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Michael F. Deaterla is a 1975 graduate of Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism, and earned his Master of Arts degree in 2012 from Union Institute & University. A former small-town reporter and editor, he currently is an adjunct English instructor. He and his family reside in Ohio.
Wow! Many books in one, circling around Mike and Sara Deaterla's adoption of three special needs children, late in life, Savannah from Vietnam, Christian from Ohio and Marlee from Florida. The issues they faced and dealt with were physical, emotional, social and political in addition to each child's different special need's, were, to say the least, over powering and are well detailed in the book. All to be Mom and Dad to those in need. Truly inspirational! It is fascinating reading as Mike has laid it out and yet there is one overpowering message throughout the book, what love, deep caring love can accomplish when it is at the center of the task. Mike to Sara, Sara to Mike as parents to the three children returned to Mom and Dad and those who helped along the way. Love is at the center and it is not an easy, my way love, it is hard and tough caring, facing the limitations of the world and overcoming, in a word, God, whose work got done through Sara and Mike! You will enjoy this book and it will not be forgotten over time nor your admiration for Mike and Sara! Rev. Don Woodford
This book provides a wonderful portrait of a family that has come together against great odds. It tells the story of how Mike and Sara's spiritual and family journey has led them from Mike’s unexpected job loss to an adoption agency in Vietnam, to the intricacies of state foster systems, and to a hospital in Florida. Their faith is inspiring, and so is their love for their children and each other. As someone who hasn’t had the experience of adopting, I now have a much better sense of what friends have gone through: the excruciating uncertainty of waiting, the bureaucratic mazes and unexpected angels, the incredible joy at being united with their children. The memoir combines these big themes with tiny little details that bring the story to life: the hospital scenes are vivid and compelling with their own brand of heroism, and I particularly loved the image of dropping the baby in the Vietnamese Embassy: it was such an honest reminder of the fallibility of us all. (She wasn't hurt.) The scene of Marlee’s adoption, with Mike's ringing declaration of their family status -- and the judge’s very public honoring of it – was a powerful and dramatic moment that epitomized the family’s coming together; their legacy is clear in the Marlee Factor Foundation and Mike and Sara’s ongoing advocacy. The story is moving, realistic, funny, and human all at once. Highly recommended!
This is such an important story--it needed to be told! I know there are parents out there who will appreciate Mike Deaterla's clearly written account of his and Sara's journey. This book is not merely a road map for others to follow, it is a lovely memoir of one couple's compelling journey.