Upside Down: A book review

July 14th, 2017

If I could recommend one book to every person who’s close to an adoptive family, this would be that book.

What might attachment problems look like in real life?  What’s behind the counter-intuitive parenting strategies and boundaries adoptive families might set in place around their adopted child?  Shannon Guerra answers these and other questions in her recent book, Upside Down: Understanding and Supporting Attachment in Adoptive Families.  Guerra has a forthright, wryly humorous writing style and includes plenty of quotes from other adoptive parents.

This book hits close to home for me.  I was intrigued by the subject material and requested a free copy in exchange for an honest review. The author and I each have a child who spent those crucial early years in the same infamous orphanage in Pleven, Bulgaria.  Infamous, that is, for depriving its inmates of nearly everything a human being needs to thrive.  Our children were hardwired to relate to other people in pathological ways in order to survive.  Turns out, there’s no simple fix for some kinds of broken.  Progress toward a solid, healthy child-parent bond can be exceedingly slow. “Like watching hair grow,” the author wrote to me.  Every centimeter of ground is hard won and easily lost.

Weighty, scholarly volumes have been and will be written by experts about all aspects of attachment in adoption.  Thing is, most of us will never read those.  Guerra’s book covers the essentials in seventy-five readable pages.

To the adoptive parent, Upside Down says, “You’re not alone.  We’re in this together.”

To the onlooker, the book says, “Here’s the problem; here’s how you can help.”

Do you know an adoptive family who’s dealing with attachment issues?  Do you want to be part of the solution rather than contributing to the problem?  Upside Down.  Buy it.  Read it.  Pass it on.



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2 Responses to “Upside Down: A book review”

  1. Kelly Sangree says:

    Hey, did I just see Josie on a Shrieber Pediatric commercial? If not, she has an unknown twin out there!

  2. Susanna says:

    Josie’s photo is on the front page of their website, I know that! Not sure about a commercial!

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