Saturday, May 15, 2010

Book Review: One Small Sacrifice: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects

Trace A. DeMeyer’s book One Small Sacrifice: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects is a marvelous read.

Trace narrates her story of growing up in small-town Wisconsin, US, with her younger brother, Joey and a very dysfunctional adoptive family, yet the only family she knows. What’s interesting about this book is how Trace takes the reader along with her on her journey. At times I felt I was with Trace, in her house struggling with abuse, listening from the back room as her parents and parish priests drank into the wee hours. I was sitting in the bar where she and her band were performing. I was also with her when she relentlessly searched for her family of birth. I pondered with her as she tried to make sense of her home environment – disturbed, abusive adoptive father, distracted adoptive mother – and a deep desire to know her roots and connect emotionally and physically with her sorely absent parents.

One Small Sacrifice: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects, provides a realistic representation of the pieces of identity that are missing year after year for those separated from their parents and tribe, as well as the laws, societal myths and pressures that require adopted children to play the role of daughter or son to those unrelated to them. There is a subtle message to readers how adopted persons, by being adopted and legally forbidden to know who they are adapt to their surroundings, while unwittingly abetting in the crime of secrecy of their own identity and past.

The reader struggles with Trace as she tries to cope with and overcome her constant questioning of all that is strange about human nature, but knowing instinctively not to blame herself for the perverse actions of others. We then share her appreciation for all the beauty in nature that is so often unnoticed. Trace shows us how to unearth the exquisiteness in birds, snakes, water and trees.

Trace is a writer, a very introspective and musical person; she has determination and a untamed spirit that keeps her moving bit by bit to find her truth, and the truth of her Indian-self and of her people who have suffered en masse through the controlling and untiring hands of the white man.

This book will help those who wonder how an adopted person is connected to an adoptive family, simply by “being there” and how complex it is to amalgamate one’s adoptive identity into a found identity, and how the mind plays tricks on you when paradoxically wishing for, yet accepting the life that is and the life that never was.

One Small Sacrifice: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects is available as a download (e-book, US $3.00) or paperback (US $15.95) at: and at Request at your favorite book seller. ISBN: 978-0-557-25599-3


Ungrateful Little Bastard said...

Thank you so much for writing this. I got this book right before my mother got very ill, and I kept putting off reading it because I wanted to give it my undivided attention. Your review reminded me that this is one I really need to read.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the review. I will definetly check it out.


Von said...

Great book and a terrific review.