But, He Spit in My Coffee

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A book review of But, He Spit in My Coffee: a reads-like-fiction memoir about adopting a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) by Keri Williams

A book review of But, He Spit in My Coffee: a reads-like-fiction memoir about adopting a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) by Keri Williams

Stars: *****

Independently Published (2022)
327 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: The gripping and heart wrenching true story of a desperate mother who must grapple with impossible choices as her young son becomes too dangerous to live at home but is only growing bigger, stronger, and more violent while in treatment.

When Keri and her husband adopt Devon, he has concerning behaviors, but she’s confident all he needs is the love of a “forever family.” Devon’s hidden history of early childhood trauma quickly takes center stage when Devon throws screaming fits, yanks his bedroom door off its hinges, chases his classmates with a knife, and pushes his younger brother down the stairs and viciously karate-chops him in the throat. When Devon is admitted to a psychiatric residential treatment facility at age 10 and is diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), Keri is faced with an impossible choice—Devon is too dangerous to live at home, but he’s not getting better in treatment. Keri must race against time to find help for Devon and keep her other children safe, as he grows bigger, stronger, and more violent.

Based on a shocking true story, this reads-like-fiction memoir exposes the dysfunctions of the child welfare and mental health systems and how they fail kids with RAD and their families.

But, He Spit in My Coffee

I know I’ve read and watching documentaries about RAD before but I couldn’t find the name of a specific book. This is an eye opening memoir into the author’s life and is hard to read. She is honest about Devon’s behaviours and rages and how it affects her whole family. This is not an easy thing to open up about because there is a lot of stigma surrounding RAD. Many people don’t believe it’s a real diagnosis and just blame the parent, even an adoptive parent. This must have been so scary to deal with.

The book is written just like fiction in that it is sequential and just states what happens and the author’s views and thoughts about what happens. It’s not like some memoirs that given the views of more than one person or jump back and forth. This makes it easier to read.

So the format makes it easier to read and the subject makes it harder to read. I just realized that.

This book is self published but doesn’t look or read like many do. It’s very professionally edited and formatted.

This is an important read for those who have out of control kids but also for those who don’t. It’s important to understand what others are going through. It makes us less likely to blame the parents without knowing what we are talking about.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.