McGrady became a mother in her forties when she adopted a newborn from a local couple who wanted to pursue a career in music rather than becoming her parents. She had always planned an open adoption, but never the possibility of later taking her daughter's birth parents, whom she only identifies as Bill and Bridgett, at home for a few months when they found themselves homeless – or their The relationship deteriorated when she ended up ceasing to accept their last minute requests.

McGrady has entered into an open adoption agreement with little regard for the future, and the implications are obvious as McGrady's relationship with her daughter's biological parents is metamorphosed several times. At first, Bill and Bridgett look like random but temporarily friendly strangers on the other side of a large transaction; Soon, they become members of the extended family, then dependents, and finally people as bitter parents.

Open adoption arrangements give many adoptive and biological parents a sense of connection for life, though sometimes they are not so close. And, according to McGrady, his relationship with Bill and Bridgett has several characteristics of an extended kinship relationship, including the increased sense of the need to help when needed. When it's cold a few months after starting to live in a tent in downtown Los Angeles, McGrady writes, "The idea came to invite Bridgett and Bill to stay with me until I get to bed." the weather improves. But then I chased it like a pesky mosquito. Because, you know, borders. Yet, "they occupied an uncomfortably big space in my brain. Something had changed. It's like a debt that becomes obvious and, in a way, deeper. Later, even though she was tired of the persistent presence of Bridgett and Bill and what she describes as their minimal efforts to get a job, they "did not have anyone." No one within five hundred miles would know or be concerned about their death or death. In other words, an open adoption regime has given McGrady and her daughter more family members to love, which also means more. family members to feel responsible emotionally and financially.

McGrady reiterates throughout Rock Needs River how much the adoption of her daughter, Grace, has changed her life for the better. Nevertheless, she describes moments when she was struck by jealousy and insecurity resulting directly from the presence of her daughter's biological parents in her life. When Bill and Bridgett live with McGrady, she worries that they may stay too long and that Grace does not understand who her parents are. "I spend every moment of every day wanting to be the biggest star of her life. The one who loves him the most. The one she likes the most, "writes McGrady. She is proud to see that, even when Bill and Bridgett are present, Grace "always turned to me for hugs or help." And she worries when her daughter gets angry that Bill and Bridgett doubt his parenting skills: "Did they still think a good mom?