Autobiography/Memoir

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Stranger Care: A Memoir of Loving What Isn’t Ours

Sarah Sentilles

2021

After their decision not to have a biological child, Sarah Sentilles and her husband, Eric, decided to adopt via the foster care system. Knowing that the goal is reunification with the birth family, Sarah opens their home to a flurry of social workers who question, evaluate, and ultimately prepare them to welcome a child into their family—even if it most likely means giving them up. After years of starts and stops, a phone call finally comes: a three-day old baby girl, in immediate need of a foster family. Sarah and Eric bring this newborn stranger home.

“You were never ours,” Sarah writes, “yet we belong to each other.”

A fierce story about love and belonging, Stranger Care shares Sarah's discovery of what it means to take care of the Other—in this case, not just a vulnerable infant, but the birth mother who loves her too. With her trademark “fearless, stirring, rhythmic” (Nick Flynn) prose, the acclaimed author of Draw Your Weapons brings her creative energies to an intimate story, with universal concerns: What does it mean to mother? How can we care for and protect each other? How do we ensure a better future for life on this planet? And if we're all related—tree, bird, star, person—how might we better live?.