Finding Zoe

A Deaf Woman’s Story of Love, Identity, and Adoption

By Brandi Rarus and Gail Harris


Foreword by Academy-Award Winner Marlee Matlin


Finding Zoe Book CoverAn extraordinary story of faith and rising above our limitations.

Have you ever felt like a lone soldier out there, wanting to find your place in the world, and be able to trust yourself and your dreams?  Finding Zoe shares the tale of an extraordinary woman you might not yet know, if you aren’t deaf.

But the depth of her struggles and how she rises above them—even becoming Miss Deaf America—are universal, and reflect the best in all of us.  Brandi Rarus, born hearing but becoming deaf at age six, goes through a soul-searching journey that leads her to a new level of self-acceptance and to finding her daughter who she was waiting for her entire life.

A woman who had never dreamed about her wedding but did dream about having a daughter gives birth to three hearing boys. Why is this a blessing in disguise, and how do the intertwining lives of six total strangers make it so?

A profound story on so many levels, Finding Zoe pulls back the curtain on being deaf in America. But it is about so much more. It is about finding our place in the world and fitting in. It’s about being judged and judging others. It’s about rise above all that so that we can realize our dreams. It is about coming home to yourself and your family, and about fulfilling your destiny.

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What endorsers have said:

“Motherhood—however it is achieved—is a beautiful thing. The journey of Finding Zoe is captivating and inspirational, and above all, a story about doing what is right for our children, as well as ourselves, no matter how difficult…and then seeing all of the pieces fall miraculously into place. Finding Zoe is a joy to watch unfold.”  Jill Smokler, New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of  a Scary Mommy and Motherhood Comes Naturally (And other Vicious Lies).

“A must-read for any adoptive parent, or anyone considering adoption. Brandi Rarus”s story of Finding Zoe is an amazing reminder that the power of love overcomes life’s most challenging obstacles and nothing can stand in the way of what’s meant to be. Mary Donahue, Senior Vice President of Non-Fiction at Lifetime Television Network and adoptive parent. 

“Just as my character on ‘Switched at Birth’ has helped to expose the Deaf community for what it really is to our mainstream TV audience, so to does Finding Zoe break down the barriers between the hearing and Deaf communities by showing Deaf Culture in ways never seen before . . . deaf people and deaf families with identity issues and conflicts universal in scope . . . seeking the love that all of us need . . . and the compelling lessons learned by being human. Bravo to Finding Zoe.Sean Berdy, actor on the ABC TV hit Series “Switched at Birth

Finding Zoe shines an unbiased light on teen pregnancy, adoption, and the sacrifice parents make to find the best home for their children. … a must read for teenagers and their parents, or for anyone else who may be contemplating their choices for an unintended pregnancy.—Jan and Bob Charnecki, Options Pregnancy Center

“This isn’t just a book for people interested in adoption; it’s an inspiring story that will touch the heart of anyone with a connection to children and families – which is to say, almost everyone.” Adam Pertman, Executive Director, Donaldson Adoption Institute and author of “Adoption Nation”

“How fitting that Finding Zoe, which gives such a remarkable, personal account of what it was like at the famous Gallaudet Uprising of 1988 be launched on the 25th anniversary of this historic event in Deaf History. Here we have not just an academic look at what it is like to be deaf but a spiritual one, as well.”—Phil Bravin, the first deaf chairman of Gallaudet Board of Trustees

“This really hits home . . . The story of a deaf baby who winds her way to a deaf family . . . and embraces her culture and language. A great introduction to the Deaf community.” Chris Wagner, President, National Association of the Deaf

“A work of both heart and mind, driven by the authors’ passions to describe our rich history as deaf people, that paved the way for deaf children like Zoe . . . a book that both deaf and hearing people have longed for. ” Greg Hlibok, Student leader of the Deaf President Now protest at Gallaudet University.

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