F is for The Family Nobody Wanted

(For the 2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge, I will be featuring one book each day, that begins with that day’s letter, that made an impression on me.  This means that for some reason, I didn’t just read that book and forget about it.  No, I still think about it after some period of time has passed.) 

Title:  Family Nobody Wanted, The
Author: Helen Doss
Original Publication Date: 1954
Date I First Read: 1988
Basic Category: Nonfiction / Memoir / Adoption

Basic Summary:  It is the late 1930’s and Helen and her husband can’t seem to be able to conceive.  They started adopting children, and because the wait is so long, they are willing to take older children and children who are Asian and Mexican in ancestry.  
What I Remember (most) About the Book: I remember most the section describing their experiences while living in a parsonage in Hebron, Illinois in the early 1940’s.  They only had four or five of their eventual dozen children, but it was all quite eventful with balloons being thrown into the old coal furnace, not enough coal during a blizzard, all of the kids being sick with chicken pox, the basement flooding, and lots of cherries to be canned.  
What I Took Away From the Book:  I loved this book at age 13ish.  I re-read it a number of times.  I liked that they adopted all of these children – and that she wrote a rather humorous book about it all.  I loved being able to go to the library basement where all of the old issues of Life magazines bound into volumes and stored.  This was pre-internet (at least for me) . . .   the family was featured in Life prior to their last three children coming into their lives. I loved to read about families with large numbers of children.  Today, I think, they would have never been allowed to adopt so many children.  Right? 
Rating (1-5 stars):  4.0 stars – I would have given it four stars back then. 

Here is a link to a page that contains two of the photos and interesting discussion of the book.  


  1. It sounds like the family certain had some interesting memoirs. Adoption at that time was not as openly talked about as it is today due to some stigma, but it sounds like this family overcame that and may other obstacles. I love interesting true stories.



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