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Mamalita: An Adoption Memoir Paperback – October 19, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 90 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

O'Dwyer's harrowing and moving journey to adopt a Guatemalan baby offers a look into one person's experience in the frustratingly convoluted process of adopting from unscrupulous "facilitators." O'Dwyer had gone through an early divorce and menopause at age 32 before marrying Tim, a divorced dermatologist over 50. They put together an adoption dossier and found an L.A. agency that promised a quick adoption while cutting the bureaucratic red tape. Intent on adopting a certain "Stefany Mishell" (they fell in love with from her online photo), the desperate couple soon discovered that the agency's methods were dilatory and sloppy, neglecting the important legal paperwork, such as filing the requisite DNA test, and using shady notarios (private attorneys), so that in the end the promised six-month adoption extended over a year. Moreover, O'Dwyer's occasional visits to Guatemala, where she met Stefany's foster family and spent a weekend with the baby at the Camino Real hotel in Guatemala City, turned into a permanent residency, as she moved to a city north of the capital, Antiqua, to live with Stefany (now Olivia) until family court finalized the adoption. Dealing with the greedy foster family, managing the baby's early separation anxiety, navigating the middlemen and interminable waiting are all deftly handled in O'Dwyer's somber tale. (Nov.) (c)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Jessica O'Dwyer is the adoptive mother to two children born in Guatemala and author of the novel, Mother Mother. Her essays have been published in the New York TimesSan Francisco Chronicle, Adoptive Families, and the Marin Independent Journal; aired on public radio; and won awards from the National League of American Pen Women. 

She holds an MFA from Antioch Los Angeles and lives in California with her husband, son, and daughter. 

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Seal Press; Illustrated edition (October 19, 2010)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 312 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1580053343
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1580053341
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.81 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 90 ratings

About the author

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Jessica O'Dwyer is author of Mother Mother: a Novel and Mamalita: An Adoption Memoir. Her essays have been published in the New York Times online, San Francisco Chronicle, Scary Mommy, Grown & Flown, and Marin Independent Journal. She earned an MFA from Antioch Los Angeles.

Jessica grew up at the Jersey shore, the daughter of a high-school shop teacher and former Radio City Music Hall Rockette. She lives in California with her husband, son, and daughter. Learn more at http://www.jessicaodwyer.com

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
90 global ratings

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