Reviews of Second-Chance Mother

Denise Roessle has written an honest account of her second chance to be a mother to the son she gave up to adoption. Intricately woven into the story is her fragile relationship with her own mother, which emphasizes the difficulties of trying to pick up where one left off when the original relationship goes awry. Roessle’s son’s inability to sustain a relationship with any woman, including the author, is typical of many male adoptees, who are very angry at having been separated from their first mothers. This is a well-written tale of how difficult it is to put Humpty-Dumpty back together and how tenuous yet tenacious family dynamics can be.

— Nancy Verrier, MFT, and author of The Primal Wound and Coming Home to Self

Raw and riveting, Second-Chance Mother is an incredibly courageous story about the complexities and importance of the journey toward healing after reunion. I highly recommend it.

— Carol Schaefer, author of The Other Mother

Denise Roessle’s memoir is a compelling look at the devastating and long-lasting effects of adoption that reunion alone cannot “cure.” She vividly illustrates how separation of mother and child affects not only the mother and child, but all family members and across generations. Natural mothers and their relinquished children—and those seeking such a reunion—would gain from the wisdom and honesty of Second-Chance Mother. Who else should read it? Every adoption worker anywhere. Unfortunately, we know that the anger and bitterness of her son is not confined to a few, but affects countless others. Sad, yes. But highly recommended.

— Lorraine Dusky, author of Birthmark

A rich memoir, told with raw intensity and startling in its honesty. Denise Roessle holds nothing back in recounting the details of losing her son to adoption, their reunion 26 years later, and the surprise secrets in her family.”Second Chance Mother” is not only a moving story about adoption loss, but about families we love but may not like.

— Debra Baker, filmmaker, “Broken Ties” and “Lost and Found”

What a journey it is when a birth mother and her child are reunited. As on every journey, there are surprises and wrong turns, along with the joys of discovery. In this gripping memoir, Denise Roessle peels back the veneer of giddy expectations and happily-ever-after fantasies to reveal a three-generational secret of relinquishment. She finds out how powerful secrets keep seeding the generations unconsciously until we stop them, and she works to uncover and recover what was lost. Read this page turner to learn how Denise creates a second chance with her whole family, including herself.

— Linda Joy Myers, President of the National Association of Memoir Writers

Now and then a book comes along that reaches deep into the reader’s soul and opens the door to new perspectives on life. Second-Chance Mother is one of those rare stories that will capture and change your life. The author has woven an exquisite, seamless tapestry of love, regret, hope, rejection and finally acceptance of what was and is. Her blending of past and present is written smoothly and the transitions add to the power of the book. The adoption community is fortunate to have this new voice to help parents, children and friends sort out the tangled web that is adoption.

— Marilyn Anne Pate, author of “Everyday Evil”