Reviews

“In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I fell in love with David Marin, the human being, when I heard about his book. A single guy adopting three little Mexican-American kids!  Then, I started reading This is Us, and I fell in love with David Marin, the writer. This guy can make the craziness of a bureaucracy funny; he can turn a trip to McDonald's into an absorbing read; and mostly he can stir your heart by describing the life of his new All-American family in a way that makes you wish he'd "adoct" you as well. The love is palpable; the prose throbs with life; the insights sparkle. I gave it to my husband to read, even though he doesn't "normally read this kind of book," and he laughed, read ahead of me, kept quoting passages out loud, and even offered to write this blurb for me. It's deeply gratifying when a good human being turns out to be a good writer and storyteller. Another reason to read this lovely book.”

   Julia Alvarez, author of 19 books, including How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies, Return to Sender, and Once Upon A Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA


"Inspiration is a word used too freely and too frequently. Yet, David Marin's honesty and humanity in telling the story of how he became a father against the odds is just that, an inspiration in the truest sense. This is US fills the world with the breath of hope."

   Jacquelyn Mitchard, author, The Deep End of the Ocean {Oprah's first Book Club selection}, and Second Nature: A Love Story


"David Marin opens our eyes to the profound significance men make in the lives of children. If every man could understand the heart-warming and life-changing truths David so personally reveals in This is US, America would be a stronger country."

   Meg Meeker, M.D., best-selling author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: Ten Secrets Every Father Should Know


"David Marin has written an important and moving book. He poignantly describes the soaring exhilaration and quiet satisfaction of becoming an adoptive father. He also captures the maddening frustrations of dealing with the child welfare bureaucracy. This book should be required reading for all adoption social workers and all prospective adoptive parents."

   Jeff Katz, Founder, Listening to Parents


"In telling the story of how he adopted three, young, bicultural children, David Marin is wise, warm, funny, insightful, passionate, persistent, and occasionally (and justifiably) outraged. As a single, middle-aged, affluent man who wanted more than anything to create a family, it should have been simple for him to provide a home for this trust-hungry trio. It was anything but. In This is US, Marin recounts with unsparing honesty and wry humor the formidable challenges he surmounted: a crazy-making bureaucracy, a mean-spirited boss, a suspicious and prejudiced society, and his considerable naivete as a first-time parent. Yet he also shares the joys and victories with which he was richly rewarded, not the least of which is the unconditional love of two boys and a girl whose lives - once constrained by fear, abuse, and neglect - now overflow with happy and intriguing possibilities. This remarkable book should be required reading for anyone who wants to adopt, has been adopted, or works in the adoption field. For the rest of us, it is an eloquent reminder of the primal power of kinship."  

   Richard Mahler, co-author of Secrets of Becoming a Late Bloomer


"Single dad David Marin's quest to adopt two boys and a girl from the California foster care system brings new meaning to the phrase "against all odds." As he and his beautiful children - and their happy and healthy lives - demonstrate, there are many ways to create a family. The essential ingredient is love."

     Jessica O'Dwyer, author of Mamalita: An Adoption Memoir


"Lucky for us all that Mr. Marin has not only withstood the tribulations of parenthood, racism, and ignorance, but is also a fantastic writer who knows how to tell a tale that is equal parts heartbreaking, confusing, honest, and inspiring. This guy can write."

"He has given voice to thousands of similar stories in his state and across the nation." 

    NY Journal of Books (September 13, 2011 release)


"Good books often give us some laughs and/or add to our knowledge about a relatively unknown subject. In addition to satisfying on both of those counts, this story had to be told—as a form of therapy and pride for its author, but mostly to hold up a mirror to our nation’s incompetent social structure, in which far too many children are considered disposable.  

Like any new parent, author David Marin pulls the narrative equivalent of adorable photos from his wallet. His four-year-old daughter’s recitation of the alphabet: “A-B-C-D-E-F-G, H-I-J-K-I’m a little pea,”  or the fact that his youngest prefers to be called “Shrek”  and carries an I.D. with that name from a family visit to an aquarium.

In some ways, his three young children are typical, growing out of their shoes by the day and delighting in McDonald’s. Their memories, however, distinguish them: Nightmares in which “robbers,” aka cops and social workers, repeatedly take them away from each other and the people they love; how rubbing food on your lips can keep hunger at bay for a while longer; and that taking lettuce from the pet rabbit’s cage when no one is looking is one way to survive. When the two-year-old messes his diaper for the first time in their new home, his four- and six-year-old siblings stand between him and the author, their new dad, to protect their brother from the wrath (and abuse) they’ve come to expect.

As a single adoptive parent of foster children in California, Marin sees his sacrifices as few, and his rewards innumerable: Instead of golfing seven times a month, he’ll golf seven times a year. He is unapologetic about his desire to not be alone as he ages, or, as a light-skinned, redheaded man, to celebrate his late father’s Puerto Rican heritage by adopting Latino children.

Marin’s frustration with “the system” over the three years it takes to finalize his dream, plus his increasing horror at learning the details of what his beloved “angels” endured, structures a mostly pathetic tale. A chapter titled “Walnut” tells about the social worker who makes a surprise visit, and, while completely ignoring the children, offers to buy his daughter’s walnut bedroom furniture because she’s been looking all over “for a set just like it.” The stats about prospective parents who begin the foster-cum-adoption process and ultimately burn (or opt) out are chilling.

Throughout his story, Marin receives much-needed emotional support, advice, and help from a woman he dates, who is a mother, as well as his own mother and sisters. He also gets released from a good-paying job and is forced to relocate after he makes public his plans to adopt. He subsequently sues his employer.

When a judge finally grants the new family’s long-awaited adoptions, he says to Marin, “There are people out there who would try to save their sperm or hire a surrogate mother . . .  But you went out and found kids who needed a home, and I am impressed with that.” It’s impossible not to be.

This is US is a celebration of difference. It will educate all prospective adoptive parents about what to expect from the adjustments required in building their new families, but will be especially valued by those willing to welcome the neediest children."

    Julie Eakin, ForeWord (September, 2011 release)  


"David Marin's account of adopting three children from Foster care is a delight.  Witty, and laugh out loud funny in some places yet aggravating and sad in others.  David Marin had to jump through more hoops than the average adoptive parent because he was a single man.  Many social workers at DHS didn't want to place children with him and certainly didn't agree with placing three Latino children with a red haired man, never mind that David is half Puerto Rican. 

He is stopped by cops, has set backs with the legal system and through it all he keeps his humor.  It's amazing and uplifting.  Then there are all the pitfalls to new parenting which as David is the first to admit, "small mammals know more about parenting" than he did.  But yet he persevered, through racism, bosses that pushed him out because of his want of family and social workers who did everything to get in his way.

Anyone who can go through that and still have the ability to be witty and humble is amazing.  His children are very lucky to have such a wonderful father."

         Paper Adventures