural children, David Marin is wise, warm, funny, insightful, passionate, persistent, and occasionally (and justifiably) outraged. As a single, middle-aged, affluent man who wanted more than anything to create a family, it should have been simple for him to provide a home for this trust-hungry trio. It was anything but. In This is US, Marin recounts with unsparing honesty and wry humor the formidable challenges he surmounted: a crazy-making bureaucracy, a mean-spirited boss, a suspicious and prejudiced society, and his considerable na���vet��� as a first-time parent. Yet he also shares the joys and victories with which he was richly rewarded, not the least of which is the unconditional love of two boys and a girl whose lives-once constrained by fear, abuse, and neglect-now overflow with happy and intriguing possibilities. This remarkable book should be required reading for anyone who wants to adopt, had been adopted, or works in the adoption field. For the rest of us, it is an eloquent reminder of the primal power of kinship." -RICHARD MAHLER, co-author of Secrets of Becoming a Late Bloomer and "Southwest Storylines" columnist at Desert Exposure

About the Author

DAVID MARIN (pronounced “marine”) is half Puerto Rican, half Irish, and all American. Raised in the Midwest, he went to prep school on the East Coast, college in Colorado, and law school in California, where he has spent the past twenty years.  A media company executive by profession, and an adventurer by nature, he has traveled to eleven countries and visited thirty-six of our fifty states. He has skydived in Arizona, water skied on the Caribbean, and rescued olive ridley sea turtles in Costa Rica.

By far the greatest adventure of David’s life is fatherhood.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Exterminating Angel Press (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935259342
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935259343
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,480,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Julie L. Pogue on October 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
As an adoptive mother of a sibling group of five and a special needs adoption advocate, I couldn't wait to read David Marin's "This is US: The New All-American Family". I am drawn to stories about older adopted children, and this book is a winner both as an adoptive parent's memoir and as a peek into the frustrating world of foster care and social services adoptions. Marin, a single man, sets out in 2003 to become to a father, and what follows is a heart-wrenchingly beautiful story about tenacity, unconditional love, and three little Mexican children who, against the odds, finally find their own "forever family".

Marin weaves two themes into his poignant story-telling: his fierce love for his new children and his navigation of the bureaucracy that holds the key to their future. The first is inspiring, while the second made my stomach churn in desperation. This writer, however, faces obstacles with such a huge measure of humor and levity that it made his arduous journey a delightful one to follow. Marin makes his often-bumbling first go at parenting a winsome, page-turning tale. He is also living proof that a less-than-perfect childhood often makes one resilient and open enough to handle special needs children. Though Marin is now a successful business man, his honesty about his own father's death and his troubled youth lend enough humanity to him that he becomes more than a shallow do-gooder.

One of the great strengths of Marin's work is his focus on the big picture. He generously sprinkles his book with statistics and information that go beyond his own experiences and delve into the travesty of tens of thousands of children waiting for permanent homes in the United States.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. R. Key on March 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This should be required reading for any prospective teacher, social worker, child-care worker, or anybody who plans to work with prospective families. I was fascinated, heart-broken, angered, ashamed, amazed, awed, brought to tears, and elated by this book.

David Marin does us all a public service by carefully explaining a long and tedious process in lay terms. It's good for anybody thinking about fostering children, adopting children, or who are already in the system. He deserves an Attaboy, Stars in his Crown, and Father of the Year all in one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on August 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm really surprised not to see more reviews of this book. A friend recommended it to me and after getting it at the library I just devoured it. It was a really heart warming story about a single man who hadn't found "the" woman of his life but knew he still wanted a family. Thousands of women adopt as single parents, but fairly few men do. This is really a shame, and I hope this book will help encourage more men to consider this option. The unfortunate part is that the book also describes the many challenges of dealing with the social services system. This may be discouraging to many, but will hopefully also serve as a wake up call to spur some changes and improvements in this hugely dysfunctional system. The story took place more than 10 years ago, so I also hope that some of the prejudice that the author experienced has alleviated. Though with recent anti-Mexican immigration policies, it may have only gotten worse... In any event, the love and compassion that the author demonstrated was really wonderful to read about. I hope more people will consider domestic adoptons, despite the added challenges they can include. I have two people very close to me who have open, domestic adoptions and have found them to be very positive and rewarding experiences. Another interesting book on the topic is "Kid" by Dan Savage. It is the story of a gay couple's efforts to adopt and also describes a lot of detail about the open adoption concept and dealing with "the system". If you can get past a little bit of the language, it is also a very educational story of creating a non-traditional family, and giving deserving children a chance at family-life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LH422 VINE VOICE on March 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
David Marin always wanted a family. Finding himself unmarried, he decided to adopt on his own from the California foster care system. As a result Marin became a father of three, and by all accounts they created a happy and functional family.

I was expecting that this book would be mostly about the children's adjustment to their new family, and Marin's adjustment to parenting. These were not the most significant issues. Comparatively, they were hardly issues at all. What were significant issues were the challenges of managing the bureaucracy of the foster-care system, and dealing with the absurd reactions of strangers.

The incompetence and resistance of the foster-care system is shocking. To give one piquant example: a social worker who was supposed to be doing a home visit spent her time trying to get Marin to sell her his daughter's bedroom furniture rather than checking on the children. The absolute disorganization and incompetence of the foster-care system is completely disheartening. The competent and caring social workers are entirely overburdened and lost in a sea of bureaucracy, and those who aren't competent and caring are a disaster. I hope this book helps bring some changes to the foster care mess. The good news is that the Marins did manage, despite odds against them, to create a happy family.
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