In her new book, Rescuing Julia Twice, Tina Traster tells foreign-adoption story - from dealing with the bleak landscape and inscrutable adoption handlers in Siberia, to her feelings of inexperience and ambivalence at being a new mother in her early forties, to her growing realization over months then years that something was “not quite right” with her daughter, Julia, who remained cold and emotionally detached.
Why wouldn’t she look her parents in the eye or accept their embraces? Why didn’t she cry when she got hurt? Why didn’t she make friends at school? Traster describes how uncertainty turned to despair as she blamed herself and her mothering skills for her daughter’s troublesome behavioral issues, until she came to understand that Julia suffered from reactive attachment disorder, a serious condition associated with infants and young children who have been neglected, abused, or orphaned in infancy.
Traster describes how with work, commitment, and acceptance, she and her husband have been able to close the gulf between them and their daughter.