Even at twelve years old Deborah Jiang-Stein, the adopted daughter of a progressive Jewish couple in Seattle, felt like an outsider. Her multiracial features set her apart from her well-intentioned white parents, who evaded questions about her past. But when Deborah discovered a letter revealing the truth–that she was born in prison to a heroin-addicted mother and spent the first year of her life there–she spiraled into emotional lockdown. For years she turned to drugs, violence, and crime as a way to cope with her grief. Ultimately, Deborah overcame the stigma, shame, and secrecy of her birth and found peace by helping others–proving that redemption and acceptance is possible, even from the darkest corners

Adoptee Author: Deborah Jiang-Stein

Publication Year: 2014 (Earlier version published in 2011 under the title Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus)

Adoptee Reviews: 

Other Reviews: