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  A book for everyone - amazing, beautiful, January 28, 2015
by Deb
A book for everyone - amazing, beautiful, sad, heartbreaking, victorious! One man's journey through hell and back and done with authenticity, love, grace, joy and ending in peace. We can all learn from Joe's experiences - to be honest, to grieve and to embrace this messy, beautiful life. Please read this book whether you're affected by adoption or not - you'll learn to live no matter what your trauma is. Namaste!

 January 17, 2015
by Dianna 
Joe Soll writes about his emotional need for his natural mother through out his life. It is well written describing the near death events and romantic encounters along with a history of Joe Soll's talents and careers. All of those combined allow the reader to know the reasons why Joe Soll is able to lead thousands understand and heal from loss through adoption. I especially enjoyed the very accurate account of the struggle in the 1980s, exposing the need for adoption reunions and original birth certificate Information. While Joe Soll was giving so much compassionate learned and personal support to anyone touched by adoption he was learning himself. This is a page turner only because it is written well and straight from a man's heart. A heart that survived lies and longing while living a most interesting life.

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October 2014

“The first thing I realized when I read the title of Joe Soll’s new book is that I don’t know much about his life.  Why would he be in danger of falling off the Empire State Building? Was he a daredevil, careless? What?


That incident is just one of the many fascinating experiences in Joe’s life. He was full of curiosity, which led to only his first near-death experience when he was six and stuck a wire into a wall socket!  Fear also played a large part in Joe’s life. He even had a Terror List. One thing that terrified him was anyone’s finding out he was adopted. That went on for years until he began therapy with Mary at age 36.

As is true of many adoption scenarios, Joe has had ups and downs in his experience with adoption organizations. He put on a very successful conference for the AAC in 1989 and led many marches for equal rights in Adoption. However, because adoption itself is so full of paradoxes and contradictions, it is difficult to get everyone on the same page when it comes to getting things done. One thing that never wavered for him was that he desperately wanted to find his first mother.

Curiosity, courage, and commitment played equal parts in Joe’s life whether as an electrical engineer, an inventor, an adoption specialist, an avid bridge player, or a friend. It is difficult to choose only one or two things to focus on in his very full life. Just trust me that his story is truly captivating, honest, and full of Joe’s subtle humor. I couldn’t put it down!”


Nancy Verrier, a psychotherapist, author of Primal Wound and Coming Home to Self

September 2014

"Joe Soll has written a very fine-grained memoir. More than anything, Soll shows that the deep vein of adoption's disruptive force has been a constant feature of his active, engaged, caring and creative life.

Rickie Solinger, historian, author of Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race before Roe v. Wade and Pregnancy and Power: A Short History of Reproductive Politics in the U.S., among other books

July 2014

"Joe Soll’s autobiography could be a screenplay; maybe it will be.  Comprehensive, authentic, the writing style steps back, like a good umpire,  and lets the words and messages speak for themselves. There is poetry, but it is not gratuitous, and I found myself crying at points all through the book. I cry about the critters. Most people will cry about the human relationships. But crying is crying. It means the book is speaking truth.

One could read the book simply for its story and the action. Visions of Steve Jobs flashed through my mind all the way through it. For sure, Joe is bright; his ability to abstract from examples establishes that. But there is something more. He is also creative. The two do not always go together. "Intuition and will" stand out to me as the strengths of his character. He dropped out of college, but could have founded another Apple with some fortuity. International travel for his own company, television and motion picture acting roles, stand up comedy, singing, network debates with New York City Mayors and other politicians, and countless appearances with television talk hosts, as well as a bullet to his head, bomb threats, and hanging off of tall buildings on single ropes, will maintain the reader’s interest.

 However, this book is not for the general audience. It addresses the adoption community. From my perspective, Joe Soll is the last standing major player in what has been called the adoption liberation movement. Today, he probably sees the most triad members, has the most consistent groups, and works the hardest for the adoptee/first mother contingent. He no longer provides communication equipment, but rather provides communication content. 

 So if you are involved with adoption, knowing about Joe will make you better informed about adoption issues. But we are not just gathering information; we intend to use it to guide our lives. That becomes more tricky. “Are we there yet” from the boy in the back seat on the family vacation comes to mind. Is Joe’s story now finished, whereupon he can put up his feet and let the recent information fill in his metaphorical empty space?  I am not so sure. But I am sure that wherever we go from here, this book will be an important part of the journey."

Robert Andersen, M.D., psychiatrist, author of Second Choice: Growing Up Adopted and  co-author of  A Bridge Less Traveled: Twice Visited