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Second-Chance Mother: A Memoir by [Roessle, Denise]
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Second-Chance Mother: A Memoir Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Length: 270 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"Raw and riveting, Second-Chance Mother is an incredibly courageous story about the complexities and importance of the journey toward healing after reunion. I highly recommend it." 
-- Carol Schaefer, author of The Other Mother 

"An honest account of Denise's second chance to be a mother to the son she gave up to adoption. Intricately woven into the story is her fragile relationship with her own mother, which emphasizes the difficulties of picking up where one left off when the original relationship goes awry."
-- Nancy Verrier, MFT, and author of The Primal Wound and Coming Home to Self  

"A compelling look at the devastating and long-lasting effects of adoption that reunion alone cannot 'cure.' Vividly illustrates how separation affects not only the mother and child, but all family members and across generations. Natural mothers and their relinquished children, and those seeking such a reunion, would gain from its wisdom and honesty."
-- Lorraine Dusky, author of Birthmark

"A rich memoir, told with raw intensity and startling in its honesty."
-- Debra Baker, filmmaker, "Broken Ties" and "Lost and Found"
"Denise Roessle peels back the veneer of giddy expectations and happily-ever-after fantasies to reveal a three-generational secret of relinquishment. She finds out how powerful secrets keep seeding the generations unconsciously until we stop them."
 -- Linda Joy Myers, president of the National Association of Memoir Writers, author of The Power of Memoir

About the Author

When Denise Roessle became pregnant out of wedlock in 1969, she inadvertently joined the ranks of the million-plus young women who fell prey to the Baby Scoop Era — a time when relinquishing their newborns for adoption was the socially-accepted solution to erasing their sins and filling an increasing demand for adoptable infants. She was told to move on with her life, assured that she would forget and have other children she could keep. She finished college, married, and became a professional copywriter and graphic designer. But she never had more children. And she did not forget. After reuniting with her grown son in 1996, Denise began writing on this more personal topic. Her articles have appeared in national adoption magazines and newsletters, and she continues to be active in the post-adoption, adoption reform, and birthmother support arenas.

Product Details

  • File Size: 673 KB
  • Print Length: 270 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1936539683
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Red Willow Publishing (November 16, 2011)
  • Publication Date: November 16, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00695T7P4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,306 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sandra Young on November 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Perhaps because Denise and I lost children to adoption during the same time period, the Baby Scoop Era, and both lost sons, her book resonated with, perhaps more so than any other adoption book I have ever read. So many of the experiences she describes are mirrored in my own life, and in my reunion.

While her experience with her son was fascinating, and she described so well the up/down, push/pull that is many women's experience of reunion, I was even more fascinated with her experience with her own mother and father. My parents are deceased and have been since years before my own reunion, and so many of the questions and feelings she describes are ever so similar to my own. I admit to ambivalence in my own feelings about my parents, and I found Denise's descriptions of her feelings were my own as well.

I admit that when I saw that she had written a book about her own reunion experience, I thought "Oh, Goody, another adoption book". However, I was wrong. This was a smart, insightful and well written memoir which I would heartily recommend for any mother who is reunited, thinking about reunion, struggling with reunion, or past reunion. I am sure that this was a painful book to write, and it was sometimes painful to read, but it was well worth it.

I would like to thank Denise for writing this excellent contribution to Adoption related literature. And, thank her for describing MY experience of loss and reunion so adeptly. Well done, Denise!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Now and then a book comes along that reaches deep into the reader's soul and opens the door to new perspectives on life. SECOND CHANCE MOTHER is one of those rare stories that will capture and change your life. The author, Denise Roessle, has woven an exquisite, seamless tapestry of love, regret, hope, rejection and finally acceptance of what was and is. Her blending of past and present is written smoothly and the transitions add to the power of the book. The adoption community is fortunate to have this new voice to help parents, children and friends sort out the tangled web that is adoption.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There aren't that many "birthmother" books out there. I've read a few this past year and just finished reading Denise's book last night. In fact I stayed up to 3 AM to finish it. This is not something I routinely do.

If you are in any way connected to adoption...either as a birth parent, adoptee, or adopted parent or grandparent or sibling. If you have a friend that was adopted or one who gave up a child...then you MUST read this book.

For me as an adoptee that found my birth family 36 yrs. ago at the age of 22 - this topic is still part of my every day life. I'm still working on my issues. I'll probably be working on them until my last day on this earth. That's just how it is.

I wish my birthmother could have told me things about herself and that we could have had a better relationship after our initial reunion. Things were good at first but time and distance made having a relationship very difficult. I didn't try hard enough I guess and neither did she. It takes 2. Whether it's between a parent & child or between siblings or spouses. You have to value the relationship enough to make it a success.

I have no idea what kind of pain my BM had during or after her pregnancy and my birth. Denise's son is lucky that he has the opportunity to ask questions and get honest answers. He's lucky that Denise made every effort to be a mother from the very start (which is what he said he wanted and needed). She had to jump in with both feet and deal with somebody who was already an adult. A person that somebody else had already tried to raise. That is beyond hard, if not impossible.

I was in awe of her generous and courageous attitude towards everybody and everything through-out the story. Really. She seems like a Saint to me.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow. This book is one you will long remember. Denise's account of loss, love and her continuing efforts toward redemption reads like a novel--except it's heartbreakingly real. You do not have to have given up a child, or adopted a child, or even be a mother to appreciate the power of this story. Well written and fast-paced, I found this book to be a compelling read. If you're reading on an e-reader, sample this book and I guarantee you will want to read all of it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Denise is forced by her parents to give her baby boy up for adoption. When she's reunited with him as an adult, Josh has become an imbalanced, angry, needy individual. The conflict in the relationship shows the difficulties many parents endure when dealing with difficult offspring. The author struggles to bring her newly found son into her life without completely overturning the life she's established, which isn't easy when Josh is constantly making demands and venting on her. And whenever she sets boundaries, he makes ultimatums, which makes her fearful he'll be gone from her life forever. The author strives to establish a manageable relationship with her son and grandchildren, expand her connections to newly found family members, find peace with her relationship with her own mother, and overcome the trauma and guilt associated with having to give up her baby as a youth. The book is so honestly written and touching, I don't see how any mother can read this without creating a tear puddle you could drown in.
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