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Signing set for book on adoption struggles

Submitted photo Jonathan Courtis and Wayne Carlsson, who have recently published a book on the struggles they had when trying to adopt a child.

LAKEWOOD — Writing and publishing a book was not something originally in the plan for Wayne Carlsson and his husband Jonathan Courtis.

Their book “Overcoming the Sadness: Dealing with the Loss of a Child We Never Had”, details the couple’s journey into trying to adopt a child and eventually reaching the point where they realized it was not meant to be.

“When we finally realized we would not place with a child in our home we wrote the book as a form of therapy and to help us heal,” Carlsson said. “We want to educate the public on the issues with the adoption system and shine a light in what can be a dark area. We want to help others who are trying or thinking of trying to adopt. Maybe if they read what we went through they can have better success.”

Carlsson added that the book seeks to help support others who have also failed to adopt a child and work to make some legal changes to the system.

The book chronicles the couple’s three year adoption journey, including getting adoption certified and the matching process. Carlsson and Courtis detail the stories of the different cases of children they came across on their journey and the issues that are presented in different states.

“We offer potential ideas and solutions to help fix those problems,” Carlsson said. “The big thing for us is that people often say the system is broken. That’s not a good excuse anymore. How many times can you say that before something gets done?”

Carlsson and Courtis will be holding a book signing at Good Neighbor Bookstore, 124 Chautauqua Avenue in Lakewood, on June 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. They will both be in attendance signing copies and are more than willing to talk with people who may wish to share their own experiences or have questions to ask them. They have started a Facebook page as well, as a support group for people with similar stories called F.A.S.T., or Failed Adoption Support Team. The book is also available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle.

For Carlsson and Courtis, the book brings a sense of closure while also working to make a change.

“This book brings a sense of closure to our adoption journey and helps us to move forward,” Carlsson said. “It is also a jumping point to affect positive change for kids.”

In the future, Carlsson said they hope people will share the book, specifically to others they may know who have been trying or tried and failed to adopt like them. He added that it could benefit them and help them realize that they are not alone.

“We want the general public to understand a world that they may not experience themselves,” Carlsson said. “We want them to know what it’s like to go through the process and shine a light on how the system is broken.”

Proceeds from the book will be going towards efforts to send copies of the book to specific members of Congress to schedule meetings with their representatives to try and help fix the system for children.

Carlsson said that while they could not adopt a child of their own, maybe the book will still help them to have a positive impact on other children in the adoption system.

“Even though you think you are headed in one direction, life throws curveballs that take you in another,” Carlssons said.

“That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps our story and outcome is meant to affect positive change in children in general, not just one that we wanted to take into our house and raise as our own.”

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