Mary Greene

Mary Evelyn Greene, a practicing environmental attorney and college professor, adopted two children from Russia in 2004. Ever since, she has doggedly devoted herself to improving her alcohol-exposed son’s condition, publishing articles in Adoptive Families Magazine and Adoption Today along the way. Dissatisfied with her son’s educational progress, she gained local notoriety in 2010 when she took their school district to court and won. She is a contributing author to Easy to Love but Hard to Raise (Feb. 2012), a collection of stories written by and for parents of special needs kids. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, she remains an avid University of Florida football and basketball fan. She currently practices law at the Environmental Integrity Project in Washington, DC and lives in Maryland with her husband, two children, and multiple furry friends. This is her first book.

All Books

When Rain Hurts: An Adoptive Mother’s Journey with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Mary Greene

Publication Date: September 15, 2013

$16.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-59709-262-3


When Rain Hurts is the story of one mother’s quest to find a magical path of healing and forgiveness for her son, a boy so damaged by the double whammy of prenatal alcohol abuse and the stark rigors of Russian orphanage life that he was feral by the time of his adoption at age three. Bizarre behaviors, irrational thoughts, and dangerous preoccupations were the nor–no amount of love, it turns out, can untangle the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. More people are coping with and caring for those affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders than individuals living with autism, but because there is a stigma associated with this preventable, devastating birth defect, it is a pandemic of disability and tragedy that remains underreported and underexplored. When Rain Hurts puts an unapologetic face to living and coping with this tragedy while doggedly searching for a more hopeful outcome for one beautiful, innocent, but damaged little boy.

Praise for When Rain Hurts:

“‘What I wanted was a family,’ writes Mary Greene, not a booby-trapped marathon that lacked a finish line.’ In this intimate and unflinching memoir, Greene describes the space between her dreams of motherhood and the reality of life with an adopted child suffering from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. When Rain Hurts is emotionally complex, fascinating, gritty, exhausting, and teeming with protective mother-energy and love. Three cheers for Mary Greene’s fighting spirit and the work she’s doing to create and protect her family while educating so many of us about the complexities of international adoption and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.”—Sheri Reynolds, author of The Homespun Wisdom of Myrtle T. Cribb

“Mary E. Greene shares her family’s journey through the world of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome with a lucid candor free of self-pity (and a healthy wit). To anyone either struggling to make sense of the journey to adopt a child, or dealing with a skewed adoption system, Greene’s book will offer both camaraderie and sustenance.”—Edie Meidav, author of Lola, California