No Biking in the House Without a Helmet
by Melissa Fay Greene
I felt like I have been reading serious books lately and decided to read something light and easy for a change. I remembered buying this book randomly on Book Sale and maybe it was about time I take it off from the shelf and flip its pages.
No Biking in the House Without a Helmet is an humorous memoir of two-time National Book Award finalist Melissa Fay Greene detailing her family life and how it had grown with their decision to adopt kids from 3 different continents.
The book narrates in humorous way how the Samuel family decided to adopt and how they adjusted with the new children. There are a lot of struggles and adjustments especially since the adopted children are from different places and how they wanted each to feel loved and accepted. It focuses more on the lighter side of things but issues such as literacy and discipline are also tackled with a touch of wit.
Adoption is not an easy decision to make. It takes a lot of time and can be stressful not only to the adopting parents but to the child as well. The book has shown how the adoption process is being done. It’s a bit disheartening to learn that a potential parent answers a long list of questions as if trying to buy a property. They look at photos, pick a child and then spend a few days with the child as if test-driving a car you want to buy for reference. Parents consult doctors and psychologists to review a child’s medical record and point out possible problems (psychological, developmental, physical or medical) that may arise. These processes are something I do not know being done and I find it sad that these hopeful children may get rejected for a second chance to a happy and loving family because of a potential problem that may arise in the future.
It was also noteworthy to point out that when they got their new child into their home, it wasn’t exactly a happy ending. There are issues in adjustment in the environment and coping up with the child’s behavior. It’s not an easy task especially that their children were raised in different parts of the world. It was nice to see that Ms. Greene’s biological children were mature enough to understand how things were with the new members of the household. Everyone was very supportive and it helped a lot in the adjustment period. It’s also good to know that Ms. Greene points out the importance of keeping in touch with her children’s cultural roots and family.
All in all, I liked the book since everything was handled with a light heart. Although I think in reality, these things are not always dealt with a smiling face and deadpan humor. It was nice though and I learned a lot about a family with interracial adopted children.