Counting Down
A Memoir of Foster Parenting and Beyond

By Deborah Gold

“Counting Down is a deeply moving memoir about both the rewards and the daunting challenges of being a foster family. By choosing to incorporate both parent and child perspectives, Deborah Gold has created a unique and valuable book. Bravo.”

Ron Rash, author of The Risen

“After reading this book, I realize that foster parents are the bravest people in the world. Deborah Gold's eloquent and thorough portrayal of this experience is not only enlightening, it is revelatory. And beautifully written, with wonderful additions by her foster son Michael. Counting Down reads like a novel and should be required reading in every child psychology and women's studies class, and in every education, family law, and medical course in the country.”

Lee Smith, author of Dimestore: A Writer’s Life

“Counting Down is an extraordinary story of loss and recovery that documents the breakdown and rebuilding of lives, family, and human potential. Deborah Gold is a gifted writer, and the kind of person who makes our world not only bearable but meaningful. This an intimate account of struggle, joy, and the bonds that sustain families and communities.”

Robert Morgan, author of Chasing the North Star

When Deborah Gold and her husband signed up to foster parent in their rural mountain community, they did not foresee that it would lead to a roller-coaster fifteen years of involvement with a traumatized yet resilient birth family. They fell in love with Michael (a toddler when he came to them), yet they had to reckon with the knowledge that he could leave their lives at any time.

In Counting Down, Gold tells the story of forging a family within a confounding system. We meet social workers, a birth mother with the courage to give her children the childhood she never had herself, and a father parenting from prison. We also encounter members of a remarkable fellowship of Appalachian foster parents—gay, straight, right, left, evangelical, and atheist—united by love, loss, and quality hand-me-downs.

Gold’s memoir is one of the few books to deliver a foster parent’s perspective (and, through Michael’s own poetry and essays, that of a former foster child). In it, she shakes up common assumptions and offers a powerfully frank and hopeful look at an experience often portrayed as bleak.

Deborah Gold is the pseudonym of a teacher, writer, and former foster parent. Licensed as foster parents for fifteen years, she and her husband eventually gained custody of two siblings.

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Related Subjects

Adoption and Fostering · Memoir · Creative Nonfiction · Appalachia



Retail price: $22.95, T.
Release date: Feb. 2018
256 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights: World


Retail price: $49.95, S.
Release date: Feb. 2018
256 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights: World


Release date: Feb. 2018
≅ 256 pages
Rights: World