The Midwest Book Review
Bethany’s Bookshelf, Susan Bethany Reviewer
Synopsis: “Anything For Amelia ” by Andrew C. Branham is the true story of the challenges endured by two gay men who had the desire to adopt a child. When Andrew and DJ decided to adopt and bring a child into their lives, little did they know what they were about to endure; yet never did the thought cross their minds to give up. The horrific, pitilessly, and beyond comprehensible hoops one woman would make them jump through demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that little Amelia was going to be much better off in the loving home that Drew and DJ could provide her. Just when you think, how can two people survive such a nightmare and the journey is just about over when little Amelia is born and will be safely in the arms of her loving dads, Sandi decides to pull one more shenanigan that could change their lives forever.
Critique: More than 10 million adults have been adopted or fostered in their childhood. Along with spiraling increases in adoptions comes a growing need to disclose the significant flaws in adoption laws that open the doors to fraud, manipulation, and abuse of the system. “Anything For Amelia” explores this dark side of the adoption process through the true story of one couple’s journey through hell. Called “the most difficult adoption in U.S. history” by adoption experts, “Anything For Amelia ” will have a very special appeal to nearly families (traditional as well as non-traditional) interested in adoption, foster parenting, or surrogacy. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, “Anything For Amelia” is very highly recommended for both community and academic library Gay Studies, Family Relations, Adoption/Fostering, and Contemporary American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that “Anything For Amelia ” is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).
A MUST READ
By Aimee Newman on October 21, 2015
This story was brilliantly written and kept me wanting more. I had so many questions I wanted to ask and yet was unable. I can see this story as a LIFETIME movie. Sadly- this story is 100% true and made me feel horrible for Andrew and DJ and all they had to endure for their sweet baby girl. It made me feel so sad for those children of Sandi’s. I wonder about Doug. It really keep my interest the entire time and I could not put the book down. Amazing
By Anette R. on October 21, 2015
In this book I read about the intense struggle these two gay men had while trying to adopt a child. Their experiences are chronicled here and they have made me feel so bad about their unfair ordeal and the things they had to do just to adopt. I found it to be very educational as well, and I learned a great deal about the subject and the hoops gay couples have to go around in the process. A powerful book that sheds a much needed light on the subject, I am glad I got to read it.
I felt sad for the three children she kept
By Amazon Customer on October 18, 2015
My only complaint – I was late for work after reading this book. Yes, I stayed up all night reading “Anything for Amelia” and finished it in one sitting. Seriously, I could not put it down. It is a compelling story. Let me just say this — Sandi is one crazy b****! I found myself laughing out loud at times at how flippantly she used her unborn child as a pawn to milk gifts out of Drew and DJ. Truth really is stranger than fiction. At other times, I felt sad for the three children she kept. It was a happen ending for Amelia — I just hope her other children are able to somehow escape their environment.
By Amber on October 17, 2015
My first thought on this book was just wow. I’ve heard of horror stories about people adopting children, but this one is just insane. It’s the type of book that you can’t put down because you just want to see what this women is going to do next. Are there really people like this in the world? I’m just shocked. It’s an emotional story with sadness and happiness.
You know it’s a good story when you have to stop multiple times to…
By Mary Janice Davidson (NYT Best Selling Author) on October 16, 2015
An incredibly emotional journey. You know it’s a good story when you have to stop multiple times to 1) get a tissue and 2) thank the stars it all turned out well! A testament to perseverance and hearts of gold.
Great read! I couldn’t put the book down!
By Melissa on October 16, 2015
Inspirational book! This book not only showed the flaws in the adoption process but also showed that true love and patience can over come all!
Eye opening fantastic new memoires
By Amazon Customer on October 16, 2015
If there was one thing I could say about this book was that it completely opened my eyes to something I had no idea happened in this country. You would think, that in this day and age there would be laws that protect BOTH the birth mother AND the adopting family. Clearly that’s not the case in some states. This women not only manipulated these two men but put them through agonizing torture and all just to be mean. Is she evil? I don’t know. Is she a bad seed? Most likely. Does she possibly need mental help? No doubt. In the end Amelia is with her rightful parents and two men that love her to death. I loved every aspect of this book and really don’t have a single complaint. It is not only worth a read but it will probably have you reading it a second time. It is already on my top books of 2015. Thank you
By Amazon Customer on October 15, 2015
I was touched by the book and it is a story I will probably never forget. These two men went to extreme lengths to save their baby from a life that would have been horrible. They did their best to help Sandi’s own kids as well.The book uncovers some flaws in our adoption laws and is very candid about this.The story flows nicely and is very well written. Like others said, it draws you in. You feel like you are with DJ and Drew. Drew has a unique writing style that is very special. I cannot say enough about this book. It is seriously a superb read and you will love every moment. I would LOVE to see this as a Lifetime movie someday.
I absolutely loved this book
By Zalewski Eric on October 14, 2015
I bought this book with some reservations given that it was about a gay couple. Not because I don’t like gay couples but because I was not sure if I would relate to the story. Boy was I wrong. I have never become so engulfed in a story before in my life. Not only will you be pulled in with ropes but you will be hooked on this dramatic story. You will be thinking about it for days after you finished the read. The writing is excellent despite a few typos, the story is the best I have read this year and the characters are very strong. Would I recommend this book? You better believe it. It will be a best seller when the word gets out for this first time author. I would say it is a great book for a book club.
By Maureen A. Dawn on October 14, 2015
Anything for Amelia is a prolific catharsis of a couple’s journey through the adoption walls of hell. The story is stunning and the write has an immaculate way of delivering a fantastic read. This couple was faced with so many hurdles and some many obstacles that it is hard to imagine what their lives were like during this process. The most amazing part is that they never gave up. The writer takes you through their 6 month journey and there are so many crazy stories and escapades that you would think you were watching a really good Hallmark movie. You will never get bored during this read and you will enjoy it.
The last section with tips was good.
By Amazon Customer on October 14, 2015
If you are an emotional person like I am, Anything for Amelia is very hard to read at first because it is so very emotional. While the story is very good, you can’t help but become a part of the story and feel such extreme hatred and anger toward Sandi. She is a vile and retched women who only cares about one thing and that is money. She doesn’t know how to love or even accept a person into her life. I found myself clinching my teeth and making fists as I was consumed with anger toward Sandi and empathy toward Drew and DJ. This woman is not only evil but she purposefully inflicts pain on everyone she touches. Yet the ending make me very satisfied. I was so happy to see them get their baby. The last section with tips was good. I hope to read more.
By Amazon Customer on October 14, 2015
Never before have I been so consumed by a book or story.This is not just a great book but it is a must-read piece of literature for anyone that cares about kids, family, and parenting. This might be my favorite book that I have read in ages and I hope the author comes out with a sequel. The two main characters when through so much to get their little girl. They were basically in fight or flight mode. In the end, they persevered but it was not without cost. Little Amelia is now in her proper home and for that I am happy. Great memoir. One of the best.
A true story that will warm your heart
By Ms. Bookaholic on October 14, 2015
This is a heartwarming true-to-life story of a couple who face all kinds of difficulties associated with adoption just to have their dream of having a complete family a reality. Hands down to Andrew and DJ for their patience and strong urge to fight for what is right not only for themselves but for the sake of the other kids who are being maltreated and abused both mentally and physically. I never imagined that a person like Sandi ever existed, and hopefully I would never need to know someone like her. This story will surely make you shed some tears. I would highly recommend this to those who are hoping to adopt a child, LGBT couples in particular will get the motivation and hope they need with Andrew and DJ’s story.
5 Stars all the way!!!!!
By Jdog on October 12, 2015
Anything for Amelia was truly an emotional roller coaster that I could not put down even more a minute. I read the book nonstop for five hours. Let me begin by saying that this book is really something special. It really stands out over other books of the same genre. What made this book extraordinarily special was the connection you feel to Drew and DJ as the book goes on. At times I felt like I was right there with them and feeling their pain. His writing draws you in and you cannot escape. These men are truly courageous for their journey through such a painful adoption experience. This book was really good – plain and simple
By Jill C. on October 11, 2015
I am very interested about the issues concerning the LGBT community, and this book illustrates an example of what happens when a desire to adopt a child by two men is challenged. The obstacles they had to face were truly appalling and I felt so bad that they weren’t allowed to provide a loving home for Amelia. The details of the case were nicely explained and I found myself learning more about the details of the adoption process. I would highly recommend this one.
Never give up… thankfully these 2 dads didn’t
By Diane D. on October 10, 2015
Just finished reading Anything for Amelia today. I felt like I was on this journey with Drew & DJ and my heart went out to them as they endured so much pain and heartache at the hands of a vile woman. This author knew how to keep things real and make you feel as if you were in the backseat each time they drove to Arizona. As the story progressed I found myself saying, yes, anything for Amelia! Highly recommend this story of love, bravery and sacrifice these two dad’s made to save this precious soul. Couldn’t put this book down, read it in 2 days, so compelled to see how it ended!
By Robert M. Contreras
This book is one of the best I have read in years. Andrew and DJ overcame so many hurdles to adopt their dear baby. I cannot even begin to imagine what they went through with this mentally ill birth mom. One can only hope that she finds the help she needs. I also hope the children find the help that they need to save their poor little souls. This book is basically a catharsis that follows a couple’s adoption journey from start to finish.
They had to deal with a very evil and vicious birth mom that did anything and everything to make their life hell. She is a babyseller. Ultimately, Drew and DJ overcame the odds and got their baby girl. This book is one of a kind and one that most will enjoy. Very well written and very good storyline
By Mariya on October 10, 2015
Thank god for that ending, I would not been able to take if it had gone other way. Tears rolled down couple of times from my eyes. Describing worst adoption experience of a gay couple, but discussed many flaws of whole adoption process which sometimes transform this great cause into nightmare for anyone. And NO, the content neither advocates for nor debates on LGBT. Lots of love for Amelia and her loving dads.
Touching and heartbreaking
By TFLREADER Top 500 Reviewer on October 9, 2015
I have long suspected that the adoption process was difficult and rife with red tape but had no idea the potential for abuse in the system until I read “Anything for Amelia”. The story of Andrew and DJ’s struggle touched me deeply as a member of the LGBT community, but it’s not so much about that as it is the ability of one person to so disrupt a system and the resiliency of the this couple to hold fast and do what is right for their future daughter. There is valuable information here for anyone who is contemplating involvement in this process but overall this is just a touching story that needs to be told. Well done.
By Arkcorp on October 8, 2015
I loved non-fiction stories that are based on events that happen in real life. I found that this story was actually so inspiring and motivating. I wish that there would be more stories out there like this. One of my friends from high school is gay and would love to adopt a child one day. The process can be extremely difficult and cause heartache. I think that this story is so beautifully written and will give these couples hope that anything is possible. I would say that this book is not just for the LGBT community and has something in it that will really relate to all audiences. I could feel the love that DJ and Andrew had for Amelia. It was just so powerful and they really did go through everything just to make this wonderful adoption possible. This is probably one of the best true stories that I have ever read, it has such a powerful message. I would recommend reading this one, it truly is a great and heartwarming story!
Already waiting for a sequel
By Kristie Waggoner on October 7, 2015
I simply could not put this book down. I read it in two (long) nights, which is unusual for a book to captivate me like Anything for Amelia did. What a very lucky little girl, and I would love to see Drew write a sequel so we know what happens later with Amelia growing up, having a relationship with her two biological sisters, and what happens with Sandi’s other children. I find myself praying that those children find loving foster and adoptive parents and never look back. Thank you for opening up to all of us and sharing this story.
Hats off to the both of you for keeping your cool throughout most of this ordeal
By Jenny L. King on October 7, 2015
I don’t know where to even begin with my review. Every word, sentence, paragraph, page and chapter had me totally consumed. There is not a person who can read this book and not shake their head. No one should EVER have to jump through the hurdles Andrew and DJ did to adopt a baby. Hats off to the both of you for keeping your cool throughout most of this ordeal. Not too many people would be able to stick it out until the end. Love will always be more important than money. Too bad Sandy will probably never be able to get over her mean and selfish ways to experience this. Thank goodness you two stayed strong. Amelia is so fortunate to have the both of you! What a great first book Drew Branham! Very proud of you!
I just finished this book and it is great. It tells the true story of the journey…
By Ms. Nieves on October 7, 2015
I just finished this book and it is great. It tells the true story of the journey a couple took to become parents. The events leading up to the wonderful day they officially became parents were a horrific nightmare. Their story is just one reason why the adoption laws in this country need to be fixed.
True love for an unborn child wins; even through hell, love wins
By Amazon Customer on October 5, 2015
Wow. I had no idea of the struggles adopting parents go through. This book will have you up and then down in a matter of seconds. My heart goes out to every parent that has been through adoptions. This book is an easy and greatly written book. It gives the true accounts of a man and his partner trying to adopt Amelia. I am extremely happy for Drew and Deej to finally get their beautiful Amelia at the end. This is a story of the love and devotion that real dads have no matter what the circumstances to fight for their child. They didn’t stop. They kept on fighting and pulling for Amelia. And thank God they did. Amelia wins and has been given the best parents anyone could ask for. Please read this book, it will definitely make you happy in the end.
The story has a happy ending, but not after repeated trials and tribulations
By Stephanie on October 5, 2015
The experience that Andrew and DJ went through for their daugther, Amelia, is beyond words. Reading about their adoption journey was frightening, angering, sickening and mostly saddening. In the end, the story has a happy ending, but not after repeated trials and tribulations along the way. Patience and determination have never been exemplified more than in this story. I’m glad this story has a positive outcome, but hope that no one else has to go through a process like this in other adoptions.
Even though I was part of this adoption I enjoyed reading the author’s perspective on things
By Gift Card on October 5, 2015
Having been a part of this adoption story I waited in anticipation for this book to be published. The author did an extraordinary job portraying a true, yet very difficult adoption story. The information as I know it is very accurate. Even though I was part of this adoption I enjoyed reading the authors prospective on things. I have the utmost respect for Drew and his partner, they truly did everything for Amelia. Thank you for sharing your story
Brutally Honest True Story
By Mary Lou on October 4, 2015
Let me start by saying that I am someone who practically never finishes a book. I start out with great intentions, but I quickly lose interest. Definitely not the case with this book. I literally could not put it down. The more that I read, the more strongly I wished that there was something I could do to help all of them. I would get so wrapped up in the story that I would forget that I wasn’t actually experiencing it in real time. The book was so well written that I actually felt Drew’s and DJ’s heartbreak and their joy. I became so emotionally involved with the characters in the book that I actually cried when I finished it. While this book would be a great resource for people considering adoption, I would highly recommend it to anyone that just likes to read a good book. I hope that there will be a sequel! It’s going to be on my list of items to give as a gift to my family and friends this holiday season.
A Horror Story for the Ages
By Mary H. on October 1, 2015
You will laugh, cry, be appalled, be horrified. And you will absolutely fall in LOVE with Drew, DJ and their darling Amelia. I not only read this once, I read it again and then again. It will captivate you like no other.
An Amazing True Story Of Adoption and A New Beautiful Family
By Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author on September 28, 2015
What more can I dd to many other fantastic reviews of Andrew Branham’s new book titled, ‘Anything for Amelia’ that has not been written already. Very well written account of a truly heartwarming, and at times heartbreaking experience both Andrew and DJ had to face until the sweet victory of having a family they desperately wanted with Amelia as their daughter. I also came away from this book realizing that our adoption system is badly broken in this country. No parents should have to battle like Andrew had to start a family through the adoption system. Way to many open loop holes in our flawed system.
I want to echo what another reader mentioned in their review, that his book is not just about two gay men wanting a child, nor about the LGBT community. This is real lives, going through real pain when they came to many heart breaking road blocks in their process of adopting Amelia.
I feel more legal rights need to lean for the couples adopting than most all for the birth mother. Yes, much is and can be done through the legal process, but not through a broken system. and this book is proof how corrupt our system is, and seems to lean way more toward the birth mother, and not the family adopting. Very unfair balance.
As a book reviewer point of view, Andrew did an exceptional job with writing such an in-depth personal journey that will help many parents adopting now after Andrew and DJ, to use his book as a guide of what to expect when adopting a child. What a legacy to leave behind for his family and for all who read his book. My heart goes out to them of the heartaches they had to go through, but in the end? Just take one look at Sweet Amelia, and I’m sure she makes it all worth IT! . . . .
Excellent & Highly Suggested Read!
Amazing story of Love
By Amazon Customer on September 24, 2015
This book is a heart wrenching depiction of a difficult adoption story. Although the difficult process was detailed….heartbreaking to say the least. But the beautiful theme that cannot be overshadowed is Love….fight for love no matter how difficult the battle! Amazing story thank you for sharing it with the world
Heartbreaking yet heartwarming!
By Sonja McCann on September 22, 2015
This book shows true detail of the events you are reading. You really feel like you are there as the drama happens. I feel a great sense of love for the Dads as they do everything in their power to ensure the safety of Amelia. Not too many people could be as strong as they were!
By Jessica Cashell on September 18, 215
Wow a wonderful story of two peoples intense struggle to become parents. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Amelia is in the loving home she belongs in. Prayers go out to all involved.
Great read! The emontional roller coaster of the open…
By Jay Ferguson on September 17, 2015
Great read! The emotional roller coaster of the open adoption from hell! Even knowing how the story ended, I couldn’t put the book down as I had to see what Sandi would come up with next. She is a character so evil that she couldn’t be made up; what she put Drew and DJ through for the duration of her pregnancy is truly evil! There is something wrong with the adoption laws if people like this can hold prospective parents hostage. I don’t know the answer but this shows that it is a question worth asking. Amazing that one woman could impact so many in such a negative manner. I only hope that CPS did their job; there are so many sympathetic characters in this story that you’ll find yourself rooting for all of them!
Amazing and Brutally Honest
By Brittney on September 15, 2015
Anything for Amelia is a brutally honest account of how much an adoptive couple had to endure to receive the most precious gift – a child. The story is about the experiences of an adoptive gay couple however not once did I feel like the LGBT community or even adopting families were the only audiences. The story will touch anyone who reads it and will cause you to ask yourself what you would do in many unbelievable situations. The author also seamlessly weaves in relevant past experiences of him and his partner’s lives to help you understand them on a deaper level. The book takes you through the adoption from start to finish and gives you the opportunity to cheer them on as they fight for their daughter. You will not want to stop reading as they make it to the light at the end of the tunnel and bring their baby home
Everything for Amelia!
By Faye M. Swetky on September 10, 2015
While ANYTHING FOR AMELIA involves a gay couple going through the adoption process, the LGBT community is not the book’s sole audience. The focus of the book is not gay adoption but rather adoption, birth mothers, and the systemic abuse of the system in general. As such, the book has broad appeal to both the gay and the mainstream market.
Some 6 out of 10 Americans have had or will have personal experience with adoption in their lives. More than 10 million adults in the U.S. have experienced adoption or foster parenting in their childhood. Along with spiraling increases in adoptions comes a growing need to disclose the major flaws in adoption laws that open the doors to fraud, manipulation, and abuse of the system. AMELIA is the first book to explore this dark side of the adoption process through the true story of one couple’s journey through hell. Called “the most difficult adoption in U.S. history” by adoption experts, Amelia’s adoption is documented in storybook fashion from start to finish. This book will appeal to nearly anyone interested in adoption, foster parenting, or surrogacy. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.
Read It and Weep… for Joy!
By D.J. Herda on September 10, 2015
Living with her boyfriend Doug and their three loving but neglected children, Sandi turned the adoptive couple’s lives into a living hell. Over the course of the next eight months, they saw both the best and the worst in humanity as they fell in love with Sandi’s family while her destructive personality wreaked havoc on everyone she touched. How much was the couple willing to put up with to get their daughter? How much could they help Sandi’s children without putting their own adoption in danger? Would their own relationship survive?
This book explores the little-seen world of surrogacy and exposes the day-to-day truth behind a complex process. Not only does it tell an emotional and compelling story, but also it provides the reader with valuable tips and solutions about the adoption process. I highly recommend it to any present or future adoptive parents or anyone wanting to know more about the adoption process, including the potential pitfalls. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Wow! A phenomenal read and a remarkable account of…
By Kate on September 8, 2915
Wow!! A phenomenal read and remarkable account of the authors struggles and perseverance during the adoption of his daughter.
By B. Stone on September 6, 2015
As a fellow adoptive parent that had a terrible experience I could relate to most of the emotions in this book. Well written, and it gives an honest view of the other side of adoption. I’m ecstatic that in the end…love wins.