Rarely do we know what life will hold. When starting the adoption process, Jane Byers and her wife could not have predicted the illuminating and challenging experience of living for two weeks with the Evangelical Christian foster parents of their soon-to-be adopted twins. Parenthood becomes even more daunting when homophobia threatens their beginnings as a family, seeping in from places both unexpected and familiar. But Jane and Amy are up for the challenge. In this moving and poetic memoir, Byers draws readers into her own tumultuous beginnings: her coming out years, finding love, and the start of her parenting journey. Love imprints itself where loneliness lived, but sometimes love, alone, is not enough to overcome trauma. Little did Byers know that her experiences when coming out was merely training for becoming an adoptive parent of racialized twins. Small Courage: A Queer Memoir of Finding Love and Conceiving Family is a thoughtful and heart-warming examination of love, queerness and what it means to be a family.
Jane Byers has published two poetry collections, Acquired Community (Dagger Editions, 2016), a 2017 Goldie Award Winner for Poetry, Steeling Effects (Caitlin Press, 2014) and a chapbook, It Hurt, That's All I Know (Nose in Book Publishing, 2017). She has co-written two award-winning documentary films, Only In Nelson and Conceiving Family. She was the 2018 Writer-in-Residence for Simon Fraser University's Archives of Lesbian Oral Testimony (ALOT). She has had poems and essays published in anthologies and literary journals in Canada, the US and England, including Best Canadian Poetry 2014 (Tightrope Books).
'"Small Courage is an intimate, original, and profoundly generous act of immense courage. Thank you Jane Byers for letting readers into your life so we can more clearly see and understand our own. An insightful, big-hearted book full of parenting wisdom."
--Angie Abdou, author of Home Ice: Reflections of a Reluctant Hockey Mom
"Reading Small Courage, I realized that the politically correct messaging intended to de-stigmatize adoption had also erased the unique challenges and triumphs of forming family in this way. Byers undramatically shares her complex experiences, offering an intimate view of a fierce, at times gruelling, but ultimately resilient and joyful brand of love. By providing a deeper understanding and appreciation of the adoption journey, she enables us to more clearly see and honour adoptive families. As if that weren't a sizeable enough contribution, Byers also reveals how coming out unexpectedly prepared her for the adoption process. This memoir shifted my perceptions in the way only compassionate and vulnerable writing can."
--Monica Meneghetti, Lambda Literary finalist and award-winning author of What the Mouth Wants