I just finished Maurice Mierau’s book Detachment. He writes about the experience of adopting two sons from Ukraine. The boys went through some pretty traumatic life events before the adoption.Interwoven with the description of these events, is the story of Maurice’s father who decades prior, also lived through traumatic times in Ukraine before immigrating to Canada. It is interesting to see the two stories juxtapositioned and to learn how Maurice comes to terms with both. The title of the book stems from the fact that Maurice felt a kind of ‘detachment’ in his relationship with his own Dad, and doesn’t want to have that same kind of detached relationship with the boys he has adopted, or his older son from a previous marriage.
I wondered how knowing he was going to write a book about the adoption influenced the way Maurice felt and acted. He made notes about everything. Did keeping those notes interfere in any way with him participating in the adoption process and family life? Was he always thinking about what was going on in terms of what he would write about it? Sometimes when I know I am going to be writing about an experience I make different choices about what to see and do and sometimes I’m so busy making notes and taking pictures it detracts from the experience. I wonder if that happened to Maurice. On the other hand sometimes taking notes and reflecting on an experience makes it more meaningful and memorable so that might have happened to Maurice too.
Detachment will be of particular interest to people whose families have immigrated from Ukraine like mine, and couples who have been through the foreign adoption process. The book will also make you think about how your parenting behavior was influenced by the parenting you received.