In 2005, Maurice Mierau and his wife, Betsy, travelled to Ukraine to adopt two small boys, age three and five. After weeks of delays while navigating a tangled bureaucracy, they returned to Canada as a proud new family of four.
Does fatherhood begin the moment that the adoption papers are signed? Is family something that is created in an instant? And what happens when everything seems to be on the verge of falling apart?
In Detachment, Maurice Mierau probes not only the process of adoption but what comes after—the challenges of becoming a family, the strain on his marriage. While his son acts out and gets in trouble at school, Maurice feels removed, detached, thinking instead about his own emotionally distant father. Also born in Ukraine, Maurice’s father has a traumatic and mysterious past of his own. If Maurice can come to understand his father’s life, perhaps he can start to make sense of his new sons…
Detachment is a moving, darkly funny, and searingly unsentimental memoir about learning to become a father and a son.