Book Review: Expecting Adam

JP gave me a book for Valentine’s Day. I heart books. Recently I read a book called The Condition about a child born with a disease and how her family’s lives change because of it…or in spite of it, I should say. You can read more about that review here.

Expecting Adam was kinda like that, but not. I read this book before having any idea of who Martha Beck is and I found myself frustrated because she came off as a cold, education-driven woman that I really couldn’t imagine in a motherly role. This is the true story of Martha and her husband John’s journey as they find out during pregnancy that their second child will be born with Down’s Syndrome. Martha and John fight through their Harvard educated lives to try to stand up against stereotypes of children born with Down’s as well as learn to over come their own hesitations in allowing the pregnancy to reach term. They’re so wound up in a world where everyone around them is more worried about the educational world, than to sit back and really think about what’s important things in life. This breeds shame in Martha and John as they consistently “come out” to their family in friends about their child being born with Down’s.

Martha also has these continuous angelic/divine experiences that consistently make me sit back and go “Yeah right!!” But who am I to judge? She obviously fought hard for her son, Adam, and felt a support from something outside of the world that she was used to.

I wish I knew who Martha was before reading the book. She is the daughter of a prominent LDS leader, Hugh Nibley, who she accused of sexual abuse (and wrote a book documenting her departure from her Mormon roots). She’s a therapist and life coach. She’s met Oprah! From her video’s on her website, she seems like a funny, joyous person…completely unlike herself in Expecting Adam. And maybe that’s partly due to the fact that she is very different from herself 22+ years ago. Martha and her husband have divorced and they have both come out as gay. Martha now lives with her partner, Karen, raising her three children. Video’s of Adam as a young adult are awesome. He seems like such a happy guy.

I’d recommend this book as a read BUT I’m gonna have to say to check out Martha’s website first and get to know her a bit before jumping in. I think it’ll smooth the edges for you and you’ll appreciate the things she was going through a bit more.


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