Author: Mary Beth Moore
Year Published: 2022
“Nerdection Must Read”
Mary Beth Moore’s 2022 memoir Unwanted: Fighting to Belong is a compelling account of the author’s journey of determination and bravery as she and her son confront and overcome the prejudice and misunderstanding that individuals with disabilities endure in everyday life.
Mary Beth’s unexpected life began the moment a female Doctor broke the news of the status of her unborn child to her. The Doctor informed her that her unborn child had Down syndrome. The Doctor repeatedly apologized to Mary Beth for the child she was expecting, which made Mary Beth wonder what was really wrong with those who had Down syndrome. As it was not associated with her office, the Doctor transferred her case to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. She didn’t relent in reminding Mary Beth that children with Down syndrome often had many medical complications.
Mary Beth conducted several research to find out about Down syndrome every night for the rest of that week. Her feat lessened when she found an abundance of joy, love and acceptance in regards to raising children with disabilities in blogs and social media profiles. However, when she told people around her she was expecting a child with Down syndrome, they felt sorry for her. She got suggestions that adoption, institutionalization and abortion were the only paths forward, with the statement, “No one would blame you”. It dawned on her that the world would not accept her child.
Things got worse by the day for Mary Beth. It seemed like there was no hope for her child in this world. She had to reach out to people and she got the shock of her life when Amanda, an old friend told her about a certain mom that had a child with Down syndrome. She encouraged Mary Beth not to take a decision on her unborn child until she had spoken to the woman. She eventually got to speak to the woman and got just the perfect advice she needed.
Mary Beth faced multiple struggles when her son was finally born. She thought she was going to lose him. The negative words she was told about her not being a good mom for keeping her child against all odds kept ringing in her head. It was difficult, but she was able to scale through that phase of her life with her son alive. However, the struggles didn’t end even when Garvin had grown up.
My take on Unwanted: Fighting to belong
If you’re a parent trying to balance your child’s constitutionally protected rights with the public school system’s longstanding customs and budgetary constraints, you’ll find Unwanted to be a compelling page-turner. Mary Beth is a true force of nature with the kindest heart; she challenges the status quo of segregation in the school, offers concrete counsel to parents, and inspires systemic change in ways never before attempted.
This book is a compelling reminder that everyone has the right to feel included and respected. For anyone who cares deeply about issues of social justice and disability rights, this is an essential read. This book demonstrates how LOVE can overcome any obstacle, including the rule of law.
This book is a great reminder that everyone has the right to feel accepted and valued. If you care about disability rights or social justice, you absolutely must read this.
Mary Beth is an ardent supporter, and I’m thrilled that her message may reach more people thanks to this book. The advice and inspiration in this book are invaluable. This book is fantastic, and not just for parents of disabled children.
In general, I give this book five stars. Enjoy it! Learn from it!
About The Author Of Unwanted: Fighting to Belong
Mary Beth Moore is the founder and executive director of The Advocacy Underground, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the authentic inclusion of students with disabilities across all educational environments. She studied political science and criminal justice at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte before joining the U.S. Marine Corps. She served as an intelligence analyst for the Department of Defense for several years and then transitioned to a marketing leader in the high tech space. She uses the storytelling skills gained as an intelligence analyst and marketing leader to make the complexities in special education law and research more consumable by parents and educators alike.