"Kathleen L. Whitten writes from her heart and her head, sharing her personal and scientific expertise with parents planning or pondering adoption. This book is more than a resource; it's a companion."
Robert E. Emery, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Children, Families, and the Law, University of Virginia
"I've completed reading Dr. Whitten's book and absolutely loved it. We will be including it in our suggested reading list for our Web-based intercountry education program (http://www.hagueadoption.org)."
Chuck Johnson National Council For Adoption Vice President of Training and Agency Services Director of the Infant Adoption Training Initiative
"Adoption is a major, life-changing adventure, and this manageable guidebook does an excellent job of exploring a prospective adoptive parent's readiness for the journey. Whitten's book acknowledges what many 'how to adopt' books don't: the need to understand--and give equal consideration to--what the brain needs to know, what the heart feels, and the practical considerations of the potential issues. Whitten's book stands above other pre-parenting tomes by providing a structure to effectively address a parent's supremely important internal journey: the labor of heart and mind, while looking toward and waiting for a future as a family."
"well researched, well written and uniquely helpful. . . . There are many “how to” manuals relating to the adoption process which appeal to the head, and many personal memoirs which appeal to the heart, but I have never before seen a book which attempts to appeal to both the heart and the head."
Dr. Kathleen L. Whitten combines her expertise as a developmental psychologist with her experience as an adoptive mother to guide parents through the challenges of adoption decisions. If you’re adopting, you might go through a double trial of emotional responses to infertility and to the process of adoption itself, called "excruciating labor with no end in sight," by one adoptive mother. Your anxiety, fear and stress can interfere with life-altering decisions: Will you adopt an older child or an infant? Can you parent a child with developmental delays, and if so, how severe? Will you adopt in the U.S. or abroad? What kind of relationship will you have with birth parents? Labor of the Heart: A Parent’s Guide shows you how to turn the long waiting period from hard labor into the emotionally satisfying work of giving your child a secure, loving home. Dr. Whitten also links adoption and spirituality in many world religions: Spiritual ancestors are related by choice and by faith, as adoptive families are. Throughout the book, Dr. Whitten translates scientific research into useful advice for you, the busy parents-to-be. This plain-spoken, heart-felt, and science-based book will guide you through the emotional thickets of adoption so you can become the best parents to your chosen children.