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"This book will haunt, move, inspire and transform you within moments of opening its pages."
-Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Clinical Psychologist and NYT Bestselling Author of The Conscious Parent
“I have chosen to share this with you because I know how it feels. I know what it’s like to experience the juxtaposition of deep and abiding love for a child and not have that love reciprocated through easy, peaceful obedience. I have endured long, exhausting days of arguing, meltdowns and volatility. I have struggled to keep my composure and have wept with my son as he purged the deepest wounds that have broken the family chain of a thousand generations.”
In her own version of Roadmap to Holland, Wendy learns that there is a precarious balance between honoring a child’s difficult past and the present task of developing a confident, well-adjusted child in today’s world.
Lee and Me: What I Learned from Parenting a Child with Adverse Childhood Experiences is one mother’s heartwarming story of personal experiences and lessons learned while raising her son who was adopted from Korea.
Part memoir, part instruction manual, part humorous inclusion in a club no one advertises, and part guide to regaining one's own center in the midst of all the chaos, you will learn about:
Lee & Me provides real-life insight into the challenges and triumphs of a true-life ‘Trauma Momma,’ a term I reserve for adoptive moms who have mastered the art of Therapeutic Parenting. Becoming an adoptive parent of a child with early adverse experiences can stretch, bend – even break some. Wendy Gauntner’s unfettered account of her own personal growth through the process of becoming an adoptive mom is a must-read for every parent!
As expected, the voyage of adoption begins with Wendy’s unbridled excitement, but quickly shifts to relentless efforts to heal her child’s hurting heart, mind, body and soul. Wendy eloquently takes the reader along through the passage of self-doubt, beyond the white-caps of terror and exhaustion, below the waterfall of needing to control, to reach the harbor of healing that – unexpectedly - was for her transformation, not her child’s.
Wendy shares her masterful approach to negotiating complex or rigid systems to secure flexible services for her child.
If you are typically inclined to skip over suggestions for self-care, I assure you will not skip it this time. By the time you reach this section, you will already have sensed the shift in her very essence; you will want to know more about how she garnered the inner-wisdom, peace, insight and strength to become a warrior mom - who also soldiers for her own self-care.
Denise L. Best, M.A., L.P.C., Center for Healing Relationships, LLC
Author “Therapeutic Interventions & Parenting Techniques for Children with Developmental Delays, Attachment & Trauma Disorders
Parenting any child is hard work, but when your child is experiencing life ‘just outside the lines,’ it’s even harder. Here’s where Wendy Borders Gauntner’s Lee & Me comes in, like a good friend, offering equal parts information and understanding. If you don’t have a child with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), you probably know one—read this book to better understand the families around you. And if you have a child with ACES, this book is written especially for you. She has given you her story—eloquently, thoughtfully, generously—so that you can know you’re not alone.
Jennifer Graf Groneberg, author of Road Map to Holland (NAL/Penguin 2008) and My Heart’s First Steps: Writings that Celebrate the Gifts of Parenthood (Adams Media, 2004)
This is an honest account of one mother’s courageous journey through the process of parenting a child with attachment disorder and adverse childhood experience (ACE). The author’s description of attachment issues and ACE is detailed in a way that will make it recognizable to parents of affected children, a layperson’s truthful and vulnerable description of the attachment-disordered child and the difficulties of parenting that child.
All parents will be comforted by the candor exhibited in this book and all parents will benefit from the reading of this book. However, parents of children with attachment disorder and/or ACE will be especially heartened and hopeful. This mother’s journey through the most difficult and painful endeavor, the effort to assist a troubled child in finding his/her way in the world, will assure them that they are not alone.
As a mental health clinician, I was impressed with the author’s well-informed translation of attachment theory into everyday language. As a parent, I was moved by the author’s bravery and inspired by her perseverance as she struggled to help her child to be “normal” and to heal.
“Lee and Me” reminds us that loss is inevitable, but also powerfully demonstrates the possibility of healing and growth that lies within each parent and child.
Susan C. Baltimore, Licensed Clinical Social Worker Adjunct Faculty (ret.), UCLA School of Public Policy, Department of Social Welfare