Everyone admires families who adopt hard-to-place children; they are often praised as modern-day heroes. But like the tragic heroes of old, adoptive parents tumble from great heights if they expose fears or second thoughts, and they often confront scorn and blame if their children have problems. In a sensitive and sobering account, Ann Kimble Loux breaks with this unwritten code of silence with the painful story of her family's adoption of two abused sisters and the traumatic years that followed. In 1974, Loux and her husband, already the biological parents of three children, had no idea how their lives would change with the addition of young Margey and Dawn, ages three and four. Knowing only a fraction of the children's history of abuse and neglect, the couple, both college professors, introduced the two girls into their stable mid-western home and - believing that any problems would be transitory - waited for them to adjust. However, the early behaviour and communication problems were only mild harbingers of disruptive, harrowing years to come. In writing this book 20 years later, Loux is finally coming to terms with the distressing mixture of hope and disillusionment, of love, frustration and overwhelming guilt that has characterized her relationships with her two daughters. In ""The Limits of Hope"", Ann Kimble Loux conveys the social and individual human costs of child abuse and neglect and calls for reforms in the adoption process.