A Long Way Home: A Boy’s Incredible Journey from India to Australia and Back Again, is a memoir written by businessman and author Saroo Brierley.
After being separated from his family and finding himself lost and alone in Calcutta, Saroo, only five or six years old, is found by a teenage boy and taken to the local police station where the police there take him in and try to locate his family. When they fail to do so, Saroo is then taken to the Indian Society for Sponsorship and Adoption. Following further failed attempts to locate his family, Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple, John and Sue Brierley, who take him home to Australia with them.
Sue Brierley is a very caring mother to Saroo, and to Mantosh who she and John adopt soon after.
Mum and Dad were very affectionate, right from the start, always giving me lots of cuddles and making me feel safe, secure, loved, and, above all, wanted. That meant a lot to a child who'd been lost and had experienced what it was like for no one to care about him.
Mantosh was also adopted from India where he had been sexually and physically abused by his family. Sue also had an unhappy childhood with a violent father and as such, she doesn’t believe that a family needs to be blood-related in order for it to be a happy one.
Because of all she'd been through growing up, Mum had decided that there was nothing sacrosanct about families formed only by birth parents.
Also, when she was twelve-years-old, Sue had a vision of her standing next to a brown-skinned boy.
“Mum was delighted when the word came through but also calm: somewhere inside her, she'd always felt that the vision she'd had at the age of twelve had meant it was her destiny to have an adopted child by her side.”
When she is first married she tells John that she does not want a biological child and will only consider adoption. Another reason for her focus on adoption is her concerns about the over-population of the planet.
Their progressive views helped Mum form the idea that one way to make a difference was to adopt children in need from developing countries.