Sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes humorous, this memoir of building a family will inspire social change.
When a gay couple decides the parenting life is for them, their one-year stint as foster parents of three premature infant triplets becomes a tale that will make readers laugh, wrench their hearts, and cause them to reexamine their politics.
Kevin Fisher-Paulson, a self-proclaimed “Catholic nerd” who serves as captain of the Honor Guard for the San Francisco Sheriff’s department, and his long-time partner take in the premature infants on a few hour’s notice. Through the chronicling of a year raising the triplets, losing them to their mentally ill and negligent biological mother, and the expensive legal fight against a discriminating social worker who finds the gay couple unfit for parenthood, Fisher-Paulson introduces readers to an extended family of beloved dogs, neighbors, friends, and blood relatives who support and color in the Fisher-Paulson family story.
While A Song For Lost Angels has all the makings of a tearjerker, Fisher-Paulson probes injustice and pain with a focus on the positive: “It wasn’t important that the court took [the children] away from us. It was important that we gave them the love they needed.” Light banter informs the chapters, as he often pokes fun at his gay identity, such as when describing his mother in the “red chiffon cocktail dress that [Fisher-Paulson] tried on only once.” The writing is solid, the tone conversational—and appropriately solemn when the subject merits.
The publisher’s back-cover claim that the narrative “takes the discussion of gay marriage to the next level, where the rights and struggles of gay parents and their kids can be openly recognized” is appropriate but may lead readers to expect a solicitation of their outrage and empathy for political ends. This is not the case. Fisher-Paulson tells his story, in no overtly political fashion; he makes no harsh demands on readers’ sympathies, which plays in his favor. His story, honestly and plainly told, is enough to move heartstrings and to elicit empathy and compassion, and perhaps that is sufficient to the author’s purpose.
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