Heartbreaking. Full of trials. Full of hope. Honest. True. These are just a few words that describe Catherine Marshall’s book, “The Easter Moose: One Family’s Journey Adopting Through Foster Care.” Even though intense, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and felt like I was experiencing her life story, her emotions, with her.

“The Easter Moose” is Catherine’s story of being a foster parent to Jenny and Robert in hopes of adopting them. She writes of her first meeting with the children at their foster home, seeing how scared Robert was and how protective he was of Jenny. She notes how Jenny would call every woman “mom,” not having an understanding of the word “mom” because she had lived in so many foster homes.

Catherine and her family went through a very hard journey to adopt Jenny and Robert. Nothing was as it seemed and there seemed to be a new trial at every turn. Even with documented evidence of neglect, the birth parents tried everything in the court system to keep/restore their parental rights. It took years of court dates and many lawyers before Catherine, Jenny, and Robert would become a family.

But no one knew what was looming for Jenny and Robert in their teenage years  Depression, addiction, running away, and anger would be just a few of the obstacles that Jenny and Robert would experience. But how do they respond and get through these major issues? Are the issues too big to overcome without destroying the family?

This book really pulls you in because Catherine makes her family real and recognizable. It has stories of the children from when they were little: going camping, making dinner together, getting everyone up and out the door in time for school, holiday pictures, and decorating. It also shows the commitment Catherine has for Jenny and Robert throughout the adoption experience and then throughout their teenage years. Through lawyers, court hearing, counselors, school meetings, and devastating phone calls, she never lost hope they would become/stay a family, and her love never wavered for her children.

Easter Moose

“The Easter Moose” is a gripping book that shows the real side of foster care and the areas of the foster care system that need fixed. I loved Catherine’s openness and willingness to share everything her family went through—and how together they endured and conquered  every obstacle.