cover image Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption

Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption

Vanessa McGrady. Little A, $24.95 (174p) ISBN 978-1-5039-0369-2

McGrady’s slim and moving memoir follows her decade-long journey to becoming a parent, during which she suffered three miscarriages before adopting her daughter. Living in New York City and Seattle, McGrady worked an assortment of jobs—waitress, owner of a dating service, voice-over actor, playwright—while involved in a series of relationships. She didn’t seriously start thinking about having children until she became pregnant for the first time, in 2000 at age 32, and suddenly she fell “madly, irreversibly in love with the idea of becoming a mom.” She told everyone she knew that she was going to have a baby, and when the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, she was devastated. A decade later while living in Los Angeles, McGrady decided to contact an adoption agency. After a few failed matches, she received a call about a young pregnant woman named Brigett, who had already backed out of an agreement with another potential adoptive parent. McGrady agreed to help Brigett and her boyfriend Bill with their living expenses and eventually adopted their daughter, named Grace Magnolia. McGrady also allowed the newly homeless Brigett and Bill to live with her and Grace until they got back on their feet. McGrady wrestles with gratitude to Grace’s birth parents, for finally giving her the daughter she’d always dreamed of, and concern for Grace’s (and her own) mental health with Grace’s birth parents living under the same roof for six months. McGrady’s memoir is a touching and honest adoption story. (Feb.)