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Cover for When Rain Hurts

When Rain Hurts

An Adoptive Mother's Journey with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Mary Evelyn Greene


List Price: 16.95*
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When Rain Hurts is the story of one mother’s quest to find a magical path of healing and forgiveness for her son, a boy so damaged by the double whammy of prenatal alcohol abuse and the stark rigors of Russian orphanage life that he was feral by the time of his adoption at age three. Bizarre behaviors, irrational thoughts, and dangerous preoccupations were the norm—no amount of love, it turns out, can untangle the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. More people are coping with and caring for those affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders than individuals living with autism, but because there is a stigma associated with this preventable, devastating birth defect, it is a pandemic of disability and tragedy that remains underreported and underexplored. When Rain Hurts puts an unapologetic face to living and coping with this tragedy while doggedly searching for a more hopeful outcome for one beautiful, innocent, but damaged little boy.

Praise For When Rain Hurts: An Adoptive Mother's Journey with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

“With When Rain Hurts, Mary Greene has captured what it means to become a person of integrity. The author’s untiring story of commitment to her adopted, multiply disabled son Peter and his highly sensitive, cognitive and biological systems teaches and inspires. In most homes, where FAS, autism and other severe biomedical disorders are not a fact of daily life, a child’s developmental milestones are celebrated as givens. Greene asks us to look at things with a set of different measures altogether, to rethink our cultural preconceptions of what constitutes achievement or success. If I were asked to name my favorite overachievers, I’d choose those who have gone above and beyond the call to map the depth and possibility of our humanity. I’d name intrepid Greene and her courageous son, Peter.”
—Valerie Paradiz, PhD, author of Elijah’s Cup and Director, Autistic Global Initiative of the Autism Research Institute

“‘What I wanted was a family,’ writes Mary Greene, ‘not a booby-trapped marathon that lacked a finish line.’ In this intimate and unflinching memoir, Greene describes the space between her dreams of motherhood and the reality of life with an adopted child suffering from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. When Rain Hurts is emotionally complex, fascinating, gritty, exhausting, and teeming with protective mother-energy and love. Three cheers for Mary Greene’s fighting spirit and the work she’s doing to create and protect her family while educating so many of us about the complexities of international adoption and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.”
—Sheri Reynolds, author of The Homespun Wisdom of Myrtle T. Cribb

“What will a mother do for her child? If your name is Mary Greene, the answer is ‘everything possible.’ Greene’s searing account of learning to parent her prenatal alcohol-exposed, bipolar, orphanage-veteran son is an unforgettable lesson in commitment, fortitude, and unconditional love. This riveting and candid story sheds a brutal light on the challenges faced by many post-institutionalized children and their families, and assures them, ‘You are not alone. There is hope.’”
—Jessica O’Dwyer, author of Mamalita: An Adoption Memoir

“Mary E. Greene shares her family’s journey through the world of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome with a lucid candor free of self-pity (and a healthy wit). To anyone either struggling to make sense of the journey to adopt a child, or dealing with a skewed adoption system, Greene’s book will offer both camaraderie and sustenance.
—Edie Meidav, author of Lola, California

Red Hen Press, 9781597092623, 296pp.

Publication Date: September 15, 2013

About the Author

Mary Evelyn Greene, Senior Managing Attorney with the Environmental Integrity Project, adopted two toddlers from Russia in 2004. Ever since, she has doggedly devoted herself to improving her alcohol-exposed son’s condition, publishing articles in Adoptive Families Magazine and Adoption Today along the way. She is a contributing author to Easy to Love but Hard to Raise (2012), a collection of stories written for and by parents of special needs kids. She currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband and children. This is her first book.