Reviews

Library Journal says “Rescuing Julia Twice” is indispensable for adoptive parents, relatives and teachers.

Traster, Tina. Rescuing Julia Twice: A Mother’s Tale of Russian Adoption and Overcoming Reactive Attachment Disorder. Chicago Review. May 2014. 272p.
ISBN 9781613746783. $24.95. PSYCH

International adoption is fraught with complications, which is no surprise to journalist Traster (New York Post; New York Times; Audubon; Family Circle) and husband Ricky, as they embark upon the journey to adopt a child from an orphanage in Siberia. At first things proceed almost too smoothly. The couple is approved to adopt a six-month-old girl, whereas infants are usually not available for adoption. Moreover, the process transpires at lightning speed. Once the new family returns to New York, the difficulties begin. Traster struggles to bond with daughter Julia, a child who manipulates in order to avoid closeness. Julia lacks normal affect and causes problems at preschool. After years of this troubled relationship, however, Traster happens upon information on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), a bonding disorder that is prevalent in children adopted from Russian orphanages. Once Traster identifies the issue, she and Ricky successfully employ effective therapeutic techniques in order to teach Julia to trust them. VERDICT Like Jessie Hogsett’s helpful Detached, this title is indispensable for adoptive parents, relatives, and teachers.-Lynne Maxwell, West Virginia Univ. Coll. of Law Lib., Morgantown


 

Russian Life Magazine calls “Rescuing Julia Twice” a searing, gripping, heart-filled memoir.

RESCUING JULIA TWICE: A Mother’s Tale of Russian Adoption and Overcoming Reactive Attachment Disorder, by Tina Traster (Chicago Review Press $24.95, May, 2014)


The challenges faced by Americans adopting a child from Russia, where orphanages are often little more than stark, loveless dormitories, normally stay hidden from outside eyes. Only, it seems, in tragic cases of abandonment do these challenges bubble up into public view.
That is unjust, for thousands of children have been successfully adopted into American families, at huge financial and emotional expense. And in all but those very few rare cases we hear about in the media, these children have gained vastly richer, more love-filled lives than would otherwise have been the case.
Still, for the most part, the journey these American families are on is little known or understood, except by other families on the same journey.
But now comes this searing, gripping, heart-filled memoir by journalist Tina Traster. It chronicles her and her husband’s adoption of Julia from a Siberian orphanage, and the years they struggled to overcome Julia’s reactive attachment disorder – a serious condition that results from children not forming normal attachments with caregivers early in life, which affects some children brought up in the deprived environment of Russian orphanages.
This is a book that deserves to be read by all who care about the many Russian children who are now Americans, not just by families that have adopted them. In a clipped, dense, engagingly honest style, Traster recounts all the pain and joy, the difficulties and triumphs of parenting Julia, of bridging their worlds. It is a fast and entertaining read, but one that takes a great deal longer to absorb.

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