From Gypsy to Jersey: An Adoption Journey Book Review

Yael Adler has written an honest yet uplifting story about her experience as a Romanian adoptee, brought to the US and raised by loving parents. This book is further proof that even adopted people from wonderful upbringings and advantages still have curiosity and a longing to explore their original heritage and culture. Yael’s birth and subsequent adoption occurred during the time of the Romanian Revolution and the general fall of many communist-block countries in Europe. Millions of local citizens at the time lived in chaos and were desperate for food, health care, sanitation and safety, and as a result, Yael’s biological mother was unable to care for her. 

This book is rich in history and culture of a society most people hear or read very little about: Roma Gypsies. The author addresses typical stereotypes and discrimination experienced by these caring and family-centered individuals. Adler takes the reader on her journey (both literally and figuratively) of reunion overseas with her natural family members almost 30 years after the occurrence. The book includes fascinating photos, (mostly color in the Kindle version), along with a play-by-play of how she and a translator /guide/“angel” of sorts navigated her reunion with a large, welcoming family including a sister, nieces, nephews and an aunt. This reading experience is like going on a foreign exchange trip where you are able to appreciate the food, buildings, challenges of managing in a country where you don’t speak the language as well as becoming familiar with all the people involved in the story. 

The writing style is friendly and casual, as if you were sitting together at the kitchen table having a great discussion. The book reads fast too, so if you’re short on time but want to read something about how adoptees, birth mothers and even adoptive parents feel, this is an opportunity. 

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  • andestanley  On June 28, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    This sounds really interesting. Thanks for the review! I look forward to reading the book. I am a little bit familiar with the Romanian orphanage crisis. We studied it in one of my Psych classes on the development of the person. The situation in Romania was pretty dire.

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