Jennifer is an excellent writer who shares her story of adopting her daughter from Guatemala with transparency and detail – all with a heart to help others who share this wonderful and sometimes difficult journey. I hope that by sharing some quotes, you’ll be motivated to get the book and appreciate its insights as much as I did. Jennifer covers so many aspects of and questions about the adoption process. Here are a few quotes from the book to whet your appetite…
On Divine providence:
“I believe God nudges us toward the people with whom we’re meant to share our lives. And, sometimes, I think God uses adoption to rip away the curtain that keeps us blind to poverty and suffering. In finding our children and falling in love with a country far from home, many adoptive parents find a calling to change their lives and serve those whom they have met there.”
On claiming your child as your own:
“When you give birth to or adopt a child, you are in for the long haul. You must commit to sleepless nights, vulnerability like you’ve never known, and moments when you can’t even wrap your mind around how much you adore your child. There will also be times when your child’s selfishness makes you think, Who is this nasty little person? and, even worse, times when you can’t believe how brittle and small your own heart is. But because you know you were meant to be together, you wade through the hard times and know that the good ones await you. You ask for help. You admit your faults. You stop, breathe deeply and count to ten. And you know that whether the weather is stormy or fair, you are your child’s true parent.”
On the difficult times of waiting:
“Agencies warn you: the adoption process is unpredictable. Regardless of how diligent they are, agencies are not in control. Schedules can slip. Documentation can get lost. Birthmothers can change their minds. Foreign governments can close their programs, change their fees or halt all adoptions for indeterminate periods… I had days when I was at peace, certain that our baby would come home when she was meant to be with us. But more often, I struggled with the wait… Please, please God. Take care of her until I can do it myself. Please… Having a child – whether by birth or adoption – is a risk. No parent is guaranteed an easy time or a child who is healthy or gifted or easy to parent. There are moments when accepting that lack of control makes being a parent easier – and times when it doesn’t. But for some adoptive parents, Tom Petty’s line about the waiting being "’the hardest part’ might be true.”
On that adjustment period:
“Why was this happening? Why couldn’t my three-year-old just use her words and clearly explain the various ways her sister’s homecoming had affected her? Why couldn’t Mia see that I really really needed her to buck up and get with the system? No more contrariness. No more of this possessive behavior. No throwing food off the high chair. No screaming in her crib. In retrospect, what they were going through could not have been more normal. But at the time, it felt like the end of the world.”
On post-adoption blues:
“On the bright side, all four children seemed to be transitioning well… It was me who, increasingly, didn’t know which end was up…What had I done? What had become of that confident mom who always knew how to handle her children? Was I both a bad person and a bad mother?”
On bonding and attachment:
“It took more than months to build complete trust; it took years. It would be three or four years after her homecoming before Mia awarded me with the same easy trust that I receive from my other children.”
Jennifer also writes about the ethics and questions surrounding international adoption, about being a transracial family, about how she has shared her daughter’s adoption story with her and with others.
I think you will love this book!
*A happy surprise for me was to find out – in the pages of the book - that some of Jennifer’s dearest friends are a YWAM adoptive family! Mark and Mary Lewis have adopted four girls from China and are now getting ready to bring home their daughter Sena from Ethiopia. Their Ethiopian adoption journey has been incredibly difficult and I have so much respect for how they have walked this long, hard road with faith and hope.