ROCK NEEDS RIVER: By Vanessa McGrady


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“How can you repay a priceless debt? When my daughter’s birth parents became homeless, I impulsively invited them to stay with us, without clearly thinking it through. It was wonderful in some ways, terrible in others, and continues to be a roller-coaster of love, truth, and loyalty. This is our story.” – author Vanessa McGrady

When VANESSA MCGRADY’s daughter’s birth parents become homeless – Vanessa was faced with what to do!! Impulsively she invited them to stay! This without clearly thinking it all through!

In her new book “ROCK NEEDS RIVER” – Vanessa takes us on her roller coaster journey of this very unusual living arrangement! And brings light to the trials and tribulations of all types of families -those with adoptive kids, those who are homeless and those who make up today’s modern families.

Every family is complicated. None of us has a perfectly linear story. But if we are lucky, our stories are laced with love and compassion and humor. This was most surely the case in author Vanessa McGrady’s life. As it is in “ROCK NEEDS RIVER: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption” (Little A; February 1, 2019), her deft and moving love letter to her daughter, Grace.

After two years of waiting to adopt—years spent slogging through paperwork and bouncing between hope and despair—a miracle finally happened for Vanessa McGrady. Her sweet baby, Grace, was a dream come true. Then she made a highly uncommon decision: when Grace’s biological parents became homeless, Vanessa invited them to stay.

Without a blueprint for navigating the practical basics of an open adoption or any discussion of expectations or boundaries, the unusual living arrangement became a bottomless well of conflicting emotions and increasingly difficult decisions complicated by missed opportunities, regret, social chaos, and broken hearts.

Written with wit, candor, and compassion, Rock Needs River is, ultimately, Vanessa’s love letter to her daughter, one that illuminates the universal need for connection and the heroine’s journey to find her tribe.

Vanessa can also discuss:

· Birth parents have the most untold stories in adoption

· Every epic tale is about adoption

· There are no normal families

· There are major system failures for indigent parents and the homeless

· What are the joys/challenges her family faces versus other parents/families?

· The best kind of true love is the kind you don’t and can’t even plan for

· Valentine’s Day is a special time of year for many people – how can/is Valentine’s Day be different for adoptive parents?

About the author: Vanessa McGrady was born in Manhattan and raised there and on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. She holds a BA from New York University and is a former radio and newspaper journalist, waitress, playwright, actor, bartender, dating service owner, and corporate communications and social media strategist. She writes about personal finance, feminist parenting, and health, and her work has appeared in the New York Times,, Jezebel, Forbes, Refinery29, Bust, and elsewhere. She lives in Los Angeles with her daughter, Grace Magnolia.