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Let's Talk Babies!


If the title of this book doesn’t spike your curiosity the tag line on the front cover certainly will “9 Kids, 3 Continents, 2 Parents, 1 Family”.

No Biking in the House Without a Helmet by Melissa Fay Greene is a memoir of an extraordinary family. A narrative on what makes a family, a family. A reflection on how their family came to be and what makes it great. Melissa does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of their family and all the parts (people) that make it up. The Greene family is 11 strong including Mom and Dad, 4 biological children, and 5 adopted children. Their story makes you giggle and smile, it warms you heart and it reminds you that there are still really good people in this world.

From the very beginning of the book when Melissa describes what it is like to be back in the elementary school setting with her adopted children after having been through it already with her biological children to the very end where she describes the similarities and differences of all her children, common genetics or not I enjoyed getting to know this family. I enjoyed learning how each of the adopted children came to be part of the Greene family. Melissa did a wonderful job of sharing the stories of each of the children, both her biological children and those she and her husband adopted from overseas. I felt, at the end of the book, they a knew each one of the kids and how they fit into this extraordinary family unit.

The sign of a good book, for me, is when I get to end but I’m not quite ready to be done with the characters (be them real, as in this case, or fictional). That is how I felt at the end of No Biking in the House Without a Helmet. I wanted to know more about these exceptional kids and this fun-loving family. I wanted to know more about the back stories of each of the adopted siblings. I wasn’t quite ready to be done with them.

No Biking in the House Without a Helmet is full of heartwarming, funny, confessional stories that give you a glimpse into this family. With each new sibling you can see, through Melissa’s words, how the family unit changed and shifted to make room for and accommodate the new addition. The family isn’t without its bumps in the road and Melissa wasn’t afraid to share some of their struggles along the way. She didn’t sugarcoat their story and make it seem like it is all rainbows and butterflies every day. I enjoyed getting to know the Greene family and would definitely recommend this book.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not compensated for this review and the opinions are my own.

If you are considering adoption all the options can seem a little overwhelming at times. There are so many decisions to be made, not the least of which being what type of adoption you wish to pursue; Domestic, International or Foster Care. Each option has their advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your specific needs and wants, as well as your family situation you will likely find one option stands out as the best one for you.

Domestic Adoption: domestic adoptions work well for those couples who are looking to adopt a newborn and those who find it important to have a detailed family medical history. Domestic adoptions can be difficult as more birth mothers are seeking open adoptions so they can remain part of the child’s life. Also, depending on the laws in your state you may find the birth mother or father can change their mind after the adoption process has begun. Be sure you familiarize yourself with the laws in your state and prepare yourself for anything that may come up.

  • Wait Times: the average wait time for a domestic adoption in the United States range from several months to several years. Making specific requests for gender or race will increase the wait time
  • Cost: the average cost of a domestic adoption ranges from $10,000 to $40,000.

International Adoption: international adoptions are best suited for those who prefer not to have direct contact with the birth mother, and are interested and able to raise a child of a different nationality. International adoptions have begun to decline over the last several years. The restrictions of the birth countries have become more strict and some countries (like Vietnam) have halted adoptions altogether. Educate yourself about the adoption process in the country you are considering.

  • Wait Times: the wait times will vary depending on the country you choose to adopt from. For example, the wait times in Russia and Ethiopia are less than a year. In Korea the wait times are up to 18 months. In China (the most popular international adoption location) the wait time is up to 3 years.
  • Cost: the cost of an international adoption ranges from $10,000 to $40,000 depending heavily on the country you choose to adopt from and the agency you choose to go through.

Foster Care Adoptions: foster care adoptions work best for those parents who don’t want to spend a lot of money or don’t have a lot of money to spend. They also work well for older parents and those who don’t mind adopting an older child or a child with special needs. Parents choosing this option should be aware that the child they are adopting may have come from a home where they experienced abuse or neglect and may have been in the foster care system for years. The parents need to be prepared and willing to deal with the special needs of these children.

  • Wait Times: the wait times for foster care adoptions average only a couple of months. Once the child is placed in your home it does take a year or more for the adoption to be finalized and a social worker will need to work with your family to ensure the placement is in the best interest of the child.
  • Cost: the average cost of a foster care adoption is only about $2500, and in many cases the fees are waived by the state.

The best thing for a prospective adoptive parent to do is to start by researching the various options available and determine which adoption method best meets your needs and wants. Once you know which road you wish to go down do more research about that type of adoption. The better educated you are about the process the easier it will be and the less surprises you will encounter.

Here are some very helpful web resources.