I cannot resist a good adoption book. When I came across The Pumpkin Patch; A Single Woman’s International Adoption Journey I snatched it up and devoured it greedily.

Maybe it was selective hearing, but one of the downfalls of my adoption preparation was an overemphasis on the “happy” of adoption. The rest of truth is that the happy is always mingled with sad, and adoptive parenting is just plain hard.

I read this book like a madwoman, hoping to find solace with other adoptive moms (and dads) who are courageous enough to tell the whole truth.

Margaret Schwartz is one of those moms.

I read this book with pen in hand, underlining furiously as a means of saying, “yes, me too!”

Some pros of this book:

It is honest. It tells the whole truth; the happy and the sad, the selfish and the selfless, the joy and the heartbreak.

It is told from the point of view of a single adoptive mom. This is rare and refreshing (especially for other single adoptive moms like me).

It is written in a journal style, so it is easy to read with kiddos buzzing around in the background. The entries are relatively short, so you can come quickly to a natural stopping place.

Cons of this book:

It is basically like reading the author’s journal, so the writing style is not particularly lyrical. If you are not interested in the storyline, the writing style will probably not be enough to keep you engaged.

Some of the non-adoption related details could easily have been edited so that the story was more focused and fast paced.

The title has very little to do with the story. The author explains this in the introduction, but do not expect to be reading much about pumpkins!

Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it as a helpful addition to any adoptive (or preadoptive) parent’s library.

If you are interested in purchasing this book, you can search for “The Pumpkin Patch: A Single Woman’s International Adoption Journey” by Margaret L. Schwartz, Chicago Spectrum Press, 2005.