Book in Review: The Broken Cord

Title : The Broken Cord

Author: Michael Dorris

Number of Pages: 300

Chapters: 15

This book was written in August 1989 and it was so well-written it kept me on my toes the entire time!

This book was about a man who decided in his mid-twenties to go forward with wanting to adopt his first child.  Yes, a man who was not married, who did not have a huge circle of people to help him raise his child, but he knew he was ready for a child at that time in his life.

The author Michael Dorries (the Dad) decided to write a book based on all of the trials and tribulations he went through after adopting his first son Adam, who had fetal alcohol syndrome.   At the time of the adoption, Adam was three.  To many people and doctors, adam just seemed small for his size, and the doctors could not give Michael an answer on what was causing Adam to have all of his seizures and why his learning was so delayed.

Michael took many years of research, patience, and wanting to learn everything on how he could best raise Adam and how to raise awareness to mothers who thought drinking excessively during pregnancy was an okay thing to do.  He spent years of his life asking people “why”.  For example “Why should it not be illegal for women to consume alcohol during pregnancy knowing that it will result in damaged children?”, “Why can we not regulate laws nationwide to control alcohol consumption, especially in pregnant women?”.  He asked the top of the people in the nation who were researching the topic on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAE) how he could best raise his son.  It took years for Adam to be fully potty trained, to learn how to tie his own shoe, and Michael had over time adopted two more children before marrying his wife Louise and having more children with her.

Adam is such a kind, and gentle-hearted person who never wanted to truly hurt anyone.  In the end of the book, Michael let Adam write his version of growing up and learning how to deal with life and cope with his disability.  It was amazing to see what he had to say after reading about him throughout the entire book.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.  This book is good for the younger generation who doesn’t truly know what and how excessive drinking could do to your fetus, and also for the older generation who is seeing so many of these kids in special facility centers and needing the day to day care just to survive.  It is amazing and has changed my life in so many ways, and is great for any nurse to read to see how much has changed since the 80’s and how much we know now.

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