The Martian Child
A Novel About A Single Father Adopting A Son
A Novel about a Single Father Adopting a Son
Based on a True Story
"Oh. One more thing: Dennis thinks he's a Martian . . . ."
Soon-to-be parents are instructed to "expect the unexpected." Good advice, it turns out. Especially for the anxious or apprehensive parent who is considering adoption.
How can one know about an adopted child?
All David Gerrold knew for certain was that he wanted to be a parent. As a single gay man he thought adoption would be the most direct route to fatherhood. But he soon found out-to both his joy and dismay-that the emotional route to fatherhood was anything but direct. In fact, it was a roller-coaster ride that changed his life forever.
When he first saw the picture of eight-year-old Dennis beaming up at him from the photograph in the adoption book, David knew this was the boy for him.
But these were the facts: Abandoned as an infant by drug-addicted parents. Documented abuse. Shuffled from one foster home to another. Deficit hyperactivity disorder. Ritalin to control his violent emotional outbursts. For his antisocial behavior: Disipramine. The conclusion from experts: Dennis was "hard to place." A polite bureaucratic euphemism for unadoptable. It was a depressing assessment that David could not-would not-accept.
He needed Dennis. And he believed Dennis needed him. It was that simple.
Until the reality of single fatherhood set in.
A searingly honest, funny, moving, and heartfelt portrait of the joys and perils of parenting, The Martian Child is David Gerrold's valentine to the redemptive value of love,in this case a father's love for his son. A son who thinks he's a Martian.
- Tom Doherty Associates, June 2002
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